Getting Your License Restored In North Carolina
January 26th, 2023
A suspended driver’s license can make life more difficult. You face additional challenges when you need to do simple things like go to the store, travel to and from work, or maintain a social life. Fortunately, with assistance from an experienced traffic offense lawyer, getting your driver’s license restored is not as difficult as you might think.
Driver’s License Suspension and Restoration in North Carolina
To explain NC driver’s license restoration, it is necessary to consider the common causes for a driver’s license suspension, as the reason for your license suspension will impact how you get your driver’s license restored.
Suspended License Due to Failure to Appear
If you have a scheduled court date for a traffic offense but you fail to appear, the judge can suspend your driver’s license.
If your license was suspended for failure to appear, you can request to have your NC driver’s license restored by:
- Appearing in court and finalizing the ticket;
- Paying an administrative fine for missing the initial appearance;
- Paying your traffic ticket and any court fees; and
- Contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and paying the license reinstatement fee.
License Suspension Due to Traffic Violations
Multiple traffic offenses, even minor ones, can lead to a driver’s license suspension. Each driving offense has a number of points that are placed on your license. If you receive 12 points in three years, your license will be suspended. To restore your driver’s license, you must satisfy the license suspension terms and pay a restoration fee. You might also be required to pay a service fee if you did not surrender your license when it was suspended.
NC Driver’s License Suspension after a DWI
A North Carolina DWI charge carries a mandatory driver’s license suspension, even if you were not convicted.
- If you were arrested based on suspicion of DWI, your license will be suspended for 30 days
- Refusal to take a blood test will result in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license
- A first-time DWI conviction carries a one-year driver’s license suspension
- A second DWI conviction carries a two-year driver’s license suspension
Once the suspension is complete, you must apply to the DMV to have your driver’s license reinstated and pay a driver’s license reinstatement fee plus a service fee if you need a new license.
You may also be required to comply with alcohol concentration restrictions and must agree to submit to a breath or blood test at the request of a police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe you are violating your alcohol concentration restriction.
Driver's License Restoration After a License Revocation
There is an important difference between license suspension and license revocation. A driver’s license suspension is a temporary suspension of your driving privileges, whereas a license revocation is the complete termination of your driving privileges.
If your driver’s license was revoked after multiple DWI convictions, you can apply for a conditional driver’s license restoration if:
- You have completed two years of your license revocation without any convictions for alcohol, drug, or traffic offenses;
- You do not use drugs, alcohol, or prescribed medicines excessively; and
- You are not illegally using controlled substances.
You will also need to pay all fines and license restoration fees and comply with any conditions imposed by the DMV.
Limited Driving Privileges After a Driver’s License Suspension
You can petition the court to grant you limited driving privileges while your driver’s license is suspended. To receive limited driving privileges, you must request them from the court and attend a hearing with the DMV. If the judge grants you limited driving privileges, you may be allowed to drive to and from work or school, medical appointments, church, and in cases of emergency.
If your driver’s license was suspended because of a DWI, you are only eligible for limited driving privileges if you have a Level 3, 4, or 5 conviction and no prior DWI charges within the last seven years. If there were aggravating factors, such as a BAC above .15% or reckless driving, you will be required to wait 45 days after your conviction before you can apply for limited driving privileges. You may also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed.
Contact The Stowe Law Firm for Help with Driver’s License Restoration
If your NC driver’s license was suspended and you need assistance seeking driver’s license restoration, the Stowe Law Firm can help. Based in Salisbury, North Carolina, the Stowe Law Firm proudly represents people in Rowan County, Mecklenburg County, Davidson County, Cabarrus County, and Stanly County.
Contact the Stowe Law Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation.
Categories: Criminal Defense Lawyers, Traffic Violations, Uncategorized