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DUI over 20 years ago in Michigan, can I clear it from my record?

Detroit, MI |

I got a DUI over 20 years ago in Michigan, can I clear it from my record? I'm asking this question in regards to possible employment opportunities in the transportation sector. I had a only one DUI over 20 years ago in Michigan, with the passage of time, and completion of all court mandated programs, AA meetings ...ect (hard to remember after 20 years) would there be any record of the DUI arrest and or conviction that would show up in a back ground check or on the National Driver Registry. If a record would exist, what would I have to do to clear it from my record in Michigan? Does a DUI have to be reported on a job application? In my view, if someone wanted to obtain a loan, they would want to know what is in their credit report. It is obvious that I’m not going for a loan, but Iam going for a job and would to know, what, if any adverse information, is or may be of record, and want the opportunity to clear and or delete information that may cause a lost employment opportunity.

Shortly after I posted my question, I was able to speak with someone at the Mi. Dept of State Info Center. The person on the other end entered my name, and the only information she saw was that my MI. D.L. was expired. Being that my MI. D.L. is expired would that clear my 20 year old DUI. By the way, I have not been a MI. resident since the mid 90’s. 11/29/2007 Michigan Ruling Impacts New DUI Law - Heidi's Law Michigan Judge limits prosecution efforts to use previous drunk driving offenses allowed by Heidi's Law. A County Circuit Judge ruled that prosecutors could not apply Heidi's Law retroactively. DUI cases filed before the law took effect on January 3, 2007 are subject to only ten years of look back for previous offenses (statute of limitations is 10 years). If the statute of limitations is 10 years, how and why would the state of MI have a record of a 20 year old dui offense?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. It may or may not show up. The bigger problem is that OWI's in Michigan are specifically excluded from expungement, therefore if its there, its there to stay. Sorry I didn't have better news for you. www.kliszlaw.com Tim Klisz


  2. Under the Motor Vehicle Code and the new Michigan's Heidi Law, alcohol related driving convictions in Michigan stay on your record for your entire life, therefore a DUI 20 years ago would be reported on a job application. If you were to acquire two more convictions it would be a felony because you would have three alcohol related offenses on your record in your lifetime. You may luck out and it may not be abstracted on your driving record. The best way to find out is to go to the Secretary of State Branch office and buy a copy of your Master Driving Record. I believe the fee is $5. Unfortunately, an alcohol related driving offense is not expungeable in Michigan (nor is any driving offense under the Motor Vehicle Code).


  3. As indicated by the other contributor's traffic crimes such a a DUI charge will remain on your record for life. The answer is essentially that if the Court abstracted the record tot he secretary of state 20 years ago it should still show on your record. For insurance purposes it should not impact your ability to drive a commercial vehicle.

    Remeber that the technology and events that have caused the increase in penalties and reporting to national databasis was not in place 20 years ago. It is very possible that the event will not show on a criminal history or public driving record. Remember there is a difference between the records used by the government and the records available to employers.

    You should be honest however with your employer because if you are hired and this information is not disclosed on your application for employment and teh proepr question was asked it could serve a cause to terminate you.

    To check your criminal record within Michigan go to the State police Web site where you can search your own criminal record the link is http://apps.michigan.gov/ICHAT/Home.aspx. To order a copy of your Master Driving Record go to The Secretary of States website and order a copy of your driving record. You will recieve a copy of public record only.


  4. As indicated by the other contributor's traffic crimes such a a DUI charge will remain on your record for life. The answer is essentially that if the Court abstracted the record tot he secretary of state 20 years ago it should still show on your record. For insurance purposes it should not impact your ability to drive a commercial vehicle.

    Remeber that the technology and events that have caused the increase in penalties and reporting to national databasis was not in place 20 years ago. It is very possible that the event will not show on a criminal history or public driving record. Remember there is a difference between the records used by the government and the records available to employers.

    You should be honest however with your employer because if you are hired and this information is not disclosed on your application for employment and teh proepr question was asked it could serve a cause to terminate you.

    To check your criminal record within Michigan go to the State police Web site where you can search your own criminal record the link is http://apps.michigan.gov/ICHAT/Home.aspx. To order a copy of your Master Driving Record go to The Secretary of States website and order a copy of your driving record. You will recieve a copy of public record only.

    Remeber that even thought the event may not have been abstracted it will most certainly remain in the Court record. At this point most likely in cold storage or microfilm but still there never the less. Also many courts in transfering data to newer systems did not transfer all data so it may not even show up in the Court's computer system.

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