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Suspended License Information for Indiana

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 Indiana 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).


There are a variety of reasons why your Indiana 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 Indiana driver's license to be suspended or revoked.

  • Excessive Moving Violations. The state of Indiana operates on a point system, in which drivers accumulate points on their license for every moving violation they commit. If you accumulate 18 or more points on your current driver record, you will be called for an administrative hearing by the BMV. At this hearing, a decision will be taken to place you on probation or to suspend your license or for you to take a driving course.
  • Driving Under the Influence. Your Indiana 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 depends on the severity of the violation and whether it is a first or repeat offense. If you fail the blood alcohol test, your license may be suspended for up to six months. A refusal to take the test will result in your license being taken away immediately and a suspension of up to a year. If your blood alcohol content is more than 0.08%, your license may be suspended for up to 90 days or two years.
  • 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. If you are found driving with a suspended license you will have to face a further 90 day suspension period along with your current suspension time.
  • Driving without Insurance. All motor vehicles driven in Indiana must be properly insured. Failure to provide proof of valid auto insurance can result in your license being suspended.
  • Other Driving-Related Violations. Your Indiana 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. Other reasons include failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, not completing a compulsory driver improvement course and out-of-state tickets.
  • Physical or Psychological Disqualification. The BMV 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 Bureau of Motor Vehicles notice or not appearing in court; failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges; not paying child support, owing money to the BMV due to bounced checks.
  • Expulsion from School. If you have left school or been expelled from it, your license is liable to be suspended.
  • Habitual Traffic Offenders .If you have been charged and found guilty of any of the following offenses within a 10 year period, you will be considered a habitual traffic offender and will have to face a 10 year suspension period. The offenses include:
  • Two major offenses which result in injury or death, including:
    • Reckless homicide while operating a motor vehicle.
    • Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle.
    • Fleeing from the scene of an accident which involves death or injury and not providing information or assistance.
    • Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, which results in death.
    • Operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of more than 0.08% which results in death.
  • Three major offenses including:
    • Driving with a BAC of more than 0.08%.
    • Driving with a suspended license, the reason of suspension being the motor vehicle was used in a crime.
    • Reckless driving.
    • Operating a motor vehicle without a license.
    • Drag racing and speeding.
    • Using a motor vehicle for a criminal recklessness.
    • Fleeing the scene of an accident or filing an accident report.
    • Any crime in which a motor vehicle is used.
    • Any of the offenses listed in the section before this.

If you are found driving with a suspension due to the above, you will be guilty of a crime and could lose your driving privileges for life.


Having your Indiana 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. 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.
The three most important things to be aware of following a license suspension are:

  1. If your license has not already been taken away from you in court, you must surrender it to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. You can surrender your license in person at a BMV branch office, or mail it to:
    Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles 
       100 N. Senate Ave. 
        Indianapolis, IN 46204    
  2. While your license is suspended, you are not permitted to drive. If you are found driving with a suspended license, you may be imprisoned for up to five years, and/or the length of your suspension may be increased.
  3. After your suspension is over, you will receive a written notice of restoration, with instructions on how to restore your license. Do not drive until you have completed the necessary steps and received a valid, replacement license from the Indiana BMV.
  4. You may also apply for a hardship license.
  5. The following forms may be used to provide information to the BMV-
    • SR16 -This form is used by courts to notify the BMV that a driver has been charged with, failed to appear for, or failed to pay a traffic violation that involves a motor vehicle. This form also notifies the BMV when the above has been complied with.
    • SR17 - This form is used by courts to notify the BMV that a hardship license will be issued to the driver concerned. This form also provides information on the period of the license and of any limits on the driver's driving privileges.
    • SR21 - This form must be completed and submitted by any driver involved in an accident that results in injury, death or damage to property amounting to over $1,000. The form should be signed by the insurance company, stating the insurance amount. It should be mailed within ten days of the accident.
    • SR22 - This form is used to show proof of insurance by drivers who have been convicted of an offense which requires them to have insurance for a three-year period. The form must be filed with the BMV for three years from the date declared by the BMV.
    • SR23 - This form is used to show proof of insurance for vehicle convoys.
    • SR31 - This form and the package that goes along with it is used by drivers who need to show another financial proof other than insurance.
    • SR33 - This form is used by the court to inform the BMV of the amount of money owned by the owner or operator of a motor vehicle.
    • SR50 - This form is used to show proof of current insurance.


If you receive a notice of suspension from the BMV, and you wish to challenge the suspension, you may request a hearing in court. An administrative law judge or a BMV representative will hear your case, and determine whether your driver's license should be suspended or not. In addition, drivers whose license may be suspended due to accumulating excessive points may be eligible to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program. Completing a Driver Improvement Program removes four points from the current driving record for the next three years, and in some cases 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.


Licenses can be reinstated for the following suspensions:

  • Out-of-state tickets that have been paid.
  • Defensive driving reinstatements.
  • For not showing proof of insurance for a three year period following an accident or traffic violation.
  • For not showing proof of insurance for a compulsory three year period.
  • For not showing current proof of insurance.
  • For not paying a ticket or failing to appear in court.

You will receive a notice from the BMV after you have completed your suspension period. The notice will include complete instructions regarding how to get your license back. Generally, you will need to:

  • Visit a reinstatement centre. The BMV does not process reinstatements by phone or by mail.
  • If your license was suspended for a writing a check that bounced at the BMV, you can reinstate your license by contacting the Administrative office at the address given below:
    Indian Government Center North
    100 North State Avenue, Room N440
    Indianapolis, IN 46204    
  • Apply for a standard license renewal to obtain a new license.
  • The reinstatement fees are:
    For the first reinstatement - $150
    For the second - $225
    For the third - $300
    Additional - $300    

Note that after you license is restored, you may be subject to a probation period during which any new violations may result in an additional suspension of your Indiana driver's license.


Submitted by Misskelsie58 on 23rd Sep 2016

My husband had his driver's

My husband had his driver's license suspended for one year. He had been stopped for rear ending someone and even though he passed a field sobriety test he was arrested and taken to the local police station where they were unable to get a result from the Breathalyzer test. The tech performing the test insisted that my husband was not being cooperative, which my husband states is not true. This is the basis for his suspension. He had a valid license at the time of the accident, valid insurance, and no priors whatsoever. This seems like a significant miscarriage of justice as he has not even had his court date yet. What are his options?

Submitted by pwrlifter (not verified) on 27th Feb 2012

Good luck to all of you. If

Good luck to all of you. If you are expecting the government to help the working poor, don't hold your breath. Remember it is they who throw you in jail while their ilk go free and are covered after murdering people while drunk. That cop in Indy was the No. 1 DUI arresting officer in Hamilton Co. Indiana before going to Indy. Time would fail me to mention all of the hypocrisy the police and judges are involved in but rest assured they could care less about the orphans, widows, elderly, disabled and jobless. Huh, their jobs are quite secure which makes them able to look down on the less fortunate and forget their own sins.

Submitted by blah123456789 (not verified) on 3rd Apr 2012

Amen to that

Amen to that

Submitted by trapp_j (not verified) on 12th Dec 2011

well long story short i was

well long story short i was unable to provide proof of insurance to the dmv after some tickets and now after waiting my time and obtaining the proper insurance (sr-??) I'm now faced with a $825.00 reinstatement fee. I'm the only income source in our family. my wife goes to school 5 days a week 9-5. we have a 2yr old and a 6 yr old that go to day care. i work and hour away, my wife goes to school and hour away. after living expenses, child care, fuel, insurance, and everything else that comes along already exceeds our income saving $825.00 is not possible. so I'm in a pickle that has me and my family on the brink of destruction. a loan is out of the question. we have been living check to check for some time now and has really took a toll on our credit. we have nothing worth any money to sell. no one to borrow money from. the list goes on and on. were not eligible for any kind of gov help that I'm aware of. i make to much money for help, but every day were closer and closer to living in a van down by the river. well what ever sense that makes. any way is there anything i can do about that reinstatement fee. in the mean time i risk digging my family deeper and deeper in a hole just tring to keep food on table and the lights on. thank you.

Submitted by naptownzg7372 (not verified) on 13th Mar 2012

I was in the same situation

I was in the same situation as you are with a high reinstatement fee. First I went to the city county bldg. and went to the law library. I printed out a "Fee Waiver" Motion. I downloaded it onto my computer and did a little revising and made a "Reinstatement Fee Waiver" motion. I used Indiana Code (IC 9-29-10-3

Petition for waiver of driver's license reinstatement fee; findings made by court

Sec. 3. (a) Upon its own motion, or upon a petition filed by a person under section 2 of this chapter, a court may waive a fee for reinstatement of a driver's license described in section 1 of this chapter if the court finds that:

(1) the person who owes the fee for reinstatement of the driver's license:

(A) is indigent; and

(B) has presented proof of future financial responsibility; and

(2) waiver of the fee for reinstatement of the driver's license is appropriate in light of the person's character and the nature and circumstances surrounding the person's license suspension.

(b) If a court waives a fee for reinstatement of a driver's license under this section, the court may impose other reasonable conditions on the person.

(c) If a court waives a fee for reinstatement of a driver's license under this section, the clerk shall forward a copy of the court's order to the bureau.

As added by P.L.153-2005, SEC.2.)

I put in all the reasons I was unable to pay my reinstatement fee and the hardships that not being able to drive was puttin on my family and myself. I put with it a self-address stamped envelope and filed it myself at Community Court of Indianapolis

902 Virginia Avenue

Indianapolis, IN 46203

317.327.1010, The order was granted within 7 days. Make sure to include proof of insurance and a copy of your driving record with your motion. GOOD LUCK!

Submitted by Anonymous on 22nd Apr 2011

We who have our license

We who have our license suspended probably aren't inocent. However I see it on a regular basis living in the country that many suspended drivers continue to drive. No cabs or taxis out here usually a 15-45 minute drive to work. Unfortunately the ones being punished are the family of the suspended driver. The elderly woman who needs her daughter to help provide for her. The father who has to have his wife take him to work everyday at 5 am getting the youngsters up 3 hrs before school starts to ride along because they are too young to stay home alone. Mommy had to give up potential employement because she must provide for daddy (primary income provider). At least i'm not risking driving like many others do in my locality. It just seems as though the gov. should create an I.D. license plate or allow them to drive a hot pink box car with a 2 cyl. in it for suspended drivers (you'd seem them coming a mile away). The hardship is hitting families more than the suspended driver. $$$POTENTIAL TAX DOLLARS FOR THE GOV. to provide alternate transportation or I.D. license plate for those of us in this situation just stop punishing there families.

Submitted by Anonymous on 11th Mar 2011

Well, I here you can

Well, I here you can reinstate your license online now..

Where do I go?

The link to the reinstatement centre gives me an error...

I am looking to see if the center is open on Saturdays and not having much luck.

the 800 number is Stupid!!!! to deal with...

Not enjoying this so far.