How To Get Your Suspended Driver’s License Reinstated

driver's license reinstated

To get your driver’s license reinstated after it has been suspended, you must pay a reinstatement fee and pay all unpaid traffic ticket fines, in addition to some other requirements.

In addition to 1) paying a reinstatement fee and 2) paying all traffic ticket fines, you might also have to do some or all of the following to get your driver’s license reinstated after a suspension:

  • Obtain a compliance letter/release from the court and send it to the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR)
  • File an SR-22 form (to show proof of liability insurance) with the DOR
  • Send proof of completion of SATOP to the DOR
  • Send proof to the DOR that you have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle

The requirements for reinstatement vary depending on the reason your license was suspended.

Why Did Your Driver’s License Get Suspended?

Missouri will suspend your driver’s license for the following reasons:

  • You pleaded guilty to too many tickets, which caused you to accumulate too many points on your driving record
  • You were driving a vehicle that was not insured
  • You got into an accident while driving an uninsured vehicle and did not 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 failed to take the required tests (medical, written, or driving)
  • 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 stole motor fuel

For more information about getting your driver’s license reinstated, the Missouri Department of Revenue website contains a section that explains why your license is suspended.

How To Get Your Suspended License Reinstated

If your driver’s license is suspended and you want to get it reinstated, here’s what you can do:

  • Call the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) at (573) 751-4475 and ask if you are eligible for reinstatement of your license
  • If you are eligible for reinstatement, ask the DOR what they require you to do to get reinstated
  • If you have old unpaid traffic tickets that need to be taken care of before you can get reinstated, hire an attorney to get those tickets reduced to no-point violations so you won’t have more points added to your driving record
  • 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 violation

What To Do If You Are Not Eligible For Reinstatement Of Your Driver’s License

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

PLEASE NOTE: You will NOT be able to get a Limited Driving Privilege/Hardship License if you have any unpaid traffic tickets.

What To Do About A “Driving While Suspended” Ticket

If you receive a ticket for “Driving While Suspended,” you can hire a traffic law attorney to get your ticket reduced from a 12-point ticket to a no-point, non-moving violation.

How Many Points Will Be Added To Your Driving Record For A “Driving While Suspended” Ticket?

If you plead guilty to “Driving While Suspended,” 12 points will be added to your driving record and your license will be revoked for 1 year. Click here for a list of the number of points assessed for Missouri traffic violations.

  • Your license will be suspended for 30 days if you accumulate 8 points within 18 months
  • Your license will be revoked for 1 year if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months

How Long Does “Driving While Suspended” Stay On Your Driving Record?

“Driving While Suspended” tickets stay on your record forever and can not be expunged, so that’s why it’s important to get them reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation, if possible.

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

An experienced traffic law attorney can give you guidance about the reinstatement process and help get your driver’s license reinstated by doing the following:

  • An attorney can get your traffic tickets reduced to non-moving violations so you won’t have more points added to your driving record
  • An attorney can withdraw your plea (if you have already pleaded guilty to a traffic ticket) and get your ticket reduced to a no-point violation, which will remove the points and lift the suspension of your license

After your attorney gets your tickets reduced to non-moving, no-point violations, you will have to pay fines and court costs. The fine is usually slightly higher than the original fine.

If you hire an attorney to take care of your tickets, you won’t have to appear in court, and you will be given at least 30 days to pay the fines and court costs.

Most traffic law attorneys can give you a flat-fee price quote and an estimate of the amount of the fines and court costs that you will have to pay.

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

What is SR-22 Insurance?

SR-22 insurance is not insurance. SR-22 is the name of the form that you have to file with the Missouri Driver’s License Bureau to prove that your vehicle is covered by liability insurance.

Where to Get an SR-22 Form

You must obtain the SR-22 form from your insurance agent after you purchase liability insurance. Your insurance agent can file the form with the Missouri Driver’s License Bureau for you.

When is an SR-22 Required?

You must file an SR-22 form with the Missouri Driver’s License Bureau before you can get your license reinstated in the following situations in which your license was suspended or revoked:

    • DUI
    • Administrative alcohol suspension (if not a first-time offense)
    • Failure to submit to alcohol or drug test (for example: you refused to blow into breathalyzer)
    • Accident while driving uninsured vehicle resulting in court judgment against you
    • Accumulation of too many points on your driving record for non-alcohol-related moving violations

In addition, you must file an SR-22 before applying for a hardship license (Limited Driving Privilege).

How Long Do You Continue Filing an SR-22?

Missouri requires that you file an SR-22 with the Driver’s License Bureau for 2 years following a license suspension resulting from any of the violations listed above.

If your license was suspended under the Mandatory Insurance Law for failing to show proof of insurance or for using a fake insurance card, you must provide proof of liability insurance to the Driver’s License Bureau for 3 years starting on the date you were eligible to get your license reinstated. In these situations, you can provide proof of insurance to the Driver’s License Bureau using the SR-22 form, or by providing a copy of your current insurance card.

Click here for more information about license reinstatement requirements on the Missouri Driver’s License Bureau website.


To get your “No Insurance” traffic ticket dismissed or amended to a no-point violation, call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected]m.

 

“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.