Washington Suspended Drivers License
Driving is a privilege that can be taken away in the blink of an eye. While making a minor mistake behind the wheel is usually forgiven, the Washington traffic courts punish Habitual Traffic Violators or dangerous drivers seriously. Read what causes a suspended license in Washington and what you can do to earn it back.
What Does License Suspension Mean?
A suspended license in Washington is defined as the loss of your driving privilege for 364 days or less. Anything more than that qualifies as a revoked license. Your drivers license could also be canceled, which is a permanent loss of your privilege to drive in Washington.
Common Reasons for Drivers License Suspension
There are many ways to lose your privilege to drive. The one you’ll have the most control over, and you can remedy quickly, is accumulating too many traffic violations. The Washington point system is in place to raise a red flag against Habitual Traffic Violators. If you are ticketed 4 times in 1 year, 5 times in 2 years, you can count on losing your license.
Some serious traffic violations result in a suspended drivers license, including:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Driving without insurance
- Reckless driving
- At fault in a fatal accident
- Hit-and-run conviction
Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License
Driving on a suspended license in Washington is a serious traffic violation that will result in either extension of your suspension period or the revocation of your driving privilege. If you’re caught, the court could suspend your license for up to 1 year.
Handling Your Suspension
If you receive a suspension notice, it’s good to know you have 15 days to appeal the sentence. You will receive a form indicating your Washington DMV Suspended License and informing you of the steps you can take to appeal. In addition, you may be eligible to take a driver improvement course to defer your sentence. However, this is only available to drivers with minor violations.
How to Reinstate Your Drivers License
Once your license suspension period is up, you can reinstate your license by supplying the court with a SR-22 Financial Responsibility Form and paying a $75 fee. There may be additional licensing fees you’ll need to pay as well. If you’re not sure what steps you need to take, you can contact the Washington Department of Licensing either by phone at (360) 902-3900, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earning a Restricted License
Depending on the circumstances of your conviction and the current state of your driving record, you may be approved to get an Occupational/Restricted license (ORL) that will allow you to drive to and from work, school, or other vital locations. You will be limited to only driving to specified locations and during specific hours. Applying for an ORL includes paying a $100 fee and could include supplemental fees, such as the cost of installing an ignition interlock device for DUI convictions.
Keeping Your Washington Driving Record Clean
Your driving record is an important document that indicates your habits behind the wheel. If you receive a traffic ticket in Washington, the good news is you have the ability to defer a ticket and points by taking a defensive driving course. Once you complete a course, be sure to check the status of your Washington driving record to ensure you get credit for your course and your ticket doesn’t show up on you public record.