A suspended driver's license might not seem like a huge deal for a couple of days. But pretty soon, you realize just how limiting it is to your social life and career. Thankfully, there are often ways to get your license reinstated sooner rather than later.

The Consequences of a Suspended License

Having your driver's license suspended is more than a minor inconvenience. It's a serious problem that comes with serious consequences. This includes problems like:

  • You can't drive to work. This is probably the biggest issue. If you can't drive to work, you can't make money. And in most cases, your employer isn't going to wait around for you. They'll let you go and hire someone who is more reliable.

  • You can't run your own errands. Want to go to the supermarket? You'll need to call a friend to take you. Want to go to the gym? You might have to walk there. Have a doctor's appointment? Better call an Uber.

  • Your kids suffer. If you have kids, they suffer just as much as you. It becomes a lot more difficult for them to hang out with friends or participate in extracurricular activities. 

  • It costs money. Aside from the indirect costs of missing work, having a suspended license usually comes with fees. At the very least, you'll have to pay a reinstatement fee, which is usually $100 or more.

  • It's embarrassing. Having a suspended license and being reliant on others for your mobility is embarrassing. The longer it goes on, the more you become a burden to those around you.

When you layer all of these consequences together, it becomes clear just how serious a suspended license is (personally, financially, logistically, etc.). The good news is that you usually have options.

How to Get Your License Reinstated

Getting your license reinstated isn't rocket science. It does, however, require a very specific and diligent approach. Here are several tips:

1. Consider the Cause

A license can be suspended for any number of reasons, including:

  • A failure to pay child support

  • A failure to maintain the proper auto insurance

  • A failure to appear in court to satisfy a ticket

  • Drug-related offenses and convictions

  • Failure to pay motor vehicle fines

  • Driving under the influence

  • Reckless driving

The reason for your suspension will usually dictate the best and most plausible way forward. If, for example, it's your lack of paying child support that led to the suspension, the easiest way to get your license back is by paying the child support that you owe.

2. Hire a Lawyer

In some cases, you may want to hire a lawyer to help you. This is especially true when there are driving charges involved (like a DUI).

"If you're charged with a DUI, there are literally dozens of possible defenses that could get your case dismissed," attorney Rowdy G. Williams says. "And here's the truth: Law enforcement doesn't want you to know about them."

An attorney helps you access every angle of your case and find the best possible path forward. This significantly increases your chances of getting your license reinstated. 

3. Take an Approved Class

In a situation like a DUI, reckless driving, or excessive points on your license, taking an approved class may be a requirement to getting your license back. (It can also be a way of speeding up the process by proving that you're serious about the reinstatement.)

4. Pay the Fees

As previously mentioned, there are fees associated with reinstating your license. The exact cost depends on a myriad of factors, including your location, type of offense, and how many past offenses you have. For example, fees are as low as $25 in Michigan and as high as $200 in South Dakota. But if it's your third or fourth offense, you could be looking at several hundred dollars.

5. Do the Time

At the end of the day, sometimes the best thing you can do is put in the time. Patience is the hardest path forward, but it's often the only choice. Do the time, follow the rules, and wait for the time when you're allowed to reinstate your license. 

Adding it All Up

If you have a suspended license, it's imperative that you take a proactive approach. Don't delay in getting your license reinstated. The time to act is now. Follow these steps and regain your freedom.