When Permanent isn’t Permanent: Restoring Driving Privileges after Permanent Revocations

The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles can revoke driving privileges, or a person’s license, “permanently.”  A permanent revocation occurs when an individual is convicted of three or more DWI’s, three or more convictions for moving violations during a period of revocation, or three or more convictions for driving on a suspended or revoked license. The length of the “permanent” revocation depends on the underlying reason for revocation.

If your license is “permanently” revoked for three or more convictions of Driving While Impaired (DWI), your privilege to drive is revoked for a minimum of three years. During that three years, any conviction for a moving violation or drug/alcohol related offense will make you ineligible for a hearing at DMV. However, if you make it the entire three years with no further convictions or violations, you may apply for an administrative hearing in front of a North Carolina DMV hearing officer.

North Carolina DMV restoration hearings of this kind are done in two parts – a preliminary hearing and a restoration hearing. At your preliminary hearing, a DMV hearing officer will go over all the paperwork that is required to be submitted prior to the restoration hearing. All of this paperwork must be submitted within 6 months from the preliminary hearing or you will have to begin the process over. Once the North Carolina DMV receives all of your required paperwork, your restoration hearing will be scheduled based on the availability of the DMV hearing officer.

For the restoration hearing, the North Carolina DMV requires the following documentation:

–          National background check requested through the FBI – this requires that you obtain your fingerprints and submit them to the FBI with your request. See the Wake County CCBI website to schedule your appointment to obtain your fingerprints – https://www.wakegov.com/ccbi/publicservices/pages/fingerprinting.aspx.

–          A substance abuse assessment completed by a NC DHHS Certified assessment provider. A list of Substance Abuse Assessing Agencies may be found here (https://www.younglittlelaw.com/practice-areas/dui-dwi/dwi-resources/ ).

–          A certified driving record for North Carolina and any other state you have resided in within the 7 years prior to your hearing request.

–          A list of three witnesses that will be present to testify at your hearing. All witnesses names must be submitted prior to the hearing. One alternate may be used. All witnesses must have ID when they testify at your hearing.

–          A restoration hearing fee of $425.00. (NOTE: a preliminary hearing fee of $225.00 must be submitted before the preliminary hearing will be scheduled).

During the restoration hearing, the hearing officer will interview you and each of the proffered witnesses that you provide. You are entitled to have an attorney present to guide you through this hearing and present your witnesses to the officer. While those seeking restoration of their driving privilege may not be present in the room at the time their witnesses are interviewed by a hearing officer, the attorney remains in the room to ensure that important information is presented to the hearing officer. A hearing officer’s questions explore how the potential driver has complied with revocation whether they may be a danger to the public.

If a potential driver’s request for reinstatement is denied, there is typically a wait period before they can apply for licensure again. At that time, the process starts anew. Failure to properly apply on your first try may be expensive and time consuming.

Let us help you get your license back. Call us today to schedule a consultation about your North Carolina DMV hearing.


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