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How to Reinstate a Suspended License in Texas

by Mary Jane Freeman

When your license is suspended in Texas, your driving privileges are taken away and you cannot legally drive in the state. To resume driving, you must ask the state to reinstate your license by submitting required paperwork and fees to the Department of Public Safety once your suspension is over.

Suspension and Notification

In Texas, your license can be suspended for a variety of reasons. Common ones include having five or more traffic violations within one year or seven or more within two years, driving without insurance, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you have a restriction or endorsement on your license and violate it at least two times, your license also can be suspended. The Department of Public Safety will send you written notice of the suspension to the address it has on file for you.

Reinstatement

To reinstate your license once your suspension period expires, send a copy of your suspension notice and compliance documents to Texas Department of Public Safety, Enforcement and Compliance Service, P.O. Box 4087, Austin, TX 78773-0320. You can also send them as a PDF document either by email to driver.improvement@dps.texas.gov or fax to (512) 424-2848. Include your name, driver's license number and birthdate on each page.

Compliance documents confirm your eligibility for a driver's license. For example, if your license was suspended for not carrying car insurance, you may be required to submit an SR-22 -- a financial responsibility insurance certificate -- as a condition of reinstatement. You can access your compliance documents online using DPS's License Eligibility system. Provide your driver's license or identification number, last four digits of your Social Security number and birthdate.

Fees

If fees are also required as a condition of reinstatement, you can pay them online using the License Eligibility system. If you're unable to pay your fees electronically, you must instead mail the fee, along with compliance documents and suspension notice, to Texas Department of Public Safety, Central Cash Receiving, P.O. Box 15999, Austin, TX 78761-5999.

Occupational License

If you can't wait out the suspension period, you can apply for an occupational license. This type of license gives you limited driving privileges, permitting you to legally drive to and from work or school and carry out routine household duties. Apply for an occupational license with either a Justice of the Peace or district or county court in your county or where your license was suspended. If approved, you'll be granted a court order authorizing DPS to issue you an occupational license.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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