What to Do in Case You Lose Your Privilege to DriveIf freedom is being able to do what we like and to go where we want, then driving is definitely a great freedom that we do not want to be without. Because we often associate our privilege to drive with freedom, it's but natural for us to feel crippled and confined, as well as stupefied, when we discover our driver's licenses have been revoked or suspended. When this happens, we often feel at a loss about what to do. Of course we want to get our license back as soon as possible, but how do we start the process?

Cancellation, Suspension or Revocation of Driver's License

There are basically 3 ways to lose your driving privileges - cancellation, suspension or revocation. Let's take a look at these 3 issues.


Your license can be cancelled if you give false information during your application. For instance, you provided an incorrect name or maybe the wrong age. In general, you can reapply after you comply with all the requirements, and after you smoothen out problems regarding false or inaccurate information given.


As for suspension, this is when your driving privileges are temporarily suspended or withheld for a given period. You may reapply after the suspension period is over, and once you fulfill all needed requirements. A driver's license can get suspended for a number of things. If, for example, you neglect to pay traffic tickets or if you accumulate too many points on your license, this can be suspended. In other states, the DMV can suspend the license of an individual who fails to pay child support.


When your license is revoked, this means that your driving privileges are terminated. You cannot just apply for reinstatement. You'll be required to wait until the revocation period expires, and you also have to meet the reinstatement requirements. One of the most common reasons why a license gets revoked is when a driver gets arrested and convicted for DUI. The revocation period can just be a few months (6 months or 180 days) for a first conviction, but it can also stretch to a year. The duration of the revocation period significantly lengthens with the second and third convictions, with some offenders waiting for 5 to more than 10 years before they can become eligible to apply for reinstatement. In case a DUI causes death or when a driver gets convicted for manslaughter, the revocation of the license is permanent.

Legal Assistance

It is important to seek legal aid when you lose your driving privileges. Why? First of all, it can be confusing for you to get through all the legal proceedings alone. Also, legal terms can be baffling, and you might need an expert to explain certain regulations or stipulations to you. Second, there are time limits for certain actions. To illustrate, it's important that you immediately verify when you can get an administrative hearing regarding the suspension of your license. If you fail to do so, or if you neglect to request such a hearing within 10 days from suspension, your license will automatically get suspended. So, in a way, a DUI attorney can help you do what you have to do in a proper and timely manner.

Citations: Photo courtesy of graur razvan ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Claire Shaun writes for John Musca, an experienced Broward County DUI attorney. You should schedule a consultation in case you've lost your driving privileges so that you'll get legal help as regards what your next move should be.