Driver’s License Status

What to expect when a license is suspended or revoked

Though the process of obtaining one may vary a little from state to state, every driver in the United States must have a valid driver’s license (or learner’s permit) to be legal on the road. A license certifies that a person has met the issuing state’s minimum requirements for competency and safety as the operator of a motor vehicle, and it earns that person the privilege of driving on public roads. But that license, and the privilege that it represents, may be taken away if a person loses the ability to competently and safely operate a motor vehicle, or as a consequence of delinquent behavior.

Loss of driving privileges comes in two forms: a suspended license (temporary) and a revoked license (permanent).

What is a suspended license?

The suspension of a driver’s license means that the driver cannot legally operate a motor vehicle on public roads until some requirement has been fulfilled. After required conditions are met, a driver’s suspended license may be reinstated. (This almost always involves a reinstatement fee that must be paid on top of whatever other conditions required to reinstate the suspended license.)

Why would a driver’s license be suspended?

A driver’s license may be suspended for various reasons, but all fall into one of three broad categories:

  1. A consequence of illegal behavior. Some crimes, like driving while intoxicated, may include suspension of a driver’s license in sentencing. Less serious crimes, moving violations like not coming to a full stop at a stop sign, are commonly counted against a driver’s license in a points-based system; if a driver exceeds a predefined number of points in a set window of time, that driver’s license is suspended.
  2. A failure to meet court-mandated obligations. Failing to show for a court summons may result in a suspended license. Failure to pay punitive and court fees may also result in a suspended license.
  3. Taxes or child support owed. In some states, a driver’s license may be suspended for taxes owed to the state, or for missing child support payments.


What is a revoked license?

A revoked license cannot be reinstated. In some cases, it may be possible for a person with a revoked license to obtain a new license; however, the process is like obtaining a license for the first time, and a person’s request to apply for a new license must first be approved by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. In other cases, a person with a revoked license may never legally drive again.

Why would a driver’s license be revoked?

As with suspension, a driver’s license may be revoked as part of sentencing for a serious traffic violation, or repeated traffic violations. An inability to drive safely due to medical conditions or age may also result in the revocation of a driver’s license. Failing a DMV road test, driving without insurance, and providing false information on a license or registration application may also result in a revoked license. You can easily get insurance at One Sure Insurance, they´ll give you all the help you need.

What happens if a person is caught driving with a suspended or revoked license?

Any person caught driving with a suspended or revoked license should expect to be arrested. If the driver is charged with offenses in addition to driving with a suspended or revoked license, that person should expect the seriousness of those charges to be escalated (i.e. a misdemeanor may become a felony). Even if no other charges are brought against the driver, incarceration is a possible outcome of driving with a suspended or revoked license.

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