Suspensions/Cancellations/Revocations - Are Your Licenses At Risk?

Posted on: 21 July 2017

Many young people may feel that driving is a right of passage that takes place at a certain age, but as far as the state is concerned, it is actually a privilege. This gives the state a lot of control and leeway in whether or not you will be able to continue to drive on public streets and highways. There are a wide variety of reasons it can be suspended, canceled or revoked and depending on what happened will impact when, if, and how you are able to get it back. Read on for information about this subject and how a criminal defense attorney can help you get your license back.


Did you know that if you are caught driving under the influence in California, as well as in many other states, the officer will confiscate your driver's license on the spot and issue you a notice of suspension? They will immediately report this suspension to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

Once you receive this notice, you will have a certain number of days to request an administrative hearing with DMV to show whether or not there was a basis for the suspension. Until your hearing you may be issued a temporary license. This is not the only reason for a license suspension. Some of the others include:

  • Driving without insurance
  • Failure to pay a court-ordered fine
  • Failure to complete traffic school
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Repeat traffic violations and more

In addition to these, all fifty state have the ability to suspend and even revoke your driving license for failure to pay your child support. The amount of you are in arrears, as well as the length of time you are allowed to be delinquent before this happens varies from state to state. 

Suspensions are seen as temporary measures and will not void the license you hold. Once your license is reinstated after the specified period of suspension, a valid license will be returned to you if it has not expired during this time.


Unlike a suspension, a cancellation of your driving privilege both voids your driving license and denies you the right to drive. Once you qualify to have your licenses reinstated, you will be required to retest (both written and roadwork) in order to receive a new license. 

Many times your driver licenses may be canceled due to DMV having invalid information. This may mean that you have moved from the address they have on file, you gave them an invalid date of birth, name or some other information. You do not suppose to have valid driver's licenses issued by two states at any time. Many times when you apply for a new driver's license in another state, it will automatically cancel the one you initially held and if DMV feel you are attempting to commit fraud, it could cancel them both. States are now using facial recognition software to try to reduce this type of fraud.  


If your driver's license has been fully cancelled and is not eligible to be reinstated, it is considered to be revoked. This is usually reserved for very serious or multiple repeated offenses. In order to obtain your license again, you will have to be cleared by your state's DMV. If approved you will have to pay whatever civil penalties have been assessed and go back through the entire licensing process. In some cases your licenses could be permanently revoked. Some of these include:

  • Multiple alcohol related offenses
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Age and more

If your driving privileges are in danger of being suspended, cancelled, or revoked, you need to hire a criminal offense attorney to handle the underlying legal matter that has your license in jeopardy. Depending on your situation, they may be able to reduce the severity of any consequences you may be facing or even get your case dismissal. Call one today for an evaluation.