If you want to restore your driving privileges, you must obtain a copy of your Michigan driving record. The first thing our firm does when a driver’s license restoration client hires us is run their driving record.
Obtaining Your Michigan Driving Record Online: Can I Get My Michigan Driving Record Online?
Since our firm has Direct Access, a service provided by the Michigan Department of State’s Secretary of State (SOS), we can run driving records in our office in minutes. However, you can also directly request a copy of your driving record from the SOS for $11.00. You can find a copy of the record request form here.
As you can see, the form is pretty straightforward. Sections 1, 2, 4, 7, and 8 are required. The sections must be complete and the writing must be legible, or there will be a delay in processing your request. If you want the record sent somewhere other than the address in section 1, you must fill out section 3.
Otherwise, select your delivery method in section 3 (mail or fax) and be sure to provide your fax number in section 3 (if that’s how you wish to receive your record). The form will need to be faxed or mailed to the SOS. If you decide to fax your record lookup request, we recommend confirming your fax was received by calling the Record Lookup Unit in Lansing, MI 48918-1502 at (517) 335-6198.
How to Read Your Driving Record
Once you receive your record, you will notice identifying information such as your name, driver’s license number, date of birth, and the address the SOS has on file for you. Below that information, you will see your driving record that will look similar to the sample driving record below.
According to the SOS’ “How to Effectively Interpret Information Found on a Driving Record” guide, there is a variety of codes that teach you how to properly read each line of your driving record, such as:
- This line shows the source (“SOS” for Secretary of State), date, time, and IP address for the computer that generated the driving record.
- BOS/BAM message – Some mainframe records are “owned” by BOS/Legacy. Transactions for these records can only be processed using the BOS program.
- The customer’s driver license number is shown. The full name and residence address are below. The mailing address, if present, is shown below the residence address.
- This line shows the customer’s date of birth, sex, height, weight, and eye color on the first line. IMAGE indicates the record is associated with a digital photo or signature.
- This line displays the license application code, license type code (including endorsements and CDL group), most recent license issue date, and license expiration date respectively.
Download the guide (hyperlinked above) to learn more on how to analyze your Michigan driving record.
Next Steps To Restoring Driver’s License
If you want to get your driver’s license back, it’s extremely important to understand what is on your record. Our attorneys are well versed in reading driving records, and identifying what information on a record is pertinent.
When we view a driving record, we are looking to see when any driving related offenses, such as driving on a suspended license, or substance use related offenses (like driving under the influence [DUI]), occurred.
This is done to determine a person’s eligibility date. For example, if a person is convicted of three (3) DUIs within a ten (10) year period, their license is revoked and they then must wait five (5) years from their latest conviction date before they can try to get their license back.
What Do I Need to Restore My Driver’s License?
Additionally, we want to know if someone had any previous SOS hearings to try to get their license back. If they did, we will typically order the files from those hearings.* To request a hearing with the SOS from losing your license for DUI offenses (the most common reason our clients have lost their licenses), a person must submit a substance use evaluation, a 12-panel urine drug test, and at least three (3) letters that attest to the person’s sobriety.
Ordering a file from a past hearing will include those documents. That order is also written by the hearing officer (the person who decides whether or not the petition for a license is granted). This information is useful, because it is vital that any of the hearing officer’s concerns are addressed at the next hearing. We often order and view these old files before we submit documents requesting a new hearing for that reason.
For example, let’s say a person had a hearing and their support letters presented at that hearing stated their sobriety date was Mar. 6th, 2014, but their substance use evaluation stated it was Apr. 9th, 2015, the actual sobriety date. The hearing officer would express in their order that they do not want to grant that person a license, because the person has not established that they are honest with others about their sobriety and thus, may still be drinking.
When submitting the support letters for a new hearing, our firm would make sure the sobriety date mentioned in all of the letters was April 9, 2015.
*You can get a copy of your past file(s) by using the same record request form used to get a copy of your driving record.