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Michigan Auto Driving Laws

Mandatory Driver License Suspensions and Revocations

The privilege to drive is often taken for granted, but you may lose this privilege for a variety of reasons. Michigan driving law requires the Secretary of State to automatically suspend or revoke your driver license for certain violations of Michigan traffic laws.

The action taken against your driver license will depend on a number of factors, including the type of violation or unsafe driving behavior involved, your driving record, and your willingness to comply with assessment recommendations and requirements.

Revocation of License

Licensing actions for violations of Michigan traffic laws range from restrictions to revocations. The most serious action for violation of Michigan driving law 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 for violation of Michigan driving law, and after the expiration of five years for a subsequent revocation within seven years of a prior revocation.

There is no guarantee that the license will be returned after the minimum period of revocation. The pivotal issue is whether the person can be considered a safe driver based upon documentary evidence and testimony.

Suspension of License

A suspension for violation of Michigan driving law is for a definite period and carries a "from" and "through" date. When the "through" date is reached, the driver merely needs to appear at a branch office and pay the reinstatement fee for re-licensure. (That is, if no additional violations of Michigan traffic laws occur during the period of suspension.) If the reinstatement fee not is paid, the driver is on an "invalid" license status.

However, restrictions or suspensions may also be "indefinite" in nature, and will not terminate until approved for re-licensure by the Department or a court. For example, if an indefinite suspension is imposed by a Department analyst for a medical reason, the driver must submit a favorable medical statement for evaluation before re-licensure is authorized.

Point System

Under Michigan driving law, some traffic violations are civil infractions while others are misdemeanors or felonies. Depending on the violation and how it is resolved, you may be fined, referred to a special program or, in the most serious situations, sent to jail. In most cases, if you do not take care of a traffic ticket, your driver license will be suspended.

Each time you are convicted of a Michigan driving law or traffic violation, you will have to pay certain court fines and costs. In addition, points may be posted to your driver record. Under the Michigan driving law point system, each traffic violation has a point value, which is set by law in the Michigan Vehicle Code.

Points are placed on your driver record only after you have been convicted or found guilty of or responsible for a civil infraction. Points placed on your driver record remain there for two years from the date of conviction. If you believe there are extenuating circumstances for the ticket you received, these must be submitted when you appear in court.

The Secretary of State cannot set aside a court conviction or the points for it. The following shows the points for some Michigan driving law traffic violations:

Points For Some Michigan Driving Law Traffic Convictions

Six Points:

  • Manslaughter, negligent homicide, or other felony involving use of a motor vehicle.
  • Operating under the influence of liquor or drugs.
  • Failing to stop and give identification at the scene of a crash.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Unlawful bodily alcohol content of 0.10 or more.
  • Refusal to take a chemical test.
  • Fleeing or eluding a police officer.

Four Points:

  • Drag racing.
  • Impaired driving.
  • Under age 21 with any bodily alcohol content.
  • 16 mph or more over the legal speed limit.
  • Failure to yield/show due caution for emergency vehicles.

Three Points:

  • Careless driving.
  • Disobeying a traffic signal or stop sign or improper passing.
  • 11 through 15 mph over the legal speed limit.
  • Failure to stop at railroad crossing.
  • Failure to stop for a school bus or for disobeying a school crossing guard.

Two Points:

  • 10 mph or less over the legal speed limit.
  • Open alcohol container in vehicle.
  • All other moving violations of traffic laws.
  • Refusal of Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) by anyone under age 21.

For More Information

Michigan Department of Transportation

(Source: StateDrivingLaw.com)


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