Drivers License Restoration After A DUI
Leading Murfreesboro DUI Lawyers Offer Tips For Restoring Your Drivers License After A DUI Conviction
The price of reclaiming your freedom
In a 12-year period (2003-2014) the Tennessee Highway Patrol made approximately 2,631 DUI arrests in Rutherford County. Although it is unlikely that all of them resulted in a conviction, those who were sentenced undoubtedly paid a hefty price. A guilty plea or verdict for even a first offense can result in jail time, fines, or both. Repeat offenders and those who commit more egregious DUI crimes – such as causing an accident that results in the injury or death of a child – face even harsher penalties, including the loss of driving privileges.
If the court does suspend or revoke your license, there are some circumstances in which you may be eligible for a restricted license. These are issued based on certain conditions such as compliance with the ignition interlock program. A judge may also grant your request if you can prove that you need to drive in order to get to work, school, church, court-mandated treatment programs, appointments and so forth.
In any case, you won’t be able to have your license fully restored – or reinstated – until you have fulfilled all of your obligations. In other words, you must serve your entire sentence, pay all applicable fines, and complete all court-ordered alcohol awareness or treatment programs and so on before you can apply for reinstatement. You must also provide proof that you’ve done so.
Then there are the costs associated with the actual restoration of your driver’s license after a DUI conviction. There is a $100 reinstatement fee for many DUI offenses. There is also a $3 certification fee if the offense occurred in Tennessee and a $50 fee if you have to file a special form called an SR-22. If you didn’t surrender your original license, you’ll have to pay $75 on top of all that. Finally, you’ll have to apply for a valid license and pay all of the associated fees for that.
Credit cards are accepted, but if you can’t afford to pay all of the reinstatement fees at once, you may qualify for participation in an installment plan. This plan is offered through the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s Financial Responsibility Division. To be eligible, the total amount due must be at least $200, and you must fulfill all of the other obligations necessary for reinstatement. Participants must submit certain forms, pay $225 (for a down payment and administrative fee) up front and then make quarterly payments. If you don’t, the revocation or suspension will be re-applied and you’ll have to pay the remaining amount in full in order to reinstate your license.
There are several ways to pay your reinstatement fees. You can do so on the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s website or you can visit a Driver’s License Reinstatement Center. You can also send your payment by mail. Just remember, your license is not officially reinstated until the Department of Safety and Homeland Security processes your payment and certifies that you’ve met all of your obligations.
If you have been unable to drive due to a DUI conviction in Tennessee, you’re probably anxious about the restoration of your driver’s license. You may also be intimidated by or confused about the reinstatement process. If so, visit the DUI attorneys at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley to learn more. Our office is located at 112 South Maple Street in Murfreesboro. You can also call us at (615) 893-1331 or schedule an appointment online.