Driver License Restoration

Driving is a way of life, particularly in the Motor City. Losing your driving privileges can have severe consequences on your personal and professional life, whether it be visiting family or commuting to your job. Unfortunately, under Michigan law, the punishment for certain crimes include the temporary or permanent restriction, suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. However, there is a path to reinstating your driver’s license – albeit a comprehensive and technical one. ZAYID LAW can help you navigate the murky waters of driver’s license restoration and defend you every step of the way to ensure you are put back in the driver’s seat of the car, and, more importantly, your life.

ZAYID LAW can represent you through every step of the driver’s license restoration process, including the following:

  • Defending charges for driving on a suspended/restricted driver’s license
  • Scheduling and completing substance abuse evaluations
  • Preparing for and attending a driver’s license appeal hearing
  • Restoring revoked and suspended driver’s licenses

What Does It Mean To Restore Your License? Suspension v. Revocation

In Michigan, your driver’s license may be restricted or suspended for various reasons, including point-accumulation or conviction of some criminal/traffic offenses. A suspension, however, does not actually require an application for reinstatement. A definite-period suspension carries a "from" and "through" date. When the "through" date is reached, the driver merely needs to appear at a branch office and pay the reinstatement fee for re-licensure. (Provided no additional violations occur during the period of suspension.)

However, if your license is revoked, you must apply for a hearing to restore driving privileges, and most of these hearings are conducted at the Michigan Secretary of State Administrative Hearing Section (AHS), previously known as the Driver’s Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD).

See more:,4670,7-127-1627_8665_9072-26191--,00.html

What is a “Repeat Offender”

Michigan's Repeat Offender laws are designed to get tough with drivers who repeatedly drive drunk or drive while on a suspended or revoked license. The state considers you a Repeat Offender if you meet the following criteria:

  • Two or more alcohol-related convictions within 7 years.
  • Three or more alcohol-related convictions within 10 years.
  • Three or more convictions for driving while your license is suspended or revoked in 7 years, if those convictions resulted in mandatory additional suspensions or revocations.

The Secretary of State is required to revoke the driver license of a Repeat Offender and deny his or her application for another license.


The first step in the driver’s license restoration process is determining whether you are eligible to apply for reinstatement. Under Michigan law, if you have been convicted of two or more drunk driving offenses, you are required to request a Driver’s License Restoration Hearing with the Secretary of State Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight.

  • Two drunk driving charges within seven years: you must wait one year from the date of your conviction to apply for your driver’s license.
  • Three or more drunk driving offenses within ten years, you must wait at least five years from the date of your last conviction to apply for your driver’s license.

There is no guarantee that the license will be returned after the minimum period of revocation. The pivotal issue is whether the person can be considered a safe driver based upon documentary evidence and testimony.

Driver's License Restoration Checklist

The restoration process begins well before the eligibility date, however. There is a series of checklist items that must be completed in order to request, and, eventually, attend the driver’s license restoration hearing. Prior to attending the hearing, you must complete the following:

  • Complete a Substance Abuse Evaluation. If you have ever been arrested for an alcohol or controlled-substance related offense, this must be completed by a state-licensed substance abuse counselor. The evaluation must be dated no longer than 90 prior to submission.
  • If this hearing is the result of an alcohol or controlled-substance related driving offense:
    1. 12-panel Drug Screen to show that you have not recently consumed any alcohol or other illicit substances. Again, the goal is to ensure that you’re living a sober lifestyle without the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    2. Letters of Support (“Documentation of Sobriety”). You must either submit three to six letters or bring three to six witnesses to your hearing who will testify as to your sobriety. Your sobriety must be confirmed by friends, family and co-workers, who are in a position to know, observe and personally attest to your habits regarding the use of alcohol or controlled substances. Letters must contain the following information about you:
      1. The person’s relationship to you.
      2. How often the person sees you.
      3. How long the person has known you.
      4. The last time the person saw or had knowledge of you drinking or using controlled substances.
      5. The amount of alcohol or controlled substance the person knows you consumed on the last occasion.
      6. What social activities you participate in involving alcohol or controlled substances.
      7. The person’s knowledge of your past or current involvement in treatment or a support group.
    3. “Evidence of Support” Proof that you have been proactive in maintaining sobriety, including attending support meetings and seeking counseling. If you have a sponsor, produce a notarized letter from him or her.

The process can be complicated and confusing, and it is always better to have an experienced lawyer at ZAYID LAW give your case the personalized attention to ensure the best chance at getting your license back.

See more:

Request for Hearing Form

Driver's License Appeal Practice Manual

Driver License Administrative Rules

Request for a Hearing

Once you’ve completed the “checklist” above, you are in a position to request a hearing. The Secretary of State provides various forms that must be completed and mailed back in order to schedule your hearing. ZAYID LAW can take care of the entire process to ensure a hearing is timely requested and scheduled to get you back on the road.

Typically, the hearing is scheduled one to two months after the request is filed. You should expect to receive notice of the hearing two weeks beforehand.

The Hearing

A common misconception is that you will need to go to court and testify in front of a judge. However, the Secretary of State Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight are responsible for conducting the Driver’s License Restoration Hearings, and you go before what is called a Hearing Officer. This Hearing Officer will ask a series of questions to determine your rehabilitation and likelihood to re-offend, and, ultimately, will render a decision.

Burden of Proof: Since you are requesting the hearing, it is your burden of proving your driving privileges should be restored. You must prove a set of elements through clear and convincing evidence of your rehabilitation and commitment to safely driving, substance free.

Elements: According to Michigan Administrative Code Rule 13, in order to restore your license, you must prove four elements through clear and convincing evidence:

  1. Abstinence from alcohol/controlled substances for at least 12 months;
  2. You are at low risk of repeating your alcohol/substance abuse problem.
  3. You are taking proactive measures to avoid drinking and driving ever again.
  4. You have the ability and motivation to drive safely and obey the law

Driver’s License Restoration Hearings, much like courts, feature diverse Hearing Officers with unique proclivities, so it is important to have an attorney who has experience in front of the Hearing Officer to ensure you present the most effective case possible to get your license back. I will tailor your case to persuade the Hearing Officer to grant your license restoration.

The Decision

In some cases, you may receive a decision at the hearing. However, in most cases, you’ll receive the hearing officer’s decision by mail within three to six weeks after the hearing.

Restricted License and Ignition Interlock

If the Hearing Officer grants you a restricted license, you will be required to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) on any vehicle you owns or intend to operate. You are not permitted to drive until the BAIID is properly installed and proof of installation is presented to a local Secretary of State branch office. You will typically be required to under the restrictions, with a properly installed BAIID, for at least 1 full year.

Contact Zayid Law to Restore Your License

I understand how important a driver’s license and the ability to drive in Michigan can be both personally and professionally. When your license is revoked, you face risks with respect to your job, your family, and your livelihood. There is no reason that you should go through this process alone. I have the experience to help you get your license back and get you back on the road. The sooner you contact me, the sooner we can develop a plan to get your license back. I will implement an organized, effective, step by step process that will ensure the best possible chance to get your license restored. There is no reason to risk further fines, delays, suspension or revocation. I understand that getting your license back is the ultimate priority, and I will fight for you every step of the way. If your license is suspended or revoked, call me today for free initial consultation.