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How Does Petitioning the Court for Your Driver’s License Work?

Published on Jan 31, 2019 at 9:24 am in Car Accidents.


If you’ve received notice a of driver’s license suspension, you’re not alone. Many people lose their driving privileges for both minor and major offenses. At Thomas Law Offices, we understand people make mistakes, which is why we’re dedicated to working with clients who are looking to have their driving privileges restored.

If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked for a period of five or ten years, you have the right to petition the court to reinstate it. Depending on your circumstances, there are different ways to go about this.

Common Reasons for License Suspension

There are a number of reasons a driver could have their driver’s licenses suspended or revoked. Let’s take a look at the most common situations.

  • Point Accumulation. In Missouri, if you accumulate eight points in 18 months, your driving privileges will be suspended. A first suspension is 30 days, a second is 60 days, and a third is 90 days. If a driver accumulates 12 points in 12 months, 18 points in 24 months, or 24 points in 36 months, the driver will lose their license for a year and be required to retake the driver exam. Points can accumulate through things like speeding, reckless driving, or ignoring traffic laws.
  • Habitual Offenses. If a driver is found to be repeating violations, like speeding, they could lose their license for a significant period of time.
  • Serious Violations/Convictions. Serious offenses that lead to license suspension include driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), felonies, vehicular manslaughter or homicide, leaving the scene of an accident (hit-and-run), and fleeing or evading law enforcement.
  • Inaccurate Driving Record. It’s important to periodically check your driving record to ensure it reflects true information. Ignored inaccurate information can result in suspension.
  • No Insurance. A driver who is caught without auto insurance or even proof of auto insurance could lose their license for a period of time.

If you find yourself to be in a different situation than what we’ve discussed, that does not mean you do not have legal options. Our lawyers will be able to determine what your rights are.

License Reinstatement Requirements

According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, if your license has been revoked for a period of five or ten years you have the right to file a petition to request that the court reinstate it. This is referred to as “court-ordered license reinstatement.”

Your attorney can help you file the petition in the country where you obtained the offense that took your license away. After this, you will need to get a Criminal History Check. This requires a four-digital fingerprint registration number. After you’ve obtained that, you can register with the Missouri Automated Criminal History Site (MACHS) so that the Criminal History Check can be performed.

Following these steps with the help of an attorney gives you the best chance of reobtaining your driver’s license.

Obtaining Limited Driving Privileges

If you find that you are not eligible for reinstatement, but you need to drive for something important like employment, you may be eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege (LDP), i.e. a “hardship license.” If the LDP is granted, you will be able to operate a motor vehicle under pre-approved situations. Keep in mind, this type of license cannot be obtained for a commercial motor vehicle.

There are two ways to apply for an LDP, depending on your circumstances. If your license has been revoked for a period of fewer than five years, you can submit an application to the Department of Revenue. If your license has been revoked for five or ten years, you will need to file a petition with the circuit court in the county where you work or live.

To file the petition, considering seeking legal advice first. Then, complete the following:

  • Pay the filing fees and court costs
  • Ensure you have an SR-22 form on record
  • If you have more than one alcohol offense and you have an active Chemical Revocation on your driving record, you must submit proof of an installed Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
  • If you are granted an LDP, you will be given an Order Granting Limited Driving Privilege, which will act as your driving document

If you’ve had your license suspended, it’s important to remember you have legal options. Our office can work with you to determine how best to proceed. While we cannot guarantee success, working with experienced attorneys can improve your chances of having your license reinstated. For more information, get in touch with us

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Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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