Do I have a suspended license?

Because driving is considered a privilege and not a legal right, your driver's license can be suspended at any time. If your license is suspended, your state's DMV will mail a notice to the last address on file as part of your driving record. This is one of the main reasons the DMV encourages you to update your contact information whenever you move to a new home.

Some of the many reasons you could have a suspended license include:

  • Violations of the provisions of your state's graduated licensing system, if you are a teen driver
  • Accumulating too many points on your driving record, if your state uses a point system to monitor driver behavior
  • Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident
  • Manslaughter with a motor vehicle
  • Failure to appear
  • Failure to pay child support

If you think your license may have been suspended, but you haven't received a DMV notice, the best course of action is to order a copy of your driving record to do a check drivers license status. Your driving record will have a listing of all traffic violations, as well as suspensions and revocations. The date and county in which the offense occurred will also be listed. To order a copy of your driving record, you'll need to visit the DMV office with proof of your identity, fill out a short form, and pay a small fee.

If your license has been suspended, you may need to complete a driver education course and show proof that you've obtained the correct automobile insurance before you can get your license back. In addition, you will likely need to pay a fine in order to have your driving privileges reinstated.

In some cases, drivers can apply for a hardship permit in order to drive to school, work, or necessary medical appointments when they have a suspended license. Contact your local DMV office to see if this option is available in your case. In any event, do not drive on a suspended license; if you do, you will face fines, tickets and possibly revocation of your license.

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