Hardship License in Michigan: Everything You Need to Know

A hardship license is also commonly referred to as a “restricted driver’s license.” This type of license is issued under special circumstances after someone has their license suspended due to traffic violations or a DUI.

For example, if someone is arrested, charged, and convicted of a DUI, part of their punishment may include having their driver’s license revoked or suspended.

This punishment presents many challenges. For instance, having no driver’s license can make it difficult for someone to get to work or perform necessary tasks such as shopping for groceries, etc.

Since driving a vehicle is a necessitiy for many people, the law allows someone to apply for a hardship license which provides an individual with limited/restricted driving privleges.

Continue reading to learn more about this type of license, and the application process in the State of Michigan.

What Is a Hardship License?

In short, a hardship driver’s license gets you back on the road in the event that local law enforcement has taken away your driving rights.

While there are many events that can lead to this decision, from driving without insurance to amassing a ton of tickets, the most common culprit is a DUI offense.

To receive this type of license, you’ll have to demonstrate that the lack of a license puts a major strain or hardship on you or your family.

What Are the Steps to Get One in Michigan?

Most license suspensions occur as a result of an implied consent violation.

This ruling means that you were pulled over by an officer on suspicion of drinking and driving. When asked to take a breathalyzer test, you refused to submit. In response, you likely received six points on your driver’s license, along with a six-month suspension.

To drive legally again, you’ll have to request a hardship driver’s license from Circuit Court.

This process can be laborious and full of red tape. For instance, you must make this request in the same county where the arrest and refusal occurred. There are also stacks of paperwork to complete, filing fees to pay, and timelines to follow.

This extensive process is further detailed on the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) website. According to the Michigan SOS,

“Either the local prosecuting attorney or the Attorney General represents the Secretary of State on a restoration appeal, depending on the location. For each appeal, the Department sends the prosecuting attorney or the Attorney General a case file that includes a certified driving record and other necessary documents for the hearing.” (The Office of Secretary of State, 2019, Driver License Restoration Appeal to Circuit Court).”

This is when it pays to have an experienced attorney on your side to guide you through it, step by step.

If you were convicted of a DUI, or lost your license due to excessive points, it’s important to consult with an attorney for drivers license restoration and appeals in the State of Michigan.

The Implied Consent Hearing

You can go straight from a suspended license to Circuit Court. However, it might be in your best interest to file for an Implied Consent Hearing, first.

If you make the request within 14 days of your arrest, you can take your case to the Michigan Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD).

Here, you can contest your license suspension and appeal for a reversal. This step is generally taken by first-time offenders and isn’t one to take multiple times. If you fail to request the hearing in time or the outcome isn’t in your favor, your only course of action is to go through the official hearing at Circuit Court.

The Court Hearing Process

Once it’s time to make your appeal, you’ll need a legal advocate on your side in Circuit Court. In addition to your testimony, you’ll also need to bring important case documents along including:

  • A substance abuse evaluation
  • Proof of participation in therapy or a support group
  • Witness letters

When it’s time to make your case, your lawyer can help explain why you require a license and how the lack of one is creating a major hardship for you. This might mean missing school, work, childcare duties and more.

Legal Support for a Hardship License Appeal

Are you interested in appealing for a hardship license through Circuit Court? Were you recently arrested and seeking to take your case to the DAAD?

Either way, you shouldn’t do so alone.

You need a reputable legal team to back you up, and that’s where we come in.

We’re skilled in every aspect of criminal law, as well as family law, estate planning, business law and more.

Contact us to discuss your case and learn how we can help.