How to Know if A License is Active or Suspended?

••• Sam Pullara

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If you are unsure about the status of your driver's license, look into it right away. If your license has been suspended or revoked because of unpaid parking tickets or some other infraction, you could be arrested if you are pulled over by police. Getting your license back might be as simple as paying any fines you owe, but you won't know if you don't take the time to find out.

Check Your Papers

If you went to court on a driving charge and received a suspension, the court would have told you about the suspension at the hearing. Usually, you are required to sign paperwork which contains information about your suspension, for example, when it starts and how long it lasts for. If you've lost this paperwork, visit the clerk of the courthouse and ask for a copy.

The Formal Process

Go to and click on your state in the drop-down menu, and then click the word "go." Once your state's Department of Motor Vehicles page loads, follow these steps:

  • Check that the state DMV has your correct address. This is necessary if you have moved because all motor vehicle notices will be sent to your home. If they have the wrong address and you lose your license, you might not know about it.
  • Click through to read about the procedures in your state for getting a copy of your driving record.  
  • Request your driving record in writing. In your letter, include your full name, current address, driver's license number and Social Security number. Let officials know you want a copy of your driving record and enclose a check to cover the fee. This fee is different for each state, but it will be listed in your state's information page. When you get your report, read it to see if your license is suspended.

The Simple Phone Call

Another option is to call the Department of Motor Vehicles office in your county and ask them whether your license is active or suspended. Don't have a friend call, because privacy laws prevent anyone else from calling and obtaining your information.

The Federal Option

Another option is to call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Their phone number is 1-888-851-0436. They have a list of all lost and suspended licenses. They keep this list so people cannot get a new license in another state when one state has suspended their license. Ask them to check whether your license is active or suspended. Have your driver's license number handy.


  • 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.



About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.

Photo Credits

  • Sam Pullara