Suspended License in Indiana
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Driver License Suspension in Indiana
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) can suspend your driver’s license for reasons varying from failing to meet insurance requirements to serious infractions such as Operating While Intoxicated (OWI).
You cannot drive with a suspended or revoked license. Read on for information on common reasons for license suspension in Indiana and how to reinstate your driver’s license.
Your license can be suspended for a variety of reasons. If you do get a suspension, you’ll get a suspension notice that will explain that your driving privileges have been suspended and why, and will include details of your suspension and your rights.
A suspension will become effective 18 days after the notice of suspension is sent to you (unless otherwise indicated by IN law or by the court).
Below are the most common reasons for Indiana license suspension.
Failure to Appear/Pay
This refers to failing to appear for a summons or pay the fine related to traffic violations such as a speeding ticket.
Your license suspension is indefinite; your driving privileges will be restored once the court sends the required documentation to the BMV.
Failure to Meet Insurance Requirements
Your license is suspended if you can’t prove you meet the state’s insurance requirements. Your suspension will be for:
- 90 days.
- 1 year, for a repeat offense within 3 years.
Habitual Traffic Violator
A Habitual Traffic Violator (HTV) is one who commits either 2 major offenses or 3 major offenses (see bullets below) within 10 years.
Generally, HTV suspensions last for 10 years; however, if 2 major offenses relate to OWI, typically the suspension is for life.
You'll be deemed an HTV if:
- You commit 3 major offenses within 10 years (e.g. drag racing, leaving the scene of an accident, OWI, etc.).
- You commit 2 major offenses within 10 years that result in injury or death (e.g. reckless homicide, voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, etc.).
- You accumulate 10 moving violations, including 1 major offense, within 10 years.
- You drive with a license that’s been suspended for HTV.
- NOTE: At this point, the court sets your license suspension period, which can be up to life.
Operating While Intoxicated
Your license can be suspended for driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit and for refusing to take a chemical test.
See “OWI Suspensions in Indiana” below.
Failing to Complete a DSP or DDC
You must complete a Driver Safety Program (DSP) or Defensive Driving Course (DDC) if you accumulate too many points on your driving record.
Learn more about point accumulation, DSP, and DDC at our DMV Point System in Indiana page.
Failure to Pay Child Support
Your license is suspended indefinitely; generally, your suspension lasts until you begin making payments to satisfy the court.
Writing Bad Checks
Paying for BMV services with a bad check leads to indefinite license suspension.
Operating While Suspended
Driving with a suspended license leads to a minimum license suspension of 90 days and a maximum suspension of 2 years.
Check Your Driver License Status
Your driving record includes everything from your DMV points to your traffic tickets, as well as your driver license status—including whether you have a suspended driver’s license.
You’re not the only one who can access your driving record. In addition to potential employers and background investigators, auto insurance companies will look at your driving record before setting car insurance quotes.
The IN BMV offers viewable driving records (VDR) and official driving records (ODR). Visit our Driving Records in Indiana page for information on ordering your driving record and what you’ll find on it.
When you get your notice of suspension, the IN BMV will notify you about whether you’re eligible for an administrative hearing and, if eligible, how to file for an appeal.
If you’re facing suspension for a serious charge like OWI, you might consider hiring an attorney.
If your license has been suspended, make sure you have the right support. Find a local attorney to help you reinstate your driving privileges.
OWI-related suspensions can come from:
- Refusing a chemical test or failing a chemical test. Generally, this is called an “administrative per se” suspension and is handed down by the BMV.
- Refusing: Up to 2 years.
- Failing: Up to 180 days.
- Being convicted of operating while intoxicated. Court and state laws base your suspension or revocation period on:
- Your age.
- The offense number (e.g., first offense, second offense, etc.)
- Your blood alcohol content (BAC).
Learn more about OWI suspension and other penalties at our DUI & DWI in Indiana section.
Each license reinstatement process is different. For example, you might have to complete steps for a points-related suspension that you wouldn’t have to complete for a suspension related to bad checks.
If your date of eligibility for reinstatement says “indefinite,” this means that you must take specific actions before you can reinstate your license. You’ll need to fulfill any requirements imposed by the BMV or the court that suspended your license.
The IN BMV provides situation-specific license reinstatement information when you log into your myBMV.com account. There, you’ll find reinstatement steps—including your specific reinstatement fee.
You can also contact the BMV Customer Contact Center for more information by phone at (888) 692-6841 or via e-mail.
Proof of Insurance
If you’re required to show proof of insurance, you’ll need to do so prior to reinstating your license.
For example, you may be required to submit an Affidavit of Current Insurance (SR50) or a Proof of Future Financial Responsibility (SR22). Proof of insurance must be submitted electronically by your insurance provider to the DMV before your license can be reinstated.
Visit our Indiana Car Insurance page to learn more about Indiana insurance options.
The court determines whether you’re eligible for a probationary or hardship license. If you are granted hardship or probationary driving privileges, the court will submit a Form SR17 directly to the BMV.
This form will tell the BMV how long the hardship or probationary license will be valid and any related limits.
Your license reinstatement fees might vary depending on the reason for your driver license suspension; however, your suspension paperwork will let you know your specific fee.
You can pay your reinstatement fee online or by mail:
- Use your myBMV.com account.
- By mail:
- Complete and follow the instructions on the Reinstatement Fee Submission Form.
- Accepted payment includes:
- Credit or debit card.
- Check or money order payable to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
- DO NOT SEND CASH.
- Mail everything to the address listed on the Reinstatement Fee Coupon.
Expect a notice of proposed disqualification or a notice of disqualification if you commit any of the below offenses.
- Leave the scene of an accident.
- Commit a felony with a commercial vehicle.
- Acquire out-of-state convictions.
- Manufacture, sell, or distribute controlled substances.
- Commit a serious traffic violation.
- Commit railroad crossing violations.
- Commit out-of-service order violations.
- Commit hazardous materials and passenger out-of-service order violations.
Not an Indiana resident? Your home state will still receive notice.
For additional and more detailed federal CDL disqualification information, visit our Indiana CDL section.