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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.

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Getting a Copy of your Michigan Driving Record to Start a License Appeal

As a Driver’s License Restoration Attorney, the most important part of what I must deal with in every case involving someone’s License is their Driving Record. I need accurate and precise information about the actions taken by the Secretary of State. Sometimes, when I receive a call from a prospective Client, they are unable to give me the exact information I need to determine if they are eligible to file a License Appeal. The best way for me to make this determination is to read their Driving Record, especially the part at the very end under the heading “Administrative Action” which details exactly what Suspensions and/or Revocations have been imposed by the Secretary of State, as well as when and why they occurred.

A common question asked of either me or my staff is “Can you get a copy of my Driving Record?” This Blog article will explain exactly how a person can get a copy of their own Driving Record, and will have several links to the Secretary of State’s website to help with those requests.

file_room2.jpgA significant share of my Practice includes helping people who’ve moved out-of-state clear up outstanding issues with their Michigan License. For these individuals, going to a Secretary of State Branch Office and making an in-person request for their Driving Record is impossible.

Other people are just too busy during regular business hours, and would prefer the convenience of being able to send away for their Record. The downside to mailed-in request is that it is not instant. In other words, the person walking into a Secretary of State Branch Office can pay $8 and walk out with their Record. Someone sending in for it must wait a bit, typically about 2 weeks.

Under no circumstances should a person use a 3rd party, or private information service which offers to sell you a copy of your Michigan Driving Record. Those records do not contain certain essential information (most don’t even have and “Administrative Action” section at all!) that must be reviewed in order to determine a person’s eligibility to Appeal, either to a Court, or to the Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD) for Restoration of Driving Privileges. Beyond costing more than an official Record from the Secretary of State, even if they’re mostly accurate, they’re never complete.

The Michigan Secretary of State has a wonderful website. Still, after accessing it frequently, I have found that it takes a little digging around to come up with the right page. I have set forth below those various pages and links that it might otherwise take a while to find.

Information about same-day, walk-in service to get your Michigan Driving Record:

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1627_8996-107656–,00.html

Also, see:

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1640_3408_9135-123730–,00.html

Those who live out of state, or otherwise would rather send away for their Record have 2 options. First, if the address on file with the Secretary of State from the time of their last License is still valid (that is, they haven’t moved), then the Secretary of State will automatically send the Record to that last address on file.

If someone has moved, whether in-state, or out of state, then they must check the appropriate box on the form and indicate the address to which they want the Record sent. When someone is requesting a Record for me to review, they can, of course, choose to have it sent to me, or they can have it sent to themselves and then fax, mail, or scan a copy of it to me. See below:

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1627_8996-31868–,00.html

A copy of the Request form can be accessed here:
Michigan Driving Record Request Form

Finally, for those interested in the mechanics of reading a Driving Record, the Secretary of State’s instructions can be found here:

How to Read a Michigan Driving Record

In some cases, a person has an accurate enough copy of their own driving Record for me to review. Even if the record is really old, as long as they haven’t had any Traffic Tickets (including things like DWLS/DWLR) then the effective dates on it will still hold. Anyone who has had any Police Traffic contact, however, since the time they got the last copy of their Driving Record should get on that is current and updated.

In other cases, even though someone does not have a copy of their Driving Record, they know when they became, or will become, eligible to file a License Appeal. In those cases, it is not necessary for them to obtain one.

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