Suspended License: Get Your License Reinstated After a DUI/DWI

August 14, 2018

When you are charged with a DUI, you’ll automatically receive a suspended license penalty. This is exceptionally hard for most every day activities like going to work, picking children up from school, and running to the grocery store. You’ll want to become familiar with all the alternative transportation opportunities available to you.

Depending on your conviction, your license may remain suspended or revoked for a long time. In first offenses, your suspended license typically lasts for 90 days. It’s important to note: You are not allowed to drive at all unless your attorney has secured a restricted permit for you. There are harsh penalties for driving with a suspended license.

While there can be special circumstances to getting your license back like having restricted license/permit (hardship license), you may not be able to count on that. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends suspension/revocation laws impose at least a 90-day suspension or a 30-day suspension followed by 60 days of restricted driving. And some states require you to complete a treatment program or other education program before allowing your driving privileges to be reinstated.

So how do you get your license back?

Be prepared to work for it!  Here’s a look at what you’ll have to do:

  • Your state will likely require you to enroll in a defensive driving course or traffic school, get an SR22 from your insurance company and pay a reinstatement fee at the bare minimum.
  • You’ll want to begin the process of reinstating your license as your suspension period nears its end – about a month before the suspension is over. The process itself varies by state, but regardless of location, you are not eligible to begin the reinstatement process unless you have paid in full all of your DUI-related fees and fines and successfully completed your state-mandated driving classes.
  • Each state has its version of reinstatement request form or packet that needs to go to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. And of course, that’s usually a fee that accompanies filing for reinstatement.
  • Next, you’ll want to connect with providers to get what’s called a SR-22 form and submit copies of it to your insurance provider and state DMV. Basically, the SR-22 proves that you still have an acceptable amount of liability insurance coverage.

But think about your long-term driving needs first. Do you need a license right away? If you have sold your car to help with the costs of your DUI, you may want to delay license reinstatement until your finances are on solid ground again. Keep in mind, your insurance premiums may be must higher following your conviction. It’s much easier and cost effective to simply obtain a state identification card for ID purposes.

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