Your license after an Arrest for First Offense OWI in Michigan

Question: What happens to my license after an arrest for first-offense OWI in Michigan?

Answer: If a police officer elects to arrest you on an OWI charge in Michigan, he will take your drivers license. He will, at that time, issue you a temporary driving permit, which is valid until further word from the court. Generally speaking, there’s no action taken against your drivers license until you either plead guilty or are found guilty by a jury or a judge at the trial. In the event you are found guilty, approximately 30 days after that date, you will get a notice from the Secretary of State’s office telling you what drivers license sanction is going to be imposed as a result of the conviction.

In Michigan, if you are convicted of operating while impaired, they would send you a notice telling you your license was restricted for 90 days, and they would have the exact timeframe on the notice to you. You keep that letter—that becomes your drivers license. You keep that. At the conclusion of that 90-day period, you can go back in and get a drivers license. If you are convicted of operating while intoxicated, you would get a similar letter, but it would have a notice of a 30-day suspension, which would be, again, the exact dates of the suspension would be spelled out in the letter.

You would further be advised you were looking at a five-month restricted period after that. At the conclusion of that six-month period, you would again be able to go in and secure a new license for the payment of $125 for what they call a drivers license restoration fee.

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