Information provided on this page is for educational use only. Accessing this page does not give rise to an attorney-client relationship, and the information provided should not be regarded as legal advice. Laws of the State of Missouri are subject to change, and there is no warranty, express or implied, that the information included on this page is still accurate at the time of access. Please consult a licensed Attorney to discuss the specifics of any legal matter. Attorneys at Cline, Braddock & Basinger can be reached at (573) 443-6244

Introduction

Driving is a daily part of life for most Americans. A license suspension or revocation may, therefore, cause substantial hardship by preventing driving to work, school, medical appoints, banking, or groceries. This article will discuss the causes of such license suspensions, what is required to have a license reinstated, and how to request a limited or restricted driving privilege in the meantime.

Causes of Suspensions or Revocations

In order to determine how to have a license reinstated, it is first necessary to determine the cause of the suspension or revocation. Depending on the reason for the suspension or revocation, the steps necessary for reinstatement may be different.

Point Suspensions

The most common driver’s license suspension or revocation is due to accumulation of points on a person’s license. Generally, any traffic conviction will result in points being added to a persons license. The specific number of points assessed can generally be found on Department of Revenue Form 899 which can be viewed here.

Accumulation of points may result in a suspension or revocation as follows:

Number of Points Number of Months Consequence
Four (4) Within Twelve (12) Months Written warning/notice
Eight (8) Within Eighteen (18) Months 30, 60, or 90 day suspension
Twelve (12) Within Twelve (12) Months Revocation (1 year)
Eighteen (18) Within Twenty-Four (24) Months Revocation (1 year)
Twenty-Four (24) Within Thirty-Six (36) Months Revocation (1 year)

The length of a suspension for a eight (8) points suspension will depend on whether it is the first, second, or third such suspension. The first suspension will be a thirty (30) days suspension. A second suspension will be a sixty (60) day suspension. A third suspension will be a ninety (90) day suspension.

Accumulated points are also reduced over time for periods with no traffic violations. If no traffic violations occur for one (1) year a persons point total is reduced by 1/3. If no violations occur for a second year in a row the remaining points are reduced by 1/2. If no violations occur for a third year in a row all remaining points are removed.

DWI

A DWI of any type will result in a license suspension or revocation. The length of the suspension, eligibility for a limited or restricted privilege, and requirements for reinstatement will depend on how many prior DWI convictions a person has received. The following chart contains the lengths of suspension:

 

Charge Suspension/Revocation Length
First DWI 90 days
Second DWI (more then 5 yrs after 1st) 1 year
Second DWI (less than 5 yrs after 1st) 5 years
Third DWI 10 years

Minor In Possession/Abuse and Lose

Possession of alcohol or controlled substances by minors may also result in a license suspension. A person under twenty years of age may be suspended for any of the following:

  1. Driving with a B.A.C. of .02% or more by weight. (the legal limit for twenty-one or older is .08%); or
  2. Possession of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle; or
  3. Possession of alcohol in violation of State Law or second ordinance offense (even if not operating a vehicle); or
  4. Possession of a controlled substance (even if not operating a vehicle); or
  5. Possession of a false or modified identification

The length of suspension for offenses listed under numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the above section is 90 days for a  first offense and one (1) year for a second offense. The length of suspension for offense 3 of the above section is 30 days for a first offense, 90 days or one (1) year for a second offense, and one (1) year for a third offense.

Restricted or Limited Driving Privileges

A limited/restricted driving privilege (hardship license) allows a person to drive under certain pre-approved conditions before the expiration of the suspension or revocation period. The circumstances may include driving to/from work, school, medical appointments, banking, and groceries. When requesting a limited driving privilege all requested circumstances and locations should be stated in the request.

Point Suspensions

If your license is suspended or revoked due to points on your license. You are immediately eligible for a limited driving privilege. In order to receive such limited privilege you must purchase SR22 insurance and complete and file Department of Revenue Form 4959 with the Department. Upon approval, a limited driving privilege will be mailed to you. Please note, however, that the limited driving privilege is only effective during the period of suspension/revocation. You cannot drive indefinitely on a limited privilege. Please also be aware that a limited privilege can only be requested once every three (3) years. Therefore, if you receive multiple suspensions within a three (3) year period you may be ineligible for a limited privilege.

First DWI

During a 90 days first DWI suspension there are two (2) options for a restricted license.

The first option is to serve the first thirty (30) days of the suspension without driving. Thereafter, the only requirement is to purchase SR22 insurance. Once thirty days have passed and SR22 insurance has been purchased, the Department of Revenue will automatically mail a restricted driving privilege. Please note, that such restricted driving privilege is only valid during the remaining 60 days of the 90 day suspension. It cannot be used indefinitely.

The second option allows for an immediate restricted driving privilege without waiting thirty (30) days. Under this option a person must purchase SR22 insurance, have ignition interlock installed on his or her vehicle, and submit a request to the Department of Revenue to have the privilege granted immediately. Ignition interlock must be maintained during the entire period of the restricted privilege. Please note, that such restricted driving privilege is only valid during the 90 day suspension. It cannot be used indefinitely.

Second DWI

If a second DWI occurs more than five (5) years after a first DWI conviction, then the length of suspension is for one (1) year. If, however, the second DWI occurs within five (5) years of the first DWI, then the length of suspension is five (5) years.

During a one (1) year DWI related suspension/revocation a person is eligible for a limited driving privilege during the suspension/revocation period. In order to receive such limited privilege, a person must purchase SR22 insurance, have ignition interlock installed on his or her vehicle, and submit a request to the Department of Revenue to have the privilege granted. Ignition interlock must be maintained during the entire period of the restricted privilege. Please note, that such restricted driving privilege is only valid during the length of the suspension/revocation. It cannot be used indefinitely.

During a five (5) year DWI related suspension, a persons eligibility for a limited privilege is dependent on whether he or she has a felony conviction for DWI. If the person has a felony conviction, then no limited privilege may be granted. If, however, all of the DWI convictions are misdemeanors, then a person may apply to the Circuit Court where the most recent conviction was entered to request a limited driving privilege. This is different from other requests for a limited driving privilege, in that, it requires a formal court petition and order of a Judge. There is no specific waiting period prior to eligibility for filing such petition, but generally Judge like to see some period of law abidance before issuing such order. In order to receive such court ordered limited privilege, it is also necessary to purchase SR22 insurance and to maintain ignition interlock during the entire period of the limited privilege.

Third DWI

A third DWI will result in a ten (10) year suspension regardless of the proximity of its occurrence to prior DWIs. As with a five (5) year suspension, discussed above, eligibility is dependent on whether the DWI convictions include a felony. If so, then no limited privilege may be requested until after five (5) years from the date of the felony conviction. Under either circumstance, a person must apply to the Circuit Court where the most recent conviction was entered to request a limited driving privilege. This is different from other requests for a limited driving privilege, in that, it requires a formal court petition and order of a Judge. In order to receive such court ordered limited privilege, it is also necessary to purchase SR22 insurance and to maintain ignition interlock during the entire period of the limited privilege.

Abuse and Lose

If your license is suspended for an Abuse and Lose violation. You are immediately eligible for a limited driving privilege. In order to receive such limited privilege you must purchase SR22 insurance and complete and file Department of Revenue Form 4959 with the Department. Upon approval, a limited driving privilege will be mailed to you. Please note, however, that the limited driving privilege is only effective during the period of suspension/revocation. You cannot drive indefinitely on a limited privilege. Please also be aware that a limited privilege can only be requested once every three (3) years. Therefore, if you receive multiple suspensions within a three (3) year period you may be ineligible for a limited privilege.

License Reinstatement

Point Suspensions

If your license is suspended due to accumulation of points you will need to carry SR22 insurance for two (2) years from the date of suspension. You also will need to pay a reinstatement fee at the DMV. If your license has been suspended for greater than six (60 months it may also be necessary to retake the driver examination. Generally, an attorney is not necessary for a points reinstatement.

First DWI

In order to be reinstated for a first DWI a person must carry SR22 insurance for two (2) years from the date of suspension. He or she must also complete SATOP. Finally, a reinstatement fee must be paid at the DMV. If it has been greater than six (6) months since the date of suspension it may also be necessary to retake the driver examination. Ignition interlock is not required for reinstatement following a first DWI.

Second DWI

As with eligibility for a restricted/limited privilege, the requirements for reinstatement following a second DWI are dependent on whether the DWIs occurred within five (5) years of each other. If the DWIs occurred greater than five (5) years apart, then the requirements for reinstatement are the same as on a first DWI, except that there is an additional requirement to maintain ignition interlock for six (6) months from the date of reinstatement.

If the DWIs occurred within five (5) years of each other and resulted in a five (5) year license suspension, it is necessary to petition the court in which the most recent conviction occurred in order to request reinstatement. At hearing a Judge will determine whether reinstatement of the license would constitute a danger to the community. In addition to court approval, a person must also maintain ignition interlock for six (6) months from the date of reinstatement, complete SATOP, and pay a reinstatement fee at the DMV. There is no requirement for SR22 insurance.

Third DWI

The requirements for reinstatement from a third DWI which resulted in a ten (10) year suspension are the same as the requirements for reinstatement from a second DWI which carried a five (5) year suspension. It is necessary to petition the court in which the most recent conviction occurred in order to request reinstatement. At hearing a Judge will determine whether reinstatement of the license would constitute a danger to the community. In addition to court approval, a person must also maintain ignition interlock for six (6) months from the date of reinstatement, complete SATOP, and pay a reinstatement fee at the DMV. There is no requirement for SR22 insurance.

Abuse and Lose

In order to be reinstated from an Abuse and Lose violation, a person must carry SR22 insurance for two (2) years from the date of suspension. He or she must also complete SATOP. Finally, a reinstatement fee must be paid at the DMV. If it has been greater than six (6) months since the date of suspension it may also be necessary to retake the driver examination. Ignition interlock is not required for reinstatement following such reinstatement.

Miscellaneous

SR22 Insurance

We are sometimes asked what SR22 insurance is. SR22 insurance is a special insurance product whereby the insurer files reports with the Missouri Department of Revenue providing proof that the insurance is in place. It can be purchased through most automobile insurance companies. From a driver’s perspective the only difference will generally be an increased cost for the policy.

SATOP

SATOP is the Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program. This is an alcohol education program required for reinstatement following certain alcohol related traffic offenses. Generally, a person will need to schedule an intake interview with a certified SATOP provider. Following the interview the person will be assigned to a treatment class which must be completed. The classes can range from a singe day class up to outpatient substance abuse treatment. If a person resides out-of-state there are special additional requirements that must be followed in order for out-of-state SATOP to qualify for Missouri. Please speak with an attorney prior to completing out-of-state SATOP.

Further Reading

We assist clients with traffic and alcohol related matters on a daily basis. We have written additional articles in the past which provide additional information about some of the topics covered in this article. To find out more please follow the links below:

Missouri Administrative Alcohol License Suspension Hearings

Moving Violations, Speeding and Missouri License Consequences

Abuse and Lose

 

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.