Driver's License Reinstating

For many Florida residents, a driver's license is necessary in order to maintain employment, support family, and simply to get from place to place for leisure. When a person's license is suspended or revoked for any reason, it can create substantial hardships.

The process of reinstating a driver's license can be extremely confusing for many people, and driving on a suspended or revoked license is a criminal offense in Florida. Some individuals may be required to fulfill certain obligations (such as paying fines) before they can regain their driving privileges.

Lawyer for Driver's License Reinstating in Pensacola, FL

Was your driver's license suspended or revoked in the Florida Panhandle? You will want to contact The Law Office of James M. Burns for help having your driving privileges restored.

Pensacola criminal defense attorney James M. Burns defends clients in Navarre, Milton, Pace, Perdido Key, Fort Walton Beach, and many surrounding areas of Escambia County and Santa Rosa County. You can have our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (850) 457-6002 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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Florida Driver's License Reinstatement Information Center

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Reasons Why Driver's Licenses Get Suspended in Escambia County

Motorists in Florida may have their driver's licenses suspended or revoked for any one of a number of reasons. One of the most common causes is a person accumulating too many points on his or her driving record.

Florida drivers can have their licenses suspended for the following periods of time if they accumulate the specified number of points within the specified time frames:

  • 12 points within 12 months — 30 days;
  • 18 points within 18 months — Three months; or
  • 24 points within 36 months — One year.

Some of the other reasons that motorists may have driver's licenses suspended in Florida include:

  • Gasoline Theft, Florida Statute § 812.014(5)(b) — Up to six months for the first suspension, up to one year for second or subsequent suspension; 
  • Graffiti by a Minor on any Public Property or Private Property (Criminal Mischief), Florida Statute § 806.13(7) — Up to one year; and
  • Possession or Sale of, Trafficking in, or Conspiracy to Possess, Sell, or Traffic in a Controlled Substance by a Person 18 Years of Age or Older, Florida Statute § 322.055 — One year

People can also have their driver's license suspended if they are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). In such cases, licenses are suspended automatically even if the alleged offenders are not convicted. 

Under Florida Statute § 322.2615, an alleged offender can have his or her license suspended for six months for the first failure of a chemical test with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher and one year for a second or subsequent test failure. If a person refuses to submit to a chemical test, he or she can have his or her license suspended for one year for a first refusal and 18 months for a second or subsequent refusal. 

If a person is designated as a habitual traffic offender (HTO), he or she will have his or her license revoked for five years. Florida Statute § 322.2615 establishes that people can also have their licenses permanently revoked if they are convicted of DUI manslaughter.

Additional offenses listed under Florida Statute § 322.2615 that can trigger mandatory license revocation include convictions for any of the following offenses:

  • Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used; 
  • Failure to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death or personal injury of another; 
  • Perjury or the making of a false affidavit or statement under oath to the department under this law, or under any other law relating to the ownership or operation of motor vehicles; 
  • Conviction, or forfeiture of bail not vacated, upon three charges of reckless driving committed within a period of 12 months;


  • Any violation of the law against lewdness, assignation, and prostitution where such violation has been effected through the use of a motor vehicle;


  • Conviction in any court having jurisdiction over offenses committed under this chapter or any other law of this state regulating the operation of a motor vehicle on the highways, upon direction of the court, when the court feels that the seriousness of the offense and the circumstances surrounding the conviction warrant the revocation of the licensee’s driving privilege; or


  • Conviction in any court having jurisdiction over offenses committed under Florida Statute § 817.234(8) or (9) (false and fraudulent insurance claims) or Florida Statute § 817.505 (patient brokering).

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Pensacola Driver's License Reinstatement Process

When a person's driver's license has been suspended or revoked in Florida, he or she may be able to request a hearing with the Administrative Review Office. At an administrative hearing, a motorist can apply for a hardship license or possibly have his or her license reinstated.

When a person's license is suspended because of a DUI arrest, he or she only has ten days following the notice of suspension to request an administrative hearing. Hearings must be held within 30 days of the request being filed.

An administrative hearing can be formal or informal. A formal review allows an individual to present witnesses and other evidence, in addition to performing cross-examinations. Formal administrative hearing decisions must be made within seven days of the hearings.

In an informal administrative hearing, a hearing officer will examine materials submitted by the driver and the law enforcement officer to determine whether the suspension is supported by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning that an alleged offender "more likely than not" committed an offense, a much lower standard of proof than the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest possible legal standard, used in criminal cases).

Informal reviews do not involve witness testimony, cross-examinations, or even the presence of the person whose license was suspended. With informal hearings, decisions must be mailed to the person requesting the hearing within 21 days after the expiration of the temporary permit issued.

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Driver's License Reinstatement Resources in Florida

Driver License Suspensions and Revocations | Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) — Visit this section of the DHSMV website to learn more about different types of driver license suspensions and revocations. You can find information about suspensions for failure to pay a fine, failure to complete driver improvement school, and point accumulation on a driver record. You can also learn more HTO and inadequate vision revocations.

Driver License Check | National Motor Vehicle Title Information System — On this section of the DHSMV website, you can check the status of your Florida driver’s license. Enter your driver license number and a CAPTCHA answer to access your driving record. If the DHSMV has received information and cleared your record, the check will display "VALID."

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Find a Driver's License Reinstatement Attorney in Pensacola, FL

If your driver's license has been suspended or revoked for any number of traffic offenses in the Florida Panhandle, it is in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel. The Law Office of James M. Burns helps individuals in communities all over Santa Rosa County and Escambia County, such as Perdido Key, Pace, Milton, Navarre, Fort Walton Beach, and many others.

James M. Burns is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Pensacola who can fight to help get your driver's license reinstated or obtain a hardship license so you can legally get back on the road.

Call (850) 457-6002 or fill out an online contact form to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.

This article was last updated on Monday, February 12, 2018.