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How Your Indiana Driver's License Gets Suspended
Indiana traffic tickets are no fun. Get too many, and you could be facing a license suspension. Here's an outline of traffic tickets, the point system, and what to do if you do end up with an Indiana suspended driver license.
Your Indiana driving record is a valuable assessment of your driving practices. The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles uses a point system to track your behavior on the road, and will suspend the driving privileges of drivers that qualify as unsafe.
All Indiana traffic tickets are assessed a point value, and those points are reflected on your driving record. The point value of each violation is a direct reflection of the seriousness of the crime. Tickets range in value from 2 to 8 points, and these points will stay on your driving record for 2 years after the date of conviction.
The good news is drivers in Indiana may have the opportunity to improve their driving records by completing a driver safety program. This can be done voluntarily to earn 4 safe driver points, or the court may require you to take the course.
As you begin to accumulate multiple Indiana traffic tickets, you could be starting down a slippery slope toward a suspended license, or worse. The Indiana BMV will suspend the license of drivers they qualify as habitual offenders for the following reasons:
- 10-year suspension: 2 serious traffic convictions in 10 years for crimes including DUI resulting in a death, voluntary manslaughter through use of a vehicle, reckless homicide resulting from use of a vehicle, or failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death or injury. You will lose your license for life if 2 of the convictions under this section are from DUI resulting in a death.
- 10-year suspension: 3 convictions in 10 years for serious driving offenses including DUI, driving on a suspended license, racing, or reckless driving
- 5-year suspension: 10 convictions in 10 years for minor traffic offenses such as speeding, improper lane changes, etc., with one of the offenses being a conviction for DUI, driving on a suspended license, or reckless driving.
In addition to accumulating too many points on your Indiana driving record, some offenses will result in automatic license suspension. Here are just a few:
- Driving while under the influence
- Refusing or failing a chemical or breathalyzer test
- Driving on a suspended license
- Driving without insurance
- Failing to complete a court-ordered driver improvement (DIP) course
- Failing to pay traffic ticket fines
The Indiana BMV will send you a notification by mail indicating the start and end date of your license suspension period. This notification will also include information on the steps you need to take to reinstate your license. Keep in mind, this information will be sent to the address on file at the BMV, so if you've moved, you need to notify the BMV immediately.
Some drivers will be granted permission to drive to work, school, or for medical purposes with a discretionary hardship license. It's up to the Indiana BMV to allow you limited driving privileges. Contact your court to find out if you are eligible to apply for a hardship license.
The Indiana BMV employs a 4-step process for reinstating a suspended license. In addition, it's important to know that the BMV does not accept reinstatement information from individuals – it must go through the court that processed your suspension.
- Meet your suspension date or court requirements. You should see a "reinstatement" date listed on your driver record. If your record says "indefinite," contact the court to find out what steps you need to take before you can get your license back. After your reinstatement date, or completion of your requirements, the court will send your reinstatement details directly to the BMV.
- Submit valid proof of insurance. Contact your provider and ask them to submit proof of your auto coverage electronically to the BMV.
- Pay your reinstatement fee. This can be done online or by mailing in the reinstatement fee along with the fee payment coupon provided by the BMV.
- Your driving privileges will be reinstated. If your license was taken by a law enforcement officer as part of your suspension, you will need to visit or contact a license branch to order a new license. Otherwise, once you've completed all the requirements on your driver record, you will be free to start legally driving again.