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Driver’s License Restoration and Clearance cases are well-suited to start over the phone, and the “down time” many people have now is a good opportunity to begin this process.

Our consultations have ALWAYS been free, confidential, and done over the phone, right when you call. We are very friendly people who will be glad to explain things and answer your questions, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (EST).

Just Needing a License is not Enough

In order to win a Michigan driver’s license restoration or clearance appeal, a person has to prove sobriety.

It does not matter how much a person “needs” a license, although that is often the focus of many inquiries I receive. 

The Michigan Secretary of State’s Driver Administrative Hearing Section (AHS) has established the requirements for winning back a driver’s license, or, in the case of those who have moved out of state, obtaining a clearance of the Michigan “hold” upon a person’s driving record. 

Needing a license is not one of those requirements.

This is important. When a person whose license has been revoked for multiple DUI convictions finds themselves presented with a new or better job opportunity, and suddenly needs to regain (or, in some out-of-state cases, renew) their license, the mad scramble begins.

Understandably they focus on how much they "need" a license or clearance. While that may be the motivation for the person to want to get back on the road, it means absolutely nothing to the state. 

The fact that someone really needs a license for a new job, or needs it for ANY reason, is of absolutely zero importance to the Secretary of State. 

The only thing the state cares about is whether or not a person can prove that they are a safe bet to never drink again.

This means that a person who can prove he or she is sober, but has no need to drive, can win a license appeal, while a person who really needs a license, but can't prove sobriety, has no chance

Let me say this another way: it doesn't matter how much you need a license. The whole process revolves around proving that you have quit drinking for a sufficient period of time, and that you have the commitment and tools to remain alcohol-free.

This focus on the “need” to drive shows up in many of the emails I get, and letters of support I review as I prepare a case for filing. 

Often, a concerned parent or family member will explain, in a letter of support, how the lack of a license has held the person back, and how inconvenient it’s been for the whole family to have to drive the person (sometimes, the main wage earner) to and from work, meetings, school, and whatever else. 

This could not matter less...

This is bad news for anyone who did not make the decision to quit drinking before the need for a driver’s license became so urgent. 

However, the reality is that, if you’re ever going to get your license back, you're going to have to quit drinking, anyway, so this may be the wake-up call you needed. 

“Sobriety,” in the sense contemplated by the Secretary of State, means the life-changing decision to give up drinking altogether, and making that decision a permanent one. 

It means having made the transition from drinker to non-drinker so that a person adopts a “sober lifestyle” and, over time, that lifestyle becomes second nature to the point that it works almost as if it's on “auto pilot."

Not surprisingly, in many cases where a person is presented with good opportunity for advancement, that opportunity is often a direct result of the person having quit drinking in the first place. 

Promotions and so-called “golden opportunities,” at least for people with a DUI history, are most often one of many rewards for having embraced sobriety. Such opportunities are far less common when people are still caught up in a problem drinking lifestyle.

The bottom line is that the “need” for a license carries no weight in terms of the evidence considered by the Secretary of State in deciding license appeals. Only sobriety does.

Often, though, that “need” arises precisely because a person has turned his or her life around, and, having put their drinking behind them, realizes that they have been living well below their potential. 

A genuinely sober person soon realizes that without the drinking to hold them back, they can accomplish al kinds of things, and begins to do just that, like driving again.

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