What is the difference between a revoked and suspended license?

Getting a revoked driver’s license can be a difficult and frustrating time in your life, however you may be confused about the difference between a revoked license and a suspended license. A revoked driver’s license generally has a more serious outcome than a license which has simply been suspended. If you have received a license revocation, you are in the exact same position you were in before you ever even had your first driver’s license. The only way to get your license at this point is to go through the driver’s license restoration process, which will involve mountains of paperwork, possible reinstatement hearings and other possible issues as well. You could possibly be denied a license, or issued an occupational license (restricted) instead of receiving a regular driver’s license. Contrarily, if your license has been suspended, it will be automatically reinstated after your period of suspension is complete. You will have to pay a reinstatement fee, which can be as much as $200, depending on your state, as well as any applicable driver responsibility fees.

Be aware, however, that if you are in a motor vehicle accident while driving on a suspended license, your simple misdemeanor charge can escalate to a felony charge; if someone was hurt in the accident you could additionally face up to five years in prison and stiff fines.

If you are caught driving while your license is either revoked or suspended, your auto insurance company will almost certainly either cancel your coverage entirely, require special coverage or raise your rates significantly. Your license can be revoked or suspended for DUI, drag racing, or a history of repeated moving violations, or you could have your license suspended for refusal to submit to a breath or blood test. You stand a good chance of getting your license back if it has been suspended, but if your license has been revoked, you lose all driving privileges, and, even if you meet the required conditions, you still may not get your license back for a long time. (See also Criminal Penalties of Driving With a Revoked License).

Consult an Attorney

An experienced lawyer can help you decipher the laws regarding license revocation and suspension in your particular state; this knowledge can be invaluable in your defense. 

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