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 South Dakota 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).
REASONS FOR DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSIONS
There are a variety of reasons why your South Dakota 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 a South Dakota driver's license to be suspended or revoked.
- Driving Under the Influence. Your South Dakota driver's license will be automatically suspended if you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Excessive Moving Violations. The state of South Dakota operates on a point system, in which drivers accumulate points on their license for every moving violation they commit. If you accumulate 15 or more points on your current driver record in a twelve month period, or 22 points in a two year period your license may be suspended. The first time your license is suspended you will lose your driving privileges for up to 60 days, the second time, your license will be suspended for up to six months and for any subsequent suspensions the period can be up to one year.
- Driving while suspended. Driving while your license has been suspended, revoked, cancelled or denied is a serious offense and your suspension period will be increased by the same period as the original suspension.
- Supplying false information. Supplying false information to obtain a driving license, using another person's license or attempting to change the information on your driver license will also result in license suspension.
- Driving without Insurance. All motor vehicles driven in South Dakota must be properly insured. Failure to provide proof of valid auto insurance can result in your license being suspended.
- Other Driving-Related Violations. Your South Dakota 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.
- Physical or Psychological Disqualification. The DMV 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 DMV notice or not appearing in court; failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges; and not paying child support.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR SOUTH DAKOTA DRIVER'S LICENSE IS SUSPENDED
Having your South Dakota 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.
You must surrender you license to the Department of Motor Vehicles as soon as you are informed of license suspension, in order that the date you will be eligible to apply for reinstatement can be determined.
You may be eligible for a restricted driver license which enables you to drive under certain restrictions imposed by the Department. You can call (800) 952-3696 to check if you are eligible. If so, you must complete the application form (Work Permit Restricted Work Permit Application) and mail it to:
Driver Licensing 118 West Capitol Ave. Pierre, SD 57501-2000
APPEALING A SUSPENSION
If you receive a suspension notice from the DMV, and you wish to challenge the suspension, you may request a hearing in court. An administrative law judge 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 may remove points from the current driving record, and in some cases can enable an individual to avoid having his license suspended.
It is a good idea to seek the advice of a traffic ticket lawyer or a DUI-DWI lawyer, based on the reason for the suspension.
RESTORING YOUR LICENSE
When your suspension period is over, you can restore your license but you will need to meet a range of conditions, depending on the reason for your license suspension. These conditions may include:
- Payment of all reinstatement and application fees.
- Passing driving exams if your license has expired during the suspension period.
You can apply for license reinstatement and pay the reinstatement fee of $50 at any examination station.