Two of the most common reasons that people end up with a driver's license suspension are driving under the influence and driving without insurance. Unfortunately, having one's license suspended can impact many other areas of life, and set people on a negative trajectory as they no longer have a way of easily getting to and from work.
You might be surprised to learn that there are also a number of non-driving offenses that can lead to license suspension. These include things like failing to comply with a child support order or even, in some states, defaulting on your student loans.
Are you looking for tips to help you get your license back?
Let's take a look at five tips to help you get back on the road as soon as possible.
1. Find Alternate Ways of Getting Around
Getting your driver's license suspended can be incredibly stressful, as you are left without a reliable way of getting around. You will need to come up with a plan for how you will get to work, school, and run errands such as buying groceries.
The first option is to apply for a restricted license, which we will discuss in the next section. You can also choose to rely on public transportation or ridesharing services in order to get around. Depending on where you live, this could be just as convenient as driving or kind of a hassle.
You could also try to join a local carpool, get a bike, or rely on walking. Whether or not these choices are reasonable will have a lot to do with where you live and how close you live to your work and necessary amenities.
You might be wondering: how will this help me get my license back? When you have a solid and reliable plan when it comes to transportation, you'll be much less likely to jump behind the wheel when you have no other way of getting to the store. Having a transportation plan can ensure that you don't end up driving with a suspended license and getting yourself into more trouble.
2. Apply For a Restricted License
If you've had your license suspended, you might still be able to get a temporary or restricted drivers license to help you get to school or work. You can usually apply for this type of license 30 days after the hearing regarding your license.
These temporary licenses are not given to everyone. The court will decide whether or not you will be allowed a restricted license. It's common for people who have received their first DUI to be able to receive restricted licenses.
However, you might not be eligible for one of these licenses if the case involved bodily injury, even if it was your first offense.
You will only be able to go to places such as work, school, or the doctor's office with a restricted license. The exact parameters of how you can use this license will be decided by the court.
3. Obtain an SR22
If you're interested in reinstating your license after suspension, you will need to obtain an SR-22. This is a certificate of financial responsibility that you will file with the state that you live in. This serves as proof that you have the required state minimum coverages with your auto policy.
You will most likely need to file an SR-22 if you were driving uninsured or if you received a DUI conviction. The court will inform you as to whether or not you need to file one of these forms. The form will be submitted to the state on your behalf by your insurance provider.
If you allowed your auto insurance coverage to lapse, your insurer will inform both the state and the court that you are not insured.
Not all insurance providers offer this type of form. If your current auto insurance carrier doesn't offer these forms, then you will need to find a new insurance provider to purchase a policy from.
Take a look at this article to learn how to choose the best SR-22 insurance policies for you.
4. Never Drive Without a Valid Driver's License
When you have your license suspended, you might think that you can easily get away with driving anyways so long as you're careful not to get caught. However, there are severe penalties for driving with a suspended license that really make it not worth the risk. You can face both hefty fines and jail time if you are caught by law enforcement.
5. Understand That Your Insurance Rates Will Likely Increase
One of the consequences of getting a DUI is that your insurance rates are likely going to go up. Insurance carriers will see you as a higher risk if you are convicted of a DUI. They will then charge you a higher premium to compensate for the fact that they're taking on a higher risk.
6. Understand Why Your License Was Suspended
There are a lot of different reasons why your license might be suspended. In addition to getting a DUI or being pulled over for reckless driving, you could lose your license due to things like drug-related convictions, failure to pay motor vehicle fines, or not paying child support.
Every year, there are at least eleven million people who end up getting their license suspended because they aren't able to pay fees or fines.
Licenses can also be suspended due to medical issues that could make you a risk to public safety if you were to drive. In this instance, your license might be suspended or even completely revoked.
7. Learn How to Find Out If Your License Is Suspended
Oftentimes, knowing something for certain is the first step to improving your situation. You might not actually be aware that your license has been suspended in some circumstances. If you are a bit worried that your license may have been suspended without your knowledge, there are a number of ways you can find out.
For one, you can keep an eye on your mail. You will likely get a suspension notice from the DMV or department of transportation. You can also check with the DMV or you can contact your insurance company.
8. Take an Approved Class
Depending on why you lost your license, there might be an approved class you need to take in order to get your license reinstated. These might include DUI programs or defensive driving programs.
DUI programs are often run by nonprofit organizations. These are classes where DUI offenders can receive drug and alcohol education. Whether this is your first offense or if you have had multiple offenses will impact how long the course is.
Defensive drive programs might be required by the state for you to get your license back. These classes teach proper safety measures and driving basics. Some of these classes might be able to be taken online depending on the state you live in.
9. Pay the Necessary Fines
There are likely going to be fees you'll have to pay in order to get your license reinstated. Usually, how much it costs you to get your license back is directly related to the cause of the suspension as well as whether or not it was a first offense.
10. Be Patient
It can be incredibly frustrating to wait for your license to be reinstated after it was suspended. However, it's important to understand just how severe the penalties can be for driving with a revoked or suspended license. If you drive with a suspended license and are stopped by police, you could end up paying some serious fines and even find yourself spending time in jail.
For this reason, patience is essential when it comes to this process. It is best to completely avoid getting behind the wheel until you have verification from the DMV that you once again have a valid license.
Drivers License Suspension: SR-22 Insurance Might Be Your Ticket Back to the Driver's Seat
Getting your license suspended can really throw a wrench in the gears of your life. Luckily, reinstating a license after suspension might be easier than you think.
If your license was suspended for driving without insurance or due to a first-offense DUI, you might need to file an SR22 form in order to have the suspension lifted. Then, you can get your license back and your life back on track.
For some people, a driver's license suspension can be lifted by purchasing an SR22 insurance policy. We offer affordable SR22 insurance policies in Arizona, California, Texas, and Nevada. You can get your quote here today.