Your Suspended Driver's License Guide
If you just found out your driver's license is going to be suspended, you're probably wondering what to do next. Don't worry, we've compiled all the information so you know how to deal with your suspended license, from what to do about transportation during your suspension period to reinstating your driving privileges.
How Can My License Be Suspended?
Your driver's license can be suspended for any number of reasons, and the length of the suspension period depends on the offense you committed. Some causes for license suspension include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Refusing to take a blood alcohol test
- Driving without liability insurance
- Reckless driving
- Failure to pay a driving-related fine
You can get a suspended driver's license for lesser offenses too, if you let them stack up. If your state has a point system, accumulating too many points on your driving record from moving violations within a specified amount of time can lead to driver's license suspension penalties.
Driving with a Suspended License
Never, ever drive while your license is suspended. If you are caught doing so, the consequences are severe. Of course, these consequences depend on the state that you live in as well as the reason your driving privileges were taken away. Possible penalties are:
- Hefty fines, especially if you have driven with a suspended license before
- Jail time (some states mandate a 1-year sentence)
- Community service (this is sometimes an alternative to jail)
- Additional points on your driving record (if your state has a point system)
- Required alcohol and drug treatment program or driver improvement course
- Additional license suspension time
- Revocation/cancellation of driver's license
- Felony charge
- Higher license reinstatement fees
- Increased car insurance rate
In some states, depending on the circumstances, you may be granted a restricted license during your suspension period. This allows you to drive to and from necessary places, like work or school. You must be granted this license before you start driving. If you are not permitted to drive with a restricted license, you are responsible for finding alternative transportation to your place of employment.
How Can I Reinstate My Driver's License?
Once your license suspension period has ended, you can begin the process of having your license reinstated. The general requirements for driver's license reinstatement are the following:
- Pay the license reinstatement fee
- Provide proof of car insurance
- If you were convicted of DUI, you may have to present SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility
- Present proof of installation of Ignition Interlock Device (if applicable)
- Provide proof of completion of a required driver improvement course
- Pass required driver's license exams (if applicable)
Because driver's license suspension is a topic that varies so much by state and depends on a lot of factors, it's important that you find out exactly what the rules are in your state and for your specific case. You can start by checking out the information that I Drive Safely has to offer on the following states:
Dealing with a suspended license isn't easy. It requires a lot of patience, but following the rules and adhering to your suspension period before you drive again will keep you out of trouble and make the road to license reinstatement that much smoother. Good luck!