The long and short of it is this: You get one shot per year at a suspended license reinstatement. That’s it. If you are denied your license reinstatement attempt, you won’t be able to try again for another year. 

woman holding a drivers license after denied license reinstatement

It’s one of the main reasons why I urge drivers to contact me as they are trying to get their revoked license reinstated. It’s not easy to do it on your own. You have to provide clear and convincing evidence of sobriety, and that would require going through several steps both before and during the required license reinstatement hearing. But it’s worth it. 

Drivers who do contact me for help can feel more confident in their efforts. With a 95% win rate, I can help answer questions & walk you through what you need to get your license back so you can regain your quality of life.

Steps to Take to Get a Suspended License Reinstated

After a second DUI, typically your license would be revoked for one year. If you are convicted of three or more DUIs within seven years, your license would be revoked for five years. That’s the minimum, but in reality your license is revoked indefinitely until you begin the suspended license reinstatement process.

After this period of time is over, you can request a hearing with the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight. To apply for this hearing, you would need to submit a hearing request form and substance abuse evaluation.

At this point, you most likely would be given a restricted license if your request is approved. A restricted license would limit where you can drive, and you would have to use an ignition interlock device. Restricted license periods are usually 1 year.

Afterward, you can apply for a full suspended license reinstatement by requesting another hearing. During this hearing, you would have to give clear and convincing evidence of sobriety. You can do so in several ways:

  1. Present three to six letters of support from people in the community who know you well. I recommend at least five letters. These letters can come from friends, family members, coworkers, substance abuse counselors, coworkers, pastors, and others who can attest to your sobriety.
  2. Ask friends, family, and especially your substance abuse counselor to vouch for you at the hearing.
  3. Be able to fully and honestly discuss positive changes you have made in your life during the license revocation and restricted license periods.
  4. Prove that you have attended Alcoholics Anonymous, sought counseling and/or attended other forms of sobriety classes.
  5. Assure the board that you will continue to avoid alcohol, drugs, and places or situations where you may be tempted to drink or use drugs.
  6. Reinforce the fact that you will no longer drink and drive.
  7. Show that you have a supportive network of friends, family, and therapists who can help you maintain your sobriety.

Additionally, you will need the basics, such as a substance abuse evaluation and proof that you used the ignition interlock device as required.

Will Your Past Convictions Be a Problem?

How many times you have been convicted of drinking and driving will likely make a difference in the steps you will need to take to get a revoked license reinstated.

However, other types of violations you may have had in the past could come into the fold as well – especially if they could have a bearing on your future behavior as a licensed driver. For instance, if you were pulled over for routine driving violations or were the instigator in an assault, this may raise a red flag about how you would behave if you received your license and also began drinking again. In these cases, your past convictions could be a problem, so you would have to be prepared to explain your transformation in this regard as well.

For instance, you could discuss any repentance you have made, counseling you received (such as anger management classes), and general improvement in your outlook on life and your daily behavior.

Another situation that may affect your ability to get your license reinstated is if you are currently out on bail for a different crime, as the board could consider you to be a flight risk.

There are many other factors that may have negative effects on your effort, so it’s important to discuss current and past behaviors or criminal records with me. Together, we can identify any concerns that should be addressed to ensure the greatest possibility of success.

Remember, your past doesn’t define you, but your current actions may in this case. As long as you followed court orders and sincerely made efforts to improve your lifestyle, you should be able to look forward to getting your life back on track.

Driver's license reinstatement hearings are now virtual; click here to learn more -- Learn more