The world of driver’s license restoration and clearance appeals had undergone a dramatic change because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Early on, almost all license appeals were on hold, and then the Michigan Secretary of State began offering to do some by video. Now, as of this writing, Secretary of State has announced that it will ONLY do video hearings, and that they will continue indefinitely, as we grapple with the new and evolving “normal.”
This has necessitated a radical change in the way my team and I will do things in our office, as well. First and foremost, we’ll still GUARANTEE to win every first time license restoration and clearance case we take. That said, I have always preferred face-to-face meetings with clients, and live, in-person license appeal hearings, but the whole coronavirus situation requires us to put that on ice, at least for a while, until this situation passes.
For now, we’re doing client intakes and meetings by video and/or phone, but will resume meeting with people as soon as it’s allowed – and safe to do so. This is the new reality. As much as I wish things were different, they’re not. People need to drive now, more than ever. Loads of callers have told us they’re nervous about getting into an Uber or Lyft. Others cannot get rides from friends or family that don’t live in their household. This has given people plenty of time to think about how they struggle because they don’t have a driver’s license.
Uncertain about the future, many have decided that now is the time to get it back because the need to be able to drive again is more important than ever.
Right now, though, the future of how license appeals are done is in flux. That’s okay, because my team and I are right in the center of it, helping our clients get back on the road, no matter how that’s accomplished.
Everything is changing, but the good news is that it’s taking place in a way so that driver’s license restoration and clearance cases can get moving again. The Michigan Secretary of State is getting back to it, and so are we. Even our main evaluator is using video in order to complete the required substance use evaluations.
Everyone and everything is adapting. Consider this: under the existing Secretary of State rules, the required letters of support submitted when a case is filed must be notarized. Now, an exception has been made, and electronic notarization is allowed.
If there’s anything good to come out of this, it’s that, for the client, the whole license appeal process is becoming more “convenient,” even if that means it’s a bit less “personal.” I doubt many people who live in different states are heartbroken about being able stay where they are and get the Michigan “hold” on their driving record cleared, with the same guarantee we’ve always provided.
Instead of having to come to Michigan twice – first, to meet with us and have their evaluation completed – and second, for their actual hearing, now they can do the whole thing from their kitchen table, or living room. We’ll do this in a way that allows us to still maintain full control over the process while guaranteeing the result.
Of course, the same thing applies for people who live in Michigan. Our clients come from all over the state. Not to be funny about it, but just like “contactless delivery,” we can now do a “contactless driver’s license restoration.”
However, my team and I won’t do anything unless we can do it right, and in our office, that means handling each case while still providing our guarantee to win all first time driver’s license restoration and clearance appeals.
Who knows how long will this video/contactless arrangement last? It’s anyone’s guess.
However, it is very likely that, once the danger has passed, everyone will have become more comfortable with interacting this way, and some kind of video will continue to be used by both lawyers and the courts. The use of video and remote working will likely become a permanent feature across society to some extent or other.
Nevertheless, I think everyone would agree that they’d rather be in a position to choose to use video for convenience, rather than having it be the only option. However, as the saying goes, “it is what it is.”
The big message here in this little article is that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is no longer a bar to pursuing a Michigan driver’s license restoration or clearance case. That’s important because, as I noted, for many people the need to drive is greater now more than ever before.
If you’re looking for a lawyer to help you win back your Michigan driver’s license or obtain the clearance of a Michigan hold on your driving record that prevents you from getting (or renewing) a license in another state, be a good consumer and read around. Read what lawyers have written, and how they explain the license appeal process, and how they explain their approach to it.
When you’ve read enough, start checking around. All of our consultations are free, confidential and done over the phone, right when you call. On a side note, we have ALWAYS done our consultations by telephone; that part of the way we’re doing things in not a response to the coronavirus outbreak. It has just always been more convenient to do it that way.
As you check around, call our office. My team and I are very friendly people who will be glad to answer your questions and explain things. It’s always best if you can give us a ring when you have time to talk.
We can be reached Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (EST) at either 248-986-9700, or 586-465-1980.