Getting Your License Back after a DUI

In nearly every state, a DUI conviction will mean a loss of driving privileges. While this period may last from a few months to several years, most people are eager to get their licenses back as quickly as possible.

Getting your driver's license back after a DUI arrest can be a complicated process, and will depend both on your state's DUI laws and local DMV procedures. The state's driver and vehicle registration authority (typically called the Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV) is independent from the courts that hold DUI trials, so it's important to know which is the proper channel for getting your license back.

Most states allow a person with a DUI to reinstate their driver's license on one of the following grounds:

  • Temporary license: Typically, you may still be able to legally drive on a temporary license between the date of your arrest and your court date thanks to state and federal Due Process protections, even if your physical license has been confiscated at time of arrest.
  • Hardship license: You may be offered the opportunity to have an administrative hearing with your state's DMV to obtain a hardship license. Typically, this type of license can only be used to drive to and from work or school, and on essential errands.
  • Reinstatement at end of suspension: For most first and second DUI arrests, your driver's license will only be suspended for a definite period of time, though this will depend on the circumstances of your DUI. At the end of this period, you'll be able to apply to have your driving privileges reinstated. In most states, you'll likely need to re-take the written and road driving tests, plus pay any applicable fees and show proof of insurance.

Because each state's laws, and indeed each situation, is different, it's important to check with your local DMV or a DUI attorney for the particulars in your case.

PAID ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT: THIS WEB SITE IS A GROUP ADVERTISEMENT AND THE PARTICIPATING ATTORNEYS ARE INCLUDED BECAUSE THEY PAY AN ADVERTISING FEE. It is not a lawyer referral service or prepaid legal services plan. Total DUI is not a law firm.  Your request for contact will be forwarded to the local lawyer who has paid to advertise in the ZIP code you provide. Total DUI does not endorse or recommend any lawyer or law firm who participates in the network nor does it analyze a person's legal situation when determining which participating lawyers receive a person's inquiry. It does not make any representation and has not made any judgement as to the qualifications, expertise or credentials of any participating lawyer. The information contained herein is not legal advice. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Any information you submit to Total DUI does not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be protected by attorney-client privilege. Do not use the form to submit confidential, time-sensitive, or privileged information. All photos are of models and do not depict clients. All case evaluations are performed by participating attorneys. To see the attorney in your area who is responsible for this advertisement, please click here or call 866-200-8052.

FLORIDA ONLY: Total DUI is considered a lawyer referral service in the state of Florida under the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct. By all other standards, Total DUI is a group advertisement and not a lawyer referral service.

If you live in Mississippi, Missouri, New York or Wyoming, please click here for additional information.