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License Suspension and Revocation

All licenses expire at some point, but there are ways to lose driving privileges before the license’s expiration date. Early termination of the validity of a driver’s license is known as suspension (where a license is temporarily rendered invalid), and revocation (where driving privileges granted by a license are fully terminated). In both cases, drivers would be are notified by the state and would have the right to a hearing. Examples of driver license suspensions and revocations are:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol and other drugs.: If a breath, blood, or urine test reveals individuals are driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or if individuals are convicted of DUI offenses, their licenses may be suspended or revoked.
  • Failure to Appear: If individuals receive a traffic ticket and do not pay the fine on time or do not appear in court when required their licenses are subject to being suspended or revoked.
  • Security Deposit: If individuals are in an accident and they do not have liability insurance, their driver licenses and their vehicle registration plates may be suspended.
  • Child Support Arrears: If individuals are in arrears in court ordered child support pay-ments the state may suspend or revoke licenses.
  • Truancy: Juveniles can lose their driver’s licenses, or their issuance may be delayed for habitual absence from school.

A driver’s license suspension or revocation is usually handled as a separate action from any other court case in which individuals may be involved. A state does not automatically reinstate driving privileges if licenses were suspended or revoked. Individuals must follow reinstatement procedures to regain their driving privileges, even if the court case underlying the suspension or revocation was dismissed. Furthermore, all 50 states share license suspension and revocation information. If there is an active suspension or revocation in one state, no other state may issue a driver’s license. Driving while suspended or revoked are serious criminal offenses. If individuals are apprehended driving a vehicle with a suspended or revoked license, they could pay hefty fines and even face a term of imprisonment.

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