How Does a Habitual Traffic Offender Get a Florida Drivers License?

St. Johns County Habitual Offender

Why is the Florida DMV Suspending Your Drivers License?

St. Johns County Habitual Offender

Suspended License? Call (904) 564-2525.

If you are a habitual traffic offender in Jacksonville or the surrounding towns, you probably want to know how you can get your drivers license back. As a Jacksonville drivers license lawyer, I receive a lot of telephone calls from people that have received notices that their licenses will be suspended for 5 years due to being declared habitual traffic offenders (also referred to as HTO). The first thing that I need to know is how the person became a habitual traffic offender. There are citations in the person’s driving record that caused him or her to become HTO. Once I know this, I can figure out what needs to be done to resolve the matter.

Examples of Habitual Traffic Offender Drivers License Suspensions

The best way to explain habitual traffic offender cases is with examples. I will give three fact patterns and go through what can be done in each case to help the Florida habitual traffic offender obtain a valid drivers license.

  1. Joshua received a Duval County traffic ticket for driving on a suspended or revoked license in Jacksonville. His license was originally suspended due to an outstanding Florida speeding ticket. He paid the speeding ticket. He also paid the new driving while having a suspended license ticket. The DMV reinstated his drivers license, and he believed that everything was taken care of. Approximately a month later, Joshua received a letter in the mail from the DMV telling him that his license was going to be suspended for 5 years as a Florida habitual traffic offender. The reason that he is going to be a habitual traffic offender is because he now has two convictions for driving with a suspended or revoked license and one conviction for driving under the influence in Jacksonville.
  2. Lisa lives in St. Johns County. She travels to Clay, Duval, and Nassau County as part of her job. She drives a lot. She also has been pulled over a lot and received traffic tickets. While Lisa may not be a great driver, she does pay her tickets on time. By paying her tickets, the Florida DMV has applied points to her license. The reason that she received points is because she was convicted or adjudicated guilty of moving violations. Within a five-year period, Lisa received 15 traffic tickets for moving violations. Now, her Florida drivers license will be suspended for 5 years as a habitual traffic offender.
  3. Greg is a habitual traffic offender.  So far, his drivers license has been suspended in Clay County for a year. It has been hard, but he has not driven a motor vehicle for the entire year. He still has four years left as a habitual traffic offender, but would like to obtain a drivers license now.

How Can Florida Habitual Traffic Offenders Reinstate Their Drivers Licenses?

I am going to use the example above to show you how each person can reinstate his or her license in Florida.

  1. Joshua driver’s license is going to be suspended in Duval County as a habitual traffic offender. Like most people, he has a job and a family. He cannot have a suspended license. How will he work and provide for his family? Joshua may be able to avoid the Florida drivers license suspension or reinstate his license. His Jacksonville drivers license attorney will need to look at his driving record. In Joshua’s case, his license has been suspended because he was convicted of 3 qualifying offenses within 5 years. If his attorney can remove one of these convictions, he will no longer qualify for HTO status. This will take time, so Joshua should not wait to clear this up. If he is caught driving while his license has been suspended as a habitual traffic offender, he could be arrested and face felony charges.
  2. Lisa’s problem is all of her tickets. She has 15 moving violations in Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns County FL. She probably thought that the only problem this would cause was an increase in insurance premiums, but she was wrong. She certainly should speak to a lawyer about her driving record. If she had an attorney representing her when she received the tickets, she would not be in this predicament. A lawyer can likely still help. She will need to remove at least one conviction, depending on her driving record.
  3. Unlike most people, Greg has been able to avoid driving for a year. Although he is still a habitual traffic offender, he may request a hardship license. Greg will need to go through the Florida DMV for a hardship license.  Greg also has another option. Greg may be able to bypass the hardship license. He should speak to a Clay County lawyer about this. He may be able to obtain a drivers license without the restrictions of a hardship license.

Am I Eligible for a Hardship Drivers License in Florida?

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website gives information about obtaining a hardship license after a 1-year suspension. I have this information below in quotes. It also lets you know how you can reinstate your license after your 5-year habitual traffic offender suspension has expired. It is important to know that you do not have to wait this long. You may be able to stop a Florida habitual traffic offender suspension. You may be able to obtain a valid drivers license now. Contact 20 Miles Law to speak to a Jacksonville lawyer about your situation. Call (904) 564-2525 or send and email to Find a Lawyer.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website states:

“Driver license will be revoked for 5 years. After 1 year from the effective date of revocation, you may request a hardship license. Contact the Administrative Reviews Office (see listing “Under Suspension – Need Driver License for Work”) where you live. If the hearing with the Administrative review office is favorable you will be authorized to obtain a hardship license for the remainder of the revocation period. You will be required to present enrollment or completion of Advanced Driver Improvement School (ADI) and pay the $75.00 revocation reinstatement fee along with any other applicable fees and a license will be issued restricting your driving to Employment or Business purposes only. 

Once the revocation period expires, the hardship restriction no longer applies. You can resume driving for full privileges or you can report to a driver license or tax collector licensing agent office to have a replacement license ($25.00 fee) issued without the hardship restriction.

If you serve the entire HTO revocation period without a hardship license, a hearing with the Administrative Review Office is not required. You can reinstate for full privileges by presenting enrollment or completion of Advanced Driver Improvement School (ADI) and pay the $75.00 revocation reinstatement fee along with any other applicable fees for issuance of a driver license.”

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