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Suspended License Information for Oregon

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 Oregon 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 Oregon 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 an Oregon driver's license to be suspended or revoked.

  • Driving Under the Influence. Your Oregon 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 varies according to the nature of the offense. For failing a breath test, your license will be suspended for 90 days (one year if you have previous alcohol related offenses in the last five years). If you have your Oregon driving license with you, the arresting officer will confiscate it. The officer will issue a 30-day permit, at the expiration of which your suspension comes into effect and the temporary permit becomes invalid.
  • Refusal to take a breath or urine test. For refusing to take a breath or urine test when requested, your license will be suspended for one year (three years if you have prior alcohol related offenses in the last five years).
  • Excessive Moving Violations. Unlike most other States, Oregon does not operate a point system, in which drivers accumulate points on their license for every moving violation that they commit. However, the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV) of the Department of Transport keeps track of how many traffic tickets you accumulate. The more tickets you accumulate, the more restricted your driving privilege will be. If you are over 18 and accumulate three traffic convictions within an 18 month period, your license will be restricted for 30 days. You will not be permitted to drive at all between midnight and 5 am unless you are required to be on the road at that time for job related reasons. A further conviction in the next 6 months will result in your license being suspended for 30 days and you will not be allowed to drive at all during that time. Each additional conviction within a two year period will increase your suspension by 30 days.
  • 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 Oregon must be properly insured. Failure to provide proof of valid auto insurance can result in your license being suspended.
  • Other Driving-Related Violations. Your Oregon 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 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.
  • 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 DMV notice or not appearing in court; failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges; and not paying child support.

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

Having your Oregon 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. A notice of suspension will be sent to your current mail address. If your license has not already been taken away from you, you must surrender it to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles at any DMV office. 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.

APPEALING A SUSPENSION

Before your license is suspended, you will receive a notification of proposed suspension from the Department of Motor Vehicles. You may be eligible to apply for a hardship license during your suspension period, to enable you to drive to and from work or for medical treatment. To see if you are eligible for such a license, call (503) 945-5400. If you are eligible to apply, send your application, together with the $50 non-refundable fee and any supporting documents, to:
DMV Driver Suspension Unit
1905 Lana Ave. NE
Salem, OR 97314    
If you receive a suspension notice from the DMV, and you wish to challenge the suspension, you may request a hearing in court which will determine whether your driver's license should be suspended or not. In addition, drivers whose license may be suspended due may be eligible to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program. Completing a Driver Improvement Program 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 LICENSE

The steps you need to follow to reinstate your license following a suspension depend on several factors, including the reasons for suspension and any other violations on your record. To find out exactly what your requirements are, contact the DMV by calling (503) 945-5400. You can also email them by using their licensing or by mail at:
DMV Driver Suspension Unit
1905 Lana Ave. NE
Salem, OR 97314    
In all cases you will need to pay a reinstatement fee of $75 and possibly other fees if, for example, your license has expired during the suspension period.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

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