The procedure to reinstate drivers licenses in Colorado must be completed by drivers with revoked or suspended drivers licenses who would like to resume their driving activities. The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the state Department of Revenue issues CO drivers license suspensions and revocations for a large variety of both driving and non-driving offenses.

The restoration process can be completed only after satisfying the requirements of the DMV penalty, regardless of its type. To learn how to reinstate driving licenses in CO, read the following sections.

Reinstating a Colorado Suspended License

The steps in the Colorado drivers license restoration process vary based on the type and severity of the driving violation and its corresponding DMV-issued penalty. Since driving with a suspended license in CO is prohibited by law, licensees who utilize their vehicle prior to completing the reinstatement procedure are facing further penalties.

The department notifies affected drivers of any disciplinary measures with a mail-in notice, which will contain detailed information regarding the restraint action, such as the starting and ending dates of the suspension. Note that the DMV-issued driving license suspensions and revocations are administrative actions taken in addition to any court proceedings.

When reinstating drivers licenses in CO from certain types of DMV penalties, drivers may also be required to file the SR-22 Insurance Form. If you fail to file your regular SR-22 coverage proof, your insurer will notify the DMV, and your driving privileges will be suspended.

How to Reinstate a CO Suspended Drivers License

Prior to initiating the Colorado drivers license reinstatement procedure, motorists must ensure they meet the conditions of the driving license revocation or suspension issued by the DMV. Drivers can reinstate their suspended or revoked drivers licenses in CO either in person or by mail. Note that not all DMV Driver License Offices offer reinstatement services.

To reinstate drivers licenses in CO, regardless of the method, licensees may be required to complete any of the following steps, which may vary based on the type of their specific suspension or revocation:

  • Complete the DMV penalty period.
  • Submit payment for the reinstatement fee.
  • Pay any additional fees, such as court or attorney fees.
  • Meet certain court requirements (if applicable).
  • Submit proof of car insurance (if required).
  • Apply for a new CO driving license or renew a current license (if required).

Drivers who choose to reinstate driving licenses by mail can do so by filling out and mailing the Application for Reinstatement (Form DR 2870) to the DMV Driver Control Reinstatement Unit in Denver. In addition to the request form, drivers must include a check or money order for the restoration fees, as well as any additional evidentiary documents, if required.

Note: Depending on the type of suspension that was incurred, you may be required to complete certain steps specific to your circumstances. Drivers reinstating drivers licenses after a negative points suspension, for instance, may be required to retake the written driving test.

Suspension Periods in Colorado

Before requesting a Colorado driving license restoration, drivers will often be required to complete a specific period of suspension or revocation. The duration of the CO driving license revocation or suspension period varies based on the type of infraction that was committed.

Licensees who are required to complete a certain action in order to lift the DMV restraint will have their credentials suspended indefinitely. You can easily learn more about the department’s action currently in effect against your driving privileges and its duration by ordering your CO driving report online.

Review several types of offenses and their corresponding suspension or revocation periods in the following list:

  • Defacing public and private property: A suspension of six months.
  • Accumulating an excessive number of negative points: Six months to one year of suspension.
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked drivers license in CO: 12 months of additional suspension.
  • Convictions of driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 or greater: Nine to 24 months of revocation, depending on whether or not you have previously committed similar offenses.
  • Vehicular homicide while operating a motor vehicle: 12 months of revocation.

Colorado Point System

Drivers may also incur suspended drivers licenses in Colorado by accumulating a large number of traffic ticket points on their record. Depending on the severity of the traffic violation, the DMV in CO administers a different number of penalty points. Less severe offenses, such as making improper turns result in three points.

Reckless driving is an offense that accrues eight points. Fleeing from a police officer is a severe violation that results in 12 points. For a full list of traffic violations and their corresponding point penalties, contact your nearby DMV Driver License Branch.

When issuing driving license suspensions for an excess of points, the department administers different rules for drivers of different ages. Suspended driving licenses in CO will be issued to drivers:

  • Younger than 18 years of age who have collected at least six points within a 12-month period or seven points for the duration of their credential.
  • Between 18 and 21 years of age who have accumulated nine points within 12 months, 12 points within two years or 14 points for the period of their license.
  • 21 years of age or older who have accrued 12 points within a one-year period or 18 points within a two-year period.

Note: For purposes of calculating whether or not you have accumulated an excess of points over a certain time period, the DMV takes into consideration the date the infraction occurred, instead of the date of conviction.

Traffic School in Colorado

Licensees may be able to avoid a Colorado drivers license suspension by completing a traffic school course within the state. Even if certain traffic courts may not dismiss traffic tickets or reduce the negative points count of drivers who complete a defensive driving course, you may still be mandated to enroll in a traffic school. Contact the court processing your ticket to inquire about whether or not you are eligible for certain alleviating circumstances after graduating from a defensive driving program.

Drivers who are unable to have their ticket dismissed by completing a CO traffic school program, can still do so to gain access to other benefits as well. For instance, certain car insurance providers will lower your vehicle premiums once you submit a certificate of completion of a defensive driving course. Even if you are not at risk of getting a suspended drivers license in CO, you can still participate in a traffic school in order to improve your driving skills, which will help you avoid further traffic tickets.

Types of CO Driver’s License Suspensions

Different types of driving and non-driving violations result in different driving license suspensions in Colorado. Less severe infractions generally lead to shorter suspension periods and fewer reinstatement requirements. More serious infractions may even lead to revoked driving licenses in CO, which invalidate the driver’s credential.

To restore revoked driving privileges, drivers will be required to retake the driving exams and apply for a new license to drive in CO. Several types of infractions leading to drivers license revocations or suspensions include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing false information during the license application procedure.
  • Lapse of your vehicle insurance policy.
  • Refusal to undergo a chemical test for intoxication from alcohol or drugs.
  • Failure to stop and provide aid to participants in a car accident.
  • Habitual use of alcohol or drugs.

Apart from driving license suspensions and revocations, the CO Division of Motor Vehicles also administers other types of restraint actions. For instance, the DMV may cancel your credential if it determines that you do not yet meet the criteria to own one. You may also be facing a license denial, which withdraws your driving privileges.

CO DUI Suspensions

Reinstating drivers licenses in Colorado after a Driving Under the Influence violation is a procedure that must be completed under stricter drivers license revocation and suspension rules. To deter drivers from operating their vehicles while intoxicated, the DMV administers longer penalty periods, larger fines and/or jail sentences for DUI-related offenses. Also, drivers accused of a DUI violation are unable to plea bargain for a lesser sentence.

Drivers Older Than 21

The procedure to reinstate driving licenses in Colorado from a DUI offense can only be completed after meeting the conditions of your revocation or suspension penalty. The DUI drivers license reinstatement requirements generally vary based on whether or not the driver has previously committed other similar offenses.

Moreover, under the CO Express Consent Law, motorists who refuse to undergo a chemical test will be issued a one-year license revocation, in addition to other DUI penalties. Review several DUI offenses punishable by state law and their corresponding DMV penalties in the following list:

  • First DUI violations for driving with BAC of .08 or greater result in driving license revocations of nine months. Drivers whose BAC was greater than 0.14 will also be required to install a two-year interlock ignition device and complete a DMV-approved Alcohol and Drug Treatment and Education Course.
  • Second DUI offenses for driving with BAC greater than .07 lead to a 12-month license revocation, a mandatory Alcohol or Drug Education and Treatment program and a two-year IID on every vehicle owned by the driver.
  • Third and subsequent DUI infractions result in 24-month drivers license revocations in CO. Motorists will also be required to participate in the mandatory rehabilitation program and operate their vehicle with an IID for 24 consecutive months.

To complete the process of reinstating driving licenses in CO after a DUI conviction, drivers will be required to submit the reinstatement form and pay the standard $95 fee. The department also requires the submission of the SR-22 proof of insurance, which must be maintained for a specific time period. Motorists who were apprehended for driving with a BAC level between .08 and .15 can request the installment of an IID and apply for an early reinstatement.

Drivers Younger Than 21

Colorado drivers license suspensions and revocations issued to drivers younger than 21 years of age follow stricter rules and regulations. Young drivers, for instance, will be in breach of the law even if their BAC level is between .02 and .08. First such offense will result in a revoked driving license in CO for the duration of three months. Second violations lead to a six-month revocation. Third and subsequent convictions result in a one-year revoked license. Offenders may also be required to complete a Level 1 Alcohol Education program.

Young motorists convicted for a drug-related felony and non-felony offenses, and those convicted of operating a vehicle while influenced by certain controlled substances will also incur a DMV suspension or revocation. Buying or possessing alcohol is also a punishable offense. Individuals supplying alcohol to drivers younger than 21 years of age will also be penalized with a six-month suspended driving license.

Car Insurance Suspensions

Suspended driving licenses in Colorado are also issued to drivers who fail to maintain a valid car insurance policy within the state. In such circumstances, motorists can avoid a drivers license suspension in CO by completing the reinstatement procedure prior to the penalty’s starting date. Also, drivers who were issued a suspended drivers license for a lapse of insurance must not operate their vehicle until they lift the restraint, as they risk incurring stricter penalties.

The minimum amounts of car coverage required in CO are $25,000 for injuries or death to one individual and $50,000 for all participants in the collision. Also, you must obtain a $15,000 coverage for property damages.

Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay

Colorado driving license suspensions may also occur as a result of unpaid traffic tickets. To initiate the process of reinstating suspended drivers licenses in CO after such violations, drivers will first be required to provide the late ticket payment to the court listed on the DMV ticket notice.

To obtain information regarding the fine amount and how to pay it, contact the corresponding court. Certain courts may offer several payment methods. After obtaining the ticket compliance from the presiding court, submit it to your local Driver License Office along with the DR 2870 form and the payment for the reinstatement fee.

Colorado Hardship Drivers License

Drivers with suspended or revoked driving licenses in Colorado also have the option of obtaining a limited license to drive, which will allow them to legally operate their vehicles until they complete their suspension period. The DMV in CO classifies this type of credential as a probationary driver license (PDL).

Note that this limited license can only be used to travel to and from specific destinations, such as your place of employment or your school. Only drivers charged with certain types of CO driving license suspensions, such as child support-related or points-related suspensions, are eligible for the probationary license.

Applying for a CO Hardship License

Probationary licenses can be requested at the time of your Colorado driving license suspension hearing. Drivers can explain their circumstances and submit their request directly to the hearing officer. If the judge approves the issuance of the probationary credential, motorists can submit their request in person by submitting the necessary evidentiary documents, such as a letter of employment or proof of school enrollment, as well as evidence of insurance. Drivers must also surrender their existing license and provide a payment of $6.

Probationary driving licenses issued by the CO DMV are of a 90-day validity period. If you violate the conditions of the credential, your license will be confiscated. Also, if you receive traffic tickets while driving with the limited license, the DMV will cancel your driving privileges.

Note: Drivers who have already obtained one PDL credential are less likely to succeed in obtaining a second one, in comparison to first-time applicants.

Fees to Reinstate a CO Drivers License

When reinstating driving licenses in Colorado, drivers will generally be required to provide payment for several types of fees. The total cost amount varies based on the type of offense that was committed.

In addition to the current reinstatement fee of $95, motorists may be required to also pay costs specific to their case. If your CO suspended driving license is the result of unpaid traffic tickets, for example, you must pay the ticket and obtain the court compliance form as well. Also, motorists who fail to meet their child support obligations must provide their late payments in order to initiate the reinstatement procedure.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.