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Suspended License in North Carolina

Driver’s License Suspension in NC

Your North Carolina driver’s license can be suspended or revoked by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for a number of reasons, including:

  • Speeding.
  • Reckless driving.
  • DWI, or refusing to take a blood or breath test.
  • Accumulating driver’s license points.

Read below to learn more about your suspended NC driver’s license, license reinstatement, and other related information.

About Your NC Suspended License

If your North Carolina driver’s license is suspended by the NC DMV, you will be notified immediately in writing.

The suspension period varies based on the reason for the suspension.

To reinstate your driver’s license once your DMV suspension period has ended, you will have to:

  • Pay restoration fees. (See “Fees for Suspended Licenses in NC” below.)
  • Apply for a new NC driver’s license.
    • This may involve taking a written test and/or driving test again.

In addition to DMV suspensions. your license can be suspended as part of a criminal court sentence or by the request of another agency. For example, failure to pay child support can lead to a suspension of your driver’s license.

To reinstate your license after a suspension initiated by the court or another agency, you may have to meet their additional requirements before your driver’s license can be reinstated.

NOTE: A driver’s license suspension becomes part of your official, permanent North Carolina driving record.

A revoked license is a bit different from a suspended license. A revoked license means your driving privileges are rescinded for longer periods of time; they typically result from more serious violations. Either way, you’ve lost your driving privileges.

Length of Suspension

The length of a driver’s license suspension depends on the reason it was suspended. Common causes for suspension and the length of the first suspension include:

First DWI offense

Your license can also be suspended for:

  • Having 2 convictions of speeding (over 55 mph) in 12 months.
  • Having 1 conviction of speeding (over 55 mph) and 1 conviction of reckless driving in 12 months.
  • Part of a sentence or suspended court sentence that revokes your driving privileges.
  • A conviction for speeding over 75 mph.

NOTE : Some suspensions last until the driver meets certain requirements. For example, if your driver’s license is suspended for failing to pay child support, it cannot be reinstated until you have paid the money you owe.

Provisional License Suspensions

If you are younger than 18 years old, you face suspension of up to 6 months, depending on how many violations you’ve committed.

Driver’s License Points Suspension

One of the most common causes for a suspended North Carolina driver’s license is the accumulation of driver’s license points. Your driving record shows the points currently accumulated against your NC driver’s license.

Points are put on your driving record for moving violations and other infractions. The amount of points you get will depend on the violation.

Once you receive 7 points, you may be required to attend a Driver Improvement Clinic. Completing this clinic will remove 3 points from your license. You can only attend a Driver Improvement clinic 1 time in a 5-year period. In order to reduce your points, you will need to qualify and complete a conference with a driver license hearing officer.

Your driver’s license will be suspended if you accumulate 12 points or more in 3 years (or 8 points or more in the 3 years following a license suspension). Suspension length is dependent upon the number of suspensions you’ve had:

  • First suspension. 60 days maximum.
  • Second suspension. 6 months maximum.
  • Any subsequent suspensions. 1 year.

For more information regarding points and NC driver’s licenses, please see our NC points page.

Traffic School Point Reduction

A driver improvement clinic can help you reduce points and may even get you lower insurance rates. Learn more about driver training courses here.

Check Your License Status

A driver’s license suspension becomes part of your official, permanent North Carolina driving record. Your driving record is a comprehensive view of your driving history and includes any accidents, moving violations, tickets, etc.

Your driving history can affect factors like:

  • Car insurance rates.
  • Employment opportunities.
  • Background checks.

Visit our Driving Records section to learn more about your driving history.


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