Reinstating a Driver’s License in Michigan

An individual’s driver’s license may be revoked due to multiple convictions for driving under the influencedriver's license (DUI); in some cases, a person’s license may be permanently revoked if that individual has been convicted for DUI repeatedly over a specific time period. Is it possible to get a revoked license back in Michigan? In most cases – but be warned, the process is very complex.

The first step you must take to have any chance of getting your driver’s license reinstated is to file a request with the Michigan Secretary of State’s DAAD (Driver Assessment and Appeal Division). However, there are certain guidelines that must be followed, and you cannot request a hearing at any time of your choosing. For example, if your driver’s license was revoked due to being convicted for DUI twice within seven years, you must wait for one year following the revocation before filing a request with the DAAD. If you were convicted on DUI charges three times within 10 years, you may file a request after one year has passed; however, if your license was revoked at any time during the seven (7) years prior to the ten-year period in which you were convicted three times for DUI, you will have to wait for five years to file a request. As you can see, determining when you may be eligible to file a request with the DAAD is quite confusing.

What happens once you are eligible to request DAAD hearing?

Once the required time has lapsed and you are eligible to request a hearing with the Secretary of State’s DAAD, there is only one thing you must have to get a hearing date, which is a completed substance abuse evaluation. This evaluation provides information to those who hear your case regarding diagnosis, treatment methods, relapse history, the results of tests to determine whether you have been using alcohol/drugs, and more.

A qualified professional must provide you with this written report essential to request your hearing. MAST (Michigan Alcohol Screening Test), Addiction Severity Index, and SASSI or the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory are all valid tests administered by rehabilitation therapists. Once your request has been approved, your work has just begun.

10-panel drug testing, letters of reference, and more for ensuring success when attempting to get a revoked license back

Once you have been granted a hearing with the DAAD, there are several more steps you must take in order to get your driving privilege restored. First, you will be required to submit to a 10-panel drug screen or urinalysis test, which is a test that is capable of detecting illegal substances present n the body including cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, methadone, and other substances. This screen, typically performed by testing urine, will also reveal if you have altered urine in an effort to “cheat,” as it measures characteristics in urine such as pH level. Ultimately, the 10-panel drug or urine test provides proof to those hearing your case that you are not currently consuming alcohol or using illicit drugs.

Letters of reference or “testimonial” letters from friends, co-workers, family members, and others are also required in order for you to get a revoked license back. Those who write the reference letters on your behalf must have personal knowledge that any problems you had with alcohol or drugs are now in control, that you are sober, that you are not a risk in terms of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, etc. The testimonial letters should also describe the most recent incident of intoxication the writer has knowledge of.

Also important to note is that extremely detailed letters that are well-written and provide critical information are much preferred over many letters that do not offer substantial information regarding your sobriety. Vague letters aren’t effective in supporting your efforts to have your driver’s license restored, however letters containing details about your recent history or circumstances can be very persuasive. Ultimately, it is up to you to provide proof of your sobriety, and the fact that if your driving privilege was to be restored, you would be a low risk for driving while impaired. All letters of reference must be dated, signed, and notarized, and should be written in recent weeks, as those written 90 days or more prior to your hearing are considered untimely and will not benefit your efforts.

When requesting a DAAD hearing and providing the information necessary to get a revoked license back in Michigan, we cannot stress how important the details are – every “I” must be dotted, and every “T” crossed. If you fail to win, you must wait one year before requesting another hearing. Be sure to perform thorough research on what is required and consult with an experienced license reinstatement attorney before attempting to have your license restored on your own.