Before undertaking any license restoration on your own it is advisable to at least speak with an attorney to determine the best path to success as paying off old tickets can often restart the 3 year window to get a DMV hearing. The last thing you need is to risk going to jail for driving while license revoked simply because you had no other way to get to work.
Why is my license revoked in NC?
Any number of issues can result in a license revocation either temporarily or indefinite. Some of the most common reasons for license suspension include missing Court resulting in a Failure to Appear “FTA”, not paying Court fees for a ticket, not paying damages caused from an accident without insurance, and not completing substances abuse classes after a DWI. Bottom line is if you are revoked you have to deal with all the old issues first before you can get a license. If your license is revoked due to multiple DWI’s then you may be revoked for 4 years or more depending on when your prior convictions occurred.
How do I fix a Failure to Appear in NC?
If you missed Court for a speeding ticket or any type of traffic ticket in NC such as expired registration or no seatbelt then your license is usually revoked within a couple months of your Court date. The DMV generally sends a warning letter to the address on your license after you miss Court informing you that your license will be suspended on a particular date. If you have not updated your address on your license you likely did not receive your letter. The next time you are pulled over the new ticket is usually for Driving While License Revoked or “DWLR”. It is important at this point to make sure you go back and handle the old ticket before you plead guilty to any new charges as that will only further revoke you. The best way to go back and handle an old ticket is to hire an attorney to strike the “FTA” nunc pro tunc. This generally will retroactively fix the problem and allow you to obtain a license even while you have a pending DWLR. Be warned that striking an “FTA” nunc pro tunc without an attorney is very difficult as only a Judge can retroactively strike an FTA.
What happens if I plead guilty to a ticket while revoked in NC?
Each time you plead guilty to a moving violation such as speeding during a period of revocation the NC DMV tacks on another year of revocation. After three moving convictions during a period of suspension you are permanently revoked. It is very important to never plead guilty to any moving violation if you are already suspended as this may delay getting a license for years. The best approach is to address whatever is keeping you from obtaining a license and having any moving violation either (1) dismissed, (2) reduced to a non-moving violation such as Improper Equipment, or (3) using a Prayer for Judgement or “PJC” if available.
Is there a limited driving privilege if revoked in NC?
If your revocation is not due to DWI and you have handled all your outstanding tickets you may be eligible for a limited driving privilege under NCGS 20-20.1 before you are eligible for full license restoration. This procedure is a great option to get back on the road legally and avoid the uncertainty of a DMV hearing. A copy of limited driving privilege form is provided as an attachment at the bottom of the page.
Limited Driving Privilege purposes under NCGS 20-20.1
When am I eligible for a DMV hearing in NC?
The chart below details when someone is eligible for a limited driving privilege or DMV hearing after being suspended. Be aware that you generally cannot obtain a privilege or schedule a DMV hearing if you have any pending or unresolved charges. In addition if you are denied restoration at a DMV hearing you often have to wait a full year before you can obtain another hearing.
Compliance period to obtain a Driving Privilege or DMV hearing