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How to Check if the License Is Suspended?
(4 Steps You Should Take)

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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It is important to know that driving with a suspended license in the United States is a serious offense with strict penalties. Many drivers may unknowingly drive with a suspended license, which is risky and can lead to criminal charges.

However, there are ways to check if your license is suspended by conducting a driver’s license check. As an attorney with nearly a decade of experience, I will discuss how to check if your license is suspended and how to reinstate it.

Quick Summary

  • You can check if your license is suspended by requesting a copy of your driving record from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You can do this online, in person, or through the mail. 
  • Driving your motor vehicle while your license is suspended could face harsh consequences, such as increased fines, imprisonment, and an even longer license suspension.
  • Before reinstating your license, obtain insurance, as it may be required in some states.

How To Check If A Driver’s License Is Suspended?

A woman driving her car while holding her driver's license

To check if a driver’s license is suspended, you can use online services such as Driver’s License Check or visit or e-mail your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and contact your insurance company. Let me discuss and provide details about each method.

1. Online

A woman checking online if her driver's license is suspendedTo check if your California driver’s license has been suspended, visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) driver record request page online [1].

The driving record you receive will provide the necessary information, but it is not an official document.

First, you must create an online account to keep your driver’s record secure and confidential.

Once you’ve completed your account, you can pay a fee to access and print out your driver’s record.

2. DMV Office

To obtain your driver’s record in California, visit a DMV office in person. Once there, complete an INF 1125 form by providing your personal information [2]. Subsequently, you will be able to obtain your driver’s record. You will need the following:

  • Select the checkbox if you want to request your driver’s license record.
  • Share your California driver’s license number and your date of birth.

3. E-mail

To check if your driver’s license is suspended, request your driver’s record by sending a form called INF 1125. Fill out the form with your information, license number, and date of birth, and send it to the designated mailing address.

4. Insurance Company

To determine if your auto insurance policy has expired or your license has been suspended, contact your insurance company or agent.

Why A License May Be Suspended?

A woman being pulled over by a police patrol

A license may be suspended due to several reasons, such as not paying traffic fines, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, accumulating too many points on your license, traffic violation, a large number of traffic tickets, and failing to complete court-ordered programs or classes. 

“One of the reasons you might be unsure of your driver’s license status is that you might be unaware of the violation that led to the suspension.”
Michael Simmrin, Trial Lawyer at Simmrin Law Group

What To Do If Your License Is Suspended?

A woman making a call about her suspended licenseIf your license is suspended, you must follow certain steps to have your license reinstated. You may need to pay a fee, complete any court-ordered programs or classes, and provide proof of insurance before you can reinstate your license.

If unsure what must be done after your license is suspended, contact the California DMV for more information.

Temporary driving license suspension can be removed. However, driving with a suspended license is illegal and could result in losing all driving privileges.

Reinstating Your Suspended License 

A man paying fines to reinstate his suspended licenseBefore obtaining your driver’s license from the motor vehicle department, certain requirements must be met depending on the state’s DMV and the type of infraction you have had that led to a suspension or revocation of your license.

Some states require you to pay specific fees before getting your license reinstated

In some states, you must obtain the SR-22 or FR-44 insurance forms as proof of financial responsibility before your license can be reinstated. Not all insurance companies offer these forms, but you can buy them from a different insurance agent.

You might need to finish a defensive driving course if you live in certain states. The course will teach you about safe driving habits and other essential driving abilities. 

Besides, based on your circumstances, you may also have to take the driving or knowledge exam again, enroll in traffic school, or undergo a driver’s medical assessment [3].

Penalties For Driving With A Suspended License

A man in handcuffs due to driving with a suspended license

Driving with a suspended license is considered a crime. This offense is a misdemeanor, and the penalties can differ based on whether it is your first offense or you have multiple previous offenses.

Penalties can reach up to [4]:

  • 6 months in jail, and
  • $1,000 in fines.

If you commit a second offense within five years, the consequences will be more severe.

The punishment for the offense can range from:

  •  5 days to 1 year in jail
  • fines ranging from $500 to $2,000 will be imposed.

If you get caught driving with a suspended license, your suspension period may be prolonged, so you’ll have to wait longer to regain your driving privileges. 

However, it is important to note that contesting the charges of driving on a suspended license is possible. One common defense is that the DMV did not inform you of the suspension and did not know about it.

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FAQs

What Information Is On The Record?

The information on the records includes information about the driver’s licensing history, social security number, traffic violations, accidents, and any driver’s license suspensions or revocations.

Why Would I Want To Find Out If My Driver’s License Is Suspended?

You want to find out if your driver’s license is suspended because driving with a suspended license can result in fines, further license suspension, or even criminal charges. 

Is License Revocation The Same Thing As A Suspension?

No, license revocation is not the same thing as a suspension. A license suspension means you cannot drive for a limited time, whereas revocation means losing your driver’s license permanently. Revocation is usually given for more severe offenses, such as multiple DUI convictions or leaving the scene of an accident.

Is Your Driver License Suspended?

If you’re facing a license suspension or other traffic violations, it can be helpful to seek the advice of an experienced attorney.

Our law firm, Schmidt & Clark, LLP provides legal assistance to clients dealing with various legal matters.

Among our specialty areas is assisting clients facing driver’s license suspensions.

By working with us, we can help you address the issue and ensure you can regain your driver’s license while complying with all legal requirements and ensuring public safety.


References:

  1. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/customer-service/request-vehicle-or-driver-records/online-driver-record-request/
  2. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/file/request-for-your-own-driver-license-identification-card-dl-id-or-vehicle-vessel-registration-vr-information-record-inf-1125-pdf/
  3. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/uploads/2020/07/DS-326-R6-2020-AS-WWW.pdf
  4. https://law.justia.com/codes/california/2005/veh/14600-14611.html

 

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