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Driving With Suspended License in North Carolina

DWLR - DMV Suspension/Revocation

Ignition Interlock DeviceRecent amendments to the NC traffic laws, especially regarding DWLR Driving While License Revoked in North Carolina and other DMV suspension issues, make it all the more important to seek legal counsel immediately if you are facing criminal allegations.


"The NC General Assembly made some things better and at least one thing worse when it comes to driving while license revoked. DWLR Imp Rev legal issues can be a real problem, in that with the formal differentiation in criminal charges there now seems to be a more hardline approach to impaired revocation suspensions (DWI-related suspensions) and how prosecutors and the courts view them."
- Bill Powers

MORE INFO: Good Legal Advice Makes Sense - Here's Why

DriverThere are technical differences between a "License SUSPENSION" in North Carolina and a "License REVOCATION."

The North Carolina Department of Transportation/Division of Motor Vehicles or "DMV" views your license as a "privilege." Contrary to what many might think, a license is not deemed by DMV as a matter or right. DMV says, "Driving is a privilege" that you may lose if you "abuse the privilege to drive."

"I frankly flat out personally disagree with that philosophy. As citizens of North Carolina, the roadways, and our general use-and-enjoyment of them, is something we all share as a matter of right. We cede some of those rights to the State, hoping the government will set up and maintain minimum safety requirements for motorists, motor vehicles, and the highways themselves. I personally believe driving is a right, only to be limited by DMV on behalf of the citizens if you fail to observe the rules-of-the-road for our collective good. I also don't believe we 'contract' with the State to drive, nor do we impliedly agree to anything. We either follow the rule of law or we don't."
- Bill Powers

MORE INFO: Why you shouldn't drive while your license is revoked in North Carolina

License Suspension in North Carolina:
  • Driving "privileges" are suspended or "withdrawn"
  • Temporary
  • Set for a specific time-frame or period
  • Reinstatement of a NCDL North Carolina Driver's License does not require you to "apply for a new driver's license"
  • At such time as the terms or conditions for reinstatement have been met
License Revocation in North Carolina

CarDWLR or Driving While License Revoked is technically different, although even experienced criminal defense lawyers often use the terms "license suspension" and "license revocation" interchangeably.

  • Driving "privileges" are TERMINATED
  • NCDL may be reinstated if you meet requirements for eligibility
    • May require an Administrative Hearing
    • DMV Hearing Officer
  • If reinstated, you must RE-APPLY for driver license which may require one or more of the below:
    • Proof of Insurance / DL-123
    • Proof of Citizenship / Social Security Card
    • Photo Identification / ID
    • Birth Certificate

DOWNLOAD: NORTH CAROLINA DL-123 "PROOF OF INSURANCE" FORM

Types of License Suspension and License Revocation in North Carolina
Statute NumberOffenseLength of Suspension / Revocation
N.C.G.S. §20-19(c1)DWI First Offense12 months
N.C.G.S. §20-19(d)DWI Second Offense4 years
N.C.G.S. §20-19(e)DWI Third Offense (+)Permanent Revocation / Revoke
N.C.G.S. §20-16.2Willful Refusal12 months
N.C.G.S. §20-16.530 Day Civil Revocation30 Days - Limited Privilege
Convictions of Driving While License Revoked (DWLR)
Statute NumberOffenseLength of Suspension / Revocation
N.C.G.S. §20-281st Offense DWLR / Suspended License12 months
N.C.G.S. §20-282nd Offense DWLR / Suspended License24 months
N.C.G.S. §20-283rd Offense DWLR (+)Permanent

CLICK HERE: Limited Driving Privileges in North Carolina

Traffic Tickets in North Carolina - License Suspensions
Statute NumberOffenseLength of Suspension / Revocation
N.C.G.S. §20-24.1Failure to Appear - FTAIndefinite Suspension in NC
N.C.G.S. §20-24.1Failure to Pay FineIndefinite Suspension in NC
N.C.G.S. §16.1Speed MORE THAN 55 and MORE THAN 15 Miles Per Hour OVER the Posted Speed Limit
1st Offense +55 / 15 mph <1st Offense +55 / 15 mph < 30 days
N.C.G.S. §16.1(c)2nd Offense in 12 months60 days
N.C.G.S. §20-19(d)Reckless Conviction / Same Occasion60 days
N.C.G.S. §20-19(a)2x Speed MORE THAN 55 in 12 monthsUp to 180 days Suspension
N.C.G.S. §20-16(c)12 DMV Points in 3 Years
OR
8 DMV Points in 3 Years Following Reinstatement
1st Suspension60 days
2nd Suspension180 days
3rd Suspension (+)12 months
N.C.G.S. §20-28.1Moving Violation While Suspended
1st Offense12 months
2nd Offense While Suspended24 months
3rd Offense (+)Permanent Revocation
N.C.G.S. §20-17.8(g)Ignition Interlock Violation (IID)12 months

As you can now likely tell, there are numerous reasons why a driver's license might be suspended in North Carolina.

"It is frankly complicated even for experienced Charlotte NC criminal defense lawyers. It is important to obtain a certified copy of your driving record and not rely on online data companies. It may be 'old school' but if it were my license, I'd want to make sure we got it right. That's the only way I know how to practice criminal defense law: To handle each case like it was my own."
- Bill Powers, Charlotte Traffic Ticket Lawyer

MORE INFO: 4 Things You Should Know About How Lawyers Help

Don't make a bad situation worse by trying to go it alone. Now is the time to call our law firm at (704)-342-4357 or (704)-342-HELP.

Contact Us for Help if You Have a Suspended Driver's License

If you have had your license suspended or have been charged with driving on a suspended license, we encourage you to consult with our experienced North Carolina traffic attorneys.

"We handle DMV appeals, suspension, and reinstatement hearings. That knowledge-base helps when you're dealing with the NC traffic laws and the associated traffic tickets in court."
- Bill Powers

Driver License Station signYou may also reach us via email at: Bill@342help.com

We hope this webpage has helped you. You may also benefit by checking out the following additional information on NC traffic laws, DWI charges in North Carolina, and license restoration hearings:

Client Reviews
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I am so fortunate to have had Bill Powers on my case. Upon our first meeting, Bill insisted that through the emotions of anger, sadness, confusion, and betrayal that I remain resilient. He was available to answer questions with researched, logical, truthful answers throughout our two year stretch together. I went to any lengths for my case because he won my trust almost immediately... J.R.
★★★★★
My daughter had a second DUI and when it all seemed hopeless, Bill was able to get the charges dropped. This is a man who is extremely knowledgeable, yet still keeps his integrity which was impressive to me. He handles himself with dignity. If you hire him, you will have the best of the best, along with his expansive intellect and wisdom about the law. Lisa
★★★★★
Bill Powers’ staff has handled several traffic citations for me over the years, and they exceeded my expectations each and every time. Would highly recommend anyone faced with a traffic citation or court case contact his office and they will handle it from there. M.C.
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Bill and his staff are flat out great. I (unfortunately) was a repeat customer after a string of tickets. These guys not only took care of the initial ticket for me, but went the extra mile and reduced my problems from 3 to just 1 (very minor one) on the same day I called back! I would recommend them to anyone. A.R.