License Reinstatement in Washington D.C.

Updated on April 16th, 2024 at 03:54 pm

If you have been convicted of an alcohol-related offense, such as DUI, OWI, or DWI, your DC license or privilege to drive in the District may be suspended or revoked for a certain period.

How Do I Get My Driver’s License Reinstated After A DC DUI?

If it is your first offense, the revocation period is six months. Once that revocation period has concluded, you will receive notice from the DC DMV that you are eligible for license reinstatement.

You must complete the following steps before you can get your license reinstated after a DC DUI:

  1. Schedule a reinstatement hearing at the DC DMV Adjudication Services office.
  2. You must complete a state-certified alcohol program prior to the hearing and clear any stops on your license, such as unpaid tickets, child support, or vehicle insurance.
  3. After the hearing examiner approves your reinstatement, you must pay a $98 reinstatement fee to the DC DMV by credit card or money order. Alcohol-related offenses must be paid in person.
  4. If you have been convicted of DUI, DWI, or OWI, you will need to obtain high-risk insurance (SR-22) prior to the reinstatement hearing.

If you entered into a Deferred Sentencing Agreement, it is best to wait until your case has been dismissed before applying for reinstatement so you will not be required to obtain high-risk insurance.

What To Expect at the Reinstatement Hearing

At the hearing, the hearing examiner will confirm that you have completed all of the requirements listed above and verify you have not been driving in the District during your revocation period.

The most important requirement for reinstatement after a DUI is proof of completion of an alcohol program. You must complete the program during the revocation period after your DUI arrest.

If you attempt to complete a program but are not accepted because the program found that substance abuse services are unnecessary, show proof of this attempt, and the hearing examiner will accept it to fulfill the alcohol program requirement.

If you have completed all of these requirements, the hearing examiner will approve your license reinstatement.

A DC license holder may be required to retake the knowledge and road test before obtaining their license. If you are not required to retake the tests, your license will be reinstated on the day of the hearing after the fee is paid.

An out-of-state license holder’s privilege to drive in the District will be automatically reinstated on the day of the hearing once reinstatement is approved and the fee is paid.

What Are the DUI License Revocation Periods?

According to DC Law, license revocation periods depend on the number of DUIs a person has had and whether they cooperated by taking the breathalyzer test. First-time offenders face 6 months of revocation, and second-time offenders face a 1-year revocation. If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, regardless of whether it’s a first offense, the DC DMV could revoke your license for one year.

This type of revocation usually occurs before a criminal disposition in D.C. Superior Court after a show-cause license revocation hearing occurs.

If you do not schedule a show cause hearing when you receive a notice of proposed revocation after your arrest, the DMV will automatically revoke your license. That’s why it is important to read all forms obtained after a DUI arrest to ensure your license does not get revoked prematurely.

Reasons For License Revocation In DC

In Washington, DC, your license may be revoked for several reasons. Including, but not limited to:

  • DUI
  • leaving after colliding
  • aggravated reckless driving
  • unpaid traffic tickets
  • missed child support payments
  • accruing 10 or more points on your license
  • and several other charges

If you accrue 10-11 points on your license for moving violations, your license will be suspended, and you will lose your driving privileges for 90 days. Some major moving violations incur 12 points, and your license will be automatically revoked.

After this suspension, you will need to pay the $98 reinstatement fee, which may be made online. Unlike a DUI conviction, you do not need to schedule a reinstatement hearing.

Points stay on your driving record for 2 years, but DC does allow the accumulation of good points. A DC license holder can receive one good point for every calendar year that they do not receive a moving violation.

You will need to schedule a reinstatement hearing for these violations, but you do not need to show proof of an alcohol program completion if alcohol is not involved.

Impact of Revocation on Out-of-State Licenses

If you receive a DUI conviction in DC but have an out-of-state license, the DC DMV can only revoke your privilege to drive in the District. However, the DMV can notify your home state to inform them of the DUI conviction, which could affect your license status in that jurisdiction.

If you accepted a Deferred Sentencing Agreement rather than a straight guilty plea, there is less of a chance that the DC DMV will notify other jurisdictions of the revocation because the guilty plea will later be withdrawn and the case dismissed.

Depending on the state, the revocation period could be equal or comparable to DC. That’s why it is important to check your home state’s revocation and reinstatement requirements.

Your home state should notify you if your license were revoked due to your DC DUI conviction. In most cases, you will need to get your privilege to drive in the jurisdiction where the DUI occurred first before handling reinstatement in your home license state.

Contact Bruckheim & Patel Today!

Maintaining your license and the privilege to drive in the District is necessary for most people’s daily lives. When that privilege is taken away, you must contact an experienced attorney to successfully get your license reinstated as soon as you are eligible.

Bruckheim & Patel has expert attorneys who can help you smoothly navigate the reinstatement process with the DC DMV to ensure your privilege to drive in the District is successfully reinstated. Call 202-930-3464 today!

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