One of the common reasons your driver’s license could be suspended is driving under the influence. However, just because your license was suspended doesn’t mean you’re out of options. You can always get your license reinstated by meeting the requirements.
However, the process of license reinstatement can be confusing if it is your first time. Thankfully, there’s help available when you consult with a Charleston DUI attorney. This article will walk you through what you need to do to get your license reinstated.
Why Will Your License Get Suspended in Charleston?
There are several reasons why you could get a license suspension, especially reckless driving and driving under the influence (DUI). However, it’s also possible to get your license suspended for non-driving reasons.
Below are some reasons why your license could get suspended in Charleston.
- Refusal to pay child support
- Failure to maintain required insurance
- Failure to appear when summoned for a moving violation
- Drug-related convictions that don’t involve driving
- Refusal to pay motor vehicle fines
South Carolina DMV suspends driver’s licenses for many reasons that are non-driving related. Sometimes, you could lose your privilege for accumulating too many points on your driving records or committing a felony with a vehicle.
Other times, you could lose your license for vehicular manslaughter. However, you don’t just regain your driving license because the suspension period is over; you must go through the reinstatement process.
What to Do to Get Your License Reinstated in Charleston?
You have to take several steps to get back on the road in Charleston. These requirements usually vary depending on the reason for your license suspension. However, your Charleston DUI attorney can guide you through the process if it gets confusing.
Below are some crucial steps to get your license reinstated after a DUI offense.
Wait Out the Suspension Period
The initial step you need to take is to wait out the suspension period. Then, you could get a hardship license to get to essential places during the suspension. But you need to ensure the authorities don’t catch you driving under the influence again or committing any offense while holding a hardship license.
Take an Approved Class
You would have to take an approved program for DUI offenses to qualify for reinstatement. These are usually approved DUI programs that non-profit organizations run. These organizations provide drug and alcohol education to DUI offenders. Typically, the course’s length depends on how many offenses you have.
For first-time offenders, it only takes a few hours. However, if you have multiple offenses on your record, it could take numerous hours. Note that you usually have to pay a fee to join a DUI program.
Pay the Fees
When applying for license reinstatement, you will have to pay fees, like the license reinstatement application fee. You can either pay this in full or through a payment plan.
The license reinstatement fee in Charleston is $100. If you’re confused about other costs and their purposes, consult your Charleston DUI attorney for assistance.
Get an SR-22 Insurance
South Carolina often requires a DUI offender to get an SR-22 form before their license is reinstated. This is a certificate of financial responsibility and shows that you meet South Carolina’s auto liability requirements. In addition, this document is proof of meeting the minimum insurance requirement.
Usually, you have to file for an SR-22 insurance certificate through your insurance carrier. You will also have to pay a fee, although generally less than $50. Your insurance premium increases when you file for an SR-22 certificate because you’re now considered a high-risk driver.
Submit Your Driver’s License Reinstatement Application
Once you satisfy the requirements, you can now apply for license reinstatement. Ensure that you fill out the application correctly. Additionally, provide all the required documents requested before submitting.
The application is non-refundable, so you must get it right the first time. Your Charleston DUI attorney can assist in ensuring nothing goes wrong with the application.
Sometimes, you may take additional steps depending on the reason for your license revocation. For example, if it’s not your first DUI offense, the court might require you to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Device installed in your car.
You might also have to take a written and practical driver’s test to reinstate your license. Once you meet all these requirements, you’re well on your way to getting your license reinstated and being on the road again.
How Much Does License Reinstatement Cost?
The cost of the license reinstatement usually depends on the reason for your suspension. However, the basic fee is usually $100 for license reinstatement; this applies to all cases except stated otherwise.
SCDMV usually offers payment plans for anyone with a reinstatement fee above $300. To be eligible for the payment plans offered by SCDMV, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Be a South Carolina resident
- Be up to 18 years old
- Own a driver’s license before the suspension
- You haven’t participated in a payment plan in the past three years (36 months)
- You didn’t get suspended for a qualifying reason
- You have no pending suspension
- You owe at least $300 in fees for your reinstatement
If your application is accepted and meets these requirements, you must take some steps to begin the payment plan. First, you will have to pay a joining fee of $35.
Additionally, you need to be able to pay 15% of the total fees, to begin with. So, for example, if the total reinstatement fee is $300, you would be paying $80 at the beginning of the process.
You would also have to sign the payment plan agreement and pass the required tests for the reinstatement. You’ll also pay the fees for these tests. Once you complete these steps, you will receive a six-month driver’s license.
If you do not finish the payment plan within this period, the SCDMV office will revoke your license, and you will begin the process all over again. On the other hand, if you complete the payment plan, you’ll be eligible to take the road and written tests to receive your permanent license again.
Our Charleston DUI Attorney Can Help You Get Your License Back
If your license was suspended for a DUI offense, you could have it reinstated. Our lawyers can guide you through the process if you have any questions about the steps or requirements of reinstating your license. In addition, we will help you fill out the online application correctly to avoid going through the process again.
From fighting unfair license suspensions to ensuring you receive a driver’s license after completing the suspension period, our Charleston criminal defense attorneys can help you through it all. Contact Charleston DUI Guy today to speak to an experienced attorney and begin your journey of getting back behind the wheel.