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So Your License is Suspended—Now What?

Posted on Jun 15, 2018 in Courts, Criminal Defense, DUI/DWI, Local Issues, NOPD, Traffic, Uncategorized

[caption id="attachment_6540" align="alignright" width="240"] Photo by Jordan Andrews on Unsplash[/caption] Having your license suspended can be a huge hindrance on your day-to-day life, from getting to work to going grocery shopping. If you find yourself in this position there are a few things you’ll want to know, as well as some tools at your disposal which can expedite the relicensing process and get you back on the road. According to the Louisiana DMV’s website, your license may be suspended for the following violations or convictions: DUI/DWI convictions or arrests; failure or refusal to submit to a blood or breath test; reckless driving; felonies involving a vehicle; unresolved traffic tickets; or texting and driving. If you are unsure whether your license has been suspended the DMV provides an online tool, Express Lane, that will allow you to access your driving record. This is a free service. You will need to provide your driver’s license number and the last four digits of your social.

Suspension Length and Fees

The length of your suspension will vary depending on the nature and details of your offense. If you are convicted of a DUI or DWI you will face suspensions from both the Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) and the Louisiana courts. First offenders will see their license suspended for at least a year, with additional time dependent on blood alcohol content (BAC) level and age. Repeat offenders will have their license suspended for longer, and individuals who refuse or fail to take a BAC test will suffer additional suspension. Violators may face additional penalties, including fines and imprisonment. The circumstances of your conviction can also determine the date your suspension will begin, as well as the fees you will be required to pay for reinstatement. Fees for first time DWI/DUI offenders are $100; $200 for second time offenders; and $300 for third time offenders. Refusal or failure to comply to a blood alcohol test will result in an additional $50 fine. Further fees may be applied for uninsured drivers and on a case-by-case basis. If you are caught driving while under suspension, you will be ticketed. Legally speaking, if you pay a ticket you offering an admission of guilt, or pleading guilty to your conviction. If you are caught driving with a suspended license and pay the ticket your license will automatically be suspended for one year. It is best practice to consult a New Orleans traffic lawyer before paying any tickets.


Though the requirements for reinstating your license will vary case to case, there is a standard procedure most drivers must undergo to get back on the road. To get your license reinstated you’ll need to satisfy any applicable court requirements, submit any required compliance docs to the OMV, and pay any fines and your license reinstatement fee. Some drivers may also need to provide the OMV with an SR22 from your insurance company. The SR22 is a document you can request from your insurance company that proves you carry car insurance. The fastest way to get your license reinstated is to visit the OMV in person. This will ensure your reinstatement is processed immediately. Express Lane provides a handy tool for locating the office nearest you, broken down by parish, plus information about each location’s hours and services. The OMV accepts cash, money order, cashier’s check, and certified checks. Credit and debit cards are accepted as well, but you will pay an additional processing fee.  You can also pay over the phone with a credit or debit card prior to visiting the OMV. Alternatively, you can mail your relative documents and payment to the OMV. This process can take up to ten business days for reinstatement. The address to mail your docs is:

Office of Motor Vehicles

P.O. Box 64886

Baton Rouge, LA 70896

Acceptable forms of payment through the mail are money order, cashier’s check, or certified check. It is important to understand that paying a ticket is the legal equivalent to pleading guilty.  to driving under suspension, and results in a one year license suspension. If your license is suspended in another state the requirements for reinstatement may vary. Consult the state’s CMV for details, or contact a licensed lawyer, who can review your case for you and provide you with the information you need.

Hardship Licenses

Some drivers who have their license suspended may be eligible for a hardship license. This temporary license allows individuals to continue to drive to places like work and school, or other necessary locations—though they are only good within the state of Louisiana. To apply for a hardship license, you will need to pay a fee and submit a court order. You may also be required to provide an SR22 from your insurance company, and install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. To determine your eligibility and requirements to attain a hardship license, visit your local OMV or call (225) 925-6146.

Court Appearances

In some cases it may be necessary for the offender to appear in court. A licensed New Orleans lawyer can review the particularities of your case and help you prepare for your appearance. Failure to appear in court will result in further fines, and a warrant may be issued for your arrest. Individuals who appear in court will be required to pay any court fees in addition to suspension fees prior to having their license reinstated. If you believe your license has been suspended in error, you can request a Louisiana DMV administrative hearing. You should request your suspension hearing within 30 days of your arrest or receiving a suspension notice, and can do so in person at your local DMV or by mail at the above address for the CMV. Every case is unique and depends on the circumstances of your offense and conviction, so it’s important to know the details of your suspension. You can obtain information about the specifics of your case, as well as the steps you’ll need to undergo to get your license reinstated, by visiting your local Louisiana DMV reinstatement office, calling the OMV at (225) 925-6146, or filing an online request via the Louisiana DMV’s website. Remember, paying a traffic ticket equates to pleading guilty in a court of law. If you pay the ticket you are admitting guilt.  A licensed New Orleans traffic lawyer can review the specifics of your case for you, and help you navigate some of the murky legality surrounding traffic laws. They will work with you to ensure all necessary steps are taken to get you back on the road as soon as possible.    

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