What To Do When Your Driver’s License is Revoked

Having your driver’s license revoked can be very disruptive to your daily life, especially if you live or work in an area without reliable public transportation. Of course, the best way to address this inconvenience is to avoid having your license revoked in the first place. However, if you do run afoul of activity that results in a revoked license, there are a few things you can do to have it reinstated.  

It’s important to note that a revoked license differs from a suspended one. Suspensions are usually temporary, lasting a specific length of time. Depending on why it’s suspended, you may get it back automatically or after paying a fine or passing a driving class. Revocation, on the other hand, is typically indefinite or permanent.

You may appeal to the court or apply for a new license under specific terms to get your license back. 

Reasons Your Driver’s License May Be Revoked

Some of the most common reasons licenses are revoked include: 

● Driving on a previously suspended license

● Debilitating medical conditions, like Alzheimer’s or a heart condition

● Fraud or other legal offenses

● Substance abuse or addiction

● Reckless driving or a hit-and-run

● Failure to appear in traffic court

The reason your license was revoked can significantly affect your chances of getting it back. For instance, if you lost your license due to failing to pay child support, paying the appropriate fees may help you get it back. However, if you have a debilitating medical condition or receive a conviction for a serious crime, you may never be allowed to drive again. 

Penalties for Driving on a Revoked License

Driving on a revoked license dramatically reduces your chances of having it reinstated. Depending on state law and your criminal history—you may end up paying a hefty fine or serving time in prison. 

To get your license back or have a new license approved, you must abide by the law and avoid driving throughout the reinstatement process. A clean driving record is vital to proving your trustworthiness to drive on the road with others.

Appealing for Reinstatement

If you qualify to have your license reinstated, there are two ways to go about it. The first is to appeal to the courts to reactivate your old license. The second is to go through the process of applying for and obtaining a new driver’s license. 

To submit an appeal to traffic court, talk to a lawyer who specializes in traffic law. They can provide information about traffic laws and the appeals process for your state and help you gather the forms and information you’ll need to submit to get things started. 

After you’ve submitted the necessary paperwork, you’ll likely undergo a hearing or even a series of hearings to determine whether you can be trusted to drive safely on the road. When someone loses their license, it’s often related to a series of traffic violations, habitual unsafe driving, driving under the influence, or a hit-and-run accident. In these cases, the defendant must prove they’re no longer a threat to others while on the road.

If you win your case, you’ll either have your old license restored or need to apply for a new one. To apply for an entirely new driver’s license, check with your state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to check whether you meet eligibility requirements. If so, you can move forward with the application process. 

Requirements for a Reinstated or New License

If you’ve had your license revoked, you’ll almost certainly need to meet specific requirements before it’s restored, either through the courts or via an application for a new license. 

Depending on the severity of your traffic violations, you may need to do one or more of the following: 

● Pass a drug and alcohol test

● Successfully complete drug or alcohol rehabilitation

● Undergo a legal hearing

● Pay various fines or serve a short prison sentence

● Pass a written and practical driving test

● Obtain and show proof of insurance


The requirements may vary from state to state, and situation to situation, and the restoration process may take a long time. However, reinstatement is possible with patience and the help of an experienced lawyer.


Veronica Davis is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area. She writes for Philadelphia civil appeal lawyer Todd Mosser.



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