Driver's License Restoration FAQ

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Driver’s License Restoration Frequently Asked Questions

I received my second drunk driving conviction. What will happen to my Michigan driver’s license?

If you have two convictions for drunk driving within seven years your license will be revoked for a period of one year. You will be required to have a hearing with the SOS OHAO to obtain driving privileges again. 

I received my third drunk driving conviction. What will happen to my Michigan driver’s license?

If you have three convictions within ten years, your Michigan driver’s license will be revoked for a five-year period. You will be required to have a hearing with the SOS OHAO to obtain driving privileges again once the five-year period is up.

My license was revoked for drunk driving and I received a Driving While License Suspended ticket. What will happen to my license?

If you plead or are found guilty of the Driving While License Suspended charge your license will be revoked again. For example, say you have two drunk driving convictions within seven years (One year revocation) and you get a DWLS, your license will be revoked, again, for another year. 

Let’s break that down even further: Say you have an OWI in 2012 and another OWI in 2014. Your license is now revoked for a year and you would be eligible in 2015 to obtain a hearing and potentially your license again. However, say in May 2015 you receive and are convicted of DWLS. Your license is now revoked until May 2016. 

Can I get a driver’s license while in Sobriety Court?

Possibly! It depends on the sobriety court, but after January 1, 2011, you may be eligible for a restricted license (with interlock) if you are in a sobriety court program. Each program is different but this is a great way to get back on the road sooner than later!

What is the difference between a suspension and a revocation?

A suspension is for a defined period of time. For example, your license may be suspended for 30 days and restricted for 150 days following a first offense drunk driving. This means that you cannot drive for 30 days but at the end of the 30 days you can drive again without additional action (you would just need to drive within your restrictions). A revocation is permanent until you are approved by the Secretary of State to drive. For example, if your license was revoked for two or more drunk driving convictions, say for a year, even after the year is up you still cannot drive until you have a hearing to restore your license with the SOS OHAO. 

Who handles the hearings for license restoration with the Secretary of State?

The Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight is in charge of handling hearings for license restoration cases. They have a total of eight hearing officers currently and are in the process of hiring two additional hearing officers. This branch was previously called the Administrative Hearings section. 

What happens at a driver’s license restoration hearing with OHAO?

It is similar to a court hearing. You will be asked questions and be required to give testimony to a hearing officer who will then decide your case. You have the opportunity to submit evidence in support of your case, including but not limited to, the SOS required documentation. You also have the option to call witnesses on your behalf. 

What documentation does the SOS require?

The SOS requires a Request for Hearing, 257 form, a Substance Use Evaluation, 258 form, a 12 panel drug test with integrity variables, and at a minimum three (3) letters in support. 

What do I need to prove to reinstate my driver’s license?

Pursuant to “Rule 13” you must prove that your alcohol/substance abuse problem is under control and likely to remain under control. Mich. Admin. Code R. 257.313. That the risk of you (the Petitioner) repeating their past abusive behavior is low/minimal. That the risk of the Petitioner repeating the act of operating a motor vehicle while impaired or under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances (or combination thereof) is low or minimal risk. That the Petitioner has the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law. 

What other evidence can I submit to prove my case?

Letters from counseling, AA attendance sheets, SMART recovery attendance, Celebrate recovery attendance, treatment records, additional letters of sobriety, and any other documentation that may help prove your case. 

By what standard do I have to prove my case?

The standard is by “clear and convincing evidence”. This does not rise to the level of the commonly heard, “Beyond a reasonable doubt”. But, the hearing officer must not have any concerns about your sobriety or ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. 

Is AA required?

In short, no. We do not require our clients to attend AA or support programs. However, it is always helpful as it shows you are committed to a sober support group. The same is to be said for Celebrate and Smart recovery. If AA isn’t for you, that’s fine! Maybe Celebrate or Smart recovery are better suited for you. We do not require you to attend, but if you want support, we encourage you to reach out to those programs. 

If I hire you as my attorney, what do you do?

We break down the required SOS steps into bite size pieces. We walk through the entire process with you. We fill out the SOS 257 form so you don’t have to. We send you to our trusted substance use evaluator for your evaluation. We help you find a drug test company that meets the SOS requirements for the 12 panel drug test. We review your letters in support and provide detail specific feedback so your letters meet the SOS requirements. We prepare you and attend the hearing with you. 

After the hearing, how long does it take to find out if I’ve won?

Typically, you will receive the Hearing Officer’s written opinion in 30-45 days.

What if I lose?

If you lose, our office offers a Guarantee. We will re-start the process again when you are eligible and we will not charge you the attorney fee. Basically, we will represent you again for free if you lose. 

Can I appeal if I lose?

Yes. You can appeal to the Circuit Court of your county of residence. If you are an out of state applicant, you can appeal to any county in Michigan. 

How long do I have to appeal if I  lose?

You must appeal to the Circuit Court within 63 days of the SOS’s decision. 

Should I appeal to a Circuit Court?

The best answer is, it depends. Many factors need to be considered such as why you lost, what evidence was presented, what is the likelihood of winning an appeal, etc. If you attempted to obtain your license on your own and lost, please contact our office to discuss your options for an appeal. 

Should I hire an attorney for my driver’s license restoration?

An attorney that handles Driver’s License Restoration cases and knows what they are doing can be a huge asset and get you back on the road, sooner than later. If you are denied, you will be required to wait a year before applying again. Often times, calls come from individuals who tried the process on their own and were denied. Again, often times, those individuals are very successful the second time around when they hire our office. Our driver’s license restoration attorney, Megan Smith, has been handling driver’s license restoration cases her entire legal career. She is passionate about helping individuals with this step in their life and recovery. She has the expertise to get you through the OHAO hearings and back on the road. 

I’d like to talk to an attorney, what should I do now?

Contact us! Call our expert driver’s license restoration attorney today for a free confidential consultation. #### Tracking ####


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