How Can I Get My Suspended License Back in Michigan?

If you have had your driver’s license suspended in Michigan it can be a difficult and confusing process. Going without a driver’s license in Michigan, even for a short time is an extreme challenge. You have likely had to rely on friends, co-workers, parents, or public transportation to get to work and the places you need to be. The good news is that your license is not revoked. If your license is revoked, then there is no end date, and you need to go through the obstacle course of driver’s license restoration to get a restricted license. Alternatively, if you have had your license suspended for an OWI, more than 12 points on your license, a non-moving violation, driving while license suspended, or any other reason, then we will explain the ins and outs of getting your Michigan driver’s license reinstated. Navigate over to Why Could my License Be Suspended in Michigan? section to learn more about why your license might be suspended. In this section we will examine the difference between suspensions and revocations, definite suspensions, indefinite suspensions, and how to get your Michigan license back so you can get back on the road.

Suspensions Are Different from Revocations

It is important to understand the difference between a suspended license and a revoked license, because they mean very different things, and the process to reinstate or restore your driver’s license is also very different. A person’s license is suspended in Michigan when the Secretary of State either by discretion, or as required by statute no longer allows you to use your driver’s license. Imagine that you had a toy sword, but your parents put you in time out and put the sword up on the shelf. When your time out is done, then your toy comes off the shelf and you can use your toy. This example is similar to suspension, because there is a beginning and end date of the punishment, and you still have your driver’s license, but you cannot use it yet. Since you still have a license, it is only suspended.

Conversely, if your license is revoked, then you no longer have it at all. A person’s license is revoked in Michigan when the Secretary of State by discretion or as required by statute takes away your license entirely. Let’s go back to our example of the toy sword. Let’s imagine that you hit your little brother with the toy sword, and instead of placing your sword on the shelf and putting you in time-out, your parents decide to throw your toy sword away outside in the garbage dumpster. Now, you no longer have a sword, and it doesn’t matter how long you wait your sword is not coming back. It is the same situation for a driver’s license revocation, you no longer have a license.

If your license has been revoked in Michigan, then you are going to have to get a new one by applying for a driver’s license restoration hearing. This is a long process that a person with multiple OWI’s in Michigan becomes eligible for after one year. You can learn more about this process by visiting How Can I Get My Revoked License back in Michigan? or Preparing for My Driver’s License Hearing. However, if your driver’s license is only suspended, then you are going to have to wait until the suspension is over and pay a $125 reinstatement fee.

Definite Suspensions and Indefinite Suspensions

A driver’s license with a definite suspension has a “from” and “through” date. This means that your driver’s license will be suspended from a beginning date to an end date, and once you reach the end date, then you pay the $125 driver reinstatement fee and you get your driver’s license reinstated by the Secretary of State. For example, a person who is charged with a first OWI has a 180-day suspension. The first 30 days is a hard suspension where there will be no driving at all, and then you get your restricted license. If you successfully complete both the 30-day suspension and the 150 days on a restricted license, then you will be able to go to the Secretary of State and reinstate your license for $125. There is no way around the $125 driver’s license reinstatement fee, because it is required by MCL 257.320e.

Indefinite suspensions can be much more difficult, because there is not a beginning or end date. For example, a Failure to Appear for Court (FAC) or a Failure to Comply with a Court Judgment (FCJ) both have indefinite suspensions. You can receive a FAC by failing to show up for a court appearance after being arrested, and you can receive an FCJ for not obeying a court order. After you miss the court appearance, or fail to comply with a court order, then the court will notify you by mail that you have 28 days to comply with the order or make arrangements. You will have 14 days to respond and resolve the issue, and then the court will notify the Secretary of State. Once the Secretary of State has been notified, then they will immediately suspend your driver’s license.

After your license is suspended, it will remain suspended indefinitely. For example, if you have failed to comply with a court order for child support, then your driver’s license will remain suspended indefinitely until you comply with the court order and pay the child support and pay any fines and fees that have accumulated. You will have to resolve all of the issues with the court and pay the court a $45 reinstatement fee. The court will then issue you a clearance, which you can use to get a letter of termination of your suspension at the Secretary of State.

Some driver’s license suspensions in Michigan can be complicated and require contacting multiple state agencies, and some can be as simple as waiting for the time period of suspension to run out and paying the driver’s license reinstatement fee. You can call our & Associates with any questions you may have regarding a driver’s license suspension or revocation. We are here to help you and are available 24 hours a day seven days a week. Contact us today at 1-800-677-9795 for a free consultation.

Please note: Recently Administrative Hearings Section (AHS) changed their name to the Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight. Common use of the name Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight has not yet been widely accepted and the entity responsible for driver's license hearings is still referred to as AHS in almost all legal areas, which is why we continue to use the term "AHS" throughout our website. More information about this change can be found at the Michigan Secretary of State's website here.

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