Troy MI License Restoration Blog

Monday, July 27, 2015


An individual called the other inquiring about a license restoration. He proceeded to tell me about his past issues and then told me, “I’m eligible for a license in August”. I decided that I had better ask a few questions to satisfy myself that, in fact, he was eligible for restoration.

I always start by asking my clients to go to the Secretary of State to get a copy of their driving record and get it to me. Of course I can do this for the person but generally they are chomping at the bit to get started and do not want to wait the 7-10 days it usually takes for a copy to be sent pursuant to a request by mail from my office.

This individual did not want to wait and said he would get a ride to a local Secretary of State to secure a copy for my review. He proceeded to tell me from his memory about his past convictions and then stated that he was still on probation. He also had some court costs he needed to still pay.

I asked him if he wanted the good news or the bad news first. With that I proceeded to inform him that although he may be “eligible” according to the time period he is made to wait, if he tried to petition the AHS (Administrative Hearing Section) of the Secretary of State, he would lose.

Knowing that I had just crushed his hopes, I further informed him that had he tried to petition the AHS on his own he would have lost because he was still on probation and still owed money to the courts. There is nothing in the regulations that refer to this but it is a fact. The silver lining here is that if he tried and lost he would have bought himself another year of waiting until he became eligible once again. But with a little planning and effort, his way could’ve been paved with success. WHY??? Well, first of all, the Secretary of State will not grant privileges of any kind if fines and court costs are owed to the State…period. Now, if driver responsibility fees are owed, payment plans are available and a license restoration petition can go forward…if payments are being made. And not one can be missed. Unfortunately, the Secretary of State does not recognize payment plans for fines and costs, so they all have to be paid before the individual gets credit so to speak.

Probation is another story. The individual cannot be on probation!!

Hearing officers are looking for periods of abstinence that are voluntary. At the very least I like to see one full year (generally more) of voluntary abstinence before I file a petition. If someone just gets released from prison and says, “It’s been several years since my last drink and my driving record says I’m eligible”, they are not!! This is the rationale of the Hearing officers and the court cases that have interpreted the concept of “abstinence”. They do not consider being incarcerated as “voluntary” abstinence because it is a controlled environment.

“Voluntary” begins when the person has the freedom to do whatever he/she wants without being under the scrutiny of the Court or Department of Corrections.

If you believe you are eligible for reinstatement of driving privileges, call the Law Offices of Martin Lievois to find out for sure before you make a mistake that costs you a year delay. In Flint at 810-250-4550 or in Troy at 248-419-1566.

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