Is My License Suspended? Here’s What You Need to Know
Driving is a way of life for most Americans. In 2016, there were a record 221 million licensed drivers in the country. Unfortunately, driving is not a right, and many Americans lose their driving privileges each year.
If you’re worried that you might be one of those Americans, you might be wondering, “Is my license suspended?” We can help take the guesswork out of that question for you. Read on to learn everything you need to know about suspended licenses.
Is My License Suspended?
If you’ve been in hot water with the law, you might be wondering if you’re still a licensed driver. If this is a question that you’re asking yourself, it’s important to suss out the answer as soon as possible. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to get the answer before you get behind the wheel of your car.
The first way to discern if your driver’s license has been suspended is by going through your mail. Most states send out clear notices to people who have had their licenses suspended. Look for letters from a local court or from your local DMV.
These letters are sent to the address that is currently on file. If you’ve recently moved and haven’t updated your address, or if you’re transient, you might not have received the notice. If this applies to you, or if you haven’t received anything from the DMV, you need to reach out to the DMV to get a copy of your driving record.
Most state DMVs have online portals through which you can obtain a copy of your driving record. If you cannot obtain a copy of your driving record, then you must send a notarized privacy act request to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Driver Register.
What Does a Suspended License Mean?
If you’ve obtained a copy of your driving record and find that your license has indeed been suspended, you might be asking yourself what a suspended license means. In simplest terms, a suspended driver’s license means that you cannot operate a motor vehicle, but there may some exceptions to this rule.
There are two main types of driver’s license suspensions: definite and indefinite. Definite suspensions are suspensions that last for a certain period of time, after which your license is reinstated. Indefinite suspensions are not time-limited and require the driver to take some sort of action in order to have their license reinstated.
Some states recognize the hardship of suspended driver’s licenses and instead put certain drivers on a restricted license. This means that you can operate a vehicle, but only under certain conditions. For instance, you may only be eligible to drive to work and back, or you may have to have a breathalyzer installed in your car in order to start the engine.
Why Are Driver’s Licenses Suspended?
There are a number of reasons why a state might suspend a person’s driver’s license. A large percentage of suspensions have to do with a driver’s driving record.
Sometimes a license is suspended because a driver has received one or more DUI convictions. Licenses can also be suspended because of reckless driving, multiple speeding tickets, or too many points on a person’s driving record. In addition to those reasons, the state can suspend your license because you’re not carrying car insurance on your vehicle.
Driver’s license suspensions can happen for reasons completely unrelated to your driving record, too. For example, if you have failed to pay child support, then the state can suspend your driver’s license. Your license can also be suspended if you fail to appear in court or if you don’t pay your court fees.
How Long Will It Be Suspended?
There’s no single answer for how long your driver’s license will be suspended.
The length of your license suspension depends upon why your license was suspended. If your license was suspended for a year, then you must wait the length of the suspension before you can get behind the wheel of your vehicle again. If your license was suspended until you fulfill a certain condition for reinstatement, then it will be suspended for as long as it takes you to meet that condition.
How Can I Get Around Without a Driver’s License?
If you don’t have a driver’s license, you will still have a few options for getting around. Your best option is public transportation. If that’s not available in your area, you can get around via taxi or Uber.
You can also use this opportunity to get fit and try riding a bike or walking to your destinations.
As tempting as it may seem, do not get behind the wheel of your car while your license is suspended. Sure, you might get away with it, but if you get pulled over, you will face serious consequences. The end result will almost certainly be a longer suspension period and/or a more expensive fine for reinstatement.
How Do I Get My License Back?
The simplest way to get your license back is to wait until your suspension is up or to fulfill the requirements necessary in order to get it reinstated.
Not everybody has the ability to get their driver’s license back right away. In fact, in some instances, losing your license further complicates the reason you lost it in the first place. For example, if you lost your license because of unpaid child support, then losing your license can hinder your ability to get to work and pay off what you owe.
If you’re struggling to get your driver’s license back, then you should reach to someone who can help, like a traffic law lawyer. They can help you navigate the requirements to get it reinstated.
Ready to Get Back on the Road?
Asking yourself the question, “Is my license suspended?” isn’t the greatest feeling. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to get the answer to whether or not your license is suspended and how you can get it back. With diligent effort, you’ll be able to get back behind the wheel of your car before you know it!
Want to head out on the open highway in style? Check out the rest of our blog for the latest auto and motor news out there!