In Michigan, there are specific alcohol/drug related driving offenses which result in a driver’s license revocation upon conviction.  Usually the license revocation occurs after a person has obtained multiple drunk driving convictions within a certain time period.
After the revocation period has run, the person then becomes eligible to apply for driving privileges.  Under the application or re-instatement procedure in Michigan, there are two different procedures available depending on the applicant’s circumstances.  The first available procedure is an “Administrative Review” and the other is the “In-Person” or “Video” Hearing.

The Administrative review is available to a person who: 1.) is an out-of-state or non-Michigan resident attempting to clear his or her driving record; Or, 2.) is a Michigan resident with one or more alcohol and/or drug related driving convictions and is currently on a restricted license that was approved at a previous hearing.

With an Administrative Review, the applicant does not appear in-person for the hearing.  Rather, the applicant must submit certain required documentation to the Department of State.  Once the Department receives all of the proper documents and materials, the review is conducted.  In addition to the documentation submitted by the applicant, the Department of State also considers its own records regarding the applicant’s driving history.  At the conclusion of the Administrative Review, the applicant is then mailed a written order either granting or denying the request.
With regard to the “out-of-state” resident, an Administrative Review is generally the more practical procedure to utilize.  The out-of-state applicant is also applying for somewhat of a different driving status than the Michigan resident.  The out-of-state applicant is applying for a “Clearance” on his/her Michigan driving record, whereas the Michigan resident is applying for an actual Michigan driver’s license (whether “restricted” or “fully restored” license).  In other words, the out-of-state applicant is asking Michigan to remove the “hold” on his or her driving privileges so that he or she may obtain a license in the new home state.

With regard to the “In-Person” or “Video Hearing”, the applicant is required to be present at the assigned location on the scheduled date.  The only difference between the “In-Person” or “Video” Hearing is the actual physical location of the Hearing Officer.  With the In-Person Hearing, the Hearing Officer is actually in the same hearing room as the applicant.  With the “Video” hearing, the hearing officer conducts the hearing via video from a Hearing Office located in another city.  Both types of hearings follow the same procedure and an applicant is permitted to have an attorney present for the hearing.  After the hearing is held, the applicant is then mailed a formal written order either granting or denying the request.

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