A woman holding up her driver 's license in the car.

Driver's License Restoration

Let’s face it. Living in Michigan without a driver’s license is a major inconvenience. In a state famous for its auto industry, public transportation is not the most reliable. If you've been convicted of multiple drinking and driving offenses, you're likely grappling with the challenge of navigating life without a license. Relying on spouses, family, friends, and even co-workers for transportation is far from ideal. That's where John N. Elliott, a Michigan driver's license restoration expert, can help you get back on the road.

Don’t settle for a life without a driver’s license. If you're committed to maintaining your sobriety, there's a chance to get your license back by petitioning the Secretary of State. However, this is not a journey you should attempt to navigate alone. We often see clients who try to handle their own restoration and end up worsening their situation. There are certain legal issues you can tackle without legal assistance. Unfortunately, driver’s license restoration is not one of them.

The good news is that John N. Elliott boasts over a 99% success rate in driver’s license restoration cases. In fact, he has specialized knowledge in these types of cases and has gained unmatched expertise along the way. Considered one of the best driver’s license restoration specialists in the state, John N. Elliott is who you want on your side if you're aiming to get back on the road. Our success stems from the methods we have developed to ensure the best possible case can be made based upon your specific situation.

How likely am I to win my driver’s license restoration case in Michigan?
You actually stand a very good chance of winning your driver’s license restoration case in Michigan, especially if you choose John N. Elliott. With over a 99% success rate in driver’s license restoration cases, and given that he has exclusive knowledge and expertise in this field, you're almost guaranteed to get your license back.

But do I really need a specialist? Can I do it on my own? Technically, yes, you can. However, your chances of success significantly decrease. The driver’s license restoration process in Michigan is complex. A single misstep and your application could be denied. In most cases, after a denial, you’ll have to wait a full year before reapplying. Many clients come to us in this predicament, having unsuccessfully attempted their own driver’s license restoration application (often at considerable expense in terms of time and money). With your driver’s license at risk, it's not worth taking the chance.

How long will it take to get my driver’s license restored?
You may be able to get your driver’s license restored within about 3 or 4 months. That’s the best-case scenario. The process starts with preparing and filing the application. How quickly that gets done largely depends on the client’s motivation. If you're proactive, you can assemble all the necessary paperwork quickly. If not, the process will obviously take longer.

After the application is filed, we’ll receive a hearing date. At the hearing, we’ll appear before a hearing officer (an administrative law judge with the Secretary of State) who will issue a written decision shortly after the hearing, either granting or denying our application.

Regrettably, the time between the filing of the application and the hearing date is variable due to fluctuations in the amount of cases brought at any particular time and available staff at the Secretary of State’s Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight. Although some of our clients are still receiving hearing dates within 2 months of filing the application, others have waited up to 4 months. Therefore, it's hard to predict exactly how long the process will take in any given case.

Are You Eligible to Apply?

The first thing we’ll need to determine is if you’re eligible to petition for your license to be restored. In most cases, you’ll need to wait a full year from when you lost your license before you can petition for your license to be restored. For some, the wait time can be up to 5 years. We'll need to see your official driving record to ascertain your eligibility date.

Equally important is your commitment to maintain your sobriety. After being convicted of multiple drinking and driving offenses, the burden is on you to prove that it won't happen again and that the public isn't endangered by your being on the road. You can only petition to get your license back if you can demonstrate that you’ve maintained your sobriety for at least one year.

One more thing. Although it might seem obvious, our experience tells us it's worth mentioning: if you don’t have a license, don’t drive. Many of our clients who don’t have a driver’s license make the poor decision to drive anyway, believing they won't get caught. For some reason, unlicensed drivers seem to attract police attention. And here’s the kicker—any new tickets or criminal offenses on your driving record will make you ineligible to petition for a license for at least another year.

The bottom line is this—you should not drive if you don’t have a license; you should, especially, not drive if you don’t have a license and are considering petitioning for restoration.

The Initial Steps

To get your license back, you’ll have to go through the Secretary of State’s Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight, formerly known as the Administrative Hearings Section (AHS). Eventually, your case will proceed to a hearing in front of a “hearing officer,” akin to a judge. But before you get that far, there's a lot that needs to be done.

First, you’ll need to get a substance use evaluation through a state-licensed substance abuse counselor. The goal is to ensure that any of your substance abuse issues have been resolved and that there's no risk of you drinking and driving again.

Next, you’ll need to do a 12-panel drug screen to show that you have not recently consumed any alcohol or other illicit substances. Once again, the aim is to confirm that you’re living a sober lifestyle without the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Then, you’ll need “documentation of sobriety.” This involves submitting four to eight (depending on your hearing officer) notarized letters from friends, family members, or co-workers who can vouch for your sobriety. These letters must include key information, such as the person’s relationship to you, how long they have known you, and the last time they saw you use alcohol or controlled substances.

Finally, you’ll need “evidence of support.” That is, proof that you’ve been actively participating in measures to ensure your sobriety, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and counseling. If you have a sponsor, you’ll want a notarized letter from them. While AA participation is not required, if you choose to participate, make sure your attendance can be verified.

This is just a summary of what you’ll need to do before you can request a hearing. Each step can be quite involved and time-consuming. That's why you need an experienced expert (like John N. Elliott!) to guide you through each step.

The Request for a Hearing

So, you’ve gone through all the initial steps, and now you’re ready to request a hearing. You’ll need to fill out all the forms, compile everything, and send it off to the Secretary of State. If everything is not in order, the Secretary of State will not schedule a hearing for you. A specialist, like John N. Elliott, can ensure that all the correct paperwork has been submitted.

Typically, it takes two or three months from when the request for a hearing is sent until the actual hearing is held. You’ll receive notice of the date about two or three weeks in advance.

The Hearing

So, you’ve made it through all the preliminary steps and now have a hearing date. To get your license back, you’ll need to demonstrate the following four things to the hearing officer:

  • That your alcohol or substance abuse problems are under control and likely to remain that way
  • That you’re at low or minimal risk of repeating your past abusive behavior
  • That you’re at low or minimal risk of drinking and driving again
  • That you have the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law
  • The Secretary of State employs several hearing officers throughout the state, each with their own way of conducting the hearing. John N. Elliott has experience with every hearing officer and knows how to prepare you for success regardless of which one is assigned to your case.

The Decision

In most cases, you’ll receive the hearing officer’s decision within four to six weeks after the hearing. John N. Elliott wins over 99% of his driver’s license restoration cases, so if you hire him, you can expect a favorable decision.

The Interlock

If you’re granted a license, you’ll need to have your car equipped with an ignition interlock device, sometimes referred to as an in-car breathalyzer. This device will need to be in your car for at least a year before you can petition to have it removed.
Driver’s License Restoration Attorney John N. Elliott will ensure you present the best possible case by meticulously overseeing all aspects of your case and answering any questions you have along the way such as:

  • Guiding your letter writers with respect to drafting the most effective Driver's License Hearing Letters of Reference
  • Advising on how to Get a Restricted Driver’s License After Suspension
  • Providing Ignition Interlock Violation Defense
  • Preparing you for Your Driver's License Restoration Hearing
  • Connecting you with a qualified and respected Substance Abuse Evaluator
  • Reviewing any Treatment and Relapse History

Contact John N. Elliott right away at (248) 451-9600

As you can see, petitioning for restoration of your license is an extremely complicated process. You need an experienced specialist on your side.

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Client Testimonials

Big Jon

You need a good attorney then call John Elliott I did and the results were fantastic I'm so happy that I found Mr Elliott to handle all my needs I can't say anything more but he is a super person to work with and a great attorney his dad's also an attorney too they do very good work call him and you will see what the difference is when you have a good attorney on the job, I did.

James McElroy

Reasonable price. Intelligent and responsive to the case at hand. Definitely knows how to defend his clients.

P. Jo Hill

John virtually saved my life. He got a misdemeanor dropped that could have been on record forever and severely ruin my chances of getting a good job. He responded to my calls, and never made me feel "less then" because I made a mistake. If you want someone who values honesty, will return your calls within hours, and meticulously prepare your paperwork, John is the man. And all at a reasonable price. Thank you John!