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Many Drivers May Not Know that The FLHSMV Suspended Their License

Jan. 2, 2020

Approximately two million motorists had their licenses suspended by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. As reported by the Sun-Sentinel, motorists do not always know that they are driving with a suspended license because of outdated information kept in the FLHSMV database.

Many drivers, unfortunately, first learn about a suspended license status when law enforcement officials pull them over for a traffic offense. When officials run a license check and see a revoked, canceled or suspended status, they have the authority to arrest the motorist. Once under arrest, however, a motorist faces other issues such as an impounded vehicle, entering a plea in court and having a criminal record.

Automatic Suspension of A License

The Sunshine State will automatically suspend a driver’s license because of an alleged failure to meet court-ordered child support obligations. A missed payment may trigger the automatic suspension, and reinstating a driver’s license requires paying the outstanding balance, including any late fees or other penalties. The suspension is contestable through the court, and a motorist generally has 20 days in which to request a hearing.

The FLHSMV may also send out a suspension notice because a motorist failed to pay a ticket or did not appear in court for a traffic-related offense. The agency mails notices to a motorist’s address on file, but if he or she moved, the postal service may not forward it to the correct address. When a motorist finally learns about a suspended status, he or she will need to pay the original traffic citation in addition to late fees and penalties for missed court dates. To reinstate a driver’s license, all late fees and penalties require payment in full.

Reinstating a License to Get Back to Work

Motorists need to reinstate their licenses quickly, so they can drive to and from work without a need to worry about a possible arrest. When a license suspension occurs because of a DUI charge, however, there may be additional conditions to meet before applying for reinstatement.