Clearances - Losing by Administrative Appeal From out-of-State
If you hire me, I guarantee that I will win your clearance back the first time around. This simplifies a lot of things, and answers a lot of questions. There are no “what if” scenarios to go over, nor do I need to post a running summary or tally of the cases I win because I essentially win them all, and back that up with my guarantee. The bottom line is that, if you come and hire me, I’ll get you back on the road. Even so, some people will first try it on their own...
In the introductory section about clearances for those who now reside outside of Michigan, we observed that an accumulation of DUI convictions results in either a revocation of a person’s Michigan driver’s license, or, if they held a license from another state, the revocation of their privileges to drive on that license within the state of Michigan. A person will be revoked and unable file a Michigan driver’s license restoration or clearance appeal as follows:
- 1 year for 2 DUI convictions within 7 years
- 5 years for 3 (or more) DUI convictions within 10 years
Once the revocation period has passed, a person can then begin the license appeal procedure before the Michigan Secretary of State’s Administrative Hearing Section(AHS) to have the “hold” (revocation) cleared from their record so that they can get (or renew) a license in another state.
The problem is that not everyone wants to come back to Michigan. While I understand the lure of convenience, sometimes, doing something the right way is very different than doing it the easy way, and in the world of Michigan driver’s license clearances, the easy way can be the wrong way.
Technically speaking, a person can skip coming back to Michigan and file an “administrative review” which is really an “appeal by mail.” This can be nothing more than a quick and easy way to lose and wind up sidelined for another year. The Michigan Secretary of State denies 3 out of every 4 administrative review appeals it receives. That translates to a 75% losing rate, which means that only 1 out of every 4 “appeals by mail” succeeds. Administrative reviews may be convenient, but, unless they're very carefully handled, they’re also condemned.
A 75% loss rate is horrible odds. Given that you will have to wait another full year to file a new appeal if you lose, gambling on 1 out of 4 chance of winning in any case where you need a license back is just crazy. If you live in New York, or Chicago, and you rely upon the subway system to get around, and only “want” a license for convenience, that’s one thing. If you “need” a license in order to get to work or school without being dependent on everyone else, that’s another thing altogether, and a 3 out of 4 chance of being denied is a dangerous, foolish, losing bet.
For all of that, many people will still take the gamble and try, and I will never try to dissuade them. I have always believed that anyone wanting to take this risk should go for it. There is, after all, a 1 out of 4 chance that it will work. If it doesn’t, then call me next year. Many of my out-of-state clients have tried an administrative review before, on their own. By the time they call me, they don’t want to waste any more time mulling over the odds of losing again versus winning. Instead, they know I offer a first-time win guarantee, and all they want to do is get the ball rolling as soon as they can so they can win their “clearance” and get back on the road.
In the next section, we’ll examine why I think it's better for a person to come back to Michigan to hire me for a guaranteed first-time win of their clearance appeal, and overview how that process works.