Driving Privileges Revoked: Can I Get a Drivers License in a Different State?

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Driving is a privilege and not a right according to the law. When your license is revoked, it takes administrative action separate from the resolution of any court case to get it reinstated. When your license was revoked in a different state than where you currently reside, you will need to have the revoking state clear your administrative record to obtain a new license in your resident state.

Revoked and Suspended License in National Data Bank

All states participate in a national data bank named the National Driver Registry. When your license is revoked or suspended, the information is entered in this data base. There is also a Commercial Driver License Information System where commercial license issues are recorded.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia participate in both national data banks. When you move to another state and apply for a driver license, the issuing agency will verify that there are no actions recorded in the system.  Though state laws vary, generally you will not be able to get your driving privilege restored in a different state until the record in the national data banks is cleared.

Reinstating Your License

The state that revoked or suspended your driver license is the state that must clear the record in the national data bank.  Since there is no statute of limitations, revocations and suspensions will remain listed indefinitely.

Before you will be able to get a driver license in your current resident state, the revocation or suspension in the national data bank must be cleared. The only way to do this is to follow the driver license reinstatement procedures of the state that originally made the entry.

Once your record is cleared, you can ask for a clearance letter to show the Department of Motor Vehicles in your current state. With a cleared record you can then apply for a new license.

Get Legal Help

Many people run into problems trying to get their driver license record cleared in the national data bank. Often it is a matter of bureaucratic red tape or confusion about the reinstatement process. Sometimes it is necessary to have a court case settled so that the state will clear your record.

An attorney who understands the driver license laws and administrative procedures can advise you on how to get your record cleared. An attorney can work with the state that issued the revocation or suspension so that you are able to obtain a license in the new state.

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