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Suspended License Information for North Carolina
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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina driver's license to be suspended or revoked.
- Excessive Moving Violations. The state of North Carolina 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 in any three year period of your driver record, your license will be suspended.
- Driving Under the Influence. Your North Carolina 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.
- Manslaughter with or without the influence of alcohol or drugs. Your North Carolina's driver's license will be suspended for one year if you cause manslaughter. This suspension becomes permanent if you were additionally under the influence.
- Driving without Insurance. All motor vehicles driven in North Carolina must be properly insured. Failure to provide proof of valid auto insurance can result in your license being suspended.
- 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.
- Physical or Psychological Disqualification. The DMV 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.
- Other Driving-Related Violations. Your North Carolina 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 or indulge in mutually agreed racing on a highway.
- 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 Division of Motor Vehicles notice or not appearing in court, obtaining a license or learner's permit under false pretense, betting or loaning a car for the purpose of racing, refusal to submit to a breath test failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges and not paying child support.
- Speeding. If you manage to accrue two charges of speeding above 55 mph by at least 15 mph in a one-year period, your license will be suspended. If you are caught speeding over 75 mph, this will increase the severity of the suspension.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR NORTH CAROLINA DRIVER'S LICENSE IS SUSPENDEDHaving your North Carolina 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. If you believe your license may be suspended due to one of the reasons listed above it is advisable to speak with a traffic ticket lawyer or a DUI-DWI lawyer. The three most important things to be aware of following a license suspension are:
- If your license has not already been taken away from you in court, you must surrender it to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. You can surrender your license in person at a DMV District Offices, or mail it to:
NC Division of Motor Vehicles Driver License Section Information Services Branch 3114 Mail Service Center Raleigh, N.C. 27699-3114
- 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.
- 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 North Carolina DMV.
APPEALING A SUSPENSIONIf you wish to challenge the suspension, you may request a hearing in court. An administrative law judge will hear your case, and determine whether your driver's license should be suspended or not. You can request a hearing by filling out their online form or writing to the DMV at:
NC Division of Motor Vehicles Driver License Section Information Services Branch 3114 Mail Service Center Raleigh, N.C. 27699-3114In 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 if you have seven points, and in some cases can enable an individual to avoid having his license suspended. It is also a good idea to seek the advice of a traffic ticket lawyer or a DUI-DWI lawyer, based on the reason for the suspension.
RESTORING YOUR LICENSEYou will receive a notice from the DMV 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 pay a:
Restoration Fee: $50
- When the term for a suspension is completed, this fee is charged to restore your driving privileges.
Service Fee: $50
- This fee is charged if your driver license is not returned to the DMV before a suspension or revocation period begins.
DWI Reinstatement Fee: $100
- This fee is charged when a DWI suspension term is completed.
- Reapply for a new license and take the required tests.