The first two legal considerations in any Michigan driver's license restoration appeal case are sometimes lost and/or overlooked in any examination of the subject. I write extensively about every facet of license appeals, and these issues are explicitly addressed in some of my articles, and of implicit concern in all. Anyone with even a little curiosity can dive in to my examinations and spend just about forever reading; I have over 272 license restoration articles (as of this writing), each about 3 or 4 pages long. End to end, that would be a book of more than 1000 pages. For all of that detail, I think it's time to write an article aimed at someone looking for some very basic information about winning back a Michigan driver's license, or clearing a Michigan "hold" on a person's record that prevents him or her from obtaining, or renewing a driver's license in another state. Very often, it is a close family member, friend or significant other of the person without a license who begins the search for help and information. This is where you should start.
Just about all of my work is for people who have lost their driver's license because of multiple DUI's, and/or DUI's and drug (driving) convictions. In these types of cases, a person's license (or privilege to drive within Michigan) has been revoked, meaning taken away forever. In order to restore a license that has been revoked, a person has to file and win a driver's license appeal case before the Michigan Secretary of State's Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD). It does not matter how long a person has been without a license; there is no time period whereby a person can simply "wait it out," no process to just "get" it back, nor is there a way to bypass the formal appeal process by going to court. In fact, the law specifically forbids a hardship appeal to court in any case where a license has been revoked for DUI's. The only way to win it back is through a formal license appeal hearing.
This means, then, that there is a specific, step-by-step process that must be followed to get back a diver's license that has been revoked. The first condition, which must be met to even start the license restoration process, is that a person must be eligible to do so. This is a purely legal question, and it requires nothing more than simple math. In cases where a person has had 2 DUI's within 7 years, he or she will be ineligible to file a license appeal for at least 1 year. If someone has 3 drunk driving convictions within 10 years, he or she will not be eligible to start the license appeal process for at least 5 years. These dates are absolute; there is no workaround, and no provision for the state to "care" how hard it is for a person without a license, or how much he or she needs one.
Without a doubt, one of the most important things to understand about license restoration cases in general is that they are meant to be hard. The whole point of the rules governing license appeals is to prevent giving back a license to someone who is a risk to ever drink again. This brings us to the second condition, that a person is genuinely sober and has the commitment and tools to never drink again. Here we discover the "real meat and potatoes" of the license restoration process. From the state's point of view, a person with 2 or more DUI's is a huge risk; too risky to ever put back on the road if he or she has ANYTHING whatsoever to do with alcohol. The state presumes, by law, that anyone whose license has been revoked for multiple DUI's has a drinking problem, and it is NOT going to waste any time hearing someone argue that he or she doesn't. Instead, the starting point in license restoration or clearance appeals is that a person has completely eliminated alcohol from his or her life, and will never screw around with drinking again. That means that a person must be committed to complete and total abstinence - forever.