How to Get Your License Back After a DUI in North Carolina?

North Carolina has some of the strictest driving laws and regulations in the country, and this leads to many individuals having their driver’s licenses temporarily or permanently revoked. Not being able to drive can be extremely difficult, as it can impact your ability to drive your children to and from school, go to work, and complete tasks that are essential for day-to-day survival.

While having your license temporarily suspended or permanently revoked is a penalty that comes as a result of some North Carolina DUI convictions, it does not have to be the final story. Depending on your situation, there are some steps you can take to get yourself safely and legally back on the road.

Getting Your NC License Reinstated

The conditions that you need to meet in order to get your North Carolina driver’s license reinstated will vary based on the severity of your DUI offense and whether you have existing offenses.

When you have been convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol more than once or twice, you have the option to get your driver’s license back once the suspension period ends. Although this period may be over, it does not mean that you will automatically get your driver’s license back. You will need to apply through the North Carolina DMV to get your license back, which will cost $140.25 for the reinstatement costs, plus a restoration fee of $70 and a service fee of $50.

In the case that an individual has had more than two DUIs, in which they are facing a driver’s license suspension of four years or having the license permanently taken away, they may be able to apply for the license to be reinstated. However, they must meet certain criteria: 

  • The driver is not abusing or overusing alcohol, prescriptions, or other drugs.
  • The driver is not illegally using drugs.
  • The driver has been without their license for at least two years and did not commit any alcohol- or drug-related crimes or get any traffic-related violations.

There may be additional conditions that may need to be met, depending on the specifics of the North Carolina driver’s case. If you are unsure about whether you meet the requirements to apply for reinstatement, a Wilmington, NC, DUI lawyer can work with you to help you determine what your next steps are.

North Carolina Restricted Driving Privileges

There are some cases where you may not be eligible to reapply for full driving privileges, but you can potentially drive in a restricted manner. This means that from sun up to sun down, you might be able to drive yourself as transportation to educational facilities, where you work, religious services, and healthcare-related appointments. The application process for this is done through the North Carolina DMV, and a judge will hear your case and make a decision.

An individual must meet certain requirements to apply for their restricted driver’s license. However, it’s important to note that even if an individual meets the requirements to apply, they might not be granted the temporary license. The following criteria are: 

  • Have no pending traffic violations.
  • Have no other license suspensions in the past three years due to other charges.
  • Refused to take the blood test but never actually got a DUI conviction.
  • Have no other DUI offenses on record within the last seven years of the current case.
  • The DUI charge is not level one or two.

In the case that you are unsure whether you are eligible to apply for a restricted license, a knowledgeable attorney can assist you with legal advice. If your case is complex, such as if you were considered to be a high-risk driver, a lawyer can work with you to help you meet any additional requirements for reinstatement, such as an ignition interlock device installation.

FAQs About How to Get Your License Back After a DUI in North Carolina

How Long Will My License Suspension Last After My Second DUI?

If you are facing a second DUI conviction that occurred within seven years of your first DUI, then you will likely have your driver’s license suspended for a period that lasts four years. It may be possible to apply for restricted driving privileges if your case meets certain criteria. Therefore, it is recommended to speak with a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney.

Should I Hire a Lawyer to Get My Driver’s License Reinstated?

A lawyer who knows North Carolina DUI laws and traffic laws well can provide you with sound legal advice on how to proceed with your case. They can evaluate your criminal history, your current conduct, and details from prior convictions to determine the right way to pursue getting your driver’s license back. They can also initiate and carry out any administrative processes that you may need to go through with the DMV or local court system in order to get your license reinstated.

Can You Get a Hardship License in North Carolina?

A hardship license, otherwise known as a driver’s license that can be used under certain provisions, such as between certain hours and only for certain purposes, can be granted in the state of North Carolina. If a judge deems that a driver has a sound reason to be using the car for essential reasons such as work, education, medical care, probation services, or household maintenance, then they can do so until their license can be permanently reinstated.

How Long Will My License Suspension Last After My First DUI?

After a first DUI arrest, your license will be immediately suspended, and there is a mandatory time of 45 days in which you cannot drive. In most cases, the driver’s license can be suspended for one year. There are other cases, however, where after the 45-day waiting period, a license can be reinstated with restrictions on where and when the person can drive.

North Carolina DUI Lawyers That You Can Rely on

Getting your driver’s license taken away can make people feel helpless and unsure about what to do next. However, there are actually multiple options for people who have had their driver’s license suspended or revoked in North Carolina. The DUI lawyers at Christina Rivenbark & Associates have years of experience helping drivers in North Carolina exercise their rights. If you are facing complications in your life as a result of a DUI conviction, contact our team today to find out what your options are.

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