How to Reinstate Your Suspended Drivers License in Florida
Drivers are faced with a Florida drivers license suspension when they fail to adhere to state road rules and regulations. A suspended drivers license may occur for either driving-related or non-driving-related offenses. In the event that your driving privileges are revoked by the FL Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, you will need to fulfill a set list of requirements before reinstatement.
The steps to reinstate revoked drivers licenses in Florida vary depending on the infraction or crime you have committed. Continue reading the sections below to learn more about suspended licenses in the state.
Reinstating a Florida Suspended License
Suspended drivers license reinstatement in FL is necessary in order to continue legally driving on state roadways and public highways. Your driver’s license may be suspended due to a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: unpaid traffic tickets, unpaid car insurance or more serious crimes, such as a DUI violation or vehicular manslaughter.
How to Reinstate a Florida Suspended Drivers License
When reinstating suspended drivers licenses in Florida, motorists must first pay attention to the reinstatement requirements listed on their suspension notice. The FLHSMV will include detailed information about the length of your drivers license suspension period, as well as the regulations you must comply with in order to get your driving credential reinstated. The general process may require you to complete any of the following steps:
- Pay the traffic fine.
- Enroll in a DMV-approved traffic school (optional).
- Fulfill the suspension period.
- Complete a drug and alcohol course.
- Complete court-ordered community service hours.
- Serve any necessary jail time.
- Serve a probation period.
- Pay the suspended drivers license reinstatement fee.
- Pay other applicable driver-related fees, depending on the reason for the driving license suspension.
You may also be required to get FR44 insurance (similar to SR22 insurance) for a period of three years. FR44 insurance is specific to Florida and mandatory for drivers with serious suspensions, such as those related to driving under the influence or being a Habitual Traffic Offender. Contact your regional FLHSMV branch for further information.
Suspension Periods in Florida
A Florida drivers license suspension period can range anywhere from 30 days to several years, depending on how many points you have on your drivers record and whether or not you have committed any other offenses during your FL drivers license suspension period, among other factors.
If you are unsure of the current status of your drivers license, review your driving record. A copy of your record can easily be obtained online with the proper information in hand, such as your full name, date of birth and driver’s license number. As it currently stands, the FL point suspension system is as follows:
- If you accumulate 12 points in 12 months: 30 days of driver license suspension.
- If you accrue 18 points in 18 months: three months of drivers license suspension.
- If you are charged with 24 points in 36 months: one year of driving license suspension.
To prevent the accumulation of points on your driving record, consider attending a state-approved traffic school in Florida. A defensive driving course not only helps drivers keep points off their records, but it may also prevent an increase in car insurance rates.
Florida Point System
Suspended drivers licenses in Florida are oftentimes issued due to the accumulation of points on an individual’s driving record. The FL Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has a set violation point and statute table that is imposed when drivers fail to follow state driving laws.
The number of points incurred per violation depends on the severity of the infraction or crime committed. Below is an outline of various violations and the number of points attached to each:
- Driving on the wrong side of the lane or road – 3 points.
- Improper passing of a vehicle – 3 points.
- Following too closely – 3 points.
- Failure to use motorcycle headlights – 3 points.
- Reckless driving – 4 points.
- Speeding in excess of 50 mph – 4 points.
- Failure to stop at a red light signal – 4 points.
For detailed information about all violations that comprise Florida’s suspended driving license point system, contact a DMV site in your area.
Traffic School in Florida
Motorists facing a suspended driving license in FL may prevent points from being added to their driving records by attending an accredited traffic school. In certain cases, the FL DMV may remove points from your record, as long as you present a defensive driving class certificate from a state-approved traffic school.
When reinstating your suspended drivers license in Florida, the completion of traffic school may also prevent an increase in your current car insurance after a violation. However, note that you are only allowed to take a traffic school class in Florida once a year but only five times every 10 years.
Types of Florida Driver’s License Suspensions
Drivers may face a driving license suspension in Florida for a multitude of reasons, such as failure to pay child support or failure to comply with traffic court summons. You may also be issued a drivers license suspension if any of the below offenses apply to you:
- You are considered a reckless driver.
- You are a Habitual Traffic Offender.
- You have inadequate vision.
- You were convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- You caused serious injury or death to another.
- You have not met your car insurance payments.
- You have fraudulently obtained a driver’s license.
If you are in a situation where you suspect your driver’s license may be suspended, request a copy of your driving record to see its current status.
FL DUI Suspensions
For DUI-related drivers license suspensions, the FL Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles imposes strict penalties. The severity of your Florida driving license suspension or revocation will depend on your conviction, the type of offense you committed and your age at the time of the offense.
Drivers Older Than 21
A DUI conviction for drivers who are 21 years of age or older will result in the following types of suspension periods and reinstatement requirements:
- A first DUI conviction will result in a revoked drivers license for 180 days to one year. A DUI course, as well as proper rehabilitation treatment, may be required. You may have the option to apply for a hardship license before undergoing the drivers license restoration process.
- A second DUI conviction will result in an FL revoked drivers license for 180 days to one year. A DUI course and treatment will be required. Failure to complete this class within 90 days will result in the cancellation of your driver’s license. If this is your second offense within five years of another conviction, you will automatically face a five-year driving license suspension.
- A third DUI conviction will result in a license that may be suspended for 180 days to one year, as long as the third offense is not within 10 years of the second conviction. If your third offense is within 10 years of the second conviction, you will automatically face a 10-year drivers license suspension. You will also need to complete a state-mandated DUI course.
- A fourth or subsequent DUI will result in an automatically revoked drivers license. You will not be able to apply for a hardship license for at least five years while serving this period.
In most instances, motorists who are 21 or older with a Florida drivers license suspension will be required to complete a DUI course before reinstatement. Proof of said course must be presented at a DMV Service Center or an Administrative Review office in your county. Florida drivers who refuse a breathalyzer test when pulled over by a police officer will also be issued a suspended driving license.
Note: Commercial license holders who are convicted of driving under the influence will incur a revoked drivers license in Florida for a full year, with no possibility of obtaining a hardship license.
Drivers Younger Than 21
An immediate FL drivers license suspension is issued to drivers who are younger than 21 years of age and caught driving with a blood-alcohol level of .02 percent or more. Referred to as the Zero Tolerance Law in FL, drivers who commit this offense will face an automatic six-month suspension. A second offense will suspend driving privileges for a full year.
Car Insurance Suspensions
Florida requires state drivers to obtain and purchase minimum car insurance coverage. Currently, the minimum coverage in the state amounts to $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL).
If you fail to maintain insurance for your vehicle, you will then face an immediate FL driving license suspension. Your car registration and vehicle license plate will also be revoked until you have satisfied the necessary insurance requirements.
Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay
A Florida suspended drivers license is also issued to drivers who fail to pay traffic tickets or court fines. If you have a traffic ticket in your possession, you are required to submit payment to the county clerk office where your citation was issued and/or complete traffic school. Depending on the county where you reside, you may also have the option to make payments online through the clerk of court website.
FL Hardship Drivers License
Before reinstating suspended drivers licenses in FL, certain situations may make you eligible to obtain a hardship license during your suspension period. A hardship (restricted) license allows motorists to drive for business purposes or school-related matters only.
Instances when you may meet eligibility requirements include if you are a first-time DUI offender or if you have never had any previous serious offenses. Drivers younger than 21 who have a driving license suspension due to a blood alcohol level of .02 to .05 may also be eligible for a hardship license if they take a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course.
Applying for a Florida Hardship License
Part of the FL drivers license restoration process may allow you to request a hardship (restricted) license. To do so, drivers must get in touch with a regional Bureau of Administrative Reviews branch or a local DMV office. When asked for further information pertaining to your drivers license suspension case, make sure to have your driver’s license number available, as well as any specific details noted on your suspension notice.
Drivers convicted of DUIs will be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle when applying for a hardship license to take them to and from work. An ignition interlock device takes a breath sample from the driver before he or she operates the vehicle. If a BAC level of more than .025 percent is detected on the person’s breath, the car’s engine will not start.
Drivers License Reinstatement Fees
To meet FL drivers license restoration requirements, you will be asked to pay certain fees to the state DMV. These fees vary but may include any of the following:
- Suspension fee: $45.
- Revocation fee: $75.
- Additional fee for not paying child support: $60.
- Additional fee for unpaid traffic tickets: $60.
- Additional administrative fee for a drug- or alcohol-related offense: $130.
- Interlock ignition fee: $12.
Note that other charges, such as attorney-related expenses and standard court fees, may apply. For a complete overview of fines and fees you may be required to pay, check your suspension notice.