driver's license is one of the most important documents one can have. It is more than proof to drive lawfully; it's a piece of your identity. But, despite this, millions of American lose their driver's licenses every year. A driver's license is a privilege that may be taken away at any time for violating traffic and state regulations. The reason is not always behind the wheel but beyond that.

In this article, we will take a deep dive into the reasons for losing your driver's license and discuss steps to reinstate your license. So, let's begin.

Causes Reasons What to do?
Speeding Too many speeding tickets.
Hit and run cases and accidents due to speeding.
Speeding as a novice driver or under 21 age driver.
Join traffic classes.
Pay fines.

Driving under the influence Drunk driving
Driving under intoxication
Join DUI course.
Apply for a restricted license.
Driving with a suspended or revoked license Driving before the suspension period ends. Don’t drive until your suspension period is over.
Apply for a restricted license.
Medical issues If you are diagnosed with epilepsy, eye disease, or schizophrenia, making you unfit to drive. Re-apply when you are fit to drive.
Apply for a restricted license.
Failure to pay child support If you have not paid your child support. Pay your child support or inform the agency why you could not pay for the support.
Driving without insurance No minimum liability insurance.
Could not pay liability during an accident.
Get minimum liability insurance and reapply for the insurance.
Fake information If it's found that any information in your driving license is false or you are using a fake license, you can get your license suspended. Apply for a new license with correct information.
Failure to pay fine Not paying accrued fines. Pay all the accrued fines in total.
Community service
Writing bad checks Writing checks with no balance. Working with an attorney to defend yourself.
Skipping school School drop out or bunking classes/school too often. Attend school regularly.
Wait until you are 18.

Common Reasons for License Suspension

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Drinking and Driving
Source: Storyset

Driving under the influence, or DUI, is when a person drives while impaired by drugs or alcohol. It is a severe offense that results in immediate license suspension and other legal consequences. If caught driving under the influence, the officer will confiscate your license and provide you with a 30-day temporary license or an order of suspension.

How long is the suspension period?

The state laws, severity, and offense times determine the suspension period. Generally, a first-time offender faces a 6-month suspension. However, if you accidentally kill someone, the suspension term is 3+ years. Also, the state will suspend your driving privileges permanently after three DUI convictions.

What to do next?

After a DUI arrest, there are usually two parts to the case: the criminal hearing and the ALR hearing. Since DUI is a criminal violation, there are legal consequences and charges that you must deal with. The charges depend on how severe the crime is. For instance, causing an accident while under the influence may result in jail time.

Next, you must appear at an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing to contest the suspension of your driving license. You can also apply for a restricted license to drive to and from places like schools, jobs, courts, and doctors' offices. Otherwise, you must wait until your suspension period is over to reinstate your license.

Driving Without Insurance

It's mandatory in all states to have a minimum amount of liability insurance to drive legally. If caught driving without the required insurance, your license might be suspended.

How long is the suspension period?

It depends on your state and the number of times the offense has occurred. The suspension term is usually one month but may go on for up to a year. Some states have no suspension period or fines.

What to do next?

When you provide evidence of insurance and pay all penalties, your license will be reinstated. Each state has penalties, which may cost anything from $50 to $1500. However, some states do not charge any fines as long as you can show them proof of insurance.


Speeding in a Car
Source: Storyset

Generally, speeding violations do not cost you your license. But your license might be revoked if you are caught speeding many times. It also depends on the severity of the offense. For example, your license may be suspended immediately if you were speeding and caused an accident. It also depends on the location you were speeding in. For instance, if you were speeding in a school zone, it is regarded as a more significant violation leading to immediate suspension.

How long is the suspension period?

It depends on several factors, but generally, it can range between 10 and 90 days. But, if you have repeated speeding tickets even after being suspended, the suspension period can go from six months to one year.

What to do next?

After having your license suspended, you may apply for a hardship or limited license. However, at this time, you must obey all traffic regulations. If you keep getting tickets, chances are that your license will be permanently suspended. Similarly, if your state permits it, you may enroll in a traffic school program. This might lead to reduced required payments, eliminating of demerit points, or dismissing the charge entirely.

Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License

If you have a suspended license and are caught driving, you will likely face a longer suspension or permanent suspension of your driving privileges. It might also result in a lengthy jail sentence and substantial penalties.

How long is the suspension period?

It depends on the reason why your license was suspended in the first place. Generally, the suspension period is increased by six months to one year.

What to do next?

Do not drive with a suspended or revoked license, even if driving near stores. It is illegal and may lead to severe legal consequences. Instead, use a ride-sharing app, ask others to drop you off, or get a restricted license. Patiently wait until your suspension period is over.

Failure to Pay Fine

Fine Document
Source: Storyset

If you have been ordered to pay a parking ticket or speeding ticket but didn't pay the fine, you might have a license suspension. Generally, you get a notice about your unpaid fines, but if you ignore the notice, then you will be fined heavily, with the suspension of your license and vehicle registration.

How long is the suspension period?

Generally, the suspension is lifted after you pay the fine fully.

What to do next?

If you are looking to resolve unpaid parking tickets and a suspended license, you can contest a recent ticket in court or pay the balance of the tickets in total. You can also ask the court for an alternative payment program like community service or payment plan to reinstate your license.

Writing Bad Checks

If you are writing a check with no balance, think twice. Writing a bad check with ill intent is a severe offense. Thus, verify the amount before writing the check. If you are charged with passing a bad check and fail to appear in court, you might lose your driver's license and have an arrest warrant issued for you. This is applicable in Florida and Indiana.

How long is the suspension period?

The suspension period is generally one month.

What to do next?

Sometimes things happen, and you might unintentionally write a bad check. If you are charged for a bad check, work with an experienced attorney to defend yourself.

Skipping School

While skipping class and taking a road trip may seem like a fun idea, it might have severe consequences down the road. If you consistently skip school, you may lose your driving license in certain states. If a student driver in Florida misses more than 15 days of school with an unexcused absence in 90 days, their learner's permit or driver's license may be revoked. Additionally, dropping out of school may result in the suspension of your driver's license in several states, such as Vermont.

How long is the suspension period?

Generally, the suspension period can range from one month to six months.

What to do next?

If you lost your license because of poor school attendance, the best course of action is to attend school for 30 consecutive days with no unexcused absences. At this point, your high school's attendance office will fill out a License Reinstatement Form and submit it to the DMV on your behalf. If you are a school dropout, wait until 18, when the school attendance requirement is no longer applicable.

Failure to Pay Child Support

Child Support
Source: Vectorjuice

Some states may suspend your license if you fail to pay child support. Generally, the DMV will notify you by mail or letter and give a warning period before suspending your license.

How long is the suspension period?

The suspension can be lifted if you pay back the child support or the child support agency requests to lift it.

What to do next?

If you get the mail regarding a license suspension, quickly contact the child support agency. They can help you avoid your license being suspended or reinstated it.

Fake Information or ID

The state may suspend your driving privileges if it finds that any of the details on your license are false or if you use a fake license. Making a forged ID is a severe criminal violation that may result in state imprisonment.

How long is the suspension period?

The suspension period can range from two months to one year, based on the severity of the crime.

What to do next?

The standard procedure following a suspension is to apply for a new license and be subject to the same written and road tests as if you had never had a license before. Until then, you may apply for the hardship license.

Physical or Mental Condition

Mental Support
Source: Freepik

If you have a physical or mental condition that makes it hard for you to drive, your license could be taken away. Common conditions include epilepsy, schizophrenia, Alzheimer, dementia, cataracts, and so on. Typically, a DMV reexamination hearing is held to assess whether or not the driver can safely drive. The DMV may suspend a driver's license without a hearing if it believes that the driver presents an extreme threat to public safety.

How long is the suspension period?

Generally, the suspension period is indefinite unless the driver applies to reinstate the license, given that s/he is completely diagnosed with the condition and is fit to drive the car.

What to do next?

The DMV is solely concerned with how safe a driver you are. Therefore, if you have been properly diagnosed and can now drive safely, you may be eligible to have your license reinstated, provided you can prove that your condition is not a threat. Additionally, you may apply for a limited license that allows you to drive under strict supervision.

Effective Ways to Deal With Lost License

Apply for a Restricted License

Driving is a basic necessity, and losing a driver's license would spell a catastrophe for many. It may lead to losing their job, failing college, and not being able to drop off their kids at school. Thus, you can apply for a restricted license that allows you to drive with restrictions. However, whether you are eligible for a restricted license depends on several factors, including your state, the severity of the offense, and how many times you have committed the offense. Hit-and-run, vehicular homicide, and reckless driving are all major traffic offenses that might exclude you from eligibility. Similarly, you might be eligible only if it is your first suspension. Also, apply for the restricted license after your hard suspension has ended.

Use Public Transport or a Ride-Sharing App

While your license has been suspended, you can use public transport or ride-sharing to go to the places. You can use ride-sharing apps such as Uber, Lyft, or taxis.

Hire a Personal Driver

You can also hire a personal driver to drive you to the places while your license is suspended. This might add additional costs, but it's worth it if you frequently travel to different locations.

Ask Friends or Family for Rides

You can ask your parents, friends, or siblings to give you a ride. It can be inconvenient since you might feel like you're bothering them, but to sweeten the deal, offer to pay for the gas. Think of it positively; this is a great time to share some time, and driving with your families can be therapeutic.

Rideshare Application
Source: Storyset

Carpool With a Coworker

It can be hard to get to work if you have a suspended driving license. But you can carpool with your coworkers or neighbors. Find someone who shares a similar route with you and politely ask them to stop by and pick you up on the way to work. You can join carpool groups to find out if someone lives nearby your place. Along with sharing the ride, you can also share the expenses, which will be a win-win situation for both of you.

Get a Bicycle

If nothing works out, it's better if you can ride a bicycle that does not need a license. You can either buy a bicycle or rent one for a certain time. Cycling is good for your health as well. But make sure there is a designated bike lane; otherwise, riding a bicycle on the road can be risky. Make sure you follow all the traffic rules and keep an eye on the road.

Take Approved Class

If your license was suspended due to DUI, reckless driving, traffic violations, and accumulation of points, you need to take an approved class to qualify for reinstatement. For DUI, you need to enroll in DUI courses. Make sure you enroll in physical DUI courses, as online classes are not generally accepted. You need to submit the certificate of enrollment.

Pay Fees and Fines

You must pay reinstatement fees to reinstate your license. This typically ranges from $5 to $1,200. The cost is based on the cause of your license suspension and if it's your first offense. Apart from reinstatement fees, you also need to pay state fees such as penalties. Make sure you have paid all the fees required.

Get SR-22/FR-44 Insurance

The state might require you to get an SR-22 form, also known as a certificate of financial responsibility, before reinstating your driving license. In Florida and Virginia, it's called FR-44 insurance. You must show that you meet the state's auto liability requirements. It's an additional document you must carry in addition to your proof of insurance. If you are convicted of DUI, you might get DUI insurance.

Insurance Document
Source: pch.vector

Be Patient

We know a license is a vital part of our life. So, be patient until the license is reinstated. Don't drive with your suspended license; you can face severe legal consequences, from hefty fines to even imprisonment. You might get your license suspended permanently.

Contact Your State Driving Office

Since individual states regulate suspended licenses in their own way, the best option is to contact your state driving office to ask for the required steps to reinstate your license. Firstly, get a general idea of what could step so that you can ask specific questions to the office. You can find the state driver's regulation number online or visit their official website.

Hire an Attorney

You can also hire an attorney to help you understand your legal options and the steps needed to get your license back as quickly as possible. They understand the legal issues affecting suspension cases and will relentlessly fight to restore your driving privileges.

If you are looking to hire an attorney, then here are some of our recommendations:

What Happens to Your Auto Insurance After Your License Is Suspended?

Your Insurance Company Might Withdraw their Coverage

Depending on your reason for the suspension, some insurers may not offer you coverage, especially if your driving history indicates you are a high-risk driver. If you are convicted of DUI, hit-and-run cases, and reckless driving, your insurance will refuse to cover you.

You Have to Pay Higher Insurance Rates

Since you are designated a high-risk driver, the insurance company will require you to pay higher insurance rates.

It's Hard Finding Insurance

Generally, it might be hard for you to get insurance if your license is suspended. Most insurance companies don't offer SR-22 filing, making finding coverage challenging after license suspension. But don't worry; you can choose state plans to help you find one.


There are several reasons why you might lose your driver's license. DUI, speeding, failing to pay child support, writing a bad check, failing to pay penalties, and driving without insurance are all typical causes of losing your driver's license. Your driver's license is proof of legal driving, and your identity card. Thus, it's crucial to obey all the rules behind, and beyond the wheels, so you don't lose your driver's license.

Also read : Understanding DUI Insurance


Dec 19, 2022
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