The Delaware drivers license reinstatement procedure must be completed by motorists with suspended and revoked drivers licenses in DE, as driving with an invalid credential is punishable by law. The agency responsible for issuing drivers license suspensions in DE is the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Prior to initiating the drivers license restoration process with the DMV, penalized drivers will be required to meet the requirements of their penalty. Depending on whether you were punished with a revoked or a suspended drivers license, the reinstatement requirements and the steps in the procedure will vary. Learn how to reinstate drivers licenses in DE by reading the sections outlined below.

Reinstating a Delaware Suspended License

Drivers will be able to apply for a Delaware driving license restoration only after meeting the requirements of their drivers license revocation or suspension. Since driving with a suspended license is against state law, you must complete the reinstatement procedure prior to resuming your driving activities.

To inform drivers of the driving license suspension in effect against their driving privileges and how to lift it, the DMV mails out suspension and revocation notices. If you do not receive the DMV letter, you can easily apply for your driving record via the internet to obtain the necessary information.

How to Reinstate a Delaware Suspended Drivers License

During the process of reinstating drivers licenses in Delaware, drivers will be required to complete a set of reinstatement steps, which will vary based on the severity of their offenses and the corresponding punishments. Reinstating suspended drivers licenses in DE, for instance, is a more straightforward procedure than reinstating revoked driving licenses.

Driving license suspensions only temporarily remove your driving privileges, whereas revocations cancel them. When reinstating driving licenses in DE, motorists are generally required to complete the following steps:

  • Complete a period of mandatory driving license revocation or suspension.
  • Fulfill any court-imposed requirements (if applicable).
  • Pay the necessary reinstatement fees.
  • Participate in a state-approved defensive driving course (if required).
  • Complete an alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation program (if required).
  • Retake the driving license exams and reapply for a new license (if required).

In addition to the above driving license restoration steps, offenders may be required to complete additional specific steps. Drivers who stop providing their child support payments, for instance, will remain suspended until they resume payments.

Suspension Periods in Delaware

Prior to initiating the Delaware drivers license restoration procedure, motorists are generally required to wait out a specific penalty period. The type and duration of the DE driving license suspension or revocation period varies based on the severity of the committed offense.

Having more serious violations typically incur longer penalty periods. As such, review below some of the most common reasons for revoked or suspended driving licenses in DE and their resulting suspension and revocation penalties.

  • Accumulating 14 negative points on your driving record within a two-year period: A mandatory drivers license suspension of four months.
  • Conviction of driving 50 mph over the speed limit: A suspended drivers license for the duration of one year.
  • Driving Under the Influence conviction for drivers younger than 21 years of age: A drivers license revocation of two months.

While the DE driving license suspensions and revocations outlined above can be lifted after completing a specific penalty period, certain DMV punishments will remain in effect until the driver takes a certain action. If you are penalized for driving without a valid insurance coverage, for instance, you will be able to reinstate your credential only when you obtain the proper car insurance policy.

Delaware Point System

The DMV also issues suspended drivers licenses in Delaware for accumulating a large number of demerit points on your driving record. Under the DE Point System, traffic violations result in a specific number of points. The amount of assigned points varies based on the severity of the violation.

Also, the type of the administered drivers license suspension differs based on the overall amount of demerit points calculated within a 24-month period. Several types of traffic infractions and their corresponding point penalties are reviewed in the following list:

  • Speeding one to nine miles per hour over the posted limit: 2 negative points.
  • Running a red light or a stop sign: 3 demerit points.
  • Speeding 20 mph over the posted limit: 5 demerit points.
  • Passing a parked school bus: 6 penalty points.
  • Reckless or aggressive driving: 6 negative points.

Two-month driving license suspensions in DE are issued to drivers who accrue 12 to 13 demerit points in a 24-month period. For every two additional demerit points, the DE DMV prolongs the duration of the suspended driving license for two additional months. Accumulating 14 points, for example, results in a drivers license suspension of four months. Drivers who accumulate 22 points, will be suspended from driving for a full year.

Traffic School in Delaware

Drivers at risk of suspended driving licenses in Delaware for an excess of points may be able to avoid the upcoming penalty by completing a state-approved defensive driving program. The state DMV offers two types of defensive driving courses (DDC): the standard traffic school courses, which are administered in collaboration with approved providers, and the DMV special training courses of the Driver Improvement Problem Driver Program.

The two-month DE drivers license suspension for accumulating 12 points within a two-year period, for example, can be avoided by participating in the DMV behavior modification course (BMC) within 90 days of receiving the suspension notice. Note that drivers cannot avoid a suspended drivers license in DE by removing points from their record through one of these courses.

The main goal of these defensive driving programs is to help drivers avoid suspended and revoked drivers licenses by improving their driving habits and correcting aggressive driving behavior. Also, repeat offenders will often be required to complete the BMC driving course as part of their driving license reinstatement requirements or to avoid an adverse DMV action.

Note: Drivers who complete a standard defensive driving course may also be eligible for a discount on their vehicle insurance payments for the following three years.

Types of Delaware Driver’s License Suspensions

The state DMV issues different types of drivers license suspensions in Delaware, which generally vary based on the seriousness of the committed violation. In addition to suspended drivers licenses, which temporarily remove your driving privileges, the division also administers revoked drivers licenses, which invalidate your privilege to drive.

In such circumstances, motorists will be required to reapply for a DE license to drive after the conclusion of the revocation period. Several examples of violations leading to DE drivers license revocations and suspensions are outlined in the following list:

  • Driving a motor vehicle without the consent of the vehicle’s owner.
  • Paying for DMV transactions with invalid checks.
  • Racing on public highways.
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Committing manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle.

In addition to the standard driving license suspensions and revocations, the division may administer other types of penalties as well. For example, if the DE DMV determines that you were not eligible for a license to drive at the moment you were issued one, your credential will be canceled. A drivers license cancellation can also result from providing incorrect information during the license application procedure.

Delaware DUI Suspensions

When reinstating suspended drivers licenses in Delaware after a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction, drivers will be required to meet stricter drivers license restoration requirements than those outlined above. DUI violations are treated with more severe driving license suspensions and revocations than non-DUI infractions as the state recognizes the effect of drugs and alcohol on the safety of drivers. In addition to the DMV administrative actions taken against their driving privileges, DUI offenders are also subject to certain court sanctions.

Drivers Older Than 21

Delaware driving license suspensions and revocations may be administered even for first DUI convictions, according to the DE motor vehicle laws. Drivers are at risk of a revoked or suspended drivers license in DE if they operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level greater than .08 percent or while under the influence of drugs. Suspended and revoked driving licenses are also issued for refusing to undergo a chemical DUI test.

The following list outlines several DE driving license revocation penalties imposed after receiving an unfavorable ruling during a DUI-related administrative hearing:

  • First DUI offenses result in revoked drivers licenses for the duration of three months. First-time refusal to undergo a chemical test results in a 12-month drivers license revocation.
  • Second DUI infractions lead to license revocations of 12 months. Refusing to complete a BAC test for the second time results in an 18-month revocation of your driving privileges.
  • Third and subsequent DUI violations result in a revoked driving license of 18 months. Refusal to commit to a chemical test for the third or subsequent time leads to a two-year revocation of driving privileges.

Revoked driving licenses of longer duration are issued to drivers with very high BAC level at the time of apprehension (even for first-time offenses). If your BAC was between .15 and .19 or higher than .19, you will be penalized with a license revocation of 18 and 24 months, respectively.

Even longer DE driving license suspensions and revocations are handed down to repeat DUI offenders. Fourth DUI offenses, for example, may result in a revoked license of 60 months, regardless of the BAC level. Also, in addition to the actions taken by the DMV, DUI offenders will also be penalized with certain court sanctions. Third DUI offenses, for example, are treated as felonies, which result in fines of up to $5,000 and a minimum jail sentence of one year.

When completing the Delaware drivers license reinstatement process after a DUI conviction, drivers may be required to enroll in a rehabilitation course and/or install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles.

Drivers Younger Than 21

Stricter Delaware driving license suspension and revocation rules apply to drivers younger than 21 years of age. Young motorists who were consuming alcohol or drugs are penalized with a revoked drivers license in DE even if their BAC level was lower than .08.

Drivers license revocations of two months are handed down to first-time offenders. Committing a second DUI offense results in a revocation of six to 12 months.

Car Insurance Suspensions in Delaware

The division also issues suspended drivers licenses in Delaware to drivers who fail to maintain the mandatory car insurance coverage on their vehicles. The minimum required coverage is $15,000 for injuries or death of one individual, $30,000 for bodily injuries or death of two or more participants in the traffic accident and $10,000 for property damages.

Delaware drivers license suspensions issued as a result of a no-insurance violation can be lifted by waiting out the suspension period and paying a specific fine. The cost to reinstate suspended driving licenses after a first no-insurance offense currently varies between $1,500 and $2,000. Second and subsequent violations within 36 months of the first will result in a fine ranging from $3,000 to $4,000.

Note: Suspended driving licenses for the duration of six months, as well as a $500 fine and a 30-day jail sentence, are issued to drivers who provide false proof of insurance coverage.

Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay

Delaware driving license suspensions may also be incurred by failing to settle a DE traffic citation. The DMV issues two types of traffic tickets: a voluntary assessment ticket, which can be paid without appearing in court, and a standard ticket, which must be resolved in court.

To avoid a suspended driving license in DE for an unpaid citation, drivers will be required to pay their ticket by the date displayed on it. If you believe you were unjustly issued a traffic summons, you can contend the citation by pleading not guilty at you hearing.

To avoid completing the DE driving license restoration procedure for an unpaid ticket, drivers must provide payment for all applicable fees. In addition to the basic fine cost, motorists will also be required to pay certain court costs and provide payments for various funds. If you are eligible for a DE voluntary assessment, you will be required to pay the total due amount within 30 days of receiving the ticket.

Delaware Hardship Drivers License

When completing the Delaware drivers license restoration process, drivers will be unable to operate their vehicles for a certain period of time due to the stipulations of their suspensions or revocations. Motorists with suspended drivers licenses in DE may be able to apply for a hardship or an occupational driver’s license in such circumstances, which will allow them to travel to and from essential destinations such as work and school.

These limited driving credentials can only be obtained by applicants who meet certain eligibility criteria. The occupational license, for instance, will only be issued to drivers who:

  • Have not been penalized with a disqualifying suspension or revocation.
  • Do not have two previous driving license suspensions in DE on record within the last three years.
  • Have not been issued a DMV occupational license within the last 12-month period.
  • Have not accumulated more than 15 negative points within the previous 24-month period.

Applying for a Delaware Hardship License

Drivers penalized with driving license suspensions in Delaware can resume their driving activities by applying for one of the DMV limited credentials outlined above. Motorists completing a DE drivers license suspension or revocation can complete the process by filling out the corresponding application form and submitting the necessary evidence documents, as well as any applicable fee payments. Note that the DMV does not generally process applications for limited driving licenses until the driver serves at least one month of suspension.

Note: Drivers who violate the restrictions of their hardship or occupational licenses will incur an additional suspension of the same length as the original penalty. They will also be required to surrender their credentials.

Drivers License Reinstatement Fees

An important step in the Delaware driving license reinstatement procedure is to pay the mandatory restoration fees. Note that the cost to reinstate suspended drivers licenses in DE is lesser than the fee for restoring revoked driving licenses. To reinstate your driving privileges after a drivers license suspension, for instance, you will be required to pay the current reinstatement fee of $50. The cost to reinstate revoked drivers licenses, in contrast, is currently set at $200.

In addition to the drivers license restoration fees set forth by the division, drivers may be required to pay costs to entities other than the state DMV. If you were issued a DE suspended driving license for failing to resolve a traffic ticket issue, for example, you will first be required to pay the ticket to the presiding court prior to initiating the restoration procedure.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.