Mandatory Driver's License Suspensions and Revocations

The privilege to drive is often taken for granted, but you may lose this privilege for a variety of reasons. The law requires the Secretary of State to automatically suspend or revoke your driver's license for certain violations. The action taken against your driver's license will depend on several factors, including the type of violation or unsafe driving behavior involved, your driving record, and your willingness to comply with assessment recommendations and requirements.

Licensing actions range from restrictions to revocations. The most serious action is a revocation, defined in MCL 257.52 as the termination of the operator's license and privilege to operate a motor vehicle. The driver is only eligible to reapply to the department for license restoration after the expiration of one year following a first revocation, and after the expiration of five years for a subsequent revocation (if convicted within seven years of a prior revocation). There is no guarantee that the license will be returned after the minimum period of revocation. That depends on whether the person can be considered a safe driver based upon documentary evidence and testimony.

A suspension is for a definite period and carries a "from" and "through" date.  When the "through" date is reached, the driver only needs to pay the reinstatement fee for relicensure if no additional violations occur during the period of suspension). If the reinstatement fee is not paid, the driver's status is not valid.  

Restrictions or suspensions may also be "indefinite" and will not terminate until approved for relicensure by the department or a court. For example, if an indefinite suspension is imposed by the department for a medical reason, the driver must submit a favorable medical statement for evaluation before relicensure is authorized.

Please see the hyperlinked charts on this page summarizing sections of the Motor Vehicle Code that require licensing actions by the Department of State:


Related Documents
License Actions Imposed by SOS PDF icon
Required SOS Licensing Action Authority PDF icon