In Michigan, your driver’s license can be revoked for any number of reasons – such as getting too many traffic tickets in a short period of time. Once your license has been revoked, it won’t be reinstated unless you take affirmative steps to prove that you are eligible to get your driving privileges back.
Once your license has been revoked for a set period of time (1 to 5 years), then you can apply to have your driver’s license restored. This process is not automatic. Instead, you will have to gather evidence, fill out forms, and attend a hearing. The hearing officer will then make a decision about whether you can get your driver’s license back after revocation.
The law firm of Mas/Stig-Nielsen represents clients who have been charged with all types of criminal and traffic offenses. We also assist individuals whose licenses have been suspended or revoked with the reinstatement process. For each client, our goal is to help them achieve the best possible outcome – such as full restoration of driving privileges. If your license has been revoked, give us a call to learn more about how we can help.
Michigan Drivers’ License Laws
In Michigan, driving is a privilege – not a right. There are a number of reasons why the state may choose to suspend or revoke an individual’s driver’s license, from racking up too many traffic tickets to failing to appear in court to multiple convictions for operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (OWI or DUI).
Revocation is typically reserved for more serious offenses. In some cases, it occurs because a person accumulated too many points on their driving record. Michigan has a point system, where each traffic violation is assigned a point value. Any points that you receive for a traffic offense will remain on your record for 2 years from the date that you are found responsible for or guilty of the violation.
If you get 12 or more points on your driving record within a 2-year period, then you will be required to submit to a “reexamination,” where you meet with an analyst from the Secretary of State’s office to discuss your driving record. You will also likely have to pass vision, knowledge, and an on-road performance test. Depending on the results of your reexamination, your license may be restricted, suspended, or even revoked. You may also be required to submit to a reexamination if you have accrued 6 points for speeding tickets or if you have had 3 serious accidents within a 2-year period.
You may get points on your license for the following offenses:
- Manslaughter, negligent homicide, or another felony involving the use of a motor vehicle;
- Operating under the influence of liquor or drugs;
- Failing to stop and give identification at the scene of a crash;
- Reckless driving;
- The unlawful bodily alcohol content of .08 or more;
- Refusal to take a chemical test;
- Fleeing or eluding a police officer.
- Drag Racing;
- Impaired driving;
- Under age 21 with any bodily alcohol content;
- 16 mph or more over the legal speed limit.
- Careless driving;
- Disobeying a traffic signal or stop sign or improper passing;
- 11 through 15 mph over the legal speed limit.
- 10 mph or less over the legal speed limit;
- Open alcohol container in vehicle;
- All other moving violations of traffic laws;
- Refusal of Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) by anyone under age 21.
Beyond accumulation of too many points, the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) may automatically revoke a driver’s license for certain offenses, such as:
- Multiple OWI convictions within a 7-year period
- Possession of a controlled substance (drug crimes)
- Multiple convictions for reckless driving within a 7-year period
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
Unlike a driver’s license suspension, where an individual’s driving privileges are temporarily withdrawn for a set period of time, revocation is for an indefinite period of time. Once your driver’s license has been suspended, you cannot get it reinstated until you prove that you meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the state. You typically cannot seek to have your license reinstated after revocation for a period of 1 to 5 years.
Do I Need an Attorney to Get My License Back After It Is Revoked?
If your license has been revoked, then you will need to take affirmative steps to get the driver’s license reinstated. While you are not required to have an attorney for this process, it is often a good idea to work with a driver’s license restoration lawyer. The process can be complicated and requires proof that you are eligible for reinstatement.
Depending on the reason why your driver’s license was revoked, you will need to wait 1 to 5 years to apply for reinstatement. Once this time period has elapsed, you will need to request a hearing with the Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight (also known as the Administrative Hearings Section, or “AHA”). You will not automatically have your driving privileges restored after this period of time has passed. You must go through the hearing process.
In most cases, the SOS will send you a packet of information when you are eligible for reinstatement. You will need to complete the forms contained in the packet, including the Request for Hearing and Substance Use Evaluation Form. You will also need to obtain community support letters from 3 to 6 family members, friends, and/or co-workers. Alternatively, you can have these individuals testify on your behalf at the AHA hearing.
If your license was revoked due to alcohol and/or drug-related offenses, then you will need to demonstrate that you are no longer abusing these substances. A qualified evaluator must complete the Substance Use Evaluation on your behalf. You must also order a laboratory report from a 12-panel urinalysis drug screen. Depending on your specific situation, you may need to gather additional evidence, such as an ignition interlock report, verification of your participation in counseling or a 12-step program, and/or a form from your doctor if you are being treated for certain medical conditions that may require the use of controlled substances.
Once you have completed these forms and gathered the required documentation, you can request a hearing online or through the mail. If you meet the eligibility requirements, then a hearing will be scheduled. The hearing will take place at an SOS office, with a lawyer for the SOS presiding as a hearing officer.
The hearing officer will listen to all testimony and review the evidence that you have submitted. They will then issue a decision via mail or e-mail. If your petition for reinstatement is denied, then you may be able to appeal the decision to the circuit court. There are limited situations in which you can appeal a denial of reinstatements, such as an error of fact or law, or newly-discovered evidence.
In some cases, you may have to attend at least 2 hearings before getting your driver’s license reinstated after revocation. This is typically required of habitual offenders who have multiple OWI convictions. At the first hearing, the officer may issue a restricted license that requires the use of an ignition interlock device for a period of 1 year. After that year is up, you can request a second hearing to get your driver’s license reinstated.
Putting together the necessary documentation and an argument as to why your driver’s license should be restored can be difficult, particularly if you are already dealing with other legal issues related to your case. A Traverse City driver’s license restoration lawyer can put together the packet for you, and represent you at the hearing.
With an understanding of what evidence hearing officers want to see, they will make strong arguments about your sobriety and/or rehabilitation as a driver. Your attorney can also prepare and question witnesses to support your request for driver’s license restoration.
In the event that your request for reinstatement is denied, your lawyer can then prepare the necessary paperwork to file an appeal with the circuit court. They can also advise you of your options and the steps that you can take to approve your chances of having your driver’s license restored after being revoked in MI.
The ability to drive – or lack thereof – can negatively affect your life in many ways. When your license has been revoked, you may have difficulty getting to work, holding down a job, or even taking care of your kids. Having legal representation for your driver’s license reinstatement can increase the likelihood of success – and reduce the risk that you won’t get your license back.
Driver’s License Revoked? Give Us a Call.
Most people in Northern Michigan rely heavily on their ability to drive to get to work, to school, to doctor’s appointments and to do basic things like getting groceries. When your driver’s license is revoked, it can make your life incredibly difficult. Our law office can help you get your driver’s license reinstated after revocation.
At Mas/Stig-Nielsen, we are fierce advocates for our clients. We represent individuals in all types of cases related to driving, including driver’s license restoration. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with a driver’s license restoration attorney in Traverse City, MI, give us a call at (231) 714-4128 or fill out our online contact form.