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Drivers must complete the process to reinstate drivers licenses prior to operating their vehicle again, since driving with a suspended license is punishable by law across all U.S. states. Motor vehicle departments (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. Note that certain DMVs differentiate between driving license suspensions and revocations. 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.
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 steps 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. More serious DUI infractions may also result in a court-ordered jail sentence. 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.
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. Note that certain types of suspensions remain in effect until the driver takes an action to remove the restrictions on his or her credentials. For instance, licensees who are required to pay a traffic ticket may remain indefinitely suspended until they do so.
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. This restricted use license can be used until motorists restore their revoked or suspended drivers license.
To learn more about driving license suspensions and the process to reinstate them in your state, click one of the links below.