Reinstate Your Suspended License in Indiana
One of the most common questions that our Indiana driver’s license suspension attorneys are asked is, “How do I reinstate a suspended license in Indiana?” Well, generally, there are several ways to reinstate your suspended license. However, each way is specific to the reason for the suspension and requires a different set of actions or procedures. Furthermore, depending on the circumstances of the suspension, it may be best to hire an attorney to assist you in the process, as a means to ensure that everything is being done to get you back on the road as soon as possible.
If your license has been suspended and you want to streamline the reinstatement process, do not hesitate to contact an Indianapolis driver’s license lawyer at Keffer Hirschauer LLP today. Our team would be happy to sit down with you, review the circumstances that led to your suspension, and help you take the right steps to get you back behind the wheel. To speak with an attorney today, call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Driver’s License Suspensions in Indiana
In Indiana, there are a variety of circumstances that could lead to a person having their driver’s license suspended. The most obvious circumstance is being convicted of violating Indiana’s drinking and driving laws. Beyond that, an individual may have their license suspended for being considered a habitual traffic violator, failing to complete a Driver Safety Program or Defensive Driving Course, driving without insurance, or failing to pay traffic tickets or appear in court regarding traffic citations.
In addition, a person may have their driver’s license suspended if they accumulate too many points on their license in Indiana. Similar to many other states, Indiana utilizes a point system to record and monitor a person’s illegal activity on the road. Each time a person is given a moving violation (like a traffic ticket) a certain number of points are added to their driver’s license. The more serious the violation, the more points they accumulate.
Per Indiana Administrative Code 1-4.5-4-(b), the Indiana BMV limits drivers to 20 points, after applying any credits awarded from the completion of a driver’s safety program, within a twenty-four-month period. Once a driver reaches 20-points, an administrative hearing is set, and an automatic suspension is placed upon the driver’s license.
Different Ways to Reinstate a License in Indiana
As stated earlier, there are a variety of different ways to reinstate a license in Indiana, each of which is unique to the circumstances that led to the suspension in the first place. However, the first step anyone with an administrative suspension (BMV suspension) should take when hoping to reinstate their license is to visit the “Reinstatement Requirements” section of the driver record. This section will contain information regarding the reason for suspension and any outstanding requirements that may need to be met prior to being able to get back on the road. For example, when viewing the reinstatement requirements, you may find out that your suspension is the result of excessive points on your license and a hearing has been set to address the matter. In this situation, you could hire an attorney to help argue down some of your violations or to petition for specialized driving privileges in Indiana. Those with a court-ordered driver’s license suspension, on the other hand, will need to contact the court in which their license was suspended to learn how to satisfy their specific requirements. This should be done prior to contacting the BMV, as the Bureau may only accept documentation from the court in order to close a suspension.
If you’re hoping to reinstate your suspended driver’s license in Indiana following a failure to provide proof of insurance, failure to appear in court or pay a fine, or for certain convicted court-related violations, you’ll likely have to submit an SR-22 certificate. This is to show proof of financial responsibility and can only be obtained from your insurance provider.
It is important to note that you’ll need to maintain your SR22 insurance for 180 consecutive days to have your suspension lifted or elect to pay insurance reinstatement fees. Given that insurance rates surge when obtaining SR22 insurance, many individuals make a cost comparison between paying the reinstatement fees or maintaining SR22 coverage. Currently, the reinstatement fee for your first suspension would be $250, while the reinstatement fee for your second suspension would be $500, and a third would be $1000.
Specialize Driving Privileges in Indiana
Depending on the circumstances, you may not be able to reinstate your suspended license in Indiana. However, you could apply for specialized driving privileges to gain the ability to drive to and from very specific locations. These privileges may only be granted by an Indiana court and are unique to each person’s situation.
Typically, Indiana courts will only grant specialized driving privileges that allow a driver to travel to and from their place of employment or to allow for them to continue providing a high-level of care to their children. For example, a person may be granted specialized driving privileges in Indiana so that they can drop off/pick up the kids from school or daycare, make a parenting time exchange, or attend a medical or dental appointment.
Additional Examples of Specialized Driving Privilege Locations
- Counseling or other court-ordered treatment
- Attending medical or dental appointments
- Attending educational classes
- Attending to or caring for an elderly family member
As for eligibility, Indiana Code 9-30-16-1 states that specialized driving privileges in Indiana may only be applied to a license suspension of anyone who has held a driver’s license at the time of a criminal conviction in which the operation of a motor vehicle was an element of the offense; a conviction for operating a vehicle or boat while intoxicated; or committed the infraction of exceeding the worksite speed limit for the second time in a single year. In addition, some individuals are not eligible for specialized driving privileges, including:
- a person who has never been an Indiana resident
- a person who committed the offense of operation of a motor vehicle causing death
- a person whose suspension was a result of refusing a certified chemical test despite laws regarding implied consent in Indiana (unless granted under Indiana Code 9-30-6-8(d))
- a person whose license or driving privileges have been revoked due to being found to be incompetent or unfit to operate a motor vehicle.
- a person whose license has been suspended for reckless driving or for failure to stop when a school bus is stopped and its arm is extended,
- a person who had previously been granted specialized driving privileges and has more than one conviction for violating a condition of these privileges, and the violation involved serious bodily injury or death, the offender would no longer be eligible for specialized driving privileges.
How to Apply for Specialized Driving Privileges in Indiana
If you cannot reinstate your suspended license in Indiana and would like to apply for specialized driving privileges, you’ll start by filing a petition in the relevant, local court. If you’re an Indiana resident, that would be the county in which you reside. However, if you’re subject to an active administrative suspension and a court-ordered suspension, then the petition must befiled in the court that has ordered or imposed the suspension of your driving privileges. If you were an Indiana resident at the time that your driving privileges were suspended, but are currently a nonresident, then your petition must be filed in the county in which your most recent moving violation judgment was entered.
As stated in Indiana Code 9-30-16-4(b), your petition for specialized driving privileges must:
- Include the driver’s verification (meaning the petition is signed under oath)
- State your age, date of birth, and address
- State the grounds for relief (why are you requesting permission to drive despite suspension?) and the relief sought (where do you need to drive?)
- Be filed in the county in which you reside, or, for non-Indiana residents, in the county of the most recent moving violation judgment
- Be filed in a circuit or superior court
- Be served on the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the prosecuting attorney
While the process of applying for specialized driving privileges may seem straightforward, many individuals make common mistakes while preparing or filing their petition. Given this, to work with an experienced specialized driving privileges attorney. This will ensure that no mistakes are made and give you a stronger chance at being able to get back to some semblance of your previous life.
Want to Reinstate Your Suspended License in Indiana?
If you are at risk of having your driver’s license suspended or hope to reinstate your suspended license in Indiana, you should not hesitate to consult with an attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our Indianapolis lawyers are fully knowledgeable of how the BMV system works and what steps need to be taken to get you back on the road. To speak with one of our attorneys today, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-751-7186 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our team would be happy to help you try to reinstate your license.