A Washington DC drivers license suspension can occur when a motorist commits specific traffic violations. Drivers license reinstatement, suspension and revocation procedures are processed by the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

To restore driving privileges, motorists must comply with certain requirements and abide by district law. To learn how to reinstate drivers license privileges in the District, read the following sections outlined below.

Reinstating a Washington DC Suspended License

A driving license suspension notification is sent by the D.C. DMV by mail to the affected driver. The notification includes the steps a motorist must take to reinstate his or her driver’s license. To reinstate revoked drivers license privileges, motorists must abide by district regulations that may differ from suspension requirements.

Driving with a suspended license in DC is against the law. Therefore, it is imperative that a motorist restore his or her driving privileges before continuing to operate a motor vehicle under such conditions.

How to Reinstate a DC Suspended Drivers License

Once Washington DC driving license reinstatement eligibility has been established, motorists must take the following steps to complete the restoration process:

  • Take and pass the driving knowledge test.
  • Obtain a learner’s permit.
  • Take and pass the road skills exam.
  • Bring appropriate documentation for the type of license being requested.

In the case of a suspended drivers license resulting from an unpaid traffic ticket, reinstatement may take place upon payment of the fine. Drivers license suspension in DC may also be dismissed if the penalty has been waived or placed on hold as part of a payment plan or if it is being contested.

A DC suspended driving license stemming from an accumulation of points on a driver’s record may be restored at the end of the mandatory period of suspension. Revoked drivers license privileges may be restored after attending a hearing that determines eligibility for reinstatement, at which time the driver must repeat the steps for reinstatement as set forth in the regulations for restoring a suspended license.

Payments of out-of-state moving violations resulting in an administrative penalty are not reported to the DC DMV, therefore it is the driver’s responsibility to notify his or her DMV office when a fine has been paid. District of Columbia revoked driving license privileges require a reinstatement hearing in the case of arrest for major violations.

Suspension Periods in Washington DC

A D.C. drivers record will contain the start and end dates of a motorist’s suspension of driving privileges. The Director of the DC DMV administrates drivers license suspensions and revocations, with the power to enact a suspension between two and 90 days at his or her discretion. An accumulation of 10 points on a driving record will result in a suspension of driving privileges for 90 days.

A District of Colombia revoked drivers license will ensue upon the assessment of 12 points on a motorist’s driving history. Any revoked driving license privileges resulting from a first offense that requires such action will last for a minimum of six months, while a second offense leads to a one-year revocation and three or more offenses results in a two-year revocation.

Washington D.C. Point System

The DC traffic points system assesses demerit points by the severity of the moving violation, giving each offense a value between two and 12 points. The more serious the violation, the higher value of points are added to a driver’s record. Below is a sample of penalty points on driving license history a motorist can accumulate:

  • Following too closely or “tailgating” – 2 points.
  • Speeding – 3 to 5 points.
  • Reckless driving – 6 points.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident with property damage – 8 points.
  • Driving with any measurable amount of alcohol in a person’s system – 12 points.

Drivers license demerit points in DC for speeding are determined by the number of miles over the posted speed limit at which the offense was recorded. Motorists can reduce points on license history that do not result in suspension or revocation by accumulating safe driving points.

Traffic School in Washington D.C.

Motorists in danger of drivers license suspension in DC due to an excessive accumulation of points would benefit from attending an approved DC traffic school course. Enrolling in and successfully completing a driving school course within 30 days of a traffic ticket hearing qualifies an individual for point removal.

Traffic school attendance may also qualify a District license holder for removal of points from his or her record for out-of-state moving violations. Removing points can help a D.C. driver avoid license suspension or revocation for an accumulation of too many demerit points.

Suspended drivers license privileges can result in raised car insurance premiums as motorists with a suspended or revoked driving license are seen as high-risk drivers that need more coverage. Enrollment in a traffic course may help keep insurance rates down for drivers with a driving license suspension or revocation.

Driving school credit is not offered by all states for point removal, therefore motorists must contact the presiding jurisdiction of the state where the ticket was issued to find out if traffic school is a course of action they can take. For traffic schools attended outside of the District, drivers must provide the DC DMV with a certificate of completion to enact point removal.

Types of DC Drivers License Suspensions

Driving license suspension can result from an accumulation of too many demerit points, which in The District is 10 points. A Washington DC suspended drivers license can also come from failure to comply with financial responsibilities, such as paying child support or making payment on outstanding traffic tickets. Failing to pay uncontested or outstanding moving violation tickets after 30 days can lead to license suspension or revocation. Driving with a suspended license can result in up to one year of jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

A revoked driving license will ensure in the case of an accumulation of 12 or more demerit points. In D.C., arrest for a major moving violation, such as driving under the influence (DUI), is grounds for an Order of Proposed Revocation. A revoked drivers license may not ensure from such an order, but rather is suggested by the arresting officer for the moving violation.

Washington DC DUI/DWI Suspensions and Revocations

For DUI/DWI charges, revoked drivers license privileges will follow for varying periods depending on the number of offenses a motorist has on his or her record. A first offense results in a six-month revocation, while a second offense leads to one-year revocation and a third offense causes a two-year revoked license.

District of Columbia revoked driving license privileges are no longer a measure taken for four or more DUI/DWI offenses in the District, but rather, only jail time and high monetary penalties. Reinstating revoked driving license privileges for a DUI/DWI conviction requires proof of enrollment and completion of a substance abuse program certified by the District’s Department of Behavioral Health.

Driving under the influence (DUI) is labeled as such when a motorist operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.07 percent or lower, whereas driving while intoxicated (DWI) is considered such when a driver has a BAC level of 0.08 percent or higher. A revoked drivers license comes from the 12 points added to a motorist’s driving history from a DWI charge as set forth by the District’s laws.

A motorist’s revoked driving license period can be reduced if he or she participates in the ignition interlock device (IID) program. Motorists partaking in the IID program may qualify for a limited occupational license or REAL ID, which is a license that acts as a limited form of identification for government purposes.

A REAL ID Washington DC provisional drivers license is valid for up to eight years. The IID program requires drivers to apply for and maintain an SR 22 certificate from their car insurance company. Additional suspended driving license standings disqualify a driver from the IID program.

Note: Motorists under the age of 21 found with any alcohol or substances in their system will automatically be arrested and charged with DWI. A revoked driving license of 90 days will follow for adults or parents who assist minors in obtaining alcohol.

Failure to Pay Drivers License Suspension in DC

If a suspended drivers license is caused by a failure to make child support payments, D.C. motorists must take a series of steps for restoration. Drivers license restoration for such a suspension requires the motorist to report to the Office of Attorney General (OAG) and pay the debt for child support, receive a clearance letter from the OAG and present the letter to the DC DMV for reinstatement. To reinstate suspended drivers license privileges, motorists must also clear any unpaid parking or moving violation tickets and dispel insurance lapses.

Washington DC Limited Occupational License

A provisional drivers license in Washington DC is called a limited occupational license and may be available to motorists with a suspended or revoked license. Drivers requesting a provisional driving license must supply the DC DMV with a letter from their employer displaying the company letterhead to prove that driving privileges are a necessity for maintaining a livelihood.

Applying for a D.C. Limited Occupational License

To apply for provisional driving license privileges, District motorists must submit an application to the DMV with their driver license number, the number of hours and specific days in which they will need to drive, the place of employment address and if the vehicle is a company car, the make and model of the automobile that will be operated.

Once a Washington DC provisional license application has been submitted, it is up to a hearing examiner to determine the driver’s eligibility for a limited occupational license and will notify the requesting driver within five days of the submission. Requests for more than five days per week and longer than eight hours per day will be denied.

Overall, the drivers license reinstatement fee and limited occupational license fee must be paid if approved for a restricted license. Mandatory DC revoked drivers license privileges are not eligible for a limited occupational driving license.

Fees to Reinstate a DC Drivers License

The Washington DC drivers license reinstatement fee is $98 and can only be paid by check, money order or credit card. If a driving license suspension stems from a DUI conviction and requires an ignition interlock device (IID), the application for installation costs $50.

Reinstating drivers license privileges requires the motorist to take and pass a knowledge test, which costs $10. For a DC provisional driving license, if a motorist qualifies for such a condition, the driver must pay $20 to receive the limited occupational license.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.