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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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How do you reinstate a revoked driver's license in New York?

As previous posts have discussed, there are any number of reasons why New York drivers may have their licenses revoked. Driver's license revocations are generally for a set period of time. However, a license is not automatically reinstated once the period has ended. Therefore, it is important for motorists to understand the process for reinstating their license. This may help them to avoid further penalties for driving with a revoked license.

Generally, the first step for drivers to restore their driving privileges is to request approval from the state's Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Improvement Unit, or DIU. According to the DMV, requests to restore a revoked driver's license can be made online. In some cases, however, drivers may need to submit their requests in writing to the DIU. This is typically the case for those with complex driving records.

With few exceptions, drivers cannot seek to have their driving privileges restored until the revocation period has ended. Additionally, motorists must resolve any outstanding traffic tickets or license suspensions. Drivers may be required to pay a re-application fee before seeking approval to have their driver's licenses reinstated. If motorists owe a driver's license civil penalty, suspension termination fee or a driver responsibility assessment, those fees and penalties must be paid before they can submit their restoration request.

Under certain circumstances, people must provide other information before they are able to seek approval to restore their driving privileges. If a driver is on probation, they must generally provide the DIU with a copy of the conditions of their probation. Furthermore, they may also be required to submit a letter from their probation officer or the court that sentenced them granting them permission to apply for a driver's license. Motorists who were convicted of two or more alcohol or drug-related driving offenses during the last 25 years typically must provide proof of rehabilitation.

Once approval has been granted, drivers will be given instructions on how to apply for a new driver's license. Until their new licenses are issued, however, they cannot legally get behind the wheel. Depending on the circumstances, drivers may have to take the written driving test or the road test to re-qualify for a license.

This post has provided an overview of restoring revoked driver's licenses. It should be considered general information, however, and not taken as professional legal advice.

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