In some places, losing your driver’s license might not be that big of a deal. But in Northern Michigan, life without a driver’s license can be incredibly challenging. Fortunately, if your driver’s license has been revoked or suspended, there are steps that you can take to get your license back.
Once you have served your suspension or reached the review date on a revocation, you can seek to have your driver’s license restored. Importantly, restoration after a license revocation for drunk or drugged driving convictions is not automatic. Instead, you will need to go through a hearing – and potentially file an appeal with the circuit court – to try to get your driver’s license back.
At Mas/Stig-Nielsen, we are dedicated to helping our clients get the best possible outcome for their case. We handle all types of criminal cases, and assist clients with the longer-term consequences of a conviction – such as a driver’s license restoration. To learn more or to talk to a Traverse City driver’s license restoration attorney, give us a call today.
What Do I Need to Do to Get My Michigan Driver’s License Back?
In Michigan, the state may either suspend or revoke your driver’s license for certain infractions or criminal convictions. A suspension occurs when your driving privileges are temporarily withdrawn for a specific period of time. Once you have fulfilled the terms of a suspension, you can go to a local Secretary of State (SOS) office and pay a $125 fee to have your license reinstated.
However, if your driver’s license was revoked, then your driving privileges are terminated. You can only get your driving privileges restored by meeting eligibility conditions and any conditions set forth in a hearing through the Michigan Department of State.
The most common reason to have your driver’s license revoked is having two or more alcohol-related convictions within a seven-year period. Alternatively, your driver’s license may be revoked if you accumulate too many points on your license within a certain period of time. Either way, if your license has been revoked, you will need to take a number of steps to get it back.
You cannot seek a driver’s license restoration in Traverse City until after a certain period of time has elapsed. Once you reach your “eligible for review” date, you will be able to start the driver’s license restoration process. Before that review date, you cannot request a review.
If you are convicted of two alcohol and driving-related convictions within seven years the Secretary of State will revoke your license and deny you reinstatement for a minimum period of time. The minimum period of time can range from one to five years. If you have two convictions within seven years, you must wait one year before you are eligible to apply. If you have three or more convictions within ten years, you must wait five years. This is why it’s always important to hire a Traverse City DUI/OWI attorney if you have an OWI charge.
Once the minimum period of time has passed, you must apply to the Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight (also known as the Administrative Hearings Section, or “AHA” and formerly known as the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division, or “DAAD”) in order to be considered for driver’s license reinstatement.
It is a common misconception that you will automatically get your driver’s license back after a period of time. This is not the case with people who the Secretary of State has classified as habitual offenders. A habitual offender is a person who has had 2 or more OWI/DUI convictions in 7 years or 3 or more convictions in 10 years.
The Driver’s License Restoration Process
There are several steps that you must take to get your driver’s license restored. Typically, the SOS will send you a packet around the time of your review date that will include a form titled Request for Hearing and Substance Use Evaluation Form (SOS-257/258).
Next, you will need to complete the forms and gather the necessary evidence:
- Complete the hearing request form.
- Send the Community Support Letter to 3 – 6 friends, family members, or coworkers to complete (if you don’t plan to have witnesses at your hearing).
- Find a qualified evaluator to complete the Substance Use Evaluation (if your license was revoked to alcohol and/or drug-related offenses).
- Order a laboratory report from a 12-panel urinalysis drug screen with at least two integrity variables such as specific gravity, creatinine, or pH level.
Depending on your situation, you may need additional evidence. This may include an ignition interlock report (dated within 30 days of submission), a DA-4P form from your doctor if you are being treated for addiction, pain, or certain other conditions, and verification of your participation in support groups (AA/NA) or counseling.
Once you have assembled all of the relevant documentation and completed the applicable forms, you can request a hearing online or through the mail. If you are eligible for a hearing, then you will receive a notice of a date, time, and location for your hearing. Otherwise, you will receive notification that you are not eligible.
A lawyer for the SOS will oversee the hearing, which will take place at an SOS office. The hearing officer will listen to your testimony and review all of the evidence you have submitted. Based on your testimony, the testimony of any witnesses, and the evidence submitted, the hearing officer will render a decision. You’ll get notification of the decision by mail or e-mail.
If you don’t agree with the hearing officer’s decision, then you may be able to appeal the case to the circuit court. You can appeal the decision if there is new evidence to support your claim that could not have been discovered before the claim, there was an error or law, or the hearing officer made a material mistake of fact. A driver’s license restoration attorney in Traverse City can help you with any appeal.
If you are considered a habitual offender, then you will need to have at least two hearings. At the first hearing, the officer may deny your request for a driver’s license restoration or issue a restricted license. With a restricted license, you will have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed in any vehicle that you drive. After one year of driving with the BAIID, you can request a second hearing to have your driver’s license fully restored.
Do I Need a Driver’s License Restoration Lawyer Near Me?
You are not required to have a driver’s license restoration attorney. However, there are certain benefits to being represented by legal counsel.
The driver’s license restoration process can be tricky and requires proof of your sobriety. A skilled driver’s license restoration lawyer in Traverse City understands the kind of evidence that SOS hearing officers want to see. They will work with you to gather the required documentation.
An attorney can also represent you at the hearing, which can be nerve-wracking for many people. They will prepare you for the hearing and present witness testimony. If your request is denied, they can file an appeal with the circuit court.
Getting your driver’s license after a period of revocation can be incredibly important, allowing you to get back to the life that you had before your OWI/DUI convictions. Working with a driver’s license restoration attorney in Traverse City is the best way to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
We know how important it is to be able to drive, particularly living in Traverse City & Benzie county. Getting your driver’s license reinstated is a process that requires close attention to detail and ensuring proper client preparation. Hearing officers are notoriously tricky and without the aid of a skilled driver’s license restoration attorney, you may inadvertently find yourself doing damage to your case.
Do I Need to Pay Anything to Get My Driver’s License Restored?
If your license has been revoked, you must pay all of the fines that you owe in order to be eligible for restoration. You will also need to pay a $125 driver’s license restoration fee.
The attorneys of Mas/Stig-Nielsen will work with you to help you understand exactly what you need to do to get your driver’s license restored. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation with a driver’s license restoration attorney in Traverse City.
I Want to Move Out of Michigan. Do I Need to Get My Driver’s License Restored?
Yes. If your license has been suspended or revoked in Michigan, then another state will not issue a driver’s license until that issue has been resolved. For this reason, even if you have left Michigan or plan to leave the state, it is a good idea to get your license restored.
A skilled driver’s license restoration lawyer can help you with the process. In Traverse City, contact Mas/Stig-Nielsen to talk to a member of our team.
Why Do I Need a Driver’s License Restoration Attorney Near Me?
License restoration hearings are conducted via teleconference at various Secretary of State offices around Michigan. In Traverse City, the SOS office has teleconferencing equipment, so both you and your lawyer will go to this office for your hearing. Hiring a driver’s license restoration attorney in Northern Michigan can help to ensure that you get the most skilled representation for your geographic area.
If your driver’s license has been revoked due to OWIs/DUIs, or for any other reason, you will need experienced legal counsel to help you get your license back. Contact Mas/Stig-Nielsen today to schedule a consultation with a Traverse City driver’s license restoration lawyer.
Contact Traverse City Driver’s License Restoration Lawyers Today
In a place with limited public transportation like Northern Michigan, being able to drive is critical. If you have lost your license due to repeat OWIs or for any other reason, we can help. From your date of review forward, we will stand by your side.
At Mas/Stig-Nielsen, our driver’s license restoration attorneys specialize in helping people get their driving privileges reinstated. We work collaboratively with our clients to develop a strong argument for 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.