Having a driver’s license is important, especially if your town lacks public transportation. Ride-share services, such as Uber and Lyft, can get expensive, especially if you use one every day. Driving a vehicle is how most people get to and from work in the United States as well as to run their errands. So when your license is suspended, it can make life very difficult.
However, your license could be suspended, you may not know it. Maybe you’ve been in trouble and you aren’t sure if your license is still active. Alternately, you might have received some points on your license and don’t know how to find out if your license is suspended.
First, you’ll have to determine whether you did something that would qualify for a suspension.
Common Reasons for a License Suspension
Your license could have been suspended for a number of reasons. For instance, too many points on your license within a certain time period can result in suspension. In addition, driving recklessly, driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, getting involved in a hit-and-run accident, driving over the speed limit, and not coming to a complete stop at a red light or stop sign ‒ all can “earn” points on your license.
You also can have your license suspended if you have a physical impairment, such as seizures, or you failed a state-mandated vision test or refused a blood alcohol test. If you think your actions or your physical condition may have led to a license suspension, look into it.
How to Find Out If a License Is Suspended
If you want to determine if your license has been suspended or is still active, you can visit your local DMV website to use the license suspension tool. Additionally, visit your local DMV in person and ask them, or you can request a copy of your driving record from the DMV by mail.
Also make sure to check any mail you received around the time of the incident. If your license is suspended, you should have received a notice by mail telling you, as well as any additional information you may need, such as how to get your license reinstated.
Read More: How to Find Out if My CA License is Suspended
How to Find Out if Someone Else's License Is Suspended
In most states around the U.S., other people can request someone's driving record, as long as they have written consent from that person. This may be necessary if someone is unable to go to the DMV themselves due to his age or an injury, or something else that limits his mobility.
What Happens If Someone Drives Without a License?
Drivers who get on the road without an active license could face criminal charges. The consequences vary depending on the state. In California, for example, driving with a suspended license is considered a misdemeanor, which can lead to six months of jail time and a fine up to $1,000 as well as court fees.
It’s never a good idea to drive without a license. If you’ve lost your license for any reason, look into getting it reinstated immediately, or find alternative transportation options rather than take the risk.
Getting a License Reinstated
To get your license reinstated, look into it at the local DMV. Likely, it’s going to involve serving out any mandated suspension time and/or prison sentence, paying a reinstatement fee as well as any court fees that apply, providing proof of insurance, and showing up at the DMV with all the valid documentation.
Getting a license reinstated may take some time, but it’s always better than driving with a suspended license, which can cause more issues. Going through the proper driver training, paying attention while on the road, and never driving under the influence are always best to ensure you keep your license active and to keep you and others safe on the road.
- Pay any fees that you owe to get your license reactivated.
- Don't get caught driving without an active license. This can land you in court.
Kylie Ora Lobell is a legal writer for LegalZoom, Legal Management Magazine and many law firms throughout the United States.