Restoration of a Suspended Driver’s License is harder than you think.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin.  This applies doubly so to your driver’s license.  Don’t let it get taken away from you.

There is more than one kind of suspended license.  The first kind is not as bad as the second.  Most people have their license suspended for missing court, or unpaid fines. It can be a vicious cycle: getting behind on bills with lapsed tags or insurance, then avoiding court because you can’t afford the ticket, then getting a suspended license and hoping the police don’t catch you while you just drive to work.  Driving While License Revoked under NCGS G.S. 20-28(a) is a class 3 misdemeanor.  On or after December 1, 2013, a person who (1) drives (2) a motor vehicle (3) on a street or highway (4) while his or her license has been revoked by the State of North Carolina (4)knowing that his or her license is revoked commits a Class 3 misdemeanor. See S.L. 2013-360, Section 18B.14.(f) (amending G.S. 20-28(a)).

If, however, you have the second kind, where the person’s license revoked for impaired driving, the person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. G.S. 20-28(a). To establish the new Class 1 misdemeanor offense under G.S. 20-28(a), the State must prove the four elements listed above and a fifth element, namely “that the person’s license was originally revoked for an impaired driving revocation.”  Under those circumstances, you can be arrested and expect probation or jail if convicted, along with additional periods of suspension to your license.

DMV Chart of Suspension Periods

Suppose your license is permanently revoked for DWI convictions.  At some point, you may want to try and get your license back.   It is possible, buyt you must walk the straight and narrow path for TEN YEARS.

North Carolina General Statute Sec. 20-19(e4) provides for a hearing after TEN YEARS of suspension period have elapsed.  Conditional restoration following a hearing with DMV is possible upon proof of all of the following:

  • No convictions of a motor vehicle offense, and alcohol beverage control law offense, or drug law offense, anywhere
  • No convictions for any criminal offense involving possession or consumption of alcohol or drugs
  • No convictions for ANY criminal offenses anywhere
  • Not be an excessive user of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances.

Convictions for any offenses may disqualify you for a hearing for a period of TEN YEARS from the date of the new conviction.

DMV Restoration after Perm Suspension


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