Revoked Licenses & Limited Driving Privileges
If your license is revoked, you likely want to know whether you will be eligible for a limited driving privilege (LDP) as well as what that will mean.
Limited driving privileges are NOT full licenses. They are court orders, signed by a judge, which permit the holder to drive for certain purposes and during certain time periods. Most limited driving privileges allow you to drive to and from work or school. They also generally permit you to drive for the maintenance of your household and for medical visits. Certain types of limited driving privileges also allow you to drive to perform court-ordered community service or to attend court-ordered alcohol and drug treatment.
All limited driving privileges have the following requirements:
- You must have insurance and be able to prove coverage.
- You must have been in possession of a valid (not revoked) license at the time of the conviction. If your license was merely expired, it must have been expired for less than one year.
- You must have the original limited driving privilege with you at all times while driving.
- A limited driving privilege will expire after a certain period of time.
- You cannot be under a state of revocation for any other reason. More than one suspension at one time will void a limited driving privilege.
For example, if a driver under the age of 21 pleads guilty to Driving While Impaired, the DMV will consider him or her to be under two separate revocations and thus ineligible for a limited driving privilege. In 2003 the North Carolina Court of Appeals decided that such DMV action violated the separation of powers doctrine (State of North Carolina v. Bowes). However, a recent North Carolina Supreme Court decision declined to rule on the merits of the case, saying that the issue was moot.
When can I get a limited driving privilege?
North Carolina allows you to obtain a limited driving privilege in several different circumstances.
High speeding convictions or a combination of high speeding and another driving charge may result in revocation of your license for one month, six months or up to one year. Sometimes, it is impossible not to end up with a conviction. Perhaps the original speed listed on the ticket is so high that the DA’s office will not reduce it enough to prevent a revocation. In other circumstances, your lawyer at Kurtz & Blum, PLLC may decide that it is preferable to plead guilty to a high speeding charge if the DA’s office is willing to dismiss a companion case carrying stiffer criminal and / or DMV penalties.
North Carolina law allows you to petition the court for a limited driving privilege if the Division of Motor Vehicles has suspended your license for:
- A conviction for speeding in excess of 55 mph and more that 15 mph over the speed limit (i.e. pleading guilty to speeding 71 mph in a 55 mph zone)
- A conviction for speeding in excess of 80 mph
- Two or more convictions for speeding in excess of 55 mph and not more than 80 mph
- A combination of a careless and reckless conviction and a conviction for speeding in excess of 55 mph and not more than 80 mph
- A combination of an aggressive driving conviction and a conviction for speeding in excess of 55 mph and not more than 80 mph
- A conviction for speeding over 75 mph in a posted zone of less than 70 mph (i.e. pleading guilty to speeding 76 in a 65 mph zone)
- A conviction for speeding over 80 mph where the speed limit is 70 mph (i.e. pleading guilty to speeding 81 in a 70 mph zone)
- If you got the speeding conviction in another state, you may still request a limited driving privilege.
You may be able to obtain a limited driving privilege if your license is subject to forfeiture as a result of a felony conviction and you have “essential driving” needs, such as transporting dependents or keeping a valid driver’s license for work.
If your license is revoked for convictions of larceny of motor fuel, you may be eligible for a limited driving privilege.
Driving While Impaired
There are two types of limited driving privileges associated with DWI charges. First, North Carolina allows a pre-trial limited driving privilege to overcome the last twenty days of a civil revocation. Second, if you have been convicted of DWI, you may be eligible for a post-trial limited driving privilege to overcome the year-long revocation.
DWI privileges can be complicated. Each type of privilege requires specific information and additional supporting documents. Certain forms are required if you (1) refused to blow into the breathalyzer; or (2) registered a 0.15 or greater alcohol concentration (for more on breathalyzers, see our page on DWI technology). It is very important to make sure that the limited driving privilege you obtain is factual, up-to-date and comprehensive of all your driving needs. At Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, we include limited driving privileges in our fee for DWI representation. Our lawyers make sure that they are complete, accurate, and ready in the event your license is revoked. If you were convicted of DWI in another state, you may still request a limited driving privilege.
Open Container Convictions
If your license is revoked subsequent to two convictions of transporting an open container of alcohol, you may be eligible for a limited driving privilege.
Driving while your license is revoked
Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, attorneys hear inquiries everyday from drivers with revoked licenses due to failure to appear, failure to pay fines or pleading guilty during periods of revocation. LDPs are available after 90 days for first moving violation while suspended, after one year for second moving violation, and two years after the third moving violation.
We can also help you restore your privilege to drive in North Carolina. Many people lose their North Carolina driver’s licenses because they pleaded guilty to the wrong things at the wrong times. Pleading guilty to driving while license revoked can revoke your license for another year even if you have taken care of the original suspension. Many times, our lawyers can reopen old cases where our client pleaded guilty and renegotiate a disposition that does not result in further revocation.
At Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, we will thoroughly review your driving record and explain the reasons for your revocation and the steps we will take to end the suspension. If you know your driver’s license number and you don’t know why you’re revoked, give our lawyers a call. We offer an affordable driving record evaluation and an experienced traffic attorney can usually get started right away. Understanding the problem can help us find the solution.
Our traffic lawyers help people throughout Wake County, North Carolina. We frequently handle offenses arising out of the following cities: Wake Forest, Zebulon, Morrisville, Holly Springs, New Hope, Cary, Apex, Wendell, Rolesville, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Knightdale and Raleigh.