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How to Reinstate a Suspended Driver License in Florida

A drivers license suspension in Florida temporarily removes a motorist’s driving privileges. To reinstate drivers license credentials, motorists can appeal to the FL Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Repeat offenders may face a revoked drivers license, which is a more serious punishment and makes reinstatement harder. Motorists with a revoked drivers license in FL must wait a specified period before they can petition for reinstatement. Fortunately, eligible motorists with a suspended drivers license in FL may apply for reinstatement or a hardship license to drive with limits.

Reasons for a Florida Drivers License Suspension

Drivers license suspensions in Florida happen for several reasons. The suspended drivers license may be the result of a motorist accumulating too many demerit points on his or her driving record. A driver may have a suspended drivers license in FL because he or she was involved in a traffic offense involving extensive property damage, bodily injury or loss of life. Drivers license suspensions in Florida can also occur when a driver has been convicted of driving while under the influence. If a motorist refuses to take a field sobriety test, he or she will face an automatic one-year suspension. A license can be suspended by court order due to the motorist’s driving history. These are just some examples of reasons for drivers license suspensions among many others.

Reinstating Drivers Licenses in Florida

Different types of drivers license suspensions in FL have their own unique rules for reinstatement. Drivers can check drivers license suspension online with the DHSMV to determine their type of suspension. Some motorists have an indefinite D-6 suspended drivers license for failing to appear for a traffic summons, pay a traffic ticket fine or comply with a traffic summons. To obtain a drivers license restoration in Florida, the driver must contact the court and satisfy the summons or pay the fee. Once satisfied, the ticket will be lifted, and the court will either present the driver with a clearance form or send a notice electronically to the DHSMV. To get a drivers license reinstatement, the motorist can take the clearance form to any drivers license office and pay a D-6 reinstatement fee. The driver can also mail the form and payment to the Bureau of Motorist Compliance. If the court notifies the DHSMV electronically, motorists may be able to pay the reinstatement fee over the phone.

To reinstate a drivers license in Florida, drivers who have a suspension due to excessive demerit points or a non-DUI related violation resulting in death or serious injury must do the following:

  • Take an examination
  • Show proof of enrollment in Advanced Driver Improvement (ADI) school
  • Pay a drivers license reinstatement fee
  • Pay any required license fees

A full drivers license restoration in Florida usually happens after a suspension period ends, but some drivers may petition for an early reinstatement or a hardship license. If the motorist intends to petition for a restoration or an end to the suspended drivers license in FL, then he or she must contact a DHSMV drivers license office, Bureau of Administrative Reviews office or tax collecting licensing agent to determine his or her eligibility for reinstatement. If eligible, the first step toward reinstating drivers licenses in Florida is an informal or formal administrative hearing, wherein the Administrative Review Office will determine eligibility for license reinstatement.

Some drivers may be eligible to request an early drivers license reinstatement or file an appeal to challenge the suspension. However, if a motorist is suspended for driving with an alcohol level that was above the legal limit or refusing to take an alcohol test, then he or she may only apply for an appeal hearing within 10 days of the arrest.

The Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in Florida

In Florida, driving with a suspended license can result in fines and jail time. Those with a suspended drivers license who are pulled over while driving can be taken immediately to jail. Furthermore, driving with a suspended license in Florida is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Many offenders mistakenly decide to drive with a suspended license because they have no other way to go to work, school or medical appointments. The state of Florida acknowledges this situation, and fortunately, they have alternative solutions for those who are deemed good candidates for a provisional license.

How to Apply for a Florida Hardship (Provisional) License During Suspension

A provisional drivers license in Florida is also often referred to as a hardship license or temporary license. The FL provisional drivers license is a license that has restrictions on it, but the motorist will be legally able to drive the vehicle to work, school and / or important appointments for a period of several years. Not everyone will be qualified to receive this type of license. Provisional drivers licenses are offered to Florida residents based on need and the reason for the drivers license suspension.

In most cases, applying for a provisional drivers license in FL will involve a similar process as applying for reinstatement. Drivers can determine their eligibility for a hardship license by contacting a drivers license office or a Bureau of Administrative Reviews office. Some applicants may qualify to receive a review of eligibility for a restricted or hardship drivers license.

First-time DUI offenders with a suspended drivers license may apply for a restricted (hardship) license eligibility review. If they accept a provisional drivers license, then they waive their right to a suspension review for full reinstatement before the suspension ends. In order to request the review of eligibility for a restricted license, they must visit a Bureau of Administrative Review office no later than 10 days after the arrest. At the office, they will pay a fee and fill out a form to request the waiver review option.

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