All You Need To Know About Michigan Driver’s License Restoration: How To Get Your Michigan Driver’s License Back

I lost my privilege to drive due to multiple drunk driving offenses.  How do I get it back?

A person whose license is revoked due to multiple drunk driving offenses must apply for a hearing before the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD – formerly known as the DLAD) for re-licensure.  The driver’s eligibility date for a DAAD hearing can be found on his/her driving record.

  • A person with two alcohol related driving offenses within 7 years must wait one full year from the last conviction to be eligible to apply.
  • A person with 3 or more alcohol related driving offenses within lifetime must wait 5 years from their last conviction to be eligible.

The Secretary of State rules are very specific with respect to the issuance of a driver’s license.  These rules cannot be modified and are set forth in Rule 13.

In order to request a hearing, you will need to submit a written request along with the substance abuse evaluation to DAAD.  This can be done at the following address or fax number:

  • Driver Assessment and Appeal Division
  • P.O. Box 30196
  • Lansing, MI 48909-7696
  • Fax: (517) 335-2190

Both the request for hearing and substance abuse evaluation forms are available on the secretary of state website (www.michigan.gov/sos) and on our website (www.ambroselawgroup.com)

The substance abuse evaluation must be filled out by a licensed substance abuse counselor.  Evaluations range in price from about $250.00 to $450.00.   The request for a hearing with a current substance abuse evaluation must not be dated more than 3 months before the date it will be received by the DAAD.

In addition to submitting a substance abuse evaluation, you will need to bring 4-6 community support letters to verify abstinence from alcohol.  The same exact sobriety date must be explicitly stated in all letters.  The letters must be notarized and must include specific information regarding your history concerning alcohol, past and present.  The letters should come from a cross-section of the persons’ life.  Consider asking your friends, family members, fellow AA members, teachers, or co-workers to write letters for you.  Sample letters can be found here.

Additionally, you must bring documentation of participation in a support group, such as AA.  You should get the attendance sheet as well as signatures from members of your groups to support your DAAD hearing.  An   Hearing officers like to see consistent involvement in AA, at least twice a week, for at least one year, or involvement in structured and consistent substance abuse counseling.  You MUST be familiar with the 12 steps of AA!  If you are looking for AA locations near you, please click here.

This documentation is necessary to prove by “clear and convincing” evidence that your alcohol problem is under control and likely to remain under control, the likelihood that you will again drink and drive is low or minimal, and that you have the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law.  Rule 13 states that you must prove to the hearing officer that you have not used alcohol for at least 6 months; however, in reality, in order to win your hearing you must prove abstinence from alcohol for at least one full year.

If you win your DAAD hearing you be will required to have an ignition interlock device placed in your car for one full year and will only be granted restricted driving privileges.  After one year, you will be required to request another hearing in order to get full restoration.

If you don’t win your DAAD hearing, you basically have two options:

  • Wait one full year to obtain a new hearing OR
  • Appeal the hearing officer’s determination to the Circuit Court.

The appeal must be filed within 63 days of the determination by the Secretary of State (182 days with a showing of good cause).  The Secretary of State must be notified not less than 50 days before the hearing date and any supporting documents must be filed at least 50 days prior to the hearing date.  The Circuit Court will only review the record prepared. The record includes the transcript, the documentation presented at the hearing, and the hearing officer’s order or the driving record.  These documents will be reviewed to determine if the Secretary of State’s determination:

  • was in violation of State of the Michigan or US Constitution, or
  • exceeds the statutory authority or jurisdiction, or
  • was based on unlawful procedure which was materially prejudicial, or
  • was not supported by the facts, or
  • was arbitrary, capricious or clearly an abuse of unwarranted exercise of discretion, or
  • if the decision was affected by substantial and material errors of law

Good Luck!  If you have any questions, please contact Aida Spahic at 248.624.5500 or email her at aida@ambroselawgroup.com.

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