Are you or someone you know facing license suspension? Do you want to learn more about the steps needed to get your license back? Having your license suspended is a huge inconvenience, especially when you have places you need to be, such as work or school.
Just like you, millions of Americans are looking to have their license reinstated after having it suspended for things such as DUIs or other driving infractions. If you are looking for the steps you need to take to get your life back on the road, then this article was made for you. We will go over the 5 most critical steps you need to take to get your license back.
1. Avoid License Suspension
It is always best to try to avoid license suspension by designating a driver if you are drinking. If you are caught driving under the influence, you will have to attend a hearing about your driver's license suspension. This hearing is separate from your criminal charge for your DUI.
If you are unfamiliar with the appeal process, you may want to consider hiring an attorney. Your attorney will be able to fight on your behalf to avoid having your license revoked or suspended.
If you decide to go at this alone, you have the opportunity to challenge DUI charge. In the event that the hearing does not go in your favor, you can opt for a restricted license.
2. Apply for a Temporary License
A temporary driver's license, or a restricted license, is a license you can still use to get to where you need to go. You can apply for this license 30 days after your driver's license hearing.
Keep in mind that temporary driver's licenses are only given on a case-by-case basis. Typically, those who have committed their first DUI offense are offered restricted licenses. If your case involved bodily injury, you might not be eligible for a temporary license even if it was your first offense.
Restricted licenses are also considered hardship licenses or occupational licenses. If you are allowed to have a restricted license, you can only go to school, work, or your doctor's appointments. The court will decide where you are and are not able to go.
3. Wait Out Your Suspension
Depending on what state you received a DUI conviction in, you may have to wait out your suspension. Depending on if this was your first or second offense, you might have to wait a year or two before you can reinstate your actual license.
If you were driving under the influence and you caused bodily harm to others, you may need to wait longer. Depending on the severity of the accident, you could end up having your driver's license completely revoked. The court may even order for you to have an interlocking ignition device installed in your vehicle.
4. Obtain an SR22
Another step in restoring your driver's license is obtaining an SR-22. An SR22 is a certificate of financial responsibility that you file with your state. It is not an actual type of insurance, but it is a form that shows proof that your auto policy has the required state minimum coverages.
The court will let you know if you need to file an SR-22. If you received a DUI conviction or you were driving uninsured, you most likely need to file an SR22. Your insurance provider will submit the form to the state on your behalf. If your coverage lapse, your insurance provider is required to inform the court and the state that you are uninsured.
Keep in mind that not all auto insurance providers offer SR-22 forms. If your current provider does not offer SR-22 insurance, you will have to purchase a new policy from another insurance carrier.
5. Pay Reinstatement Fees
Depending on the state that you received the conviction, you will have to pay a reinstatement fee. Depending on the degree of your offense, you could pay more than the average reinstatement price. For example, if you received a DUI in Texas, you would typically spend about $125 to reinstate your driver's license.
Approved DUI Programs
If you face license suspension because you were convicted of a DUI or DWI, you will most likely have to take an approved class. These programs are usually run by nonprofit organizations that provide alcohol and drug education to those convicted with DUIs.
These courses can take several hours to complete, and the hours are spanned over a set amount of days. You will have to pay a fee to take these classes. If this is your first offense, you can expect to pay upwards of $250 to take the DUI class.
In addition to obtaining an SR22, the court may require you to take a defensive driving course. This class is also known as a driver improvement class. This program is intended for the driver to relearn how to drive safely, and it will go over the importance of defensive driving.
Depending on the state in which the class is held, you may have to take another driver's test with an instructor present. If it is not required for you to have a driver's test with an instructor, then you may be able to take this course online.
Driving With a Suspended License
If you decide to drive without a valid driver's license, you could face severe penalties if stopped by law enforcement. If a police officer catches you, you can face serious jail time on top of hefty fines. Try to be patient while you wait for the final result of your hearings.
Why Are Licenses Suspended?
There are so many other reasons why drivers face license suspension other than driving under the influence. You could face license suspension if you do not pay child support or pay for your vehicle fines.
Other reasons why you face license suspension:
Failure to maintain required auto insurance
Failure to appear in court for a moving violation
Not paying traffic fees
Other unpaid fines
You also could have your license revoked for other drug-related offenses committed. These other drug-related convictions can happen when you are not behind the wheel. At least 11 million people in the United States face license suspension because they cannot afford to pay the fines or fees.
Will My Insurance Rates Increase?
A common question most drivers wonder about is if their insurance rates are going to increase. The answer to that is "yes." Because of your DUI or DWI conviction, you are a higher risk to insurance carriers. To compensate for taking on the higher risk, insurance companies have to charge you a higher premium.
Depending on your state and insurance provider, you can expect your rate to increase between 60% to 70%. You also can expect your rates to be expensive for about two to three years. In most states, you must keep the SR22 on file for up to three years.
Can I Lower My Coverages?
It may be tempting to edit your coverages to save on your new expensive policy, but that may not be a good idea. If the vehicle you drive is a lease or you have a loan out on your car, you cannot opt out of certain coverages.
Most lienholders require you to carry collision and comprehensive coverage throughout the duration of your loan. If you own your vehicle outright, then you can edit your coverages. Keep in mind that if your car does sustain any damage, you will have to pay out of pocket if you do not carry the proper coverages.
Can I Cancel My Policy?
Even if you have a suspended license, you may want to keep your current auto coverage. It is tempting just to cancel the policy outright to save money but do not. Your state may require you to file an SR22 and maintain an auto policy to have your license reinstated.
Get Your License Back Today!
Having your license revoked or suspended can cause a huge stop in many things in your life. You have meetings to attend, work to get to, school to attend, and other essential things that you have to get to, and you need your car to do so.
A significant step in getting your license back after license suspension is obtaining an SR22. If you are looking to purchase an affordable auto policy to reinstate your license, contact us now for a quote.
Here at SR22 Savings, we offer the best rates possible for your SR22 filing. We also will send the form to your state on your behalf.