DRIVER’S LICENSE RESTORATION PART TWO – APPEAL PROCESS
The first step in the process is to get a copy of your driving record. The record can be requested from the Michigan Department of State using this form (http://michigan.gov/documents/bdvr153_16280_7.pdf .). Or you can go to a Secretary of State Super Center and request it there and then you would not need to fill out this form. The driving record is crucial to your appeal by making sure you are eligible to request an appeal and to make sure nothing is missed when filing out the required appeal forms.
After the driving record is secured, the next step is to fill out the Request for a Hearing form. This is a ten page document provided by the State. The first eight pages are all questions you (or your attorney with your help) must answer. The final two pages are The Substance Use Evaluation form and this is taken with you to a licensed substance abuse therapist. The Substance Use Evaluation is completed by the therapist after you have completed certain written substance abuse tests, the tests have been taken scored and an interview has been conducted.
While there is no part of the driver’s license restoration appeal process that is not important, the Substance Use Evaluation is extremely important. The Substance Abuse Counselor will provide a Prognosis. This is his/her educated prediction about how likely you are to remain alcohol and drug free for the rest of your life. This goes directly to the earlier question of how likely it is your problem is under control and if you are likely to repeat the behavior.
Next, you will need to get Letters of Support. These are also called testimonial letters. The Secretary of State asks for up to 6 Letters from people who make up a cross-section of the community in which you live. That means the letters should come from a broad range of people; family, friends, co-workers, fellow support-group members, and others. It means, more specifically, that you should not submit letters from just family, or just friends, or just co-workers. The letters are an extremely important part of the process and they must contain very specific information. It is not enough to say you are a good person, you no longer drink and you deserve to get your license back. The Hearing Officer is looking for specific information about you. They want to know how long the writer has known you, in what capacity, what you were like when you were drinking and how you are different now, the last time the writer saw you drinking, what activities you participate in involving alcohol or drugs, and do they know of your involvement in treatment programs or support groups. Anything less than this and the Hearing Officer will ignore the letter. If the letter is not signed, dated, notarized and with a complete address and telephone number where the write can be reached the letter will be ignored.
Finally, you will need10-panel urinalysis drug screen and submit a current laboratory report that includes at least two urine integrity variables. Failure to provide this will result in an automatic denial.
All of the information just written about and submitted to the state cannot be more than 90 days old. If it is, the appeal will be denied and then you must wait another full year to appeal again. You are allowed one appeal in a 12 month period. You must understand, the evidence submitted must be exactly what the state wants. An experienced attorney is vital; the attorney will walk you through the process, review all documents and only submit them when they meet the guidelines.
Our office will review all documents and a letter, assist you with filing out the Request for a Hearing, will set you up with a counselor we respect and knows exactly what the DAAD requires, and we will prepare you for the actual hearing.