A number of circumstances can lead to a person’s suspension or revocation of their license in Colorado. Generally speaking, a suspended license is one in which the person cannot drive for a temporary period of time. A revocation, on the other hand, is more serious and often means the person must apply for a new license once the revocation period has finished. Driving under either of these scenarios is a crime.
How Do You Lose Your Driver’s License in Colorado?
In the state of Colorado, your driver’s license may be suspended for any one of several different reasons. These include:
- Criminal conviction of a DUI
- Traffic tickets
- Conviction of a series of traffic violations
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Defacing public or private property
- Failure to pay a traffic ticket
- Failure to pay court-ordered child support
- Refusing to take a chemical test for DUI during a traffic stop
- Testing over the legal limit for DUI during a traffic stop
- An excess of negative points on your driving record
Colorado’s Negative Point System for Driving Records
When you’re convicted of a traffic violation, points will be added to your driving record. Once sufficient points are accrued, a driver’s license suspension notice will be triggered and your case will be handed to a hearing officer who will determine the length of your suspension.
Driver’s License Reinstatement Procedures in CO
Once your driver’s license has been suspended there are several procedures that must be followed in order to get it reinstated. Which procedure requirements are in force depends on the situation leading up to your license suspension.
In each case, you will need to fulfill a period of license suspension before you can proceed with the other steps of the reinstatement protocol. The process isn’t always complicated, but you need to follow the steps precisely and in a timely manner.
The different procedures that must be followed fall into 3 major categories:
- Eligibility date for reinstatement (penalty waiting period)
- Colorado DMV reinstatement requirements
- Required documents for Colorado license reinstatement
Eligibility Date for DMV Reinstatement
During your license suspension process, you will have been informed of your eligibility date for reapplication. If you haven’t received this information through the mail or as part of your suspension hearing, you can call the DMV customer service line and be provided with the data.
Different types of criminal or traffic violations result in different periods of driving license suspension or revocation or in Colorado. Less severe infractions generally lead to shorter periods of suspension and fewer reinstatement requirements. More serious violations may even lead to a driver’s license being revoked, invalidating the driver’s credential entirely, and requiring a completely new driver’s license application, including all fees and testing.
The first step, before getting your driver’s license back after suspension or revocation, is to complete the DMV penalty period.
Below are some of the suspension and revocation penalty periods:
- An excessive number of negative points on your record – 6 months to 1 year
- Driving with an already suspended license – an additional year’s suspension
- Defacing property – 6 months
- DUI conviction – 24 months license revocation
- Vehicular homicide – 12 months license revocation
- For certain DUI convictions, drivers may be able to reduce their penalty period by installing an ignition interlock device.
Colorado DMV Reinstatement Requirements
In order to get a driver’s license reinstated following a suspension or revocation, licensees may be required to complete any of the following steps. These may vary based on the type of suspension or revocation:
- Complete the mandated DMV penalty period
- Pay the reinstatement fee of $95
- Pay any additional fees, including court costs, and attorney fees
- Drivers who are required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) will have to pay the yearly fee for this device as well
- Meet any additional court requirements (i.e. such as catching up on alimony payments or paying unpaid traffic tickets)
- Submit proof for automobile insurance (if applicable) – for DUI violations, the DMV also requires the submission of the SR-22 proof of insurance, which must be maintained for a specifically mandated period of time
- Apply for a new Colorado driver’s license or renew your existing one as required, depending on the demands of the court and your particular infringement
Required Documents for Colorado Driver’s License Reinstatement
The documents required to get a driver’s license reinstated following suspension or revocation vary depending on the type of infraction.
Here are some that may be required:
- Suspensions or revocations for DUIs will require proof of SR22 insurance
- For suspensions based on negative points simple proof of insurance will suffice
- All will require the $95 reinstatement fee
- If the driver owes back alimony or child support, proof of payment will be required
- If the driver has unpaid traffic tickets, these must be paid (get receipts for payment)
- Fill out and include form DR2870, Application for Reinstatement
Ways to Get a Colorado DMV License Reinstatement Early
If you qualify for early license reinstatement following a DUI, you must take the following steps to end your suspension.
- Provide an SR22 certificate from your insurance company. This certification will need to be maintained for a minimum of two years or the period in which you have a restricted license.
- Provide proof of enrollment in a Level II Alcohol Education and Therapy program. Affidavit of enrollment is termed DR2643.
- Complete form DR2870, Application for Reinstatement
- Have an interlock device installed in every vehicle you may be driving ( you will not be allowed to drive any vehicle which does not have this device installed).You will be required to have Interlock for no less than two years. Obtain a copy of the Restricted License Ignition Interlock Agreement Affidavit – Form DR2058, which needs to be signed by a notary. Insert a signed duplicate of each lease agreement and installation certificate into your packet to complete the paperwork.
Note: An interlock device requires the driver to blow into a machine in order to start his or her car. The machine keeps a log of each breath he or she provides and reports directly to the DMV if there are any alcohol violations.
Mail the application for Reinstatement, Affidavit of Alcohol Education Enrollment, Notarized Restricted License Ignition Interlock Agreement Affidavit, and the SR22 insurance certificate along with the $95.00 fee.
What Happens if You Drive with a Revoked License in Colorado?
If you drive with a suspended or revoked license in Colorado, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. Often, the maximum penalty in these situations is six months in jail with a fine of $500 or less. However, if this is your second or more conviction within the past five years, you might not be eligible to have a driver’s license for three years.
Of course, this is all dependent on the unique situation in which you’ve lost your license. If your license was suspended or revoked because of a DUI, you could face a minimum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine if you’re caught driving without a license. The maximum sentence for convictions of this type is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If you’re caught two times or more, the convictions will carry minimum sentences of 90 days in jail and maximum sentences of two years, along with fines between $500 and $3,000. Second or subsequent convictions within five years could deem you ineligible for a license for four years.
Driving with a revoked license can cause you to be deemed a habitual offender by the courts. This could cause different penalties, such as minimum 30-day jail sentences or $3,000 fines.
Why You Need an Attorney to Help Reinstate Your License
Having your driver’s license suspended can be stressful. It can have a devastating effect on your life and livelihood. Getting your license back and your driving privileges restored in the quickest amount of time becomes vital.
If you find the reinstatement process complicated and perhaps even a bit daunting, you can always give us a call. We are experienced with the ins and outs of Colorado driver’s license reinstatement and will be happy to give you a hand.
*Images courtesy of pixabay.com