Having a license is a privilege. It affords you the ability of complete freedom on your own time, giving you the chance to determine where you go and when you do it. Because having a driver’s license is a privilege, that also means it’s able to be taken away for legal reasons.
If you’re legally unable to drive, it might be for two reasons: you may have a revoked license or a suspended license. Though neither of these is fun, it’s important to know the difference between the two, as they each have their own unique legal implications and the ability to determine the future of your privilege as a licensed driver.
What’s the difference between a revoked license and a suspended license? It’s not as difficult to remember or hard to understand as it may sound.
A suspended license is temporarily unable to be used. You may be able to get your license back at some point, but as long as your license is suspended, you’re legally unable to drive. There are two types of suspended licenses: indefinite and definite.
A definite suspension on your license will come to a complete end once you’ve paid the required legal fees and your suspension period is up. It ends when your license is restored and back in your hands. Definite suspensions can be due to many different reasons, but usually they have to do with alcohol or drug-related moving violations, a series of too many traffic tickets, or driving without proper insurance.
An indefinite suspension doesn’t have a certain date, but instead remains suspended until you take the proper action. This could mean paying a fine or fees that you owe or taking care of a ticket.
Getting caught driving with a suspended license can lead to a revoked license.
A revoked license is considered null and void by the government, making it permanently unable to be used. If your license is revoked, you can not and will not legally be able to drive.
To get a license again after your initial license is revoked, you have to request approval from the state’s DMV, pay any fines, and go through the standard licensing process of your state. Your old license will still not be reinstated even if these are met.
A license is usually revoked after being convicted of a serious traffic offense, failing a road test, or making a false statement on an official form.
Driving is one of the best privileges, so it’s important to know whether your license is suspended or revoked and what you can do when that privilege is taken away.