Suspended License in North Carolina

After you finally start driving and the novelty begins to wear off, it can be hard to imagine ever getting by without a license. But the truth is, you can lose your driving privileges in the blink of an eye. How, you might ask? There are many different ways, but they all involve some level of irresponsibility.

Certain traffic violations can lead to license suspension on their own. Some of these offenses and their suspension periods are:

  • Speeding at least 15 mph over the speed limit, if you are driving over 55 MPH: 30 days
  • Failure to stop and give aid when involved in an accident: 1 year
  • Willful racing with another vehicle: 3 years (vehicle seized)

In addition to single offenses, a combination of multiple offenses can cause you to lose your driving privileges:

  • 2 convictions of speeding faster than 55 mph within 1 year (12 months)
  • 1 conviction of speeding faster than 55 mph and 1 conviction of reckless driving within 1 year
  • A suspended court sentence/part of a sentence which mandates that you may not operate a motor vehicle for a set period of time
  • A conviction for speeding faster than 75 mph

Failure to Appear/Failure to Pay a Fine

If the court notifies the DMV that you have failed to appear in court as required or pay the fines for a North Carolina ticket, you will lose your driving privileges. Your driving privileges will remain revoked until the DMV is notified that you have taken action on your ticket. Paying the ticket or appearing in court (if you are asked to) will not mean you won’t have penalties for the traffic violation if you are convicted, but you must comply with your ticket.

Suspension for Holders of Provisional Licenses

If you are under 18 (and therefore hold a provisional driver license), there are other rules that apply. If you are convicted of multiple moving violations within a single year (12 months), you will face license suspension. The length of the suspension period depends on the number of convictions:

  • 2nd conviction: 30-day suspension
  • 3rd conviction: 90-day suspension
  • 4th conviction: 6-month suspension

How Do I Get My License Back?

If your license is suspended or revoked, you will need to follow a few steps to get it back:

  • Visit your local driver license office.
  • Pay a $50 fee to the DMV.
    • The fee is $100 if the revocation resulted from a DWI conviction.
  • Pay the $50 service fee, unless you surrendered your license to the court/mailed it to the DMV before the suspension or revocation’s effective date.
  • Reapply for your driver license.
  • Take any required tests.

Suspension Hearings in North Carolina

You may be entitled to a hearing in your judicial district. You can request a hearing by calling or writing to the DMV in Raleigh. The DMV will notify you by mail of the time and location of the hearing.

If your hearing does not help you, you have the option of appealing the DMV’s decision within 30 days. To do this, you will need to contact the Superior Court of your residential county.