When Do I Get My License Back?

Traffic Violations

Your North Carolina Driver's License is considered a privilege, not a right. It is therefore in the discretion of the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) when and IF to return your license. It is up to you, and your lawyer, to present a credible and compelling case to the Hearing Officer to justify the return of this valuable privilege. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles will not return it to you just because you claim to need it for work, for family, etc. They must be satisfied that you can be trusted again to drive the roads, which may be complicated by their view that you have already violated that trust in some manner.

Charlotte Attorney Christopher Connelly has represented clients at hundreds of hearings before the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. He has counseled clients and their witnesses how to be prepared for the probing questions that will be asked by experienced and shrewd DMV Hearing Officers.

Multiple Driving While Impaired DWI/DUI Convictions

If you have had a second Driving While Impaired DWI/DUI conviction within three years, you are suspended/revoked for four years, but eligible for a hearing after two years. (N.B. The term "suspension" and "revocation" are synonymous under North Carolina law.)
If you have had a third Driving While Impaired DWI/DUI conviction, you are permanently suspended/revoked, but eligible for a hearing after three years.
If you have been convicted of Habitual DWI, we can petition for the reinstatement of your driving privileges 10 years after the most recent conviction.

Multiple Driving While License Revoked (DWLR) Or Moving Violations While License Revoked

If your have one conviction (DWLR or Moving Violation), you are suspended/revoked for one year, but eligible for a hearing after 90 days.
If your have two convictions (DWLR or Moving Violation), you are suspended/revoked for two years, but eligible for a hearing after one year.
If your have three convictions (DWLR or Moving Violation), you are permanently suspended/revoked, but eligible for a hearing after three years.

* Effective December 1, 2007, revoked/suspended drivers can ask for a Limited Driving Privilege under certain circumstances.

Points Violations, Traffic Violations, Speeding, Reckless Driving, Racing, Etc.

If you are suspended/revoked for having excessive points on your driver's license, you may be eligible for a hearing with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles after a certain period of time. Contact this lawyer for a review of your record to determine the date of your eligibility for a hearing.
If you are suspended/revoked for a second Speeding over 55 mph within 12 months or a Reckless Driving within 12 months of a Speeding over 55 mph conviction, you are eligible for either a hearing with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles or a Limited Driving Privilege to be signed by a judge.
If you are suspended/revoked for Speeding over 75 mph, you are eligible for either a hearing with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles or a Limited Driving Privilege to be signed by a judge.
If you are suspended/revoked for Speeding over 55 mph (and more than 15 mph above the limit, you are eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege to be signed by a judge.
If you are convicted of Pre-Arranged Racing, you are suspended/revoked for 3 years but eligible for a hearing after 18 months of suspension.
If you are convicted of Willful Racing, you are suspended/revoked for 1 year but eligible for a hearing at the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles.
If you are a Provisional Licensee and have more than one moving violation within 12 months, you may be eligible for a hearing with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles.

Out-of-State Traffic Convictions

Note that the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles treats any convictions occurring Out-of-State as if they occurred in this state, which may result in the suspension/revocation of your North Carolina Drivers License. For example, if you are driving on a trip and receive a ticket for 80 mph in a 65 mph zone, the officer might tell you to save yourself another trip and to just mail in a check. As always, never take your legal advice from a police officer, no matter how well intentioned they may appear. It will cause your North Carolina Drivers License to be suspended/revoked when reported back to Raleigh.

Criminalizing Moving Violations For Underage Drivers

Effective for offenses committed on or after January 1, 2012 a new statute provides for a civil revocation of a limited learner's permit or provisional license of a person under age 18 if the person is charged with a "criminal moving violation" as defined in that statute. An example of this could be a Speeding more than 15 miles over the limit or in excess of 80 MPH. This new statute appears to require the officer to arrest the young motorist and bring them before the magistrate who may immediately revoke their privilege.