Call 800-975-5060

Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Blog

Understanding the Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Process

Michigan has an Administrative process for those seeking to reinstate their driver’s license after two or more DUIs. The Michigan driver’s license restoration process involves presenting evidence and attending a hearing in front of a hearing officer. Michigan has a process for both its residents and former residents living in other states.

Michigan Residents

Michigan residents must attend 2 hearings if they have 2 or more DUIs and are not on a sobriety court-restricted license. At the first hearing you’re seeking a restricted license. If successful, you will then be required to install an alcohol detector in your car. The alcohol detector is referred to as an “interlock device.” After driving for one year with the interlock device, residents are eligible to attend a second hearing where they will seek a full driver’s license. If you’re on a sobriety court restricted license with an interlock device, you’ll be requesting a full driver’s license at your initial hearing. If successful, you do not need to attend a second hearing.

Former Michigan Residents

The process is somewhat different for former Michigan residents living in other states. The same information is required except you can submit your evidence for review by mail. This process is known as an Administrative Review. If successful, you will not need to attend a hearing; however, if your administrative review is unsuccessful you have the option of requesting a hearing. If your case is successful, the State of Michigan will issue what is known as a clearance. A clearance will allow you to apply for a license in the state where you’re currently living.

What You Must Prove

What do you have to prove to win? You must clearly and convincingly prove the following:

  1. Your substance and/or alcohol problem is under control and will stay that way in the future.
  2. You have a low risk of driving under the influence and a low risk of repeating your past abusive behavior in the future.
  3. You are motivated and have the ability to safely drive within the limits of the law.
  4. You have been sober for at least 6 to 12 months. As a lawyer handling driver’s license cases, I can tell you that the vast majority of those seeking driver’s license reinstatement will need at least 12 months of sobriety. The hearing officer, in some cases, will require an even longer period of sobriety.

You must prove your case clearly and convincingly. This is a very high standard of proof. The bottom line is this: at the conclusion of your hearing, there cannot be any doubt in the hearing officers mind or you will lose.

Remember, if you lose your driver’s license case, you typically have to wait one full year before you can attempt to get your license back again. Obviously, it’s important to submit the required information to the Secretary of State. So let’s discuss what you must submit to prove your case.

Required Evidence

I cannot stress enough how important the evidence is. Think of it as the foundation of your case. Your case is based on the evidence. You should analyze the evidence to make sure it is completed as the state requires and that it is favorable.

You must submit the following:

  1. A 10-panel drug screen with at least two of the following three integrity checks: pH level, specific gravity, or creatinine.
  2. A Substance Use Evaluation filled out by a qualified, state-licensed substance abuse counselor. The evaluator will render a diagnosis, prognosis, and make recommendations.
  3. 3-6 letters from friends, family, and co-workers. The purpose of the letters is to verify your sobriety, and they should be specific and not vague. I recommend 5-6 letters.
  4. You must submit an 8-page Request for Hearing form. This form requests a lot of information including your convictions, past use history, and sobriety dates.
  5. If you have an interlock device installed in your car, you must submit an interlock annual report which is less than 30 days old at the time your case is submitted to the Secretary of State. This document tells the Secretary of State whether you’ve had any issues such as violations while using the interlock device. Be prepared to deal with any problems noted on the annual report.
  6. You should also submit documentation (if any) of counseling or treatment, as well as any evidence of support such as attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous. You may want to submit sign-in sheets, and it is recommended that you submit a letter from your sponsor.
  7. For former Michigan residents only, you need to submit proof of out-of-state residency. I would usually recommend 3 to 4 items such as: state ID, utility bills, phone bill, employment records, and bank records.

The Hearing

All Michigan residents need to attend a hearing and often this is required for former Michigan residents as well. In my practice as an attorney, I see a lot of clients who don’t think the hearing is that important. I advise them otherwise. Do not take the hearing lightly. Remember, the hearing officer is judging you during the hearing. The hearing officer evaluates your testimony as well as the evidence and ultimately makes a decision as to whether or not you win your driver’s license restoration case. You can also call witnesses to testify on your behalf. Sometimes this is a good idea and sometimes it isn’t. It is a judgment call that is very dependent on the circumstances in each case.

Paying Attention to the Details

As a lawyer handling Michigan driver’s license reinstatement cases, I can tell you that it is extremely important to pay very close attention to the evidence that is submitted. Is all of the evidence consistent? Does it address the concerns the hearing officer is likely to have? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your case? Do you have a strategy for dealing with any weaknesses? Remember the outcome of your driver’s license case is based on all of the evidence that has been submitted as well as your testimony. It is imperative that the evidence proves your case and meets state requirements.


Mark Langschied is an attorney that handles Michigan driver’s license restoration cases statewide. His website is

Infographic – Proper Child Safety Restraints Can Increase Survival Rates

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a new study showing the life saving benefits of using the proper child safety seats and restraints. According to the report, which covered data from 2002 to 2011, over 9,000 children 12 years of age and younger have died in motor vehicle crashes in that time period. Continue Reading…

Tagged , , ,

Driver Safety Technologies

Most of us have probably heard of safety technologies like antilock brakes and electronic stability control.  Increasingly, auto manufacturers are providing technology that, when the driver is not driving safely, take over and correct any mistakes. Continue Reading…

Tagged , , ,

Fighting Fire with Fire: Technology Alerts Drivers to Red-Light Cameras

Many municipalities throughout the country have set up hidden cameras to detect traffic violations. Some claim these devices encourage safe driving while others claim they are intrusive and are merely set up to generate money for local governments.

Continue Reading…

Tagged , , , ,

Infographic – Size Matters

This infographic displays the crash test statistics and overall performance of minicars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently revealed that minicars are the poorest-performing vehicle group, considering the fact that only one out of 11 minicars received an acceptable rating in the small-overlap front crash test.

Continue Reading…

Tagged , , , , ,

Will the US Mandate Automatic Braking and Connected Vehicles?

Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation are determining the best course of action for future vehicle safety. Recently, a smart car technology was tested that allows cars to communicate with each other to avoid collisions. A separate technology, referred to as automatic braking, allows a vehicle to apply the brakes on its own when it senses an impending collision. Even if these technologies are mandated, they would still have to go through additional extensive testing.

Continue Reading…

Tagged , , , ,

Infographic – Rearview Cameras Can Help Reduce Backover Accidents

This infographic displays the alarming statistics related to backover accidents. In 2013, the Transportation Department said that it would add rearview cameras in vehicles to its list of recommended safety features to help prevent the 292 annual deaths — 44% of which are children — that occur as a result of backover accidents.

Continue Reading…

Tagged , , , , ,

Ignition Interlock Device Alcohol Readings

This blog addresses alcohol readings from interlock devices in the Michigan drivers license restoration context.

Continue Reading…

Tagged , , , ,

The Interlock Annual Report

This is another blog dealing with drivers license restoration Michigan and interlock violations. If you are approved for a restricted license after an initial Michigan drivers license restoration hearing, you will be required to drive with an interlock device in your car for a minimum of one year. You will then be required to attend a second hearing to obtain full driving privileges. At the hearing, the hearing officer will review the annual report from the interlock provider.

Continue Reading…

Tagged , , ,

The Interlock Start-Up Test Failure

This is another blog dealing with interlock violations and Michigan drivers license restoration. As I mentioned in my previous blog posts, the Michigan Secretary of State closely monitors the use of the interlock device.

Continue Reading…

Tagged , , , ,
Page 1 of 812345...Last »