What To Do If Your Driver’s License Is Suspended In Missouri

police pulling over driver whose license is suspended

What To Do If Your Driver’s License is Suspended

  • Call the Department of Motor Vehicles in your home state to find out why your license is suspended. They can tell you what you need to do to get your license reinstated. In Missouri, call the Department of Revenue (DOR) at (573) 751-4475 in Jefferson City, MO. That is the headquarters of the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • If you can’t get through to the DOR on the phone, you can email the Drivers License Bureau of the DOR at [email protected]
  • If you can’t call or email the DOR, go in person to a local Department of Motor Vehicles office to find out why your license is suspended, and what you need to do to get it reinstated.
  • Ask the DOR or DMV if you are eligible for reinstatement of your driver’s license.
  • If you are NOT eligible for reinstatement, you may be able to apply for a Limited Driving Privilege (“Hardship License”). A Hardship License allows you to drive to and from work, school, the grocery store, or to drop off your kids at daycare. You will NOT be eligible for a Hardship License if you have any old unpaid traffic tickets.
  • If you are eligible for reinstatement of your driver’s license, ask the DOR what you need to do to get reinstated. You might just need to re-take your driver’s license exam and pay a reinstatement fee. Or you might have some old speeding tickets that you forgot to pay. (Nowadays, many courts put a hold on your license instead of issuing an arrest warrant when you fail to appear in court or fail to pay a fine for a speeding ticket.)
  • Hire a traffic ticket lawyer to get your old tickets amended to a non-moving, no-point infraction so you won’t have any more points added to your driving record. After you pay the fines & court costs, the DOR will release the hold on your license.
  • The DMV may require you to get a “Release” or “Compliance Order” from the court after you pay the fines & court costs for your speeding tickets. Take that Release or Compliance Order to the DMV, pay the reinstatement fee, and they will reinstate your license.
  • If you pleaded guilty to a ticket that caused your license to be suspended, you can hire an attorney to withdraw your plea and get your ticket reduced to a no-point infraction. Then the points will be removed from your driving record, which may be enough to lift the suspension of your license.

PLEASE NOTE:  Everyone’s situation is different, and there are many different reasons why your Missouri driver’s license could be suspended or revoked. Only the DMV can tell you for sure why you are suspended, and what you need to do to get reinstated.

What Is Required To Get Your License Reinstated?

The requirements for driver’s license reinstatement vary depending on why your license was suspended or revoked.

You might have to do one or more of the following tasks before you can get your driver’s license reinstated in Missouri:

  • Pay a reinstatement fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Get old speeding tickets amended to non-moving, no-point infractions, then pay the fines and court costs for those tickets
  • Re-take the driving exam or written exam
  • Pay off unpaid child support payments
  • Show proof that you obtained an ignition interlock device for your vehicle
  • Show proof that you completed SATOP class
  • File an SR-22 form to prove you have liability insurance on your vehicle
  • Get a Release or Compliance Letter from the court after you pay the fines & court costs and send that to the Department of Motor Vehicles

Why Is Your Driver’s License Suspended or Revoked?

Here are some common reasons why your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked in Missouri:

  • Too many points on your driving record (8 points within 18 months will cause your license to be suspended for 30 days; 12 points within 12 months will cause your license to be revoked for 1 year) Here is the Missouri DMV’s list of how many points are added to your record for Missouri traffic violations.
  • Driving a vehicle that is not insured
  • Accident while driving uninsured vehicle and you failed to pay for victim’s damages
  • Failure to appear in court for a traffic ticket
  • Unpaid child support
  • DWI conviction
  • Refusal to submit to an alcohol or drug test
  • Failed to pass the required driving test or written exa
  • Diagnosed with medical condition that prevents you from getting driver’s license
  • Conviction for Minor in Possession (MIP) of alcohol or drugs under the Abuse & Lose law
  • You didn’t file an accident report
  • You have a 5-year or 10-year license denial of driving privileges
  • You stole motor fuel

A Conviction For Driving While Suspended Stays On Your Driving Record Forever

If you plead guilty to Driving While Suspended, the conviction stays on your record forever and can not be expunged. Before you plead guilty, consult an attorney to see if they can get your Driving While Suspended ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation.

Here is a list of tickets that stay on your driving record forever:

  • Driving Without Insurance
  • DWI
  • DUI
  • Excessive BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)
  • No Driver’s License (state, not municipal)
  • Vehicular Manslaughter
  • Vehicular Injury
  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Violation of Interlock Device
  • MIP (Minor in Possession of Alcohol)
  • Driving While Suspended or Revoked
  • Leaving the Scene of An Accident (State, not Municipal)
  • Driving Without a License (State, not Municipal)
  • Driving Motorcycle Without Permit/Endorsement

An Attorney Can Help Get Your Driver’s License Reinstated

Here’s how an attorney can help get your license reinstated:

  • Your attorney can get your old unpaid tickets reduced to non-moving, no-point infractions so you won’t have more points added to your record.
  • An attorney may be able to cancel a warrant, so you can pay the fines & court costs and get your license reinstated.
  • Your attorney can withdraw your plea (if you already pleaded guilty but changed your mind later) and get your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction. This will remove existing points that are on your record, and possibly lift the suspension of your license (depending on how many points still remain on your driving record).

An experienced traffic ticket lawyer can give you a flat-fee price quote for legal representation, as well as an estimate of the fines and court costs you will have to pay.

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For a free consultation about your Driving While Suspended ticket, or to discuss how to get your Missouri driver’s license reinstated, contact St. Louis Traffic Law Attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or [email protected]

Driving While Suspended Tickets Reduced From 12 Points To 0 Points

driving while suspended

Driving While Suspended tickets can be reduced from a 12-point violation to a 0-point, non-moving violation with the help of an experienced traffic law attorney.

What Does “Driving While Suspended” Mean?

If your driver’s license is suspended and a police officer pulls you over, they could arrest you and take you to jail, in addition to giving you a 12-point ticket for Driving While Suspended.

Many people drive on a suspended license without knowing their license is suspended. Unfortunately, the fact that you didn’t know your license was suspended makes no difference to the court.

If you continue to drive on a suspended license, you could get multiple tickets for Driving While Suspended.

What Happens If You Plead Guilty To Driving While Suspended?

If  you plead guilty to a ticket for Driving While Suspended in Missouri, 12 points will be added to your driving record and your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year.

Also, a conviction for Driving While Suspended will remain on your driving record forever. Some types of tickets can be removed from your driving record after a certain amount of time, but tickets for Driving While Suspended are on the list of traffic convictions that stay on your driving record forever.

Driving While Suspended Tickets Stay On Your Driving Record Forever

Here is a list of some of the types of tickets that stay on your driving record forever:

  • Driving While Suspended
  • DWI
  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
  • Excessive BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)
  • No Insurance
  • No Driver’s License (state, not municipal)
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident (state, not municipal)
  • Vehicular Manslaughter
  • Felonies
  • Any conviction involving a drug- or alcohol-related driving offense or law enforcement contact

How To Find Out If Your Driver’s License Is Suspended

The Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) Driver’s License Bureau sends drivers a letter notifying them when their license is scheduled to be suspended and also states the reason for the suspension. However, if you didn’t receive the letter, it’s possible you could be driving on a suspended license without knowing it.

You can call the DOR at (573) 526-2407 to ask them about the status of your license.

Here are some questions you should ask the DOR if you suspect your license is suspended:

  • Is your license suspended?
  • Why is your license suspended?
  • When are you eligible for reinstatement?
  • What are you required to do to get your license reinstated?
  • Which court suspended your license?
  • How many outstanding/unpaid traffic tickets do you have?
  • What is the ticket number, specific charge, and court name for each outstanding ticket?

Why Is Your Driver’s License Suspended?

Missouri will suspend your driver’s license in the following situations:

  • You accumulated too many points on your driving record
  • You got into an accident while driving an uninsured vehicle and failed to pay for the damages
  • You failed to appear in court or pay the fine for a speeding ticket or other traffic violation
  • You have a judgment for unpaid child support
  • You were convicted of DWI or other alcohol-related moving violation
  • You refused to submit to an alcohol or drug test
  • You are under age 21 and were convicted of MIP possession of alcohol or drugs under the Abuse & Lose law
  • You failed to file an accident report
  • You have a 5-year or 10-year license denial

You can go to the Missouri Department of Revenue website to see a full list of what causes a license suspension.

How Many Points Can You Get Before Your License Is Suspended?

Having too many points on your driving record is a very common reason for a license suspension.

  • If you accumulate 8 points on your driving record within 18 months, your license will be suspended for 30 days, if it’s your first suspension
  • If you accumulate 12 points within 12 months, your license will be revoked for 1 year

When you plead guilty to a speeding ticket, points are added to your driving record. The number of points depends on what type of ticket it is and who issued it. For example, 2 points will be added to your driving record for a speeding ticket issued by a city police officer; 3 points will be added for a speeding ticket issued by a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer.

In addition, points will be added to your driving record for other types of traffic violations, such as driving a vehicle that is not insured, reckless driving, DWI, running a stop sign, failure to signal, etc. The Missouri Department of Revenue website has a list of all traffic violation points.

How To Get Your License Reinstated After Getting A Ticket For Driving While Suspended

When you discover that your license is suspended, you can contact the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) to ask when you are eligible for reinstatement and what you must do to get your license reinstated.

It’s possible that all you need to do is pay the fine for an old speeding ticket that you forgot about and pay the reinstatement fee. Keep in mind that points will be added to your driving record when you plead guilty and pay the fine for a moving violation. If you hire a traffic ticket lawyer to get your old tickets reduced to non-moving, no-point violations, you won’t accumulate more points on your driving record.

Missouri driver’s license reinstatement requirements vary depending on the reason for the suspension or revocation. To get your license reinstated, you may have to do some or all of the following:

  • Pay all unpaid traffic ticket fines and court costs (preferably after getting them reduced to non-moving, no-point violations)
  • Pay a reinstatement fee to the DOR
  • Get a compliance letter from the court that suspended your license and file that with the DOR
  • Get an SR-22 form from your insurance agent proving you have liability insurance and file that with the DOR
  • File proof that you completed the SATOP class
  • File proof of installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle

If you are not eligible for reinstatement, you may be able to apply for a Limited Driving Privilege (Hardship License) until you are eligible for reinstatement of full driving privileges.

An Attorney Can Get Your Driving While Suspended Ticket Reduced To A Non-Moving, No-Point Violation

To get your 12-point Driving While Suspended ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation such as “Illegal Parking,” you will need to hire an experienced traffic law attorney to fight your ticket in court.

After your attorney gets your Driving While Suspended ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation, you will have to pay a fine and court costs. (Most courts give defendants at least 30 days to pay.) It is very common for the attorney to be able to take care of everything without you being required to appear in court.

Most experienced traffic law attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss your case. They can give you an estimate of the outcome of your case, including a flat-fee price quote for how much they will charge to represent you and an estimate of the fines and court costs you will have to pay.


If you need help with your Driving While Suspended ticket, contact St. Louis Traffic Law Attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or [email protected] for a free consultation.

If Your Driver’s License is Suspended in Missouri, It’s Suspended in All States

If your driver’s license is suspended or revoked in Missouri, then it’s also suspended or revoked in all other states because states share information about traffic convictions. Until the “hold” on your driver’s license is removed, no other state will give you a driver’s license.

You May be Able to Get a Colorado Driver’s License Even if You’re Suspended in Another State

Colorado appears to be an exception, but in order to obtain a Colorado driver’s license, you must establish residency in Colorado for at least 90 days, which is no small task, and there will be a court hearing, as well. If you are willing to move to Colorado and establish residency, then you should contact a Colorado attorney (prior to moving there) to determine the likelihood of success and to find out what other hoops you may have to jump through in order to obtain a Colorado driver’s license.

Keep in mind that, even if you obtain a Colorado driver’s license, your driving privileges will still be suspended in all other states until the period of suspension or revocation is completed.

How to Get a Hardship License if You Have a 10-Year Denial of Driving Privileges in Missouri

If you have a 10-year denial of your driving privileges in Missouri because of DWI or DUI convictions, you may be eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege (“Hardship License”), if you have not been convicted of any drug- or alcohol-related offenses in the previous 3 years and you can show that you no longer pose a threat to public safety. Go to this page of the Missouri Department of Revenue website for information regarding the Limited Driving Privilege. The applicable statute is RSMo. Section 302.309.3(6)(A). A petition for a Limited Driving Privilege must be filed in the Circuit Court in the county where your last DWI or DUI conviction occurred, and there will be a court hearing.

How Do Other States Know That Your Missouri Driver’s License is Suspended?

When your license is suspended, the state of Missouri reports that suspension to the National Driver Register, also known as the Problem Driver Pointer System. The National Driver Register is a computerized database of information about drivers who have had their licenses revoked or suspended, or who have been convicted of serious traffic violations such as driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. If you move to another state and apply for a driver’s license, that state will check the National Driver Register prior to granting you a license to determine if your license is suspended or revoked. If your license is suspended or revoked in another state, your new home state will not give you a driver’s license. (Except, perhaps, Colorado, if you have established residency. But, as noted above, you should consult a lawyer licensed in Colorado regarding obtaining a Colorado driver’s license when your license has been suspended by another state.)

In addition to sharing information about driver’s license suspensions and drug- or alcohol-related offenses, states also share information about regular speeding tickets and other traffic violations. So, a speeding ticket that you receive out-of-state will be reported to your home state of Missouri and will appear on your Missouri driving record, just the same as if you received that ticket in Missouri. See my previous blog post about why out-of-state traffic ticket convictions appear on your driving record in your home state of Missouri.

For more information about traffic tickets, points, and Missouri courts, see the Traffic Law Resources page on my website.

Some Drug and Alcohol Convictions Stay on Your Missouri Driving Record Forever

The following drug & alcohol-related convictions stay on your Missouri driving record forever:

    • DUI/DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)
    • DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs)
    • Excessive BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)

Please Note:  It is possible to get a first-time DUI conviction expunged after 10 years of good behavior. (See below for further information regarding expungement of a first-time DUI.)

Types of Convictions That Stay on Your Missouri Driving Record Forever

In a previous blog post about convictions that stay on your driving record forever, I listed the types of convictions that remain permanently on your Missouri driving record. In addition to DUI, DUID, and Excessive BAC, the following convictions stay on your Missouri driving record forever and are not eligible for removal:

    • No Insurance
    • No Driver’s License (state, not municipal)
    • Vehicular Manslaughter
    • Driving While Suspended or Revoked
    • Leaving the Scene of an Accident (state, not municipal)
    • Any Felony

What is Expungement?

Expungement is the removal or deletion of all court records of your arrest, plea, trial or conviction. The only types of alcohol-related convictions that are eligible for expungement in Missouri are first-time DUI or MIP convictions. The option of expungement is not available for felony DUIs or for anyone convicted of driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

How to Get a First-Time DUI Conviction Expunged

Missouri law allows anyone who pleaded guilty to, or was convicted of, a first-time misdemeanor DUI to apply to have the court expunge (remove or delete) the DUI charge 10 years after the offense occurred, as long as the individual has had no other alcohol-related driving convictions, “alcohol-related enforcement contacts,” or any pending “alcohol-related enforcement actions” within the 10-year period since the conviction. See Missouri statute RSMo 302.525.3 for an explanation of what is an alcohol-related law enforcement contact.

If a judge finds that you meet these requirements, then the court will enter an order of expungement, and all records of your DUI arrest, plea, trial, or conviction will be deleted.

How to Get an MIP Conviction Expunged

For a first-time MIP conviction to be expunged, you must show that you have had no other alcohol-related convictions or “alcohol-related enforcement contacts” since the original MIP conviction, and that you are applying for expungement at least 1 year after the original conviction date, or after you have reached age 21.

Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia Convictions Stay on Your Criminal Record Forever and Can Not be Expunged

If a police officer pulls you over for a traffic stop and charges you with possession of drugs (marijuana) or drug paraphernalia (such as a pipe) and you are convicted of those charges, no points will be added to your Missouri driving record for that conviction. However, a conviction for possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia will remain on your criminal record forever.

An Attorney May be Able to Get Your Drug Possession Charges Reduced to a Lesser Offense

When facing a misdemeanor charge of possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia, you can hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the court to get your drug charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, so they won’t show up on your permanent criminal record. Keep in mind that your chances of success are not as good if you have multiple prior drug-related convictions on your record.

The outcome of your case depends on which court your case is being prosecuted in, your criminal history, and the details of your specific case.

While expungement is an option for some first-time DWI or MIP convictions, drug-related convictions can never be expunged from your Missouri criminal record.

The Court May Order You to Attend “ADEP” or “SATOP” Class

If your attorney is able to get your drug possession charges reduced to a lesser offense, you will have to pay a fine and court costs, and you may also be required to take a court-ordered class, such as “ADEP” (Alcohol and Drug Education Program) or “SATOP” (Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program).

Depending on the facts of your case, you may be offered an “SIS” (Suspended Imposition of Sentence) and 1 or 2 years of unsupervised probation. With an “SIS,” no conviction is entered on your permanent record if you successfully complete your period of probation without any further convictions.

If You Have Already Pleaded Guilty to Drug Possession Charges, an Attorney May be Able to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea

If you have already pleaded guilty to drug charges, it may be possible for an attorney to withdraw your guilty plea and negotiate a plea bargain with the court to have your drug charges reduced to a lesser offense.

However, if too much time has passed since your guilty plea, or if you were originally represented by an attorney when you pleaded guilty, the court may not allow the withdrawal. For more information, go to the Withdrawal of Guilty Plea page on my website.


If you have been charged with possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia and would like a price quote for legal representation, contact St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected].

[This post was updated on November 11, 2013.]

Some Missouri Courts Dismiss “No Insurance” Traffic Tickets if You Buy Insurance

Most courts in the St. Louis, Missouri area will dismiss a “No Insurance” ticket if you later provide proof that the car you were driving was insured at the time the police officer pulled you over, or that you purchased auto insurance afterward. You may also have to pay court costs, which can range anywhere from $25 to $60, depending on the court. (A ticket for “No Insurance” is the same as a ticket for “Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility.”)

A “No Insurance” Traffic Ticket Causes 4 Points to be Added to Your Missouri Driving Record and It Remains on Your Driving Record Permanently

If you are unable to get a “No Insurance” traffic ticket dismissed or amended to a lesser charge, then you will have to pay the fine for the ticket and 4 points will be added to your Missouri driving record. If you accumulate 12 points within 12 months, your Missouri driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year. If you accumulate 8 points within 18 months, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, if it’s your first suspension.

In addition, a conviction for “No Insurance” will stay on your Missouri driving record forever and will never be eligible for removal. In this previous blog post, I list other types of tickets that remain permanently on your driving record.

You Can Get a “No Insurance” or “Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility” Traffic Ticket Dismissed Without Hiring a Lawyer in Most Courts in the St. Louis, Missouri Area

Some courts in the St. Louis, Missouri area will allow you to bring proof of insurance to the court clerk’s office prior to the court date, so you don’t have to appear in court. Other courts require that you go to court on the court date and show proof of insurance to the judge before the court will dismiss a “No Insurance” or “No Proof of Insurance” traffic ticket.

Whether you had insurance when the police officer pulled you over, or if you purchased insurance after the traffic stop, some Missouri courts will not allow you to request a dismissal of a “No Insurance” ticket on your own, without the assistance of an attorney. (Call the court clerk’s office ahead of time to find out.) If that is the case, you will have to hire an attorney to file a pleading and provide proof of insurance on your behalf before the prosecuting attorney will consider negotiating a plea bargain to have your “No Insurance” ticket amended or dismissed.

Procedures for Handling “No Insurance” Tickets in Some Municipal Courts in the St. Louis, Missouri Area   

In St. Louis County Municipal Court (North Division) in Hazelwood, Missouri, if you receive a traffic ticket for “No Insurance” and you did not have insurance at the time of the traffic stop, you can appear in court and ask the judge to allow you to take a driving class to get rid of the “No Insurance” ticket. You will need to buy car insurance prior to the court date so you can show proof of insurance to the judge.

In St. Louis City Municipal Court, if you receive a “No Insurance” traffic ticket and you purchased car insurance after receiving the ticket, then you can appear in court on the court date and show the judge your proof of insurance, and the judge will dismiss the ticket upon payment of court costs of $50.50. If you actually had insurance at the time of the traffic stop but you didn’t have proof of insurance with you, then bring your current insurance card to court on your court date and show it to the judge, and the judge will probably dismiss the “No Insurance” ticket, sometimes without payment of court costs.

In Ballwin Municipal Court in Ballwin, Missouri, the fine for a “No Insurance” traffic ticket is $175. If you had insurance at the time the police officer pulled you over, and there was no accident involved, then you can bring proof of insurance to the court clerk’s office and they will dismiss your “No Insurance” ticket upon payment of court costs. If you did not have insurance at the time you were pulled over but you purchased insurance afterward, then you can hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the Court to have your “No Insurance” ticket amended or dismissed. You can not bring proof of insurance to court on your own and expect the judge to dismiss your ticket if you did not have insurance at the time of the traffic stop.

In St. Ann Municipal Court in St. Ann, Missouri, the fine for a “No Insurance” ticket is $151. If you did not have insurance when you received the ticket, but afterward you purchased at least 3 months’ worth of car insurance, then you can show proof of insurance to the court and your “No Insurance” ticket will be dismissed with a fine of $101. If you did have insurance and can provide proof that your car was insured on the date the ticket was issued, then the court will dismiss the ticket upon payment of $26.50 in court costs.

In St. Peters Municipal Court in St. Peters, Missouri, if you buy insurance after you receive a “No Insurance” ticket, your attorney can negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to have your ticket amended or dismissed. The total fine and court costs will be approximately $375 and no points will be added to your driving record. If you did not have insurance at the time of the traffic stop and you are unable to purchase insurance now, then you must appear in court on your court date. At that time, the judge will determine the amount of the fine that you owe plus court costs, and 4 points will be added to your Missouri driving record.

In Florissant Municipal Court in Florissant, Missouri, if you receive a traffic ticket for “No Insurance” but you had insurance on the date you received the ticket, you can bring proof of insurance to court and the judge will dismiss the ticket upon payment of court costs of $26.50. If you did not have insurance when the police officer pulled you over, you can purchase insurance afterward and bring proof to the court clerk’s office prior to the court date and pay a $125 fine. If you did not have insurance when you received a “No Insurance” ticket and you are unable to purchase insurance afterward, then you must appear in court on your court date, at which time the judge will assess your fine, but no points will be reported to the Missouri Department of Revenue. Unlike most municipal courts in the St. Louis area, Florissant Municipal Court does not report points to the Missouri Department of Revenue for “No Insurance” traffic tickets.

In University City Municipal Court in University City, Missouri, the court will not allow you to request a dismissal of a “No Insurance” ticket on your own, without the assistance of an attorney.  Therefore, you must hire an attorney to file a pleading and provide proof of insurance on your behalf before the prosecuting attorney will consider dismissing your “No Insurance” ticket.

Your Driver’s License Will be Suspended if You Cause a Car Accident While Driving Without Insurance

If you cause a car accident while driving a vehicle that is not insured, your driver’s license will be suspended. For more information, see this page of the Missouri Department of Revenue’s website regarding the consequences of a conviction for driving without insurance.

The offense of “No Insurance” or “Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility” is a misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 15 days and/or a fine not to exceed $300. This link takes you to the Missouri law that prohibits driving without insurance.

An Attorney May be Able to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea for a “No Insurance” Ticket and Cancel the Suspension of Your Driver’s License

If you have already pleaded guilty to a “No Insurance” traffic ticket in Missouri, it is possible to hire an attorney to withdraw your guilty plea and negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney to have your ticket dismissed or amended. If the “No Insurance” ticket is dismissed or amended to a no-point infraction, then those 4 points that were added to your driving record for the “No Insurance” ticket will be removed. If your driver’s license was suspended because of too many points, then the removal of those 4 points may be enough to cause the suspension to be cancelled or “lifted.”

You will have to provide your attorney with proof that you have purchased auto insurance, and you must act quickly; most courts will not allow the withdrawal of a guilty plea if too much time has passed since your guilty plea, or if you were represented by an attorney when you pleaded guilty.

For more information regarding Missouri traffic law, see my traffic law resources page for links to information regarding Missouri speeding tickets, points, Missouri driver’s licenses, courts, and other traffic-related issues.

“Driving While Suspended” Traffic Ticket Stays on Missouri Driving Record Permanently

Some traffic tickets stay on your Missouri driving record forever, such as: “Driving While Suspended”, DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs), Excessive BAC (blood alcohol content), “No Insurance,” “No Driver’s License” (state, not municipal),  “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” (state, not municipal), vehicular manslaughter, any felony, and any conviction involving a drug- or alcohol-related driving offense or enforcement contact.

In Missouri, some first-time DWI and MIP convictions are eligible for expungement (removal or deletion) from your permanent record. See my blog post for more information about expungement of these types of convictions.

A “Driving While Suspended” Traffic Ticket Will Never Qualify to be Removed from Your Missouri Driving Record

Once a year, the Missouri Department of Revenue removes certain types of tickets from its database of driving records. A speeding ticket or other traffic violation can be removed from your Missouri driving record if 1) it was issued for a minor offense, 2) it is more than 3 years old, and 3) it did not cause a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.  Convictions that stay on your driving record permanently (for “Driving While Suspended,” DWI, DUID, etc.) are not eligible for removal.

What Kinds of Traffic Tickets Are Considered “Minor Offenses” and Qualify to be Removed From Your Missouri Driving Record?

The state of Missouri considers the following to be “minor offenses” and are eligible to be deleted from your driving record: speeding tickets, stop sign violations, “Failure to Signal,” “Failure to Yield,” and “Careless & Imprudent Driving.” These types of tickets will be removed from driving records during the Missouri Department of Revenue’s annual purging of old tickets from its driving record files.

Unfortunately, the Missouri Department of Revenue’s annual housecleaning of its files does not catch all traffic tickets that are eligible to be deleted. See my previous blog post titled “Speeding Ticket Points Stay on Your Missouri Driving Record for Only 18 Months” to find out how to determine if you have old speeding tickets or other traffic violations that are eligible to be deleted from your driving record and how to request that those old tickets be removed.

What Should You Do if You Get a “Driving While Suspended” Traffic Ticket in Missouri?

Don’t ignore a “Driving While Suspended” ticket, mistakenly thinking that it’s just another speeding ticket. As noted previously, a conviction for “Driving While Suspended” stays on your Missouri driving record forever, and any insurance agent who reviews your driving record  prior to giving you a price quote for car insurance will be able to see it.

If you want to avoid a conviction for “Driving While Suspended,” you can hire a traffic law attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney to get the ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point violation. Your lawyer will need to show proof to the Court that your driver’s license has been reinstated before the prosecuting attorney can recommend any type of reduction or amendment of the charge.

If you have multiple “Driving While Suspended” convictions on your driving record, you have less of a chance that a court will agree to amend or reduce your current “Driving While Suspended” charge.

12 Points Are Added to Your Missouri Driving Record for a “Driving While Suspended” Conviction and Your Driver’s License Will be Revoked for 1 Year

If you decide to not hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the Court and, instead, you decide to just pay the fine for the “Driving While Suspended” ticket, then a conviction for “Driving While Suspended” will be added to your driving record. That conviction will cause 12 points to be added to your driving record. In Missouri, if you accumulate 12 points on your driving record within 12 months, your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year.

How To Get Your Missouri Driver’s License Reinstated

To find out how to get your driver’s license reinstated, call the Missouri Department of Revenue at (573) 526-2407 ext. 1 or go to this page of the Missouri Department of Revenue web site for information about what is required to get your driver’s license reinstated.

The Requirements for License Reinstatement Vary, Depending on the Reason for the Suspension or Revocation

The requirements for getting your license reinstated depend on the reason your license was suspended or revoked in the first place. For example, if your license was suspended because you refused to take a breathalyzer test during a DWI traffic stop, then you will have to complete a SATOP (Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program) class before you can get your driver’s license reinstated.

If your license was suspended because of unpaid speeding tickets, you will have to pay the fines for those tickets and obtain compliance letters from each court to show proof of payment before your license will be reinstated. If you have already pleaded guilty to the traffic violations but your guilty plea was fairly recent, it is possible that a lawyer can withdraw your guilty plea and negotiate a plea bargain with the Court to get the traffic ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point infraction. You will still have to pay fines and court costs, and compliance letters will be required before your license will be reinstated.

You may have to provide proof that you have purchased liability insurance coverage for your car before your driver’s license is reinstated. There is a form called SR-22 that must be filed with the Driver License Bureau in Jefferson City, Missouri to prove that you have met this requirement. Your insurance agent can file the form for you after you purchase the insurance.

Regardless of the reason for your driver’s license suspension or revocation, you will also have to pay a small fee (either $20 or $45), in addition to any fines or court costs that you owe, in order to get your driver’s license reinstated. The amount of the reinstatement fee varies depending on the reason for the suspension or revocation.

For more information about Missouri traffic law, go to my Traffic Law Resources page for links to information regarding Missouri speeding tickets, points, courts, Missouri driver’s licenses, and other traffic-related issues.

 

Out-of-State Traffic Ticket Convictions Will Appear on Your Missouri Driving Record

Convictions for traffic tickets received when traveling outside of your home state of Missouri will appear on your Missouri driving record. Missouri treats traffic ticket convictions that you receive in most other states the same as if those violations had occurred in Missouri, and points will be added to your Missouri driving record for those out-of-state convictions.

Most States Report Traffic Ticket Convictions to the Driver’s Home State

Most states report convictions for speeding tickets and other traffic violations to a driver’s home state because of the Driver License Compact, which requires the states that are members of the Compact to report all license suspensions and convictions for traffic violations and DWI/DUI to the driver’s home state. The Driver License Compact is an agreement among the states to share driver information and convictions for the purpose of promoting highway safety.

Only Two States Do Not Report Convictions to the Driver’s Home State

The states that do not participate in the Driver License Compact are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. However, Georgia, Massachusetts and Tennessee are members of the Non-Resident Violator Compact and will report to your home state any conviction information related to your activities in their state.

The two states that are not members of the Compact (Michigan and Wisconsin) do not report convictions to your home state, but they do keep track of any speeding tickets or other traffic violations you incur in their state and may suspend your driving privileges in their state if you accumulate too many violations there.

New York Does Not Add Points To a Driver’s New York Driving Record For Out-Of-State Traffic Tickets

Another exception is New York. If a New York driver receives an out-of-state traffic ticket, New York will not add points to that person’s New York driving record, provided the ticket is not alcohol- or drug-related. However, insurance agents will be able to see the New York driver’s traffic violation that he obtained in another state and they can raise his insurance rates because of it.

New York reports drivers’ traffic violations to New Jersey, but New Jersey only records a maximum of 2 points on the driver’s New Jersey driving record, no matter how many points New York assessed for the traffic violation.

For more information, see my blog post about Missouri drivers with New York speeding tickets.

States May Disagree About Whether a Speeding Ticket is a Point Violation

In some situations, a speeding ticket outside of Missouri may not be considered a point violation by the other state but it may still be a point violation in Missouri.

If you get a speeding ticket in a state other than your home state of Missouri and you decide to not have the ticket “fixed” (meaning, you decide to not hire an attorney in that other state to negotiate a plea bargain with the court to have the ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point infraction) because the traffic violation was not a point violation in that state, then you should be aware that the conviction will be reported to Missouri and points will be added to your driving record if Missouri considers it a point violation.

In other words, you could end up with points added to your Missouri driving record for a speeding ticket or other traffic violation you received in a state where it was not considered a point violation.

Deciphering the Convictions Reported on Your Missouri Driving Record

Each traffic violation has its own code, called an ACD code. For example, a conviction in Kansas for a traffic violation called “inattentive driving” shares the same code as the traffic violation that Missouri calls “careless and imprudent driving.” So, if you are convicted in Kansas of “inattentive driving,” Kansas will report it to your home state of Missouri and it will be recorded on your driving record as “careless and imprudent driving.”

You can contact the court that issued the speeding ticket to find out how the ticket is being coded. Then you can contact the Missouri Department of Revenue or a traffic law attorney licensed in Missouri to determine how a moving violation conviction with that particular code will be treated in your home state of Missouri and how it could affect your driving record.

Consult an Attorney in the State Where You Received the Speeding Ticket

If you are a Missouri driver and you receive a speeding ticket or citation for a traffic violation in a state other than your home state of Missouri, you should consult an attorney in the state where you received the speeding ticket to find out if it is considered a point violation in that state. Then contact the Missouri Department of Revenue or a traffic law attorney licensed in Missouri to find out if the same violation, when reported to Missouri, will cause points to be added to your Missouri driving record.

If the out-of-state ticket is considered a point violation in that other state, you may want to hire an attorney in that state to negotiate a plea bargain with the court to have the ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point violation so that it is not reported to Missouri and no points are added to your driving record.

Only Convictions for Moving Violations Appear on Missouri Driving Record

Only convictions for moving violations are reported and appear on your Missouri driving record. If you receive a speeding ticket in a state other than your home state of Missouri and you get it amended to a non-moving violation, then nothing will be reported to Missouri and no points will be added to your Missouri driving record.

Your Missouri Driver’s License Will be Suspended or Revoked if You Accumulate Too Many Points

Remember that your driver’s license will be suspended if you accumulate too many points on your Missouri driving record within a certain period of time. If you accumulate 8 points within 18 months, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, if it’s a first-time suspension. If it’s your second offense, then your license will be suspended for 60 days, and for a third offense, your driving privileges will be suspended for 90 days.

Your driving privileges will be revoked for 1 year if you accumulate 12 points on your Missouri driving record within 12 months, 18 points within 24 months, or 24 points within 36 months.

How to Find Out How Many Points Are on Your Missouri Driving Record

To find out how many points you currently have on your driving record, call:
The Missouri Department of Revenue
Jefferson City, MO
(573) 526-2407 ext. 2

To learn more about Missouri traffic law, go to our traffic law resources page for links to information regarding Missouri speeding tickets, points, Missouri driver’s licenses, courts, and other traffic-related issues.