9 Common Reasons Your License Can Be Revoked

Having your license revoked can have horrible consequences, and you won't be able to drive. Here's a list of some of the reasons you can lose your license.
Written by Cheryl Knight
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Some of the most common reasons to lose your license include having too many traffic ticket points on your license, driving while your license is suspended, driving recklessly or driving while under the influence, and more.
If you’re like many people, you need a vehicle to get to work and for your everyday life and errands. To drive, you need a need a driver’s license. But if your license is revoked, then chances are it’ll be much harder for you to work.
You want to avoid that, so here's what you should know about the most common reasons why people do get their driver’s license revoked, presented by
car insurance
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The difference between a revoked and suspended license

Having your license revoked can have horrible consequences. So, it’s important that you keep a
clean driving record
to avoid having your license revoked.
While somewhat similar, a license suspension at least gives you the opportunity to
get your license back
after you’ve paid your fines. A revoked license, on the other hand, requires you to go through the whole process of getting your license all over again.
More serious than a suspension, a revoked driver’s license is much harder to get back. Unlike a suspension, which often takes place because of minor infractions, a revoked license usually happens for more serious reasons.

Most common reasons for a revoked driver’s license

You can have your driver’s license revoked for many different reasons. Regardless, the consequences of a revoked license can be far-reaching, affecting your family, job, and even your ability to get car insurance. That’s why it’s important to always follow the traffic laws in your state. Here are some of the common reasons your license will be revoked.

Too many traffic ticket points

If you get too many
traffic ticket points
in your state, your license could be revoked. And while each state uses its own point system, certain offenses will get you in trouble, with more serious violations resulting in more points. These offenses include:
  • Manslaughter
  • Negligent homicide
  • Committing a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle
  • Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Failure to stop and give identification at the scene of an accident
  • Reckless driving
  • Unlawful blood-alcohol content (BAC) level
  • Refusing to take a chemical test
  • Fleeing/eluding a police officer
  • Drag racing
  • Impaired driving
  • Any blood-alcohol level in a driver under 21 years of age
  • Driving 16 MPH hour or more over the legal speed limit
  • Failing to yield to an emergency vehicle
  • Careless driving
  • Disobeying a traffic signal
  • Disobeying a stop sign
  • Improper passing
  • Driving 11 to 15 MPH over the legal speed limit
  • Failing to stop at a railroad crossing
  • Failing to stop for a school bus
  • Disobeying a school crossing guard
  • Driving 10 MPH or less over the legal speed limit
  • Any other moving violations of local traffic laws
  • Refusing to take a breathalyzer test by a driver under 21 years old

Driving on a suspended license

If you’re caught driving on an already suspended license, your current license might be revoked, according to your state’s laws. At the very least, your license suspension will be extended.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs

Driving under the influence (DUI)
of alcohol or drugs is against the law in the U.S. Having your license revoked is just one of the many consequences of doing this.

Reckless driving

Reckless driving is when your driving actually puts other people at risk of injury or death. In the case of injury, reckless driving usually results in a fine or jail time. If your reckless driving causes a death, the consequences are much more severe, including having your license revoked.

Leaving the scene of an injury accident

Also called hit and run, if you’re in an accident and leave the scene without identifying yourself or rendering aid, you can be held liable by law. The severity of the penalties you face for a hit and run vary by state, but this offense can include a revocation of your license.

Failure to answer a traffic/court summons

If you’ve been summoned to appear in court for a traffic ticket and you fail to show up at the specified date and time, your license will be suspended. If a law enforcement officer pulls you over after the suspension, they’ll immediately take your license.

Drag racing/speed contests

If you live in a state that has specifically outlawed street racing and you are caught doing so, you face having your driver’s license immediately revoked.
Depending on the state, you can have your driver’s license revoked for a conviction on a non-DUI drug-related offense. In some states, this is only for six months, but in others, such as Florida, the revocation could last for years.

Use of altered or fictitious license plates

Knowingly altering the license plate on your vehicle can also get your driver’s license revoked. This includes altering a disability license plate or parking decal.
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