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Georgia Driver’s License Suspension or Revocation and How to Reinstate

Posted by Manal Chehimi | Oct 31, 2016 | 0 Comments

Traffic violations, criminal convictions, civil issues, and any other matters could potentially result in the temporary suspension or revocation of your license in Georgia. The suspension or revocation does not necessarily have to stem from a driving incident. For example, according to Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) § 40-5-54.1(b), your license may be suspended for not complying with a child support obligation. Check out some helpful information below: 

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What is the difference between a license suspension and license revocation? 

When your driver's license is suspended, your driving privilege is temporarily withdrawn for a specific period of time. When your driver's license is revoked, your driving privileges are terminated and withdrawn until the end of the period of time prescribed by the formal action of the Department of Driving Services (DDS). At the expiration of the revocation period, you may apply for a new driver's license once you satisfy the requirements.

What are “points” on my license?

In Georgia, points can be added to your license for various violations and the point sentences range from 2-6 points. If a driver accumulates 15 points on his or her license within a 24-month period, then the license could be suspended. Your license may also be suspended if the state identifies you as a habitually dangerous or negligent driver.

The violations that can result in points on your license have been codified in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) §40-5-57(c)(1)(A). Some examples of when points can be added to your license are: 

  • Aggressive Driving – 6 points
  • Unlawfully Passing a School Bus – 6 points
  • Reckless Driving – 4 points
  • Speeding
    • 15-18 mph over the speed limit – 2 points
    • 19-23 mph over the speed limit – 3 points
    • 24-33 mph over the speed limit – 4 points
    • 34 mph or more over the speed limit – 6 points
  • Operating a Vehicle while Text Messaging – 1 point 

How can I reduce the points on my license?

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Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) §40-5-86 states that licensed Georgia residents can request that the Department of Driver Services (DDS) reduce the points against his or her Georgia driver's license up to 7 points once every 5 years. This can be done by successfully completing a certified defensive driving course and presenting the completion certificate to the DDS. A list of certified defensive driving courses can be found here.

When is license suspension mandatory?

The Department of Driver Services shall suspend a license for a conviction of any of the following offenses in Georgia or any other state:

  • Homicide by vehicle.
  • Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used.
  • Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.
  • Fraudulent application for a license or fictitious use of a license.
  • Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Operating a motor vehicle with a revoked, canceled, or suspended registration.
  • Felony forgery relating to an Identification document.

 Suspension is also common in the following scenarios: 

  • Refusal to take a chemical test in conjunction with an arrest for DUI.
  • Conviction for driving without insurance.
  • If convicted for driving while license is suspended, the customer's driver's license will be further suspended for six months.
  • Failure to appear in court or respond to a traffic citation, your license may be suspended indefinitely.
  • Any felony that involved the use of a motor vehicle.
  • A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What if I am under the age of 21?

The driver's license of any person under 21 years of age convicted of any of the following offenses shall be suspended:

  • Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident in violation.
  • Racing on highways or streets.
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  • Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Any offense for which four or more points are assessable.
  • Purchasing an alcoholic beverage.
  • Driving under the Influence.
  • Misrepresenting age for purpose of illegally obtaining any alcoholic beverage.
  • Misrepresenting identity or using false identification for purpose of purchasing or obtaining any alcoholic beverage.

The driver's license of any person under 18 years of age who has accumulated a violation point count of four or more points within any 12-month period.

Can I receive a limited driving permit while my license is suspended?

According to the Georgia Department of Driving Services (DDS), a limited driving permit may be available during the suspension period for certain types of convictions. Such a permit would allow only the following:

  • Drive to your place of employment or to perform the normal duties of your occupation.
  • Receive scheduled medical attention or obtain prescribed drugs.
  • Attend classes at a college or school in which you are enrolled as a student.
  • Attend regularly scheduled sessions or meeting of support organizations for the treatment of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Attend a driver education program or alcohol/drug assessment and treatment program.

A limited driving permit will be revoked by DDS if you are convicted of: violating any state law or local ordinance relating to the movement of vehicles or violating any of the conditions or restrictions of your permit. A conviction will, also, extend the underlying suspension of your driving privilege for an additional 6 months.

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 When is license revocation mandatory?

Your driver's license will be revoked in Georgia under the following circumstances:

  • A driver is declared a habitual violator for any third conviction of a mandatory suspended offense within 5 years. Revocation is for 5 years.
  • Refusal to submit to a re-examination of driving skills or knowledge of driving rules after receiving notice giving reasonable grounds for such a request.
  • If there is sufficient evidence of incompetence or unfitness to drive, due to being incapacitated by reason of disease, mental or physical disability, or by alcohol or drug addiction.

How can I reinstate my license?

After your period of suspension or revocation ends, you must reinstate your license before driving again. Helpful reinstatement information for Georgia driver's licenses can be found here.

About the Author

Manal Chehimi

Manal earned her BA with honors from Georgia State University and her Juris Doctor from the John Marshall Law School, where she excelled. She has nine years of experience in the legal profession. She was the President of the...

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