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    Driver License Suspension in Connecticut

    The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can suspend your driver’s license—i.e. take away your driving privileges—for reasons varying from DMV point accumulation to Operating Under the Influence (OUI).

    Because you absolutely cannot drive without a valid driver’s license, taking the steps to reinstate your suspended or revoked driver's license as soon as possible is crucial.

    About Your Suspended License in CT

    The CT DMV can suspend your license for a variety of reasons, including:

    • DMV point accumulation (more than 10 points in 24 months).
    • Failing to appear or honor a traffic summons.
    • Failing to complete an operator retraining or child safety course.
    • Committing serious vehicular crimes such as manslaughter or homicide.
    • OUI or implied consent refusal (see “OUI Suspensions” below).

    The CT DMV provides of full list of reasons for suspension and the related penalties.

    NOTE: Teen drivers can have their license suspended or lose the privilege to apply for a license for a conviction of speeding, reckless driving, street racing, driving while using a cell phone or texting, or any violation of the teen driving restrictions set by the state. For more information about teen licenses, please see our CT Applying for a Teen License page.

    Suspension Notice

    If your license is suspended, you’ll receive a notice of suspension, which will include information such as:

    • Reason for suspension.
    • Reinstatement requirements, including the suspension duration.
    • Reinstatement fees.

    If you suspect your license is suspended, or you don’t completely understand your notice, contact the DMV at (860) 263-5720 or dmv.suspension@ct.gov.

    Driving with a Suspended License

    It’s illegal to drive if you’ve been refused a driver’s license OR your license is suspended, revoked, or cancelled.

    Operating a vehicle without driving privileges can lead to criminal penalties:

    • $150 to $200 fine.
    • 3 months of jail time.

    Note the above penalties are for the 1st offense. Additional offenses can lead to higher fines, more jail time, and an even more difficult time getting back your driving privileges.

    Check Your Driver License Status

    Your CT driving record shows everything from traffic violations to your driver license status, i.e. whether your license is valid or suspended.

    It’s a good idea to watch your record—even after you receive your reinstatement notice.

    Because your driving record can affect your auto insurance rates and even your employment, it’s crucial that you make sure your information is accurate.

    Check our Driving Records in Connecticut section for more information.

    Suspension Hearings and Appeals

    You may be able to schedule hearings and make appeals in some instances (see “OUI Suspensions” below, for example). Your license suspension notice will provide you with this information.

    You have 7 days from the date the notice has been mailed to request a hearing. If you fail to request a hearing within that time, you’ll receive notice that your suspension will begin on the effective date in your original notice.

    For more serious infractions—such as OUI—you might consult an attorney. Certain lawyers specialize in matters like operating under the influence and can help you navigate the legal system.

    Need an Attorney to Help with Your Suspended License?

    Find an attorney and get the assistance you need.

    Reinstate Your CT Driver’s License

    You must resolve your suspended license by mail.

    First, check your suspension notice and any related documents and make sure you’re eligible for license reinstatement. If you are, it will give your eligibility date (date of expiration of the suspension).

    To reinstate by mail:

    • Send in any required reinstatement documents (as indicated in your notice) at least 2 weeks prior to your eligibility date.
    • Include a check or money order payable to the DMV for the reinstatement fee.
      • (See “Fees for Suspended Licenses in CT” below.)

    Mail everything to:

    Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles
    Driver Services Division
    60 State Street
    Wethersfield, CT 06161-2525

    NOTE: You CANNOT drive again until you’ve received your restoration letter (which could take 10 days from the date the DMV receives your reinstatement paperwork) AND you’ve obtained a valid driver’s license.

    For license reinstatement information specific to your situation, contact the DMV at (860) 263-5720 or dmv.suspension@ct.gov.

    OUI Suspensions in CT

    Operating under the influence (OUI)—also known as DUI or DWI—is a criminal offense in Connecticut. As such, you can lose your license 2 ways:

    • Administrative Per Se: “Admin Per Se,” as it’s often shortened, happens when you refuse to submit to a blood/breath/chemical test OR fail such a test. This is through the DMV and takes effect at 12:01 a.m. 31 days after the arrest date. You’ll receive a notice of suspension, which allows you 7 days to request a hearing.
      • (See “Hearings and Appeals” above).
    • Criminal penalties: Your court handles criminal license suspensions.

    Your suspension period depends on your age, the nature of the offense, and the offense number.

    For example, refusing to submit to a test could get you anywhere from 1 year to 6 years of license suspension. Failing a test could get you as many as 2 ½ years of admin per se license suspension.

    If you are convicted and the judge hands you criminal penalties, you face anywhere from suspension for 45 days to a permanently revoked license. You may also face additional DMV penalties (e.g., the DMV suspends your license for a 1st offense of OUI for 90 days).

    Learn more about OUI license suspension and other penalties at our DUI & DWI in Connecticut page, as well as CT’s Drunk Driving Law—OUI section.

    CT Special Operator’s Permits

    Depending on the circumstances of your suspended driver's license, you might be able to obtain a Special Operator’s Permit. This permit acts as a restricted driver’s license and allows you to travel to and from work or to and from school, depending upon the permit you apply for and obtain.

    Along with your original signed application, send a check or money order* for $100 payable to “DMV” to:

    Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles
    Driver Services Division
    60 State Street
    Wethersfield, CT 06161-2525

    *The application fee is non-refundable.

    Eligibility Requirements

    Understand that you have to meet the following eligibility requirements to obtain either Special Operator Permit:

    • Your license CANNOT be suspended for:
      • Operating your vehicle while under suspension.
      • Failing to appear or pay your citation fee.
      • Reckless driving & evading responsibility.
    • Your driving history can’t have 3 moving violations or more on it.
    • You must not have any prior offenses involving alcohol.
    • You cannot have a violation of:
      • Vehicular manslaughter.
      • Vehicular assault.
    • You cannot operate a commercial vehicle or a vehicle used for public service.

    Special permits aren’t guaranteed—they’re just a possibility. The DMV must approve your application. Note that your driving record will be reviewed as part of the application process.

    For questions, please call the Driver Services Division at (860) 263-5720.

    Fees for Suspended Licenses in CT

    In CT, the fee for each suspension is $175.

    Once you’re eligible for license reinstatement, you must pay your license reinstatement fee by mail using the following address:

    Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles
    Driver Services Division
    60 State St.
    Wethersfield, CT 06161-2525

    Make sure you:

    • Pay the $175 license reinstatement fee (for each suspension item) with a check or money order made payable to the “CT DMV.”
    • Send the payment(s) at least 2 weeks prior to your reinstatement eligibility date.
    • Provide your:
      • Full name.
      • Current address. (Check Changing Your Address in Connecticut if your address has changed since your driver license suspension.)
      • Date of birth.
    • DO NOT DRIVE UNTIL:
      • You receive your restoration notice from the DMV. Processing can take up to 10 business days from the date the DMV receives your information.
      • You’ve resolved all other requirements, such as possessing a valid CT driver’s license.

    The DMV answers restoration questions at (860) 263-5720. You can also email the DMV at dmv.suspension@ct.gov.

    CDL Suspensions in CT

    Commercial drivers face CDL disqualifications/suspended licenses for certain violations, including:

    • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (even if driving a passenger vehicle at the time).
    • Refusal to submit to a blood test, breath test, or urine test.
    • Excessive speeding.
    • Reckless driving.
    • Changing lanes erratically.
    • Operating a commercial vehicle without a valid CDL.
    • Following too closely.
    • Railroad violations (e.g., not stopping before the tracks when required).

    NOTE: Any CDL disqualification imposed by the state of CT is in addition to any court-imposed penalties you may face.

    For more information on commercial vehicles and penalties, visit our CT Commercial Drivers section.

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