Drivers must complete the process of reinstating their drivers licenses prior to operating their vehicle again, since driving with a suspended license is punishable by law across all U.S. states. State Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) issue drivers license suspensions for a wide array of reasons, such as lapse in the driver’s car insurance policy or an excess of negative points on the licensee’s record.

Depending on the state you live in, you may incur a suspension for a different amount of points. For example, in Kentucky, it takes an accumulation of 12 points over the course of 2 years in order to receive a suspension. On the other hand, in Florida, earning 12 points on your license within a year will get your license suspended for 30 days.

Drivers License Suspension and Revocation

Certain state DMVs differentiate between driving license suspensions and revocations, but not all. Motor vehicle operators with suspended drivers licenses can generally reinstate their credentials after satisfying the requirements of the suspension, such as completing a specific penalty period and paying a fine. To reinstate revoked drivers licenses, motorists will be required to wait out their period of revocation and reapply for a new credential afterward.

Drivers License Reinstatement Requirements

The requirements to reinstate driving licenses and the steps to complete the procedure generally vary based on the type of violation that was committed and its corresponding penalty. In addition to the standard steps, penalized drivers may also be required to complete certain requirements specific to their case.

Operators whose suspended driving licenses were a result of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) violation, for instance, may be required to participate in a rehabilitation program that can take a month or more to complete. Additionally, most states will be suspended for a longer period of time every time you are charged with a DUI. More serious DUI infractions may also result in a court-ordered jail sentence.

How do I know my license has been suspended?

Certain motor vehicle divisions will notify the licensee of his or her driving license revocation or suspension with a mail-in notice. The DMV letter contains general information about the driver’s offense, the type of sanction that was issued and how to resolve it. Licensees can obtain their driving record to review the current status of their credential as well.

How long does a driver’s license suspension last?

The duration of the driving license suspension or revocation period varies based on the type of infraction that was committed as well. More serious driving offenses result in longer punishment periods than lesser violations. DUI offenses, for instance, are treated with stricter measures and longer suspension periods. Infractions committed after the conclusion of the suspension will result in even longer penalty periods.

Drivers who continue driving with a suspended or revoked drivers licenses face even stricter penalties. Certain types of suspensions remain in effect until the driver removes the restrictions on his or her credential. For instance, licensees who are required to pay a traffic ticket may remain indefinitely suspended until they do so. Similarly, all drivers must pay to have their license reinstated in order to lift a suspension.

Provisional Driver Licenses

Drivers who are completing the drivers license restoration process may be able to apply for a provisional drivers license, which will allow them to travel to and from work, school, or hospitals in case of emergencies. This restricted license can be used until motorists restore their revoked or suspended drivers license.

However, not all drivers with a suspended license will be able to apply and receive a provisional license. For instance, if your license was suspended as a result of failing to pay child support, you will not be allowed to apply for a provisional license in some states.

To learn more about driving license suspensions and the process to reinstate them in your state, click one of the links below.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.