attorneys and counselors at law



Brown and Brown, PLC has been helping Michigan Drivers get their license back for 25 years.  We offer two different services for driver’s restoration cases:

Appeals to the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division of the Secretary of State of Michigan;
Appeals to the Circuit Court

I.  Appeals to the Secretary of State

Under Michigan Law, the Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division has been given jurisdiction to hear appeals for driver’s who have lost their drivers license for too many points, too many chargeable accidents, drinking and driving and, driving while license suspended.   

            Brown and Brown, PLC is very effective at helping to restore driving privileges to clients who have had their license suspended or revoked. 

Pursuant to current Michigan Law the following is the waiting periods:

1.If it is your first revocation, you must serve a one year nonappealable revocation period.  After this period is served then you will be eligible to appeal the subsequent denial to the Secretary of State. 

2.If it is your second revocation within 7 years, then you must serve a five year period of revocation before having the right to appeal the subsequent denial

B.  The Importance of the Substance Abuse Evaluation

If you are seeking to obtain your license back after a period of revocation, you must consult with a substance abuse counselor who is a state-licensed substance abuse therapist.  It is important to gather documents such as letters of sobriety and proof any treatments such as AA sign in sheets.  Our firm has found that the clients who keep the best records and maintain all their records have the best chance for success. 

Preparing for the hearing with the Secretary of State

It will be important to have all your information organized and ready for your appeal hearing.  You only have one shot so it is important to be prepared. The Secretary of State will want to see the following: 

Three or more independent sources such as letters and witnesses regarding alcohol and controlled substance behavior
Present a Current Urinalysis drug screen to prove abstinence
Submit a Current Substance abuse evaluation form
Proof of his or her past current involvement in treatment programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

The letters of sobriety should be as diverse as possible and should include letters from spouses, partners, or parents who see the petitioner daily. Letters from employers are also given weight. The letters must be signed, dated, and notarized and include address and phone number.

An individual who receives a restricted license from the DAAD is often required by  to install an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle. 

D.  The Hearing

Our Firm will prepare you for the hearing ahead of time so that you will be ready to put your best case forward.  We will require you to bring the following for the hearings:

Bring all witnesses who can testify to client’s sobriety.  Example spouses, partners and parents who have direct contact.
The Client’s who have been to Alcoholics Anonymous should review the AA’s 12 steps and be prepared to discuss them
The petitioner bears the burden of rebutting the presumption that he is or she is a habitual offender by Clear and Convincing evidence

Remember that if the hearing examiner’s determination is shown to be arbitrary, capricious, or clearly an abuse or an unwarranted exercise of discretion, it may be subject to circuit court review and set aside pursuant to statute.

Why SHOULD you hire Brown and Brown, PLC as your attorneys for License Appeal?

            Brown and Brown, PLC has been helping  hard working Michigan residents obtain their license back for more than 25 years.  We know everything you need to do in order to have your best opportunity to receive your license back  We will help you prepare before the hearing and will make sure that your filing with the secretary of state puts you in the best possible position to get your license back given your unique set of circumstances.  Our firm has found through our experience and stories from clients who tried to represent themselves at the appeal, that people who are represented by counsel at these hearings have a higher rate of success getting their license reissued.  This is your one chance to get your license back, so hire our firm today and take your best shot!


BROWN AND BROWN, PLC has more then 25 years of experience at the Circuit Court level handling Driver’s license appeals.  After the Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division has denied your appeal you may seek to appeal this decision to the Circuit Court.


            According to Michigan Law, you have a 63 day deadline to file an appeal (*extendable to 182 days on good cause shown but don’t count on it!).  The period will begin running as of the date “the determination is made”.  The filing of a claim of appeal or late appeal does not stop the enforcement of the Secretary of State’s decision or order.  This is why it is important to call our firm and file right away. 

B.  Appeal for An Error in Law–  

Current Michigan Law also allows a person to bring an appeal for an error of law that was made in the decision to deny restoration of their license.  The court will set aside a secretary of state’s determination only if the petitioner’s substantial rights have been prejudiced because the determination is any of the following:

(a) In violation of the Constitution of the United States, the state constitution of 1963, or a statute.

(b) In excess of the secretary of state’s statutory authority or jurisdiction.

(c) Made upon unlawful procedure resulting in material prejudice to the petitioner.

(d) Not supported by competent, material, and substantial evidence on the whole record.

(e) Arbitrary, capricious, or clearly an abuse or unwarranted exercise of discretion.

(f) Affected by other substantial and material error of law.

C.  Hardship Appeals

*New*   - Michigan Law has now expanded the opportunity to which a person who has lost their license may seek to regain their license through a hardship appeal to the Circuit Court.  The new law authorizes hardship license appeals to circuit court for the following suspensions only:

points, accidents, incompetency to drive, etc.,
driving while the license is suspended or revoked
a first implied consent suspension
probationary license suspensions
physical or mental disability suspensions

Since suspensions issued under for reckless driving are not included in the provision above, there is no avenue for their appeal on a hardship basis.

D.  The Appeal

            For hardship appeals, you will be seeking to have the court understand the experience a person who lost their license is going through as a result of losing his or her license.  For example:  The effect the suspension has had on his or her ability to earn a living and on his or her family.  If the hardship is articulated correctly to meet the statute requirements the Court will issue an order that the client’s license be reissued.  The court may decide in their discretion to give a restricted license that only allows driving to and from work, school and counseling.


In setting a hearing date for the petition, you must give the secretary of state at least 20 days’ notice for hardship appeals and 50 days’ notice for appeals on errors of law. The hearing must be set within 63 days from the date of filing the petition. 

F. The Final Hearing

In most license restoration hearings, the circuit judge has the power to return the license immediately, shorten the length of suspension, grant a restricted license for work or other purposes, or deny any relief whatsoever. In implied consent cases, the judge may issue only a restricted license to, from, and during the course of employment, to and from alcohol education or treatment, to and from an educational institution, to and from the court probation department, and to and from any court-ordered community service. Please note that a restricted license for medical treatment is not available by statute for a license restoration, even though it is available for first offenses of drunk or impaired driving in the district court. 

If the court denies your petition, you would be wise to request another hearing in three months.