Getting your license suspended for even a short period of time is inconvenient. It can cause you to lose your job, your friends, and miss out on things you used to like to do in your free time. As tempting as it may be to drive with a suspended license, it is important to respect your suspension if you want to stay out of trouble and be eligible for reinstatement. Unless in the event of an emergency, it is never acceptable to drive with a suspended license, or the consequences could be great.
Why Did My License Get Suspended?
If you or a loved one had their license suspended it is important to understand why exactly the State revoked or suspended your license. For example, if it was because you received a DUI, then to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, you could plan to take a cab next time you go out drinking or have a designated driver. If you have too many points on your license or reckless driving convictions, then you could take defensive driving courses to not only lower your points, but also to improve your driving ability. Some other reasons for suspension include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Failure to meet minimum vision standards
- Failure to pay traffic fines or a ticket
- Too many points on your license
- Failure to pay child support payments
- Failure to stop after being involved in a car crash
- Multiple convictions of reckless driving in a short time period
Consequences of Driving on a Suspended License
- First conviction: Second degree misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $500 and no more than 60 days in jail
- Second conviction: First degree misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 1 year in prison
- Third or further convictions: Third degree felony, with a maximum fine of $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison
How to Reinstate a Suspended License
After a suspension ends, you will always have to pay a reinstatement fee of $45 for a suspension or $75 for a revocation. You may also have to pay an additional fee depending on the reason for your suspension. Also, depending on your offense, you may need to provide documentation of additional completed requirements. For example, if your license was suspended as a result of a DUI charge, you may need proof of SR22 insurance, and/or completion of a DUI course.
What is a Hardship License?
If reinstatement isn’t an option for you yet, but you need to drive, you could be eligible for a hardship license. A hardship license is a restricted license, much like a learner’s permit, that grants a person with a suspended license to ability to legally drive under certain circumstances. These include; to and from work, for family priorities such as driving your children to and from school, for emergencies, or to complete chores or other household needs, such as grocery shopping. To put it simply, it’s for driving for the purpose of earning a living, for medical purposes, or for basic necessities.