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30 Nov 23

DMV Suspended License Reinstatement – How to do it

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Last Updated on: 14th December 2023, 05:54 pm

DMV Suspended License Reinstatement – How to Do It

Having your driver’s license suspended sucks. I know, I’ve been there when I was younger and dumber. But don’t worry, there are ways to get your license back. Let me walk ya through what you need to do based on my own experience and research.

Why Was Your License Suspended?

First things first, do you know why your license got suspended in the first place? There’s usually a reason – maybe you missed a court date, got too many tickets, failed to pay child support, got into an accident, etc. Knowing the reason will help you figure out exactly what hoops ya gotta jump through to get it back.

Common Causes of Suspension

  • Too many points on your driving record from traffic violations
  • DUI/DWI conviction
  • Failing to appear in court or pay fines
  • Failing to provide proof of insurance
  • Failing to pay child support
  • Getting into an accident without insurance

Yeah, they don’t mess around suspending your license – it can happen pretty easily in some states. But don’t freak out, let’s talk about how to fix it.

Checking Your Driver’s License Status

First things first, ya gotta check what the current status of your license is. Every state has an online DMV system you can use to check. Usually you just need your license number and date of birth or social security number.

Search for “[Your State] DMV license status check” and you should find the site. Punch in your details and it’ll tell ya if your license is valid, suspended, revoked, or whatever.

It may even show the reason for suspension, which will help big time. Write this down so you know exactly what you’re dealing with.

Getting Your Driving Record

After checking your status, also get your official driving record (sometimes called a motor vehicle record or MVR). This will show your full history – all tickets, accidents, suspensions, etc. Basically your permanent record with the DMV, warts and all.

Again, every state has a process to request your record, usually for a small fee. Google “[Your State] DMV driving record request” and submit it. They’ll mail or email your full record in a few days max.

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Review it closely so there’s no surprises. Make sure any unpaid tickets and reasons for suspension are clear. This record is key for the reinstatement process.

Fulfilling the Reinstatement Requirements

Alright, now for the fun part – actually doing what you gotta do to get your license back. The specifics depend on your state and the reason it was suspended. But there are some common requirements:

Pay Suspension Reinstatement Fees

You’ll usually need to pay a reinstatement fee just to apply to get your license back. This ranges from like $50 to a few hundred bucks depending on the state. Consider it a tax for the headache you caused the DMV.

Pay Any Unpaid Tickets and Fines

If you got suspended for unpaid tickets or fines (like parking tickets or red light cameras), you gotta pay up. The DMV will want to see proof you took care of it before reinstating your license.

Contact the court listed on each ticket to arrange payment. Get receipts showing a zero balance.

Provide Proof of Insurance

If you got nailed for no insurance after an accident or traffic stop, you’ll need to fax or upload proof of current car insurance before the DMV will reinstate you. Make sure the policy is active on the date you submit it.

And going forward, always keep proof of insurance in your car. Lack of insurance suspensions are common but avoidable.

Clear Up Child Support Issues

Some states suspend licenses for failure to pay child support. If that’s you, contact child support enforcement to arrange getting back in compliance with payments. Get documentation that you’ve paid owed back support or set up a payment plan.

Cooperating on the child support front is key to getting your license back from a family law suspension.

Complete DUI Courses and Install Ignition Interlock

For DUI/DWI suspensions, you’ll have more hoops to jump through. At minimum you’ll need to complete alcohol education courses, pay all court fines, and in some states install an ignition interlock device that tests your breath alcohol level before letting you drive.

Make sure you finish all the terms of your DUI sentence – the DMV will want proof before they reinstate you after an alcohol offense.

Submitting Your Reinstatement Application

Once you’ve checked all the requirement boxes, it’s go time! You need to formally apply to the DMV to have your license reinstated.

Get the reinstatement form specific to your state – search “[Your state] DMV license reinstatement form”. Fill it out completely and gather all the documentation they need as proof you met the requirements (payment receipts, insurance docs, course completion certificates, etc).

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Double check you’ve included everything on their checklist, otherwise they’ll just mail the whole application back to you. I know from experience, ugh.

Mail it certified if you can to have delivery confirmation. Or submit it in person at the DMV if you want to expedite it. Either way, keep the mailing receipt or get a confirmation receipt if you drop it off.

Waiting for Approval

And now the hard part – playing the waiting game. The DMV will take a few weeks typically to review your application and all the documentation you provided.

As long as you crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s, they should approve reinstating your license. You’ll get a letter in the mail confirming it’s reinstated.

But if something is missing or they need more info, they’ll mail you a letter with additional requirements before they’ll reinstate. It’s a classic DMV move.

So if it goes past 6 weeks with no approval, follow up to check the status. Don’t let your application get stuck in DMV purgatory!

Getting Your Physical License Back

Alright, your license is officially reinstated! But now you actually need the physical card and don’t have your old one. So time to get a replacement license.

First, confirm on the DMV site that your driving privileges show as reinstated. Then schedule an appointment (if needed where you live) to get your replacement license printed. Make sure to bring the correct paperwork like proof of ID.

They’ll print you a new license card with current info and photo. Finally – carry that baby proudly knowing your suspended days are behind you!

Oh and needless to say, follow the rules of the road going forward. Rack up more tickets or violations and your license could get suspended again, kicking off this whole mess one more time. Play it smart and look out for points adding up.

When All Else Fails, Lawyer Up

If for some reason the DMV keeps rejecting your reinstatement application, it may be time to call in the professionals. There are lawyers who specialize in license reinstatement to help negotiate with the DMV when they give people the run around.

Google “[your city] driver license reinstatement lawyer” and chat with some options. They can review your case, appeal BS DMV decisions, and do the legwork to get your license back. Worth considering if you keep banging your head against the wall.

Whew, that ended up being a lot longer than I expected. But hope this gives you a game plan to tackle the DMV and get back on the road. Take it step-by-step and eventually you’ll get that reinstated license! Geddit done.

 

References

DUI Ignition Interlock Device Laws