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How Do You Get Your License Back After Suspension?

Reinstating a suspended license does not mean watching the calendar.

Many people violate Transportation Code Section 521.427 (driving while their license is invalid) every time they get behind the wheel, but they do not know it.

If the state suspends a driver’s license for administrative reasons, such as failure to pay child support, it sends a notice to an address of record, which is usually incorrect. Most people do not immediately update their driver’s licenses when they move.

In other cases, the driver is keenly aware of the suspension but chooses to ignore the order, usually because, in most cases, driving is a necessity. People must go to work, take the kids to school, go to the doctor, and so on. Almost inevitably, these individuals commit traffic violations, the suspension pops up on the officer’s computer, and a bad situation gets worse.

In both these cases, a Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer can usually address the suspension, often without a court hearing.

Types of Invalidity

Suspension is different from revocation in these cases. If the state suspends the license, the driver may apply for reinstatement, as outlined below, after the period of suspension ends. If officials revoked the license, the driver must start to process over once again after the revocation period ends.

Furthermore, the state could suspend the driver’s license for administrative or safety reasons, as mentioned above.

FTA (Failure to Appear) is the most common cause of administrative license suspension. FTA usually means the driver missed a court date or a court-ordered deadline, usually in a traffic ticket matter. In these cases, a Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer can usually ask the clerk to put the case back on the docket, thus lifting the arrest warrant and, in many cases, the drivers’ license suspension as well.

Other administrative license suspensions include failing to pay child support, using a fake ID to purchase alcohol, and suffering from certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy, that could cause a sudden loss of consciousness.

Administrative suspensions could be indefinite. Safety suspensions (or semi-safety suspensions) usually last six months. These suspensions include:

These drivers are usually eligible for occupational or hardship licenses. These licenses allow drivers to go to and from work and drive for other essential reasons.

Nuts and Bolts

Significantly, suspended, and revoked licenses do not magically become valid again after the suspension or revocation period ends. The suspension reinstatement process is expensive but rather straightforward.

First, drivers must pay a $100 reinstatement fee prior to the renewal or issuance of their driver’s license, in addition to paying any other outstanding fees owed.

Second, most drivers must obtain SR-22 insurance and keep it for at least two years. This high-risk insurance is significantly higher than ordinary insurance. After two years, these drivers may shop for lower rates, but there is no guarantee a cheaper policy will be available.

After the state gets the money and proof of insurance, it re-activates the driver’s license. Continuing to drive on a suspended license usually means a DWLI charge as well as a suspension period extension.

Count on a Tarrant County Criminal Defense Attorney

The suspension reinstatement process is simple and expensive. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Worth, contact the Law Office of Kyle Whittaker.