Revoked Licenses

There are many ways your license may become revoked. Whether you have been caught driving with a revoked license, or just found out your license may be revoked, contact us immediately to find out what we can do to restore your driving privilege and handle any charges you may have.

30 Day Civil Revocation

Upon being charged with an Implied Consent offense, or a violation involving impaired driving, your license is immediately revoked, usually for 30 days if it’s a first offense. At the end of 30 days, and not a day before, you can pay the “civil revocation fee,” currently $100.00, at the Clerk of Court in the county where you were charged. In Wake County, you can go to the Clerk’s office in Room 102. Once paid, the revocation is lifted and the Clerk will give you back your license. At that point, you have the same right to drive as before you were charged, assuming no other revocations are in place.

If you need to drive before the 30 days is up, it may be possible to obtain a Limited Driving Privilege after 10 days. The courts charge $100.00, in addition to the civil revocation fee, for this privilege, plus several other requirements including a substance abuse assessment. If you are interested, contact us immediately to discuss what steps need to be taken before the first 10 days are up. If you retain us to represent you on the underlying charge, we do not charge any fee to obtain this Privilege.

Moving Violation While Suspended/DWLR

Revoked driver licenses are one of the most confusing things to handle in District Court. Part of the reason is it requires dealing with two government entities, DMV and the court system. Both entities have requirements before you can get your license back, but those requirements can contradict each other and make it harder for you to do so. Before doing anything, it is important to know why you were revoked. You can figure this out by contacting DMV at 919-715-7000, obtaining your driving record at DMV Headquarters for $8.00, or by discussing your case with us.

Many people think once you have your license, the DA will dismiss a DWLR charge. This is not the case. Because you were revoked when you got the charge, you can be convicted of DWLR, even if you have your license back. And if convicted, your license will be suspended again. Sometimes the DA will offer to reduce the DWLR charge, but a conviction for any moving violation that occurred during a period of suspension will also result in a further suspension.

Even if you clear up the reasons you are revoked, a first conviction for Driving While License Revoked or any moving violation that occurred while revoked, will suspend your license for one year, a second conviction for two years, and a third conviction will result in a permanent conviction (but may be lifted after three years if certain conditions are met). If you currently find yourself in this situation, we still may be able to help. Give us a call to see what we can do about getting you driving again.

Driving While Impaired (DWI)

Upon a first conviction for Driving While Impaired, your license will automatically be revoked for one year. Depending on the circumstances, it is usually possible to get a Limited Driving Privilege to allow you to drive to work, school, and for family obligations.

A second conviction for DWI mandates a four year revocation, and your license will be permanently revoked for a third conviction. If permanently revoked, it may be possible to petition DMV to reinstate your privilege to drive, but not for at least 10 years.


Insurance points and Driver License points are two different things. We are usually more concerned with Insurance points, because they are what determines insurance increases pursuant to the Safe Driver Incentive Plan. However, accumulating 12 Driver License points in a three year period can suspend your license. If you get close to 12 points, you may be able to take a class that will take 3 points off your record (More Information)


There are many speeding violations that will automatically revoke your license. If you are convicted of driving more than 15 MPH over the limit, at a speed over 55 MPH, your license will be suspended for 30 days. A second charge like this, or any conviction for speeding and Careless and Reckless driving together will suspend you for 60 days.

There even more situations where DMV has the authority to suspend your license (and probably will). Two convictions within a year of speeding over 55 MPH (no matter by how much), Careless and Reckless driving, or a combination of the two, can revoke you for a year. Racing, eluding arrest, and other high speed offenses will also often result in a suspension.

Failure to Appear

If you Fail to Appear in court on a Chapter 20 (Motor Vehicle) offense, the Clerk of Court will likely let DMV know, and DMV will revoke your license if you don’t clear the matter up by a certain date. Clearing the matter up is not particularly difficult, and can sometimes be done without the help of an attorney. However, once your case reaches this status, the DA is less likely to negotiate a plea with you. Also, resolving the matter may actually suspend your license further!

We can usually handle recent Failures to Appear in such a way that you will never be suspended, and can often undo past suspensions caused by Failure to Appear. If you have received a charge of Driving While License Revoked because of a Failure to Appear, sometimes we can handle the charges so that the DWLR is dismissed, avoiding further suspension.

Fake ID's / Buying Alcohol for a Minor

DMV may also suspend your license, under certain circumstances, if you use a Fake ID to buy alcohol or if you buy alcohol for a minor. If you are charged with an alcohol related offense, contact us to discuss the possible ramifications.