1st Step Referral Services

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MI Driver's License Restoration Process


If your driver's license has been revoked due to one or more operating under the influence convictions, the Michigan Secretary of State (DLAD) will require that you submit a substance abuse evaluation conducted by a qualified evaluator before a hearing will be set. We know that going through the process can sometimes be overwhelming.  However, it is up to you to be sure you are making the best decision possible when choosing an agency to complete your evaluation. There is no substitute for professionalism and experience when it comes to your DLAD Substance Abuse Evaluation. You are offered one opportunity per year to Request a Hearing - make sure your evaluation is done correctly.


To help you get started in the right direction, we are providing information, links and resources that we think you will find helpful. 


Our most requested links and resources:


Ask These 8 Questions Before Scheduling Your DLAD Evaluation. This is a free checklist flyer that you can download and use when contacting agencies to assure you are investing your time and money well.


The DLAD Planner/ 5 Do's and 5 Don'ts. This is a simple, straightforward guide that offers practical advice and information before you begin the process. It includes the 5 Do's and 5 Don'ts that will keep you focused on what is important even in the midst of a lot of inaccurate advice from well meaning acquaintances.


AA/NA Sign In Sheet. Feel free to download this AA/NA Sign In Sheet and use.


AA/NA Support Group Locations.  Simply select the county or area you live in and then select Self-Help & Support Groups.Find groups in your area that fits your schedule and meets your need Easy to use.


DLAD Request for Hearing Packet.This is the complete packet from the MI Secretary of State website. Includes Letter of Support information, options for requesting a hearing, Substance Abuse Evaluation Form and additional information to prepare for your hearing.  Unless you live out of state, you will only need pages 1 and 8.


Request Your Driving Record .Links to the MI Secretary of State website. Explains fees, requirements and how to request your driving record.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Below you will find our answers to the top 8 questions we have been asked most frequently over the past 15 years. Because information does change from time to time, please check back for updates.

"I kept putting off trying to get my license back because of all the stories I heard and not knowing where to start. Not only was I impressed with the straight talk and the amount of information I received, I left wondering what took me so long! I have recommended 1st Step Referral Services to several of my friends."         

 Jonathan W. - Ypsilanti

Q: What can I expect at my DLAD Substance Abuse Evaluation?   At 1st Step Referral Services you can expect a complete, one-stop service. You will interview with an experienced Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC) in a relaxed, professional environment. The process will take approximately 1.5 hours. When you first arrive, we will take time to make sure you have all the information you need so you don't leave wondering what's next. We provide a folder, checklist and a pre-addressed envelope to submit information to the Michigan DLAD. You can take your drug screening on site so you don't have to go through the hassle of setting another appointment and coordinate getting it back to us. When you meet with the evaluator, you will go over your past and current use history and other information necessary to perform a complete DLAD evaluation.


Q: Do I have to get my DLAD evaluation completed in the county that I live? No. The standard for DLAD evaluations are uniform across the state. However, your DLAD hearing will be set at a location in your county.


Q: What if I don't remember when I received my DUI offenses?   You can request your driving record by calling your local Secretary of State office or by visiting the MI SOS website. (See link above.)


Q: Will my medical health insurance pay for my evaluation? In general, No. You may want to check with your provider, but we have yet to see a health care insurance plan pay for an evaluation that is required by a third party to have driving privileges restored as a result of driving with alcohol or drugs in the system. The assumption is that you do not have a substance abuse condition that warrants treatment at this point.


Q: Why do I need a drug screen when my license was revoked for alcohol? After a driver's license is revoked for "risky" driving behavior, it is the DLAD's responsibility to determine that the applicant has no other substance use behaviors that will diminish their ability to drive responsibly or that will put the public at risk.


Q: What type of information needs to be in my Letters of Support? Who should write them? Please see the DLAD Hearing Packet above.The information outlines very clearly who you should have write letters, what should be included in the letters and additional requirements.


Q: What if I haven't participated in support groups, attended education classes or went through a treatment program?   Each situation is unique. However, your Hearing Agent is going to be very interested in what you have done since your last offense in regards to making positive lifestyle changes. Participating in substance abuse programming is an important step to facilitate change and it offers the Hearing Agent a tool to ascertain whether a person will continue to abstain from substances. You can find a listing of support groups in your area by clicking on the link above. Understanding the legal implications of driving under the influence and implementing a Change Behavior Plan are also important. Feel free to contact our office for a listing of local education providers or check out the Breaking the Cycle (BTC) section on our website. Participants receive a Certificate of Completion to submit to the DLAD.


Q: Do I need an attorney? Clients must make up their own mind as to whether they want or need to retain an attorney. It is not mandatory. If you do decide to have an attorney handle your DLAD Hearing, please be sure you are retaining one that understands the DLAD process and requirements! You always have the opportunity to take a supportive family member or sponsor with you to your hearing.