Motorists in the state of North Carolina must be careful to follow the rules of the road. By breaking these regulations too often or committing serious violations even once, you can put yourself at risk of incurring a drivers license suspension in NC.
Common Reasons for Drivers License Suspension
There are a few reasons why your NC drivers license might be suspended or even revoked by the Division of Motor Vehicles in the state of North Carolina. These reasons include speeding, reckless driving, DWI or refusing to take a blood or breath test when suspected of doing so, or accumulating points on your North Carolina driver license. In the event that you have incurred a drivers license suspension from the North Carolina DMV, you will be notified immediately in writing. Note that driver suspension periods vary depending on the reason for the punishment. Thus, it's important to know how long you will be without your drivers license.
If you are experiencing your first DWI offense, then the suspended drivers license period is one year. This is the same period of time for suspension that you would have to face if you refuse to take a blood or a breath test, cause a death by vehicle (misdemeanor), obtain a driver license with false information, have two charges of reckless driving in 12 months, or speed at least 15 miles per hour over the speed limit of a 55-MPH zone while avoiding arrest. Furthermore, there are some offenses that will result in permanent drivers license suspensions in NC. These include a third DWI charge or a death by vehicle that is considered a felony.
DMV suspensions are not just limited to driving offenses though. Your driving license can be suspended in criminal court if you fail to pay child support, for example. It can also be suspended by other agencies as well. But it's important that you understand the distinction between suspension and revocation. Suspensions, while they do become a part of your official and permanent NC driving record, are associated with short, temporary bans from driving. Revocations, however, come with much longer ban periods and additional requirements to get your NC drivers license reinstated, thus making the process much more difficult to deal with.
Additionally, while suspended drivers license rulings vary based on the offense, they also differ depending on how many other suspensions you've had. If it's your first suspension, you can expect a minimum of 60 days. That minimum rises in your second drivers license suspension to a maximum of six months. And any driving-related suspension that comes after that will involve at least one year of time without your drivers license.
How to Reinstate a Suspended Drivers License in Person
Once you have finished serving your NC drivers license suspension, and checked your driving record to make sure that your suspension is complete, you can begin the process of reinstating your North Carolina driver license. In order to do this, you'll have to stop at an NC DMV office, pay the restoration
fees and apply for a new license to drive in NC; you may even have to take a written and/or driving test, depending on the reason for suspension.
Note that reinstating suspended drivers license documentation automatically cancels any points leading to your earlier suspension. But, if you were involved in a criminal activity, you can expect to go through more work than most in order to reinstate your drivers license, including paying extra fees.
The regular fees include the restoration of a drivers license ($50), the restoration because of a DWI conviction ($100), and a service fee ($50). These can be paid in cash, a check or a money order, but the DMV does not accept credit cards.
Driver Improvement Clinics
Points are an important part of North Carolina's driving system, and they can very easily result in your drivers license suspension if you allow them to add up. The moment you receive seven points on your North Carolina drivers license, you will become required to attend Driver Improvement Clinic. By doing so, you can take three points off of your license. However, you only qualify for this fix-up once every five years to reduce your points.
Furthermore, you will have to qualify and complete a conference with a driver license hearing officer to make things right. Twelve points or more on your driving license in three years (or eight points or more in the three years after your suspension), and you will be charged with a suspension on your drivers license.