License Suspension and Revocation in Colorado
Unfortunately, many drivers in Colorado will at some point face suspension or revocation of their drivers license. It can happen for a number of reasons, and the repercussions can extend far beyond the world of driving. Your reputation at work or in the community can suffer, and you could find yourself missing out on major opportunities and job offers. A license revocation is a major warning sign to many people and institutions. License records are also shared statewide, so you can’t even apply for a license in another state until you’ve cleared things up back home.
The Difference Between Colorado License Suspension and Revocation
Revocations and suspensions can happen for similar reasons, but they are different. A suspension is when your valid license is temporarily made unavailable for use. You must either wait a designated amount of time for it to become active again, or you must follow directions to correct the mistakes that caused the suspension. A revocation is a permanent cancellation of your driver’s license. It is much more serious than a suspension, and you must apply for a brand new license all over again (including passing the necessary tests).
How to Get Your Colorado License Suspended
There are several things that can lead to your driver’s license being taken away from you. Driving without insurance is illegal, and will definitely get your license suspended it is taken very seriously, and is seen as a major indicator that you are unfit to continue driving. Over the long run, fine-related issues, such as failing to pay a traffic ticket or child support, will result in the same predicament.
Getting too many points on your license is probably the most common, as most people fail to keep track of how many they currently have and are unfamiliar with how many each infraction is worth. The number of points you can safely get depends on your age and the timeframe.
Suspension for Drivers Age 21 and Over:
- 12 points in 12 months
- 18 points in 24 months
Suspension for Drivers Aged 18 to 20:
- 9 points in a 12-month period
- 12 in a 24-month period
- 14 or more points total between ages 18 and 21
Suspension for Drivers under 18:
- 6 points every 12 months
- Total of 7 points before their 18th birthday
Point Allotments for Colorado Drivers
Different violations carry different point values. For example:
- Speeding (5 mph over the speed limit): 1 point
- Speeding (20-39 over the speed limit ): 6 points
- Improperly passing another car: 4 points
- Driving without headlights (at night): 2 points
- Refusing a DUI test during a traffic stop: 12 points (instant suspension)
- testing over the legal alcohol limit: 12 points (instant suspension)
- leaving the scene of an accident: 12 points (instant suspension)
For a complete listing of violations and their assigned point values, visit the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles.
How to Get Your Colorado License Reinstated
Getting your driving privileges back will depend on why they were taken away. Sometimes, you just have to wait out your suspension period. In other cases, you need to rectify the mistake you made.
For example, on your first offense of driving without insurance, your license is suspended only until you can show you are now properly covered. At your suspension hearing, you will be given a specific date after which you may apply for relicensing. This date is determined by a hearing officer, who starts with a base timeframe of six months, and adjusts it shorter or longer depending on past driving behavior. Simply waiting for this date to pass is not enough to start driving again. You must go to the DMV, pay a $60 reinstatement fee, and prove that you have liability insurance.
In the case of a serious offense, like a DUI, it is likely you will have to apply for a new license all over again to resume driving. Your new license will only be approved if the courts are convinced of your safe driving abilities. Some first-time offenders may also be eligible to resume driving right away if they agree to install an ignition interlock device on their car which requires a clean breathalyzer test before allowing the car to start. In any case, reinstating a Colorado drivers license is a major inconvenience, and you should do everything in your power to avoid suspension in the first place.