How to Reinstate a Suspended Driver’s License

reinstate suspended license
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Having a suspended driver’s license can make it inconvenient for you to get around.

Driving with a suspended license can lead to even greater consequences, so you should frequently perform a driver’s license search to check the status of your license. Before you can legally operate an automobile anywhere in the country, you are mandated to have a valid and unexpired driver’s license.

Who can suspend my driver’s license?

There are many reasons why your license may get suspended depending on your state, and not all of them are driving-related. If you get your license suspended, your state DMV will determine the actions you have to complete to meet its reinstatement plan. Typically, your local DMV will mail you a driver’s license suspension notice which will note:

  • The reason your license was suspended.
  • The length of your suspension.
  • Any special requirements you may need to meet for reinstatement.

There are numerous government agencies that are authorized to distribute driver’s license suspensions. In fact, many of these organizations will suspend licenses to persuade drivers to complete a specific task. Some may require you to pay off any fees that you owe while others might require you to settle an open court case before you are eligible to drive again. These agencies will revoke your driving privileges until you meet their specific requirements for a driver’s license reinstatement. Government organizations that can suspend your license include your local:

  • Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • Secretary of State (SOS).
  • Department of Revenue (DOR).
  • Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).

Reasons for a Suspended Driver’s License

Depending on the state you live in, there are many reasons why your license can get a DMV suspension. The length of your suspension is determined by the severity of the violation. If you are a repeat offender, your suspension length might be significantly longer. Some of the most common reasons for a driver’s license suspension include:

  • Accumulating too many points on your driving record.
  • Getting multiple traffic violations or speeding tickets.
  • Failing to pay your child support.
  • Failing to appear in court or pay any owed fees.
  • Failing to pay your taxes.
  • Driving with no insurance.

In addition to these minor offenses, certain serious violations or convictions can lead to an immediate license suspension. Multiple convictions for these severe offenses may even lead to a revoked driver’s license. While each state handles these offenses differently, some violations will likely lead to an immediate license suspension, such as:

Note: You should periodically perform a driver’s license lookup to check the accuracy of your driving record. Inaccuracies in your driving record such as an incorrect reporting of points may result in a suspended driving license. Furthermore, if you beat any traffic tickets or driving-related convictions, you should ensure that your local DMV updates your records.

Reinstating a Driver’s License

When you receive your DMV, suspension notice in the mail, it will describe the length of your suspension in addition to any special requirements for reinstatement. Each state has its own guidelines for a driver’s license restoration after a license has been suspended. After your suspension period has ended, you will be able to reinstate your driver’s license after you:

  • Present proof of car insurance.
    • Commonly required for suspensions due to a DUI/DWI or driving without auto insurance.
  • Present proof of equipping your car with an ignition interlock device.
    • Commonly required after a suspension due to DUI/DWI.
  • Provide evidence of completing a required course, such as an alcohol and substance abuse course or traffic school.
  • Resolve any criminal charges.
    • Commonly required for suspensions due to failure to appear in court or pay child support.
  • Pay the required license reinstatement fee.

Note: Your local DMV may not inform you when your suspension period has ended. Check your driver’s license suspension notice to keep track of when you can apply to reinstate your license.

Restricted Provisional Driver’s Licenses

Depending on your state and its regulations, you may be eligible to drive while your license is suspended with a restricted provisional driver’s license. These restricted licenses are usually valid until the end of your license suspension period. However, if you receive a traffic violation, you may have your temporary license revoked for the entire length of your suspension. Various states refer to this provisional driver’s license with different names like:

  • An occupational license.
  • A cinderella license.
  • A probationary license.
  • A hardship license.
  • A work license.
  • A limited license.

Each state manages their restricted driver’s licenses individually, and not all states offer this option. Naturally, these licenses will impose additional restrictions on your driving. You may be limited to driving during certain times of the day and only on certain days of the week. In some cases, you may be limited to following certain routes. Most states that offer this option will limit your driving to the following situations:

  • To and from work.
  • To and from school.
  • To and from your court-mandated community service.
  • To and from a drug rehabilitation program.
  • To and from counseling.
  • To and from medical appointments.

Eligibility for a Provisional Driver’s License

Eligibility for a provisional driver’s license is determined on a case-by-case basis. These licenses are typically only distributed to first-time DUI/DWI offenders or drivers who have accumulated too many points on their licenses. Additionally, some states can limit you to only one probationary license for your entire driving career.

Many factors can also reduce your chances of being approved for a provisional license. If you have a suspended driver’s license for multiple DUI/DWIs, you are likely to be denied a restricted license. Your application can also be rejected if you have failed to provide a legitimate need to drive like having to drive to work or school. Furthermore, if you live in a metropolitan area with access to public transportation, your application for a provisional driver’s license is more likely to be declined when compared to an applicant from a rural area.