How to Get a Colorado Driver’s License Reinstatement

A Colorado driver’s license reinstatement costs $95, and you may need to file additional forms, retake the driving test, or pay extra fees.
Written by Sara Brody
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
In order to have your
Colorado driver's license
reinstated, you will need to fulfill the requirements of the initial suspension and also provide the DMV with documentation and pay a fee of $95.
  • After your suspension or revocation period is complete, you can reinstate your license.
  • Reinstatement may involve a $95 fee, additional paperwork, an SR-22, or even retaking the test.
  • In many cases, you can do this process online, in-person, or by mail.
  • You may be eligible for a hardship license while you wait. 

Why you may need a license reinstatement in Colorado

DMV may issue a license suspension or revocation because:
  • You accumulate too many
    driver's license points
  • You failed to pay child support.
  • Your BAC indicates you were driving under the influence (
    or DWAI).
  • You refused a chemical test.
If your license is suspended, be aware that you will not automatically regain your driving privileges when the suspension period ends. Instead, the Colorado DMV requires drivers to go through a process of reinstatement to have their driving privileges restored. 
The reinstatement process typically involves satisfying the conditions of the original suspension, submitting paperwork, and paying a reinstatement fee. 
If you’re not sure what to do first in the face of losing your driving privileges, you can start by checking the status of your Colorado driver’s license online at the DMV. 

How to get a license reinstatement in Colorado

The process to
reinstate your license
depends on the infraction that caused your license to be suspended in the first place. Usually, the reinstatement requirements to get a new license include:
  • Submitting proper documentation
  • Paying a reinstatement fee of $95 
  • Retaking your driving skills test (in some cases)

If the cause is traffic citations and court suspensions

Step 1—Resolve outstanding fees: If your license was suspended for a failure to pay fines or fees, start by resolving the outstanding charges. Once you have paid off your debt in full, you’ll also owe a $95 reinstatement fee to the Colorado DMV. 
You may also need to redo steps in the licensing process, including retaking your written and driving skills tests. 
Step 2—Submit documentation: You can do this online (in most cases), in-person, or by mail.
  • Online: Colorado allows drivers to submit their documents and pay the reinstatement fee online in most cases. 
  • In-person: Visit a Full-Service Driver License Office for a suspension related to unpaid traffic tickets or court fees. 
  • By mail: Submit your documents and reinstatement fee by mail to the Department of Revenue.
Colorado Department of Revenue
Driver Control Reinstatements Unit
P.O. Box 173345
Denver, CO 80217-3345
Pro Tip: If you are sending your paperwork by mail, it's best to submit your information approximately 30 days before your eligibility date to allow up to 20 business days for processing. 
Step 1—Wait: For suspensions related to
point violations
, you can only apply for reinstatement after the suspension period has ended. 
Step 2—Submit documentation: Along with the $95 reinstatement fee, you’ll also need to provide evidence of current
liability insurance
that meets
Colorado's minimum car insurance requirements
, plus other documents. If submitting by mail, anticipate up to 20 business days of processing after you send your documents to the Colorado Department of Revenue address above.

If it’s a license revocation

Step 1—Wait: Once the revocation period has ended, you can begin the reinstatement process.
Step 2—Start from scratch: If your driver’s license was revoked, you’ll likely need to start the licensing process from scratch, including retaking your written and driving skills tests. That’s because the offenses that lead to revocation are typically more severe than those that lead to suspension. 
Submit an application for reinstatement and see what the Division of Motor Vehicles says. You may be asked to install an ignition interlock device, given a restricted license, or asked to take an alcohol education course.
On the bright side, enrollment in the ignition interlock program may qualify you for early reinstatement.
Key Takeaway For most suspensions, you have options to reinstate your license online, by mail, or in person by submitting required documents and paying a $95 reinstatement fee. However, the process after a full revocation may include more steps.  

How to get a hardship license in Colorado

Do not drive on a suspended or revoked license in Colorado, as you’ll face severe consequences. However, sometimes we rely on our cars to get to work or run essential errands—that’s where the hardship license comes in.
What: Some Colorado drivers with suspensions can apply for hardship licenses with limited permissions to drive to school or work or complete other necessary tasks.  If you are granted a hardship license, it will be valid for 90 days for work-related purposes.
Why: These probationary licenses are usually granted in cases of point suspensions and child support suspensions, as well as some DUI cases. 
How: In order to be deemed eligible, you’ll need to submit a letter of employment, evidence of insurance, and a fee of $6, in addition to surrendering your regular license.
Be aware that you cannot have your privilege to drive a commercial vehicle reinstated before the end of the suspension period, even if it is required for your work.

When can you apply for a hardship license?

The timeline for applying for a hardship license depends on the nature of your violation. Speak to your hearing officer about the issuance of a probationary driver’s license. 
If you are under suspension but have not yet had a hearing, you can call 303-205-5606 to request a hearing and get the process underway. 

What is an SR-22 certificate?

If your Colorado license has been suspended or revoked, you may be required to file for an
or FR-44 certificate through your insurance provider. Sometimes called “SR-22 insurance,” these certificates constitute legal proof that you’ve met Colorado’s minimum insurance requirements. 
Here are some offenses that may compel you to purchase a
Colorado SR-22 certificate
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving or getting in an accident
    without auto insurance coverage
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked license
  • Repeated traffic violations that have led to the accumulation of too many points
The good news: You can file for your SR-22 certificate through your insurance company, which usually requires paying a small fee. 
The bad news: Although the filing itself is usually inexpensive, driving with an SR-22 certificate is practically guaranteed to make your insurance premium skyrocket. 
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