How to Reinstate a Suspended North Carolina License

Suspended North Carolina License Guide

A suspension means you’ve lost your privileges to drive in the state of North Carolina. Those caught driving on a suspended license could lead to serious punishments including longer suspensions, fines, and even jail time.

You will receive a state-issued notice at the time of your suspension.

The state’s reasoning for your NC license suspension depends on circumstances. Common occurrences include accumulating too many points, DWI/DUI’s, and other safety violations.

Need to get your suspended license reinstated? Continue below.

My License is Suspended, Now What?

The obvious answer: avoid any driving with a suspended or revoked license.

You will need to wait for the duration of the suspension/revocation and pay fines before a license is reinstated. There are opportunities to appeal (see below) but these are special circumstances. The duration and fees depend on your activities, worse offenses cause more suspension time.

Suspensions last a few months to many years:

  • 1st: 60 days (max)
  • 2nd: 6 months (max)
  • 3rd and more: 1-year

Problems like DWI can result in a 1-year to permanent suspension. Other suspension causes include reckless endangerment, excessive speeding, and driving without insurance. Many suspension periods last 30-days but excessive abuse can last up to 1-3 years or more!

Your suspension may also result from court sentencing and issues with other government divisions. The reinstatement procedure will need to include clearing issues with these agencies.

Why Your License (Probably) Got Suspended

The typical reasoning for a suspended license in North Carolina is accumulating too many points on your record. An NC license is suspended if you accumulate more than 12 points within 3-years. This increases to 8 points within 3 years after a suspension.

Driving while intoxicated is an automatic suspension.

Other reasons could include:

  • Driving with a suspended or revoked license
  • Speeding
  • Moving violations
  • Failure to appear in court
  • Failure to pay fines

You can slow the suspension proceedings by taking a driver improvement course. These courses remove up to 3-points from your record. You may only take one of these courses every 5-years, so be careful with your driving! The suspension will remain on your permanent record, regardless.

Don’t understand why your license was suspended? Check the NC DOT website or give them a call to get the full details if you haven’t received a notice.

Making an Appeal

The appeal process may begin when you receive your suspension notice. This process greatly depends on the circumstances of your suspension. Whether you choose to pursue an appeal is upon you.

Appeals are made within 30-days of receiving your suspension.

You may begin the appeal by calling 919-715-7000. Or, send your information/appeal to the Driver Licensing Hearing board at the following address:

Driver License Hearings

3118 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27697

Those eligible will then proceed with the suspension reinstatement process.

Reinstating a Suspended License in North Carolina

Reinstating a suspended license may include:

  • Submitting proof of insurance
  • Pleading or pay traffic violation tickets
  • Paying and catching-up on child support payments
  • Paying mandatory files and jail time for DUI
  • Retaking a traffic course or DUI program

You will better understand your requirements by talking to a DMV official.

What you’ll typically do when reinstating a license:

  1. Visit a NC DMV office with your notice
  2. Provide proof of ID
    1. ID
    2. DoB
    3. SSN
    4. Driver’s license
  3. Pay any necessary fees including:
    1. Restoration: $65
    2. Restoration (DWI): $130
    3. Service: $50

You will also need to clear any payments with court related to your licensing. Or, any non-driving issues on your permanent record. This is all very identical to the license renewal process.

Limited Driving Permits

North Carolina does show some leniency with suspended driver’s licenses if the suspension was not the result of a DWI, have pending charges, and/or a history of repeat offenses. Those eligible can file a petition (much like an appeal) to the county’s district court.

The limited permit is typically revoked if you violate the terms of your condition.