Florida is not exactly known for its public transportation system. You have to drive, everywhere. Losing that privilege, even temporarily, can start you on the road to serious legal consequences. For instance, if you receive a ticket for running a toll or a red light (gotta love those red light cameras!) and fail to pay, your license will be suspended. This may lead to a traffic stop where you could receive either a civil ticket for Driving While License is Suspended Without Knowledge or a criminal misdemeanor ticket for Driving While License is Suspended With Knowledge (if you knew or were aware of the suspension and have received the notice). If you receive three of these tickets within a five year period, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can suspend your driving status to designate you as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). If you are caught driving while your license is suspended or revoked as a Habitual Traffic Offender, you may very well face Felony charges carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison.
There are some important steps you need to take in order to keep your license in check and to avoid serious legal consequences. Here is a checklist:
What’s Suspending Me?
Visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles location (DMV) and ask for a printout of your Suspensions or go to the DMV’s Website at https://services.flhsmv.gov/DLCheck/ and enter in your Driver’s License Number for a list of the Suspensions.
Outstanding Tickets Suspension
You will need to pay the outstanding tickets and a $60.00 reinstatement fee.
- Contact the county court(s) and arrange to make payment. You will have to check with the court(s) for the amount owed. (Ask them if they will “Withhold Adjudication” on your tickets or for a “Clerk’s Withhold.” They may say no, but it never hurts to ask.)
- If the court does not collect the reinstatement fee, you can either take the D-6 clearance form from the court and a check for $60.00 to your local DMV office.
- Already paid the tickets? The court has not notified the DMV that you have handled that matter. Please provide the DMV with court documentation to update your record and remove the suspension. Acceptable documentation includes:
- A D-6 clearance form with stamped court seal (provided at the time of payment)
- A letter from the court stating the ticket number, date of payment and having a stamped court seal
Take proof of insurance to your closest DMV Office or call (850) 617-2000 and use the automated system to update your insurance. If you no longer own the vehicle, surrender the Florida tags and registration immediately upon canceling the Florida insurance.
Child Support Suspension
You will need to obtain an affidavit from the Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement (1-800-622-5437) and pay a $60.00 reinstatement fee to clear each suspension of this type (for example, 2 support suspensions = $60.00 x 2). Take the affidavit to the DMV; It must be dated within 30 days of reinstatement and state:
- You have paid the delinquency or You have reached a written agreement for payment; or
- A court has entered an order granting relief and ordering the reinstatement of the license and motor vehicle registration; or
- You have complied with the subpoena, order to appear, order to show cause, or similar order, order to appear for genetic testing.
For all other suspensions visit http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/faqsuspend.html or Call the DMV Customer Service Center at (850) 617-2000 Monday through Friday 7am – 5pm, EST
Don’t have a license?
Applicants for a first time original Florida driver license must provide two forms of identification, proof of date of birth, proof of residential address, and proof of social security number. Non US Citizens must present proof of legal presence. All applicants must show proof that they have completed a traffic law and substance abuse education course and will be required to pass vision and hearing tests, road rules and road sign tests, plus a driving test. Out of State/Non Residents will need to contact the DMV for specific information on obtaining a FL Driver’s License.
For more questions or for help with your tickets, license, or suspension issues contact The Colbert Law Firm at (407) 412-7234 to receive comprehensive legal care.