Everyone in driving school looks forward to the day they can finally get an original driver’s license and hit the road with no time and passenger restrictions.
But do you ever think that the same authority that gave you the driver’s license can take it away?
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) has the power to revoke or even suspend your driving privileges under two circumstances. One is when you continually commit minor traffic offenses, garnering enough points to earn you a suspension. The second is where you commit such a severe violation that the DPS has no option other than to get you off the road. You cannot get behind the wheel in either of these cases until the suspension or revocation period lapses. Moreover, you must fulfill specific requirements and pay the applicable fees before you can reinstate your driver’s license, as we will cover in this guide.
- 1. What’s the Difference between License Suspension and Revocation?
- 2. How Many Points Does It Take to Get a License Suspension or Revocation in Oklahoma?
How Do I Reinstate My Driving Privileges?
- 3.1. Fraud
- 3.2. Failure to pay Child Support
- 3.3. Conviction in another state
- 3.4. Alcohol and Drugs
- 3.5. Failure to pay fines and costs
- 3.6. Mental or physical ailments
- 3.7. Failure to appear in court for a traffic violation
- 3.8. Forged Insurance Verification Form
- 3.9. Driving without Insurance
- 3.10. Drug Court
- 4. FAQ
What’s the Difference between License Suspension and Revocation?
Are the terms license suspension and license revocation interchangeable?
A suspension is a lesser consequence which means you cannot use your driver’s license for a prescribed while. For example, you could lose your driving privileges for six months, 12 months, and so on. Suspensions result from a high number of points on your driving record owing to the accumulation of traffic violations. These include DUI offenses, hit and runs, and insurance law violations.
On the other hand, a revocation is much more severe as it strips you of a driver’s license. Once your license is revoked, you cannot use it again even after the time lapses. Instead, you must apply for another one once you have fulfilled the state requirements. Given the severity of this consequence, it often affects people convicted of traffic-related misdemeanors, felonies, reckless driving, etc. Please note that revocations often come saddled with longer waiting times and can harm your driving track record.
How Many Points Does It Take to Get a License Suspension or Revocation in Oklahoma?
Driver’s license suspensions and revocations usually don’t happen overnight unless triggered by a significant event. Instead, the state uses a point system where you earn points for each traffic violation. Once you garner enough points to earn a driver’s license revocation or suspension, the authorities come a-calling. The Oklahoma Drivers Manual is clear about the point system and would be an excellent place to start to understand how you can get in trouble. But to give you a glimpse of what to expect, you should know that the DPS suspends any licenses with more than 10 points within 5 years.
Additionally, you get two points on your record each time you:
- Engage in careless driving, or
- Race or speed against other cars on public roads without a permit to do so.
Want to know how you can get 4 points? You’d have to:
- Drive recklessly, or
- Drive past the posted speed limit without slowing down, even past the sign, or
- Not stop for a school bus.
Remember that these are examples, and other offenses can also earn you enough points for a driver’s license suspension or worse.
How Do I Reinstate My Driving Privileges?
The DPS has the power to suspend and reinstate driver’s licenses in Oklahoma. Before you can get on its good side, you must wait out the suspension or revocation period. Moreover, you must comply with all court orders, satisfy SR-22 (insurance carrier) requirements, and pay the processing and reinstatement fees applicable to you. Please note that the steps to reinstate your driver’s license will depend on why you lost your driving privileges in the first place. Let’s cover the most common reasons for driver’s license suspensions and revocations and what you can do to get back behind the wheel:
You can lose your driving privileges if you:
- Provide false information to obtain a driver’s license, or
- Display a license with false information, or
- Use your license for fraudulent reasons.
To get your driver’s license back, you can make an appeal to the district court in the country where you are said to have committed the crime.
Failure to pay Child Support
In the past, the state could revoke your driver’s license on the grounds of unpaid child support. However, since 1st November 2020, the law has changed, and the state no longer has the power to do so. So, how would drivers get their revoked licenses back on track before this turn of events?
Drivers had to prove to the district court or Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) of the Department of Human Services that they were now compliant with child support measures. Moreover, they had to part with reinstatement fees payable to the DPS.
Conviction in another state
What happens if you can no longer use your driver’s license because you were convicted of a crime in another state? In this case, you must follow up with the district court in your resident county to seek reinstatement.
Alcohol and Drugs
The authorities handle DUI cases with a fine-tooth comb and will often revoke driver’s licenses if you:
- Are found driving while under the influence, or
- Have measurable blood alcohol levels, and you are under 21, or
- Refuse to take part in a blood alcohol test when pulled over by the police on suspicion of a DUI.
So, can you get your driving privileges back? Yes, by taking part in the Improved Driver Accountability Program (IDAP). But that’s not all. You must also pay a $290 reinstatement fee to the DPS and participate in an alcohol and drug assessment. It makes you want to think twice about drinking and driving.
Failure to pay fines and costs
Not paying fines owing to traffic violations can result in a driver’s license suspension. There are two ways to go about reinstating such a license. The first requires you to pay the pending fines and associated costs and send proof of payment to the DPS. Reinstatement fees will be applicable to enable the processing of the suspension lift.
The second is where you cite extreme and unusual hardship that bars you from paying the fines. In this case, the court puts you on a payment plan. You must keep up with the payments. Else the court can honor the DPS suspension request.
The court may also decide to offer you a provisional license as stated 47 O.S. § 6-212, which enables you to drive between:
- Your home and place of work or to search for jobs,
- Your home and school,
- The places you must visit in your course of work,
- Your home and your child’s school or daycare,
- Your home and place of worship,
- Your home and any court-mandated workshops or programs.
This provisional license remains in effect if you pay at least $25 a month to offset the reinstatement fees as you get back on your feet.
Mental or physical ailments
Did you know that you can lose your driving rights if you are mentally or physically ill? Once you are back in good health, you can reclaim your driver’s license by appealing to the district court.
Failure to appear in court for a traffic violation
There’s a reason why you should show up in court when cited for traffic tickets. It could save you the hassle of getting your license suspended and having to appear in court (see the irony here) to get a release from the court clerk or judge. Only then can you pay a processing fee to the DPS to get your license back.
Forged Insurance Verification Form
Did you forge your insurance verification form and get caught? You can get your driver’s license suspension by appealing to the district court. If your appeal falls through, you will have no choice but to wait out your suspension period and pay the DPS a handsome $275.
Driving without Insurance
The DPS takes insurance-related traffic offenses seriously. To prove that you have learned your lesson, you must obtain valid insurance and present proof of the same to the DPS. Furthermore, you must fork out $275 in reinstatement fees.
Here’s an easy way to get your driver’s license reinstated when charged with any crime- graduate from drug court.
You may have noticed that most reinstatement requirements are similar. Even so, navigating them is not always easy. It helps that the Driver Compliance telephone bank is on call between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm at either (405)425-2098 or (405)425-2059 to answer any reinstatement-related questions. You can also drop your questions here for more insight into your situation.
To make matters easier for drivers facing revocation, the DPS now offers the alternative of the Impaired Driver Accountability Program (IDAP). Its participants must comply with installing ignition interlock devices. On the upside, you spend much less on fees and get to avoid tainting your driving record with a revocation. You can get more information on this program here or move straight to enrolment here.
I have already paid my court costs and fines to the criminal court. What fees do I have to pay the Department of Public Safety to reinstate my driving privileges?
The Oklahoma statute sets out the fees payable based on the type of suspension/ revocation on your driver’s license and the number of charges on your driving record. Moreover, the fees are cumulative, so you will pay for each offense per the Order of Revocation if you have more than one violation.
How may I pay the fees?
The mode of payment depends on whether you will pay in person or by mail. In-person payments include cash, money orders, cashier’s checks, and major credit cards. Please note that the use of credit cards will incur an extra 4% service fee. Mailed payments must be in money orders or cashier’s checks as the DPS does not accept cash or credit cards by mail. Personal checks are not acceptable in person or by mail.
May a friend come in and pay my fees, or may I make payment by mail?
Before making a payment, inquire whether your driver’s license reinstatement requires you to show up in person. If not, you can send your payment by mail or have a friend take it to the DPS office.