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North Carolina Driver’s License Restoration

Ways a Driver May Lose Their Driving Privileges.

Driving is a major privilege that is integral to the everyday lives of most Americans, but it can be revoked for several reasons. Some of these reasons include:

  • Your license could be suspended or revoked for a traffic violation. This includes acts such as speeding and reckless driving, which often come with point penalties on your license. In most traffic violation cases, you must abstain from driving for a period and then pay fees.

  • Your license could be suspended or revoked for driving under the influence. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) often leads to immediate license suspension and arrest. This situation entails mandatory suspension periods with fees that must be paid.

  • Your license could be suspended or revoked for a failure to appear in court. You may receive a court date for a traffic offense, and if you fail to appear for this court date without any kind of rescheduling, your suspension period will begin, and fees will be applied.

However, even if your driving privileges are temporarily lost, there are steps you can take to have them reinstated.

License Revoked? What’s Next?

Under certain situations, such as certain speeding violations, you can request a hearing to resolve your license revocation. This hearing will include you testifying under oath about your driving history and bringing any evidence you can to support your request for relief. The more serious a traffic offense, the more difficult it will be to get your license reinstated.

Once a driver has had their license either suspended or revoked, generally they must then reapply for their license and pay all of the associated fees to regain their driving privileges. The reason that your driving privileges were taken will determine your ability to have this privilege restored. For temporary suspensions, you are generally expected to not drive for the established suspension period and then pay the associated fees to regain your driving privileges. For revocations, you will have to reapply for a license and pay the associated fees per other conditions determined by a mandatory hearing.

For example, if you're convicted of multiple DWIs, you will likely receive a mandatory suspension period. If you do not receive any subsequent DWIs for a specified period following your mandatory suspension, and pay the associated fees, a court may consider your license restoration. This may occur even after years of suspension.

“Associated Fees” Defined.

The amount of fees required to restore a license varies based on the charges that caused your driving privilege to be revoked. Some of the examples are listed below:

DWI Reinstatement Fee


Required when a DWI suspension term is complete.

Restoration Fee


Required to restore driving privileges when the suspension term is complete. 

(This fee is not required if the license was taken for medical or health reasons following a medical evaluation.)

Service Fee


Required unless the license was surrendered to the court or mailed to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles before the effective date of the suspension or revocation.

A walkthrough of the required steps to pay your license revocation online can be found here:

You may also pay in person at any NCDMV office, where an appointment is required. 

Payment by mail is also accepted by check or money order, which must include your driver’s license or ID number, full name, and date of birth. Any mailed payment must be payable to the following address: 

N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles

Fiscal Unit

1514 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-1514

Contact us

Smith Dominguez PLLC can walk you through your driver’s license restoration process. For legal advice and assistance, please contact us at (919) 390-3521 to schedule your initial consultation.


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