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Suspended License Information for Florida

While some motorists regard driving as a basic right, the fact is that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege that must be earned and maintained by demonstrating safe and lawful driving. Under certain circumstances, an individual's Florida driver's license may be suspended or revoked for a specific length of time, depending on the person's driving record or history, and the particular violation(s).

REASONS FOR DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSIONS

There are a variety of reasons why your Florida driver's license might be suspended. Some of these are related to specific driving violations, while others may be due to violation of other State laws. Following are some of the most common reasons for a Florida driver's license to be suspended or revoked.

  • Excessive Moving Violations. The state of Florida operates on a point system, in which drivers accumulate points on their license for every moving violation they commit. If you accumulate 12 or more points on your current driver record, your license will be suspended. 12 points in a year will see your license being suspended for 30 days; 18 points in a year and a half will give you 3 months and 24 points in 3 years will give you a one year suspension.
  • Driving Under the Influence. Your Florida driver's license will be suspended if you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The length of the suspension depends on the severity of the violation and whether it is a first or repeat offense.
  • Driving with a Suspended License or no License. Driving with a suspended license will lead to an increase in the length of the suspension, and you may also be imprisoned for up to five years. The duration of the additional suspension varies depending on the reason for the underlying suspension. Your driver's license may also be suspended if you do not have your license with you while you are driving.
  • Driving without Insurance. All motor vehicles driven in Florida must be properly insured. Failure to provide proof of valid auto insurance can result in your license being suspended.
  • Other Driving-Related Violations. Your Florida driver's license may also be suspended if you engage in reckless driving, are found to be at fault in a fatal accident, or if you abandon your vehicle on a public highway.
  • Physical or Psychological Disqualification. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Chief Administrator can order a re-examination of any person who may not be fit to drive. An individual's driving privileges may be suspended if the re-examination finds they are physically or psychologically unable to drive safely.
  • Providing False Information. If you provide false information on your driver's license application, your license can be suspended.
  • Non-Driving Reasons for License Suspension. A variety of non-driving violations or issues can result in your license being suspended. These include: not responding to a Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles notice or not appearing in court; failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges; not paying child support, not stopping for a school bus or for using tobacco if you're younger than 18.
  • For Driver's under 21, the following apply:
  • If you get a traffic conviction while using a learner's license, your mandatory one year learner's period will restart on the day you get charged.
  • If you accumulate six or more points in a year, your driving privileges will be restricted and you will only be able to drive to work and back for a year or until your 18th birthday.
  • You will receive a six month suspension if your body alcohol content is over 0.2%.
  • If you are absent from school for more than 15 times without a valid reason, all your driving privileges will be taken away.
  • If you are under 18 and are found with tobacco, you will lose all driving privileges.
The following infractions result in an automatic suspension of your license.
  • Committing a crime or dishonest act that involves a motor vehicle.
  • Fleeing from an accident that involves personal injury or death. Your license will be automatically revoked for 3 years if you kill another person due to reckless driving.
  • You receive three tickets for reckless driving within a year.
  • You receive three major traffic citations or 15 minor ones, within a period of five years.
  • Racing on the highway.
  • Medical conditions such as poor vision.
If you believe your license has been suspended due to one of the reasons listed above it is advisable to speak with a Traffic Ticket Attorney or DUI Attorney.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR FLORIDA DRIVER'S LICENSE IS SUSPENDED

Having your Florida driver's license suspended is a serious matter and it is essential to adhere to State law in the event that your license is suspended. The three most important things to be aware of following a license suspension are:
  1. If your license has not already been taken away from you in court, you must surrender it to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. You can surrender your license in person at a Driver License Office, or mail it to: Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
    Neil Kirkman Building
    2900 Apalachee Parkway
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0500    
  2. While your license is suspended, you are not permitted to drive. If you are found driving with a suspended license, you may be imprisoned for up to five years, and/or the length of your suspension may be increased.
  3. After your suspension is over, you will receive a written notice of restoration, with instructions on how to restore your license. Do not drive until you have completed the necessary steps and received a valid, replacement license from the Florida DHS &MV.
  4. It may be possible to apply for a hardship reinstatement. Call your local Driver License Office or (850) 617 2000 for more details.

APPEALING A SUSPENSION

If you receive a Notice of Scheduled Suspension from the DHS & MV, and you wish to challenge the suspension, you may request a hearing in court. An administrative law judge or the DHS & MV Chief Administrator will hear your case, and determine whether your driver's license should be suspended or not. In addition, drivers whose license may be suspended due to accumulating excessive points may be eligible to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program. Completing a Driver Improvement Program removes three points from the current driving record, and in some cases can enable an individual to avoid having his license suspended.

RESTORING YOUR LICENSE

You will receive a Notice of Restoration from the DHS & MV after you have completed your suspension period. The notice will include complete instructions regarding how to get your license back. Generally, you will need to:
  1. Pay a restoration fee of $47.50. The fee can be paid in person at a Driver License Office . You can also mail a check or money order payable to: Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
    Neil Kirkman Building
    2900 Apalachee Parkway
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0500    
  2. Apply for a standard license renewal to obtain a new license.
  3. For more information on specific suspension restorations, check here.
Note that after your license is restored, you will be subject to a Mandatory Probation Period of one year, during which any new violations may result in an additional suspension of your Florida driver's license.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

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