The Michigan Drivers License Appeal Board Does Not Exist
Many people search for the Michigan Drivers License Appeal Board, but there is no such thing. If you’ve had your Michigan driver’s license revoked due to multiple DUIs, there are some important steps you need to take if you want to restore your driving rights. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about the process, which could potentially hinder your ability to have your driver’s license restored in the future.
For example, some people think there’s a Michigan Driver’s License Appeal Board that’s available to hear an appeal of your DUI case and thus restore your license. However, the actual process for getting your driver’s license reinstated doesn’t include an appeal or a board like this at all.
If you’re in the process of researching or fighting to get your Michigan driver’s license restored, here’s what you should know about the real process and some of the mistakes people make along the way.
What You Should Know About the Michigan Driver’s License Appeal Board
Simply put, there is no such thing as an Appeal Board for driver’s license restoration cases in the state of Michigan. Instead, all cases are heard at the Secretary of State. And they are ultimately decided by hearing officers. In these instances, there is not a board full of hearing officers that decide your case. You’re simply assigned one hearing officer, and that person is responsible for going through your evidence, testimony, and witness testimony in order to determine the outcome of your case. That singular hearing officer basically acts as a judge and has the power to determine the outcome of your driver’s license restoration case.
If your initial driver’s license restoration hearing doesn’t go as planned and you end up losing, you do then have the option to appeal your case to the Circuit Court. In this instance, you still do not deal with an appeal board of any kind. It is one single judge that is responsible for hearing your case and ultimately deciding the outcome of your appeal.
The Real Driver’s License Restoration Process
Diving a bit deeper into the real process of driver’s license restoration hearings in Michigan may help you better understand what you’re in for. Here’s a rundown of some of the most important things to know.
First of all, it’s important to note that driver’s license restoration cases aren’t about rehashing the details of your initial DUI cases. Hearing officers are more concerned about your ability to stay sober and drive safely going forward. However, it is important to make sure that you’ve addressed any potential underlying issues that may have led to those DUIs in the first place. If you can prove that you’ve overcome the things that led to former substance abuse issues, you have a better chance of proving your ability to safely operate on the road going forward.
The state normally requires you to wait for at least a year after your final DUI before applying for a hearing. However, the required time may be longer depending on the circumstances of your case. This rule is in place to ensure that you have a significant amount of sobriety under your belt before you’re able to win back legal driving rights. Once the required time period has passed and you’re ready to apply, you can fill out a request for hearing form with the Secretary of State and they’ll give you a hearing date.
During this time, you also need to gather evidence to present to your hearing officer. This includes things like a drug screen, letters of support from members of your community, a substance use evaluation form filled out by an approved counselor, and any other materials that might support your case like AA attendance logs or a letter from your sponsor. Every case is different, so you can work with a driver’s license restoration lawyer to determine the exact materials that are going to be most beneficial and relevant for your specific circumstances.
Once you’ve gathered the necessary evidence and reached your hearing date, you’ll need to attend in person and present testimony. You’ll be asked relevant questions about your sobriety journey to determine whether or not you’re likely to have a relapse that may impact your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. You can also have witnesses share testimony if you and your lawyer think that they could benefit your case.
If you’re successful during this process, you may be given the opportunity to drive with a restricted license for a year. This is where you have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle so you basically have to perform a breathalyzer test in order to drive. Once that period has passed successfully, you can apply for full reinstatement.
If your initial driver’s license restoration case is not successful, you can apply for an appeal with the circuit court, at which point you can present your case to a judge. There’s still no appeal board that’s responsible for deciding the outcome of your case. However, you do have multiple chances to try and demonstrate your sobriety and ability to stay safe on the road.
With this knowledge about how the real Michigan driver’s license restoration process, you have a better chance of successfully presenting your case and understanding what’s expected of you through each step of the process. Your driver’s license reinstatement lawyer can also help you navigate the hearing procedures and answer any other questions you might have about your case or the status of your driving rights.