About half of my Michigan driver's license restoration practice involves getting a clearance for a Michigan "hold" upon a person's driving record that prevents him or her from obtaining (or renewing) a driver's license in another state. A recent conversation made me realize that although those clients who need a clearance come from all over the country, there are a few states, like Florida, Arizona, California, and Illinois that tend to be the destinations of former Michiganders whose licenses were revoked at the time they left here. The problem, of course, is that no matter how long a person waits, a revoked license will stay revoked, sitting there like a brick, until it is cleared up.
From my experience as a driver's license appeal lawyer, the holds that Michigan tacks onto driving records wind up affecting people in Florida more than any other state. I would estimate that amongst all of my out-of-state clearance clients, the largest percentage, by far, come from the sunshine state. There are a lot of good reasons that explain this, but the bottom line is that a lot of Michigan people move to Florida, often for work or family, and they go while their Michigan driver's license is still revoked for multiple DUI's. Unfortunately, this situation is like a dropped anchor; no matter how far you go, or where you go, you remain tethered to Michigan by your inability to get a license.
Many, if not most people who live in Florida, Arizona, California or Texas and who have to get rid of Michigan's hold on their driving record will first try to do it themselves. The Michigan Secretary of State's Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (also known as the "DAAD," and sometimes referred to by its former acronym, the "DLAD") offers a person the opportunity to appeal by mail; this called an "administrative review." The allure of convenience, and the understandable savings afforded by this "do-it-yourself" process is too much for some to resist. Statistically speaking, 3 out of 4 "administrative review" appeals are denied. Given a success rate of about 26%, this really amounts to a quick, cheap and convenient way to lose. One must wonder how many times those 1 out of 4 who eventually do win have tried before. Whatever the answer, the administrative review process is really a shortcut to remaining in the passenger seat more than anything else.
Eventually, most people give up, and that's when I get the call. Beyond just "doing" these cases, and even beyond the fact that I guarantee a win in every case I take, my office has developed a process to handle out-of-state cases that maximizes efficiency while minimizing cost and inconvenience. For all there is to it, the bottom line is that my client will come to meet with me one day, usually in the mid-morning, for our first, 3-hour appointment, and then leave my office and go directly to the local clinic I use in order to have his or her substance abuse evaluation completed. This allows the client to be on his or her way home, or wherever, by late afternoon. Thereafter, a few months later, the client will return one more (and last) time to attend his or her hearing.