I Lost My License For DWI – How Do I Get It Back?

If your Missouri driver’s license or driving privilege was suspended, revoked, or denied following a DWI, and you want to restore your driver’s license, you must first establish   the type of suspension or revocation you have received.  There are several different suspensions or revocations possible after a DWI.  You need to obtain a copy of your driving record so you can be certain which type of suspension or revocation you have.

How to get your license back after DUI

First, your driver’s license could be suspended because points are assigned after a moving violationRestore License After DWI conviction.  The Department of Revenue assigns 8 points for the first non-injury DWI conviction.  For the first 8 point alcohol related suspension, the suspension is for 90 days.  That suspension is broken down into two parts, the first being a 30 day suspension, followed by a 60 day restricted driving period in which motor vehicle operation is restricted to employment, education, etc. Subsequent DWI convictions, or injury DWI’s (DWI-Assault), will result in 12 points being assigned.  For 12 points in 12 months, your driver’s license would be revoked, not suspended, for one year.

BAC Violation

Second, you could have received an administrative suspension by the Department of Revenue for operating a vehicle with an excessive blood alcohol content.  This suspension is based strictly on your blood alcohol test (most commonly a Breathalyzer test), and is applied even if you are not convicted of DWI or BAC.

A third possibility is that you refused to take a blood alcohol test, in which case your driver’s license was revoked for one year.

Additionally, if you have had multiple DWI’s your license could be denied for either five or even ten years.

Consultation with an experienced Rolla MO DUI attorney is important on these licensing issues (as well as any criminal charges) is important since navigating through the Department of Revenue procedures can be complicated.

Missouri License Reinstatement

If your license was suspended for a first time DWI conviction, or for an administrative alcohol suspension, your license is will be suspended for 90 days.  The administrative suspension is in two parts – the first being a 30 day suspension, followed by a 60 day restricted driving period in which motor vehicle operation is restricted to employment, education, etc..

Keep in mind that a DWI case can involve both an administrative suspension as well as a suspension for points following a DWI conviction, but you only serve out one suspension, not two consecutive suspensions.

Requirements for getting your license back after DUI

An ignition interlock must be installed on your vehicle during the restricted driving period if you have had a prior administrative suspension.  Some people with no prior administrative suspension may be eligible for a combined 90 day restricted driving privilege (instead of the 30 day suspension/60 day restricted driving period) if the install an ignition interlock on the vehicle.

Before your restricted driving period starts, you must get SR-22 insurance, and proof of the SR-22 insurance must be on file with Missouri Department of Revenue.  You must carry SR-22 insurance for two years.

In order to fully reinstate your driver’s license at the end of the ninety day combined suspension/restriction period, you must (in addition to carrying SR-22 insurance)  also complete the Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) and need to pay a reinstatement fee to Missouri Department of Revenue.

How to get a hardship license in Missouri

If you lost your driving privilege due to refusing to take an alcohol or drug test, your driver’s license will likely be revoked for one year.  At the end of the year, you must file proof you completed SATOP, file proof of SR-22 insurance, and pay a reinstatement fee to the Missouri Department of Revenue. Consultation with an experienced DWI attorney is important because you likely can also make application for a hardship driver’s license to drive to and from work while your license is revoked.

If your license was revoked because of a five or ten year denial, you will need the assistance of an attorney to restore your license.  A petition must be filed in court, and your application for license reinstatement must be granted by the judge before the Department of Revenue will reinstate your license.

If you are currently serving a five year or ten year denial, you should consider contacting an attorney for assistance in trying to get a limited driving privilege before the revocation is fully served.

What to read next:

Missouri drivers license points overview

Types of insurance for personal injury cases

Employee permissive use of company vehicles


By:  Lance B. Thurman


DID YOU KNOW?  is presented by Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, PC as a public information service only.  None of the information contained herein is intended to be taken as legal advice.  Each matter depends on unique facts which attorneys must consider in forming an opinion, and may depend on laws unique to a particular jurisdiction.  No two cases are the same.  If you want to know more about this subject, contact Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, PC, or the attorney of your choice, and seek a formal opinion about your particular case.

Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, PC provides legal services in South-Central Missouri, serving Maries County (including Belle, Vienna & Vichy), Crawford County (including Cuba, Steelville, Bourbon), Dent County (including Salem, Lecoma, Bunker), Phelps County (including Rolla, St. James, Newburg, Doolittle, Edgar Springs), Texas County (including Licking, Houston, Raymondville, Summersville, Cabool), Pulaski County (Waynesville, St. Robert, Richland, Dixon, Crocker) and may provide legal service in other locations on request.

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