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DUI / DWI

license reinstatement

A person whose driver’s license has been suspended or revoked following an arrest for DUI/DWI generally may apply to have their license reinstated at the end of the suspension or revocation period by paying a reissue or reinstatement fee and providing proof of financial responsibility (insurance)—but only after completing any court-ordered sentence, including (1) jail or prison time, (2) work furlough or work release, (3) probation, (4) DUI traffic school, alcohol rehabilitation, treatment, or intervention programs, and (5) payment of fines and court costs.

A driver’s license that has been suspended or revoked is not automatically reinstated when the suspension or revocation period ends, and the driver must complete the reinstatement process to drive legally.

Laws regarding the reinstatement of a driver's license after suspension or revocation for a DUI/DWI arrest vary from state to state and are generally located in a state's statutes—often in the vehicle code, transportation code, or vehicle and traffic code.

In Texas, after a DUI/DWI arrest resulting in a driver's license suspension or revocation, the individual must wait until the suspension or revocation period concludes before applying for reinstatement. To legally reinstate their driver's license, the individual must complete all court-ordered sentences, which may include jail time, probation, DUI education programs, and payment of fines and court costs. Additionally, they must pay a reinstatement fee and provide proof of financial responsibility, typically in the form of SR-22 insurance. It's important to note that the license is not automatically reinstated after the period ends; the driver must actively complete the reinstatement process. Texas laws regarding the reinstatement process can be found in the state's Transportation Code.


Texas Statutes & Rules

Federal Statutes & Rules

23 U.S.C. § 164 - Minimum penalties for repeat offenders for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence
This federal statute incentivizes states to enact and enforce laws that impose minimum penalties on individuals who are repeat offenders for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Under 23 U.S.C. § 164, states are required to enact and enforce laws that provide, as a minimum penalty, that any individual who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and has a previous conviction for the same offense, shall: (1) receive a driver's license suspension for not less than one year; (2) be assessed a fine; (3) be sentenced to a term of imprisonment; or (4) be sentenced to a term of imprisonment and then a term of supervised release with the condition of the supervised release including a requirement that the individual abstain from alcohol. States that do not comply with these requirements may have a portion of their federal-aid highway funds withheld.

23 U.S.C. § 303 - National Highway System Designation Act of 1995
This statute includes provisions related to the establishment of the National Driver Register (NDR), which is relevant to the reinstatement of driver's licenses following DUI/DWI suspensions.

The National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 includes provisions that require the Secretary of Transportation to maintain a National Driver Register (NDR) which contains information about the suspension or revocation of driver's licenses, including those related to DUI/DWI offenses. The NDR assists states in determining whether an individual applying for a driver's license reinstatement in one state has had their license suspended or revoked in another state. This helps prevent individuals with suspended or revoked licenses from obtaining a new license in a different state. The act requires states to check the NDR before issuing, renewing, or reinstating a driver's license to ensure compliance with reinstatement procedures and to promote highway safety.

23 U.S.C. § 410 - Alcohol-impaired driving countermeasures
This statute provides grant incentives for states to adopt and implement effective programs to reduce traffic safety problems resulting from individuals driving under the influence of alcohol.

23 U.S.C. § 410 encourages states to implement measures to reduce incidents of driving under the influence of alcohol. While this statute does not directly address the reinstatement of driver's licenses, it provides grants to states that implement effective programs to combat DUI/DWI. These programs may include alcohol rehabilitation and treatment programs, which are often required to be completed by individuals seeking to have their driver's licenses reinstated after a DUI/DWI suspension. The statute aims to reduce alcohol-related accidents and may indirectly affect the reinstatement process by promoting the establishment of state laws and programs that address the issue of impaired driving.