You have just received a letter from the DMV stating that you are a habitual traffic offender (HTO). Your license has been suspended for five years. Is there anything that can be done to get your driver’s license back?

Yes. But it is not easy, and the process should be taken very seriously.

How Can You Get An Early End To Habitual Traffic Offender Status?

The law in South Carolina says a habitual traffic offender can apply to get your driver’s license restored after two years from the start of that suspension, if you meet certain conditions:

  • No prior habitual offender suspensions —anywhere. That means not in South Carolina, and also not in any other state. (Sorry, but if this is your second time around, a restoration won’t work for you).
  • You did not drive during the habitual offender suspension.
  • You haven't been convicted of, and have no pending charges for, drug or alcohol violations during the suspension period.
  • You have no driving infractions pending and no driving convictions during the suspension period. Obviously, this goes hand-in-hand with the requirement that you haven’t driven.
  • You have no other suspensions that have not yet reached their end date. It’s possible that the license could have been suspended for something else at the time the you were classified as an HTO,  and that suspension has yet to run its course.

Regaining Your License Is Not Automatic

After this restoration request is made, the Department of Motor Vehicles has thirty days to make a decision. If it denies the request, you are entitled to an Administrative Hearing where you can introduce evidence, including testimony, as to how you meet the requirements and why you should have your driver’s license restored.

If you are facing a habitual traffic offender suspension, there is one essential step you must do right now to get your license back.  Commit right now not to drive until such time as you can legally do so with a valid driver’s license. If you have made it to the point where you are facing an HTO suspension, then you probably are already aware of the cycle you can enter if you continue to drive after a license suspension. If you make this commitment, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you don’t make this commitment, you may find yourself facing a permanent revocation and a felony conviction. That’s right, driving while suspended for HTO is a felony offense that carries five years in jail.

Are you facing a habitual traffic offender status or conviction? Are you charged with a driving-related criminal offense? Is a license suspension or revocation making it hard to get on with life? Then you need to speak to the lawyers at Holland & Usry. Please call toll-free at 888.230.1841 for a free, confidential consultation.



John Holland
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John Holland is a Spartanburg Family law attorney, practicing since 2012.
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