3 Steps to Get a Driver’s License Back
Once you’ve lost your driver’s license it is neither fun nor easy to get it back. ArborYpsi Law can help guide you through the process to get your driver’s license back. Preparation for the hearing and appearing before the hearing officer is essential. This article will give some tips and overview for the work ahead. It’s never too early to start the work. Once you’ve determined that you’re ready to take the steps of reinstating your license, then it’s time to start. The Secretary of State requires that a person must prove he or she has any substance use problem under control. The burden is on the person who wants the license to make this proof. The Secretary of State requires several items for the hearing.
1. Documentation of Sobriety
Participation in a treatment plan is a major one. For those who attend Alcoholics Anonymous, then sign-in attendance sheets showing regular participation in AA is helpful. A verified treatment program will go a long way to showing the SOS any drinking or drug problem is being dealt with proactively. Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the most well-known programs. Hearing officers will accept AA as a credible program. If you claim significant attendance in AA, be prepared to speak knowledgeably on the philosophies of AA.
A hearing officer will be happy to hear you attend AA three or four days a week – but you are going to have a problem if you can’t explain the Second Step of AA. Alcoholics Anonymous is also a great program because it is free and everywhere, making it convenient for people to attend meetings.
Click here to find Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb County Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings.
Get a Sponsor. A sponsor is a person with experience in the AA program who helps and mentors younger members. A sponsor is someone you can speak with about issues related to sobriety, like a free therapist. You can call your sponsor if you suffer a craving for alcohol. Your sponsor will be able to attest to your hard work at sobriety and attendance at AA meetings. Alcoholics Anonymous is not for everyone. There are religious themes that do not sit well with some people. There are other programs out there, such as individual counseling or in-patient treatment that may work better for you. Check with your insurance provider to see what treatment options may be available.
2. Evidence of Support
You must have 3 – 6 letters from people who can speak on your sobriety. Quality is more important than quantity. A letter from a person who sees you every day and sees you do not drink is more valuable than a letter from the priest who only sees you once a year. Ideally, the letters are written from people who regularly know you and your routines, who know you do not drink, even seeing you turn down a beverage when offered.
3. Make sure you are ready for the hearing
The SOS will not entertain returning a license without a minimum of 12 months sobriety. Every situation is different. The 12-month sobriety mark may not be enough for someone with ten years of hard drinking under their belt. Even the two-year mark might not be enough if there is an extensive history of alcohol use and relapses. The 12-month sobriety mark may be fine for others.
Having said that, it may be worth your time and effort to go through the motions of having the hearing, even knowing the chances of success aren’t high. At that initial hearing, you can build a record of sobriety, document your productive efforts at abstinence.
It’s not the end of the world if the hearing officer says no in this situation. You can come back in a year, this time with a solid record of evidence that you made at the first hearing. The hearing officer will see that you have put in the work and the effort, and review the documentation from the first hearing. At the second hearing, you can build upon that record and develop your evidence further, making it more difficult for the SOS to deny you the second time.
More Resources to Get Driver’s License Back
Get started by looking at the Secretary of State’s Website on Driver’s License Restoration. Here is a PDF of the Request for a Hearing Application to give you an idea of the forms involved. Driver’s License Restoration hearings can be uphill battles. We can work with you to ensure every chance at success. We will sit down with you several times, go over your materials, provide guidance and evaluation, and then prepare for the hearing as if in an actual hearing. We’ve helped many people get their license back, and look forward to helping you as well. This article mentions a few elements of the driver’s license restoration hearing. There are other concerns to think about and maybe concerns unique to your situation.
Get in Touch
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.