Moving Out Of State With A Suspended Driver's License?

by Joshua on November 08, 2014

You got caught either speeding far too many times, or driving under the influence, and now you have a suspended driver’s license. If you want to get your driving privileges back again, use these tips to get them back in the fastest possible manner.

Initial Steps to Take

Anyone moving out of the state should take the time to give up their old license at the local department of motor vehicles (DMV) before leaving. If your license is suspended, you need to take one more step. Take some time to talk with an official from the DMV in your soon to be former home state. Chances are, even if you have a waiver to drive to work or school, in all likelihood, you will not be allowed to drive out of state.

Take a close look at the license suspension notice you got from the state. The plan for a reinstatement of your license is based on the reasons your license was suspended. If for example, you racked up an excessive amount of points in moving violations such as speeding, requirements for reinstatement for this violation will vary from a suspension given due to an arrest for driving under the influence.

Actions to Take

Regardless of why your license was suspended—you need to do the following:

  • Obey the law

If you feel a need for speed, find it somewhere else besides behind the wheel of a car. If you are prohibited from driving except to work or school, don’t drive. If you are stopped, there is a very good chance you’ll go to jail and face an even longer suspension. If you like going to the bars for a drink, call a cab or find a designated driver. Fines and jail time for DUIs are no joke in this day and age. Once you get a DUI, suspensions are often mandatory for as long as 6 months or more.

Serving Your Suspension

Now back to the license suspension notice you got from the state. The length of time your license is suspended will be clearly spelled out. If there is an appeals process, that process will be stated as well. If you have a DUI suspension, you will more than likely have to take a class on substance abuse, and most people under suspension will have to take a course in defensive driving. Take these classes, and take them seriously.

There are some instances where getting your license reinstated can be as simple as paying an outstanding traffic ticket, or showing a judge that you do have auto insurance. But these are most often the exception to the rule. It should also list the process you need to go through in order to obtain a restricted license. This is a license that will allow you to drive to work and/or school only. It is imperative that you heed this restriction and not be caught driving when you are not supposed to.

The Bottom Line

If your license is suspended in any state, you will not be allowed to register your car anywhere. It will also not be possible to get insurance. And if you get caught, you are going to be in some very serious trouble. In order to get your license reinstated in the state where it was suspended, you will most likely have to do some, or all of the following:

  • Once the suspension is over, pay a license reinstatement fee.
  • Provide proof of auto insurance.
  • If you were suspended for a DUI, you may have to outfit your auto with a ignition interlock system.
  • Provide proof you passed a prescribed course such as defensive driving.
  • You may have to retake a driver’s license test.

You will also have to resolve any and all criminal charges related to your suspension. You should also be aware that very few states, or in other words, almost none, will mail you a notice that you can apply to have your license reinstated. Knowing that timeline is entirely up to you, and you need to take it seriously. When you are applying for a new license in another state, they may very well require you to have a letter of clearance from the DMV in the state where you formerly lived before they will issue you a new one.

If you have a chance to appeal a suspension, you may be able to get a lawyer and win an appeal, but in most cases, all they will be able to do for you is get you a restricted license. If your license is suspended and you are moving to another state, there is one key thing to do to get your license back in the most hassle free manner —and that is to obey the law. Once you finally get your license back, that is still some good advice to follow.

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