Losing your driver's license can have a range of negative impacts on your life, from increasing the difficulty of seeing friends and family to making it nearly impossible to commute to work. Although most jurisdictions do not revoke licenses without good cause, that doesn't mean you can't restore your driving privileges.
In most cases, getting your license back will require you to understand why you lost it in the first place and the factors that influence reinstatement. An attorney can help you through these issues, but it's a good idea to keep these three elements of reinstatement in mind before your first consultation.
1. Suspension vs. Revocation
Although the laws vary from state to state, most jurisdictions distinguish between a suspended license and a revoked license. License suspensions are, by definition, intended to be temporary. When the court suspends your driving privileges, they usually specify conditions for reinstatement. These may include waiting for some time, attending classes, or other options.
Revocation is a much more severe situation. Depending on where you live, a revocation may come with similar terms to a suspension, or it may be a more permanent solution. Reversing a permanent revocation typically requires a court hearing and is not a process you should embark upon without the assistance of a qualified attorney.
2. Reinstatement Conditions
For suspensions, reinstating your license will require you to meet certain conditions, but this isn't always a straightforward or automatic process. Some states will revoke driving privileges for non-driving offenses, such as drug convictions or child support issues. In these cases, restoring your driving status may come with some precise terms.
When your suspension includes these conditions, you may need to prove to the court that you've met all obligations before applying for reinstatement. Working with an attorney can ensure that you provide the proper documentation to expedite this process and avoid any bureaucratic hurdles that may slow the process.
3. Prior Suspensions
Most states escalate punishments for repeat offenders. It's easier to restore your license following your first suspension than it is after a second or third, and some jurisdictions may be harsher after three violations. If you have multiple past suspensions, you may need to meet special requirements or attend a much stricter hearing.
Since restoring a lost license can involve many factors and potential complications, working with an experienced attorney will usually provide the best and most expedient outcome. A driver's license reinstatement attorney can help you through every step of the process so that you can restore your driving privileges and resume your life.