License Restoration Quick Start

The following is an overview of the License Appeal and Clearance process required by Michigan Secretary of State's Administrative Hearing Section (AHS), formerly know as the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD).

Michigan driver's license restoration and clearance appeals are complex. They are decided by the AHS's Rule 13, which reads:

The hearing officer shall not order that a license be issued to the petitioner unless the petitioner proves, by clear and convincing evidence, all of the following:

  1. That the petitioner's alcohol or substance abuse problems, if any, are under control and likely to remain under control.

  2. That the risk of the petitioner repeating his or her past abusive behavior is a low or minimal risk.

  3. That the risk of the petitioner repeating the act of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by, or under the influence of, alcohol or controlled substances or a combination of alcohol and a controlled substance or repeating any other offense listed in section 303(1)(d), (e), or (f) or (2)(c), (d), (e), or (f) of the act is a low or minimal risk.

  4. That the petitioner has the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law.

  5. Other showings that are relevant to the issues identified in paragraphs (i) to (iv) of this subdivision.

First, you must be legally eligible to apply for a Michigan drivers license reinstatement appeal hearing. The Secretary of State rules determining eligibility are very specific, and cannot be shortened or modified, no matter how much you may need a license:

  1. If your license was revoked for 2 DUI's within 7 years, you must wait at least one full year from the last conviction to be eligible to apply.
  2. If your license was revoked for 3 or more DUI's within 10 years, you must then wait at least five years from that last conviction to be eligible.

You can file for your hearing up to 6 weeks before your actual eligibility date.

Michigan License Reinstatement Documents

To get started, you must undergo a substance substance use evaluation (almost always, although incorrectly, referred to as a “substance abuse evaluation”) and thereafter submit it along with a request for hearing and letters of support to formally begin a Michigan driver’s license restoration or clearance appeal.

The substance use evaluation form (SUE) must be completed by a licensed substance abuse counselor and requires very specific information.  It is, without a doubt, the most important evidence in every case. If it doesn't hold up legally, then the whole case collapses, your appeal gets denied, and you have to wait at least another year to try again.  In that sense, the evaluation really is the foundation of a license appeal.

In addition to the Secretary of State's request for hearing and substance use evaluation forms, you must also submit a minimum or 3, and a maximum of 6 letters of support, also called "testimonial letters.” The role of letters are nearly as important as the substance use evaluation. Their content, however, is critical, as they must also contain certain and specific information; often enough the information that’s NOT in these letters is every bit as important as what is.

Once the completed paperwork is filed, a date for your hearing will be set, and your case assigned to one of the AHS hearing officers. Every hearing officer will ask some of the same core questions, but each has his or her own particular areas of interest they'll explore to help them determine whether or not to grant your appeal. Beyond that, the specific inquires made by by each officer will vary, depending on a broad range of factors, like if you are involved in AA, or not. You need to know exactly how to prepare for all this, meaning not just for the hearing in general, but also for the particulate hearing officer to whom your case is assigned.

At the Hearing, you will be asked a lot of questions. Hearings generally last about a half hour, and the decision is usually mailed out several weeks thereafter.

That's a summary of the process without my help. If you're serious about winning the first time, and really want to get back on the road, read through the various pages of this website section and the Michigan license restoration section of my blog, where I examine every facet of the license appeal process in painstaking detail and explain exactly how I do it.

If you’re looking to win your license back, you want to do that the first time around. As a genuine Michigan drivers license restoration attorney, my services come with a first time win guarantee. You cannot do any better than that. I don’t cut corners to compete with anyone; besides, no one else offers my guarantee, anyway. I know exactly what to do, and how to do it to get you back on the road. The real cost of losing your License Appeal is being stuck having to rely on other people to get you around for another whole year. I can make sure that doesn't happen.

My initial consultations are done over the phone, right when you call. My friendly staff members are here to help, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (EST), and stand ready to answer your questions and explain how I can help you put a valid driver's license back in your wallet. When you’re serious about driving again, call me at (586) 465-1980.

Client Reviews
Five stars hands down!! Jeff and his legal team represented me in a seemingly impossible situation. I had many obstacles to overcome, in the end I walked out with with my driving privileges reinstated. Jeff and his team were very helpful Peter
Thank you for your knowledge and help in winning restoration of my driving privileges. I tried before on my own, lost (of course) and am glad I found your site. Katie
Just wanted to thank you for winning my license appeal. I was so happy when I got the letter in the mail that said I had won. I thank you so much for all your help and would be so happy to give your name to anyone who needs to get their license back. Mike
I wanted to thank you for taking my case. I would tell anybody trying to get their License back they need to talk to you. I should have done this a long time ago. Doug