Getting pulled over and then informed that your license is suspended can be a shock. “What?” you say. “I never heard anything about that. Can my license be suspended without notice? I don’t recall doing anything to get my license suspended to begin with.” And you may wonder what the suspended license reinstatement process looks like. 

man holding a license out of a car window

Unfortunately, whether or not you knew about the license suspension for drinking and driving won’t make much of a difference to the patrol officer. You will likely find yourself with an additional ticket and probably in the back of a patrol car headed to the police station anyway.

Resolving the issue will require you to get in touch with a court or the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office. And that may lead to your next mountain to climb.

“Why is it so hard to get in contact with the DUI court? I’m making so many calls, and I just end up going around in circles!” That may be the reaction you or your loved one has while attempting to resolve that issue on your behalf.

In both cases, being prepared with some basic information about how it all works can make a difference. The following general answers may help.

Can my license be suspended without notice?

When people move from one place to another, a license suspension notice could mistakenly be sent to the original address. As a result, your license may be suspended without you even knowing it.

“If I didn’t know my license was suspended, there was nothing for me to fix, so I shouldn’t get into more trouble for that. That’s not fair,” you think.

That is true to a certain extent; if you didn’t receive a notice that your license was suspended, you most likely went about life as usual. You may be able to make this argument in order to reduce the penalties against you, but you would still have to resolve the issue that got your license suspended to begin with.

Another possibility is you were summoned to appear in court for any number of issues, but you didn’t receive that notice for one reason or another. If that were to happen, you would have two weeks to respond. Without a response, your driver’s license would be suspended indefinitely.

How do I get a suspended license reinstated?

Getting a suspended license reinstated typically isn’t too difficult as long as you have completed your suspension term. You would simply submit a request through the Michigan Secretary of State’s office.

How much does it cost to get your license back after a suspension in Michigan?

The standard reinstatement fee is currently $125, but there may be additional fees. Depending on the circumstances of your case, they may possibly include:

  • A $50 admin fee to the Secretary of State’s office
  • A $35 fee for the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Economic Development Fund
  • $10 for the Drunk Driving Prevention Equipment & Training Fund
  • $30 for the Drunk Driving Case Flow Assistance Fund

You might not have to pay any of these fees depending on your situation, but we want you to be aware of the possibility.

How long do I have to wait before I can get my suspended license back?

How long your license is suspended depends on how high your blood-alcohol content was at the time of your arrest as well as how many DUIs you have had.

After a first DUI, your Michigan driver’s license will be suspended for six months, but you may be able to apply for a restricted license after 30 days. However, if your BAC was 0.17 or higher, which is considered “super drunk,” your license would be suspended for one year.

Furthermore, if you have two or more DUIs within a seven-year period, your license would be revoked rather than suspended. Getting your license back after a revocation is a very different and more involved process, which we talk about in detail in many of our past blogs.

How do I get in contact with the DUI court?

If you didn’t know your license was suspended and you got pulled over and arrested, things likely became complicated quickly. You may need to get in contact with the DUI court in order to get all of these issues resolved. You also would need to do so if you are trying to get your revoked license restored.

License reinstatement hearings are handled by the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight

You may have to submit a “request for hearing form” and a substance abuse evaluation form if you are trying to schedule a time to plead your case to get a revoked license back. The address is Michigan Department of State, Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight, P.O. Box 30196, Lansing, MI 48909-7696. 

You may also submit the forms electronically through the Driver Appeal Integrated System (DAIS) by first setting up an account at

Finally, you can call 1-888-SOS-MICH (1-888-767-6424) if you have questions.

You may also contact me for more information about how to get a revoked license reinstated. I’m here to help.


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