A reinstated license is as good as one that was never suspended, but how do you get reinstated? Suspension of a driving license can be a nightmare, especially if you are a passionate driver. If you have taken this privilege for granted, you will value it once you are charged with DUI or an arrest in Columbia, SC. Reinstating the license usually requires you to wait till the suspension period is over. Once the reinstatement fee is paid, you can get the license back.
The reasons for suspension and revoke of a driver’s license in Columbia can be varied. The South Carolina DMV can suspend your license for getting way too points on your driving record or a DUI charge. License is revoked for committing vehicular manslaughter or a felony with a vehicle. But here again, the whole procedure depends on how severe the offense was and also the ability of your Columbia DUI attorney. We will tell you how the process of reinstatement happens in SC.
Getting Your License Reinstated in South Carolina
As mentioned earlier, reinstating the license can vary depending on what offense you are charged with. Generally, the following conditions have to be met to get the license reinstated in the city of Columbia:
- Satisfy all court requirements
- Complete the suspension period
- Pay the driver’s license reinstatement fee of $100
- Pay the legal fees or fines
- If applicable, install an ignition interlock device on your car
- If applicable, complete an alcohol and drug safety program
Driver’s License Suspension in South Carolina
There is something called point suspension in South Carolina, wherein if you have 12 or more points on your driving record, your license can be suspended. The suspension period increases when the number of points increases. You can go through the DMV website to know how many points you currently have on your driving record.
If you have got the point suspension, then the reinstatement procedure is the same as that followed when you are suspended due to any other reason. You can take an SCDMV-approved defensive driving course to reduce the number of points on your driving record.
At such times, reinstating the license starts after the revocation period ends. Depending on your charges, you may have to pay several fees, but the amount to be paid as revoked license reinstatement fee remains $100.
If you are not ready to take a BAC test in South Carolina or fail the test, your driving license will be suspended by the DMV. If you refuse to take the test, the suspension period is six months, and the period for failure is six months for the first time and up to three years in subsequent cases.
The punishments do not end with administrative suspension by the DMV. You will have to face other things, including mandatory alcohol treatment, court fines, community service, additional suspension time, and/or jail terms by the criminal courts.
A DUI charge encompasses administrative and criminal sides that can be entirely different. Whether or not your charges are dismissed or pardoned in criminal court, you cannot escape administrative suspension. To prevent the driver’s license suspension, the first thing you can do is request an administrative hearing within the first 15 days of your DUI arrest.
Do you know how important hiring a driver’s license reinstatement attorney in South Carolina can be? An experienced attorney can represent you in the hearing and bring victory to your case. Even if you win, you will have to be present in the criminal court, but the DMV might decide not to suspend your license. If you refuse to go to court, the suspension period has to be fulfilled before the license is reinstated in South Carolina.
The court procedures can sometimes be confusing or complex if this is your first experience. An attorney can guide you to take the right action to reinstate your license. Moreover, he can increase the chances of winning your case on your behalf.
Getting a Hardship License With the Help of a Columbia DUI Attorney
There is a provision to apply for a restricted license in South Carolina if you could not win the administrative hearing or got additional suspensions in the criminal court. Certain locations are authorized where you can still drive with the restricted license, like the school, work, or treatment if you are undergoing any. You are eligible for this license if you get enrolled in a treatment program, pay the application fee, present SR22 insurance, and have no other suspensions on your driver’s license.
A hardship license is like a provisional license for which drivers with certain charges can apply. South Carolina has come up with this solution for those whose licenses have been suspended so that they can still get to places like work, school, or court.
Depending on the case, a driver can get a route-restricted driver’s license, a provisional driver’s license, or a temporary alcohol license. Whichever hardship license you are eligible for, you may have to pay $100 as the fee.
The route restricted license is similar to a traditional hardship license which can be applied by filling out SCDMV Form DL-127. You are eligible to receive this license if your charge meets certain criteria laid out by the law, and this is the first time you are getting this license.
Drivers charged with first-time DUI offenses can get a provisional driver’s license that has a validity of six months. For this, the following conditions have to be met:
- You have a valid SC driver’s license before the suspension
- You have fulfilled requirements for prior revocations or suspensions
- There are no other suspensions on your driving record
- The BAC test showed that your blood alcohol content was 0.14 or less
- You pay the provisional license fee of $100
- You are enrolled in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program
If you are a DUI offender waiting for the results of the hearing, you can get a temporary alcohol license until the results are out. If the result is not in your favor, this license has to be returned to DMV, and you can apply for a route-restricted license if eligible.
So getting your license reinstated in South Carolina depends upon your specific case and whether it is your first offense or a subsequent one. As a precaution, hiring an experienced Columbia criminal defense attorney to represent your case is recommended. This will increase the chances of getting your license back sooner.