Michigan Driver's License Restoration - Circuit Court Options

Many individuals who have had their driver's licenses suspended or revoked are curious as to whether they can obtain full restoration or restricted driving privileges by simply appealing to the Circuit Court. Unfortunately, in most cases the answer is no. However, there are certain circumstances in which you may be able to have your license restored through the Circuit Court, rather than go through the tedious and complicated process of a DAAD (Driver's Assessment and Appeal Division) hearing.

In the state of Michigan, anyone who had his or her driver's license revoked in 1992 or later due to DUI could not go to court to have his or her license restored. Prior to January of 1992, those who had their licenses suspended or revoked because of DUI could potentially have their privilege to drive restored in Circuit Court.

Essentially, if your license was suspended or revoked because of a DUI that occurred in or prior to 1991 and it was your last DUI, it may be possible to have your license restored in Circuit Court, although it is not a guaranteed. Anyone whose license has been suspended or revoked due to a DUI in 1992 or later must request a hearing with the DAAD. As of 1992, there was no longer such a thing as a "hardship appeal," as new DUI laws went into effect that eliminated this appeal.

What circumstances may make you eligible to have your Michigan driver's license restored in Circuit Court?

While most suspension and/or revocations are related to driving under the influence or multiple DUI's, not all are. There are certain situations in which it may be possible to have your driving privilege restored in Circuit Court. For example, you may have lost your driving privilege because of a criminal conviction, for violating the state's Implied Consent law (refusing a breath test), or for having too many points on your driving record for traffic infractions, not paying fines, etc. Under these and similar circumstances, it may be possible to have your license fully restored, or get a restricted license in Circuit Court.

From 1992 going forward, individuals whose driver's license had been revoked due to habitual DUI offenses could have a Circuit Court Judge set aside the revocation in certain situations, however the individual's DUI defense attorney had to prove the revocation was unlawful for one of several reasons, such as lack of competent or substantial evidence on the entire record, violation of a statute, the State Constitution of 1963, or the U.S. Constitution, or other material error of law. However, it all changed again when in October of 1999, the Circuit Court's jurisdiction in license revocation cases was limited even further. Since that time there have been limited instances in which the Circuit Court can reside over license appeals. These include:

  • a suspension imposed under Section 904(10) or (11)
  • a first implied consent suspension, Section 625f
  • a driver assessment action pursuant to Section 320, Section 303(1)d, and Section 310d

As you can see, there are very specific instances in which you may be able to seek driver's license relief in Circuit Court. However, it is important to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable Michigan driver's license restoration attorney who can review your situation and determine whether relief may be possible in Circuit Court in your situation.

Contact Grabel & Associates now for a free consultation regarding your case, and for the best legal representation in Michigan. Call us today at 1-800-677-9795.

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