Suspended License in Arizona
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When you need or want to check the status of your driver's license, you can order a driving record report. This record will advise you if your current license is valid. If your license has been suspended or revoked, the report will indicate this according to what is on record at the MVD. The report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, any accidents you have had.
As with all states, Arizona considers driving to be a privilege and reserves the right to suspend or revoke your license. However, this type of punishment is typically reserved for dangerous drivers or individuals who have repeatedly violated traffic laws and are considered a public safety risk.
The main difference between a license suspension and a revocation is that license suspensions have definite start and end dates. With a revocation, your license is taken completely away.
The Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) will suspend your license for a variety of reasons. These can include:
- Refusal to submit to a field sobriety test or other test to detect a person driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Failure to pay civil penalties for traffic violations, moving violations, or speeding tickets.
- Being at fault in an accident that causes serious injury or death to another person.
- Reckless driving.
- Violating traffic laws so often that the state considers you to have "disrespect for traffic laws and a disregard for the safety of other persons."
- Using a driver's license illegally.
Suspensions for these types of offenses can last from months to years, depending on the severity of the violation.
Right to a Hearing
According to state law, drivers have the right to dispute suspensions; some situations, however, carry a mandatory suspension or revocation. But in most cases, the state must hold a hearing at the request of a driver whose license has been suspended.
At that time, the presiding officer will decide whether to uphold the suspension, reinstate the license, reduce the sentence to court-ordered traffic school, or increase the length of the suspension.
After you have satisfied any terms of your suspension, you may reinstate your license online by paying the reinstatement fee with a credit card. Of course, you may also pay the fee in person at an MVD office. The MVD provides details.
Reinstatement fees vary widely―from $10 to $200, depending on the reason your license was suspended. In some cases, before you can reinstate your license, your insurance company will need to provide the MVD with an SR-22 certificate.
Reinstating a revocation is more difficult. Your driving record will need to be investigated before the MVD will allow you to apply for a new license. To initiate an investigation, contact the MVD by telephone to order an Investigation Packet, which will be sent to you.
Under some circumstances, you may apply for a restricted driving permit, which gives you limited privileges, such as being able to drive to and from work or school. However, not everyone may apply for this license, and the requirements vary, so it's best to check with the MVD for details.
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