A large part of my Practice, as a Driver’s License Restoration Lawyer, involves helping people who now live out-of-state “clear” their Michigan Revocation so that they can be Licensed in the state in which they now live. This article will explain the difference between the License relief typically given to a Michigan resident and that available for someone who now lives out-of-state.
Usually, I am contacted by someone now in another state who has tried to obtain a License in that state, only to be informed that they are not eligible to do so until they take care of an outstanding Michigan “hold.” Almost everyone who contacts me has done enough investigation (often having read the Driver’s License Restoration section of this blog) to discover that the “hold” on their License stems from 2 or more DUI’s that have resulted in the Revocation of their (former) Michigan Driver’s License.
Sometimes, these individuals had a License in another state for a while, and this previously undisclosed “hold” comes up when they try to renew. Most of the time, however, and in large part due to what is know as the National Driving Register, the Michigan “hold,” which is actually a Michigan Revocation, turns up before any License is issued.
In many cases, I am contacted after a person has filed for an Administrative review and lost. It’s then that I almost always have to tell the caller that they’ll have wait a year in order to correct the errors that caused them to lose their first, do-it-yourself Appeal, and then try again, this time with a Lawyer (like me) who specializes in License Appeals.
It is not uncommon for me to hear a familiar desperation in the caller’s voice, telling me that they’ll settle for any kind of relief, and would do anything just to get some kind of Restricted License.
And that is the whole point of this article. There is no “Restricted License” option for out-of-State residents. Instead, those who now live out-of-state but have a Revoked Michigan Driver’s License can only obtain a “Clearance,” which is essentially the same thing as a full, un-Restricted License.
This is significant, because ANYONE living in Michigan can count on, at best, winning a Restricted License as the result of a successful License Appeal. The State wants to be able to monitor the person, and will do so by not only restricting the hours or purposes for which they drive, but also through the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock, which is the device the tests a person’s breath before the car will start, and also requires “rolling” tests periodically as the vehicle is being operated.
To this end, it does require a slightly higher degree of proof of Sobriety in order to be “cleared” and found to be such a good bet to never drink again that any kind of monitoring is not considered necessary.
Michigan cannot impose any restrictions upon the conditions, if any, that another State will impose upon a person who lives there. In other words, Michigan can only remove any hold it has. It is up to the other State to decide what Restrictions, if any, to place upon a Driver who subsequently is Licensed there as a result of that person’s prior Record. I am informed that there are some states which do not License anyone after a certain number of DUI’s, meaning that even though the person might be eligible for a License in one state, another will say “no” or have a longer waiting period than Michigan since the last DUI. That’s up to them. Michigan, by granting a “Clearance,” has simply agreed to step out of the way.
In my practice, out-of-state cases are, accordingly, treated a bit differently than those for people who still live here, because they require a higher degree of proof of the likelihood of complete lifetime sobriety, and because Michigan will have no way to monitor that.
As always, my first concern about any caller is that they are, in fact Sober. As I have noted elsewhere, I have enough good work to keep me busy, and am not interested in merely getting paid to try an Appeal for someone who is not, really and truly, Sober. Thus, I only handle License Appeals for those individuals who have made a commitment to not drink again, and are willing to have that commitment put to the test by the Secretary or State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division.