Restricted License / Revoked License – What’s the Difference?

by ptbarone on May 13, 2009

in Defending Drinking Drivers, Uncategorized

I am often asked to explain the difference in Michigan between a restricted license and a revoked license.  Here is an example of how the question might be asked:

Q:        Is there an important distinction between a 1 year suspension and a 1 year revocation?

A:        Yes, there is an important distinction. Simply stated, a revocation puts the offender in the position they were in before they ever had a license.  Afterward, the ONLY way for the offender to then get a license is to go through the restoration process.  On the other hand, with a suspension, the offender gets the license back automatically after a given period of time.  The offender need only pay the reinstatement fee (and any applicable driver responsibility fees).

Here are the definitions from

Revocation: This means the permanent loss of the driver license and privilege to operate a motor vehicle. After the minimum period of revocation, (one year or five years) drivers may re-apply for a license and try to prove they will be safe drivers in the future. The agency may deny the license or grant a restricted license.

Suspension: This means the temporary loss of a driver license for an established period of time. Upon expiration of the suspension period and payment of a $125 reinstatement fee, the license will be returned.

Suspensions apply to first offense drunk driving cases and also in many other circumstances such as where the offender has accumulated too many points.  Generally speaking, revocations only apply to repeat drunk drivers.

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