How to Reinstate a Suspended New York Driver's License

Reinstating a suspended license in New York requires approval from the DMV's Driver's Improvement Unit and can take up to a year to complete.
Written by Jaya Anandjit
Edited by Jessica Barrett
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Getting your
New York driver’s license
reinstated is a two-step process—depending on the severity of the violation, this process could take a week or sometimes years. In the meantime, you'll likely pay a higher rate for your
New York car insurance policy
  • Reinstating a
    suspended license in New York
    requires approval from the NY DMV’s Driver Improvement Unit.
  • Depending on the severity of the violation that resulted in license suspension or revocation, it can take a week to several years to get your New York license reinstated.
  • After receiving approval, drivers must pay the reinstatement fee and submit the required paperwork to get their license back.

Types of driver’s license suspensions and revocations in New York

New York driving laws strictly prohibit driving with a suspended or revoked license. 
Serious traffic violations or multiple traffic violations can result in a loss of your driving privileges, which the DMV will notify you about via mail. You may be required to pay a
suspension termination fee
There are two types of driver’s license suspensions in New York: 
  1. Definite suspensions: This type of suspension has an end date, meaning your driving privileges will be temporarily suspended until the suspension period ends. When the period is over, you can pay a termination fee and regain your valid driver’s license. 
  2. Indefinite suspensions: An indefinite suspension order does not have a specific end date. Instead, your order will tell you how to remove the suspension.
On top of suspensions, your driving privileges may be revoked. A driver’s license revocation means that your license is canceled for a certain period. You will need to get a new license at the end of the cancellation period, but you may need to
request approval from the DMV

How to get a license reinstatement in New York

In most cases, when your New York driver’s license is suspended, you won’t automatically regain your driving privileges when the suspension period runs out. Instead, the
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NY DMV)
requires motorists to request and receive approval from the DMV’s Driver’s Improvement Unit (DIU). 
You will need to pay any of the following outstanding fines or penalties before submitting your approval request:
  • Suspension termination fee
    : $50 fee due before the end of the suspension term.
  • Driver license civil penalty
    : Due if your license was suspended because you violated the NY State Zero Tolerance Law for drivers under the age of 21, or if you refused to take an alcohol or drug chemical test, operated a motor vehicle without valid car insurance, or were involved in a car accident in a vehicle without valid auto insurance.
  • Driver responsibility
    assessment: Costs $300 and is due if you accumulate six or more driver’s license points. Drivers are charged an extra $75 for every point over six.

Receive approval to apply for a license reinstatement

This approval is required for all offenses—you must request and receive approval from the DMV Driver Improvement Unit. Applications for DIU approval can be submitted online or by mail. Online applications will immediately be considered and you will be approved if eligible. 
Your approval request cannot be submitted online if:
  • You have never been issued a New York driver’s license or driving permit
  • Your license was suspended for
    an uninsured accident
    —in these cases, you need to contact the DMV Insurance Services Bureau
  • You failed to pass a DMV road test—reach out to your local DMV office to learn about getting your license reinstated
  • You have a valid or suspended conditional or restricted license—reach out to your local DMV office to learn about getting your license reinstated
  • You are a current or former participant in the Impaired Driver Program—reach out to your local DMV office to learn about getting your license reinstated
  • Your last issued driver's license was a
    Commercial Driver License (CDL)
  • Your license was suspended because you were convicted of a fatal crash
  • Your license was revoked because you were found guilty of a Penal Law violation
If any of these conditions apply to you, you will need to visit your local DMV office or mail your approval application to:
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 336
Albany, NY 12228
Once approval is granted, you can apply for license reinstatement.
Key Takeaway You need to receive approval from the DIU before applying for license reinstatement.

Applying for a license reinstatement

When you have received approval from the DIU, you can then move forward in applying for your New York driver’s license to be reinstated
All applications require a completed
Application for Permit, Driver License, or Non-Driver ID Card
form (MV-44) and a non-refundable $100 re-application fee. 
Depending on your violations, additional fees may be added to your non-refundable re-application fee. The NY DMV requires additional documentation and payments for certain violations:
  • DUI suspensions: If your license was suspended for receiving two or more DUIs in 25 years, you will be required to take an alcohol evaluation or treatment within one year of the violation. The provider you work with must send proof of your completion to the New York DMV. 
The New York DMV will accept evaluation and treatment centers that are part of the
NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS)
. You can also explore treatment options by calling the toll-free OASAS HOPE line at 1-877-846-7369.
Here are some other requirements that you must meet before reinstating your license, based on the reason your license was suspended:
Reason for driver’s license suspension
Stipulations for reinstatement
Outstanding DMV fees
If your license was suspended for outstanding DMV fees, they must be paid before you apply to have your license reinstated. Outstanding fees can be
paid online
Unpaid child support
If your license was suspended for failing to pay child support, you need to call your local child support collection unit. Any outstanding payments are due before you can apply to reinstate your New York Driver’s License.
Failure to pay taxes
If your driver's license was suspended for failing to pay New York State taxes, you are required to contact the
NY State Department of Tax and Finance (DTF)
to pay the outstanding payments.
Accident reports
If your license was suspended for failing to file an acceptable accident report with the DMV, you need to submit a completed Report of Motor Vehicle Accident form
(form MV-104)
to the New York DMV. This form must be faxed to (518) 486-3906 to submit your license reinstatement application.
Insurance lapse
If you were suspended for failure to provide proof of active
car insurance
, you will be required to submit
proof of insurance
online. If your vehicle does not have active coverage and the registration is still valid, you are required to surrender your registration and plates to DMV.
Traffic violations
If you have unpaid NY traffic tickets on your driving record, you must pay these fees before you may apply for a driver’s license reinstatement.
Key Takeaway In most cases, you can get your license reinstated by paying the necessary fees and providing the necessary documentation.

How to get a hardship license in New York

Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a serious offense in most states, but getting around without a car can be difficult. This is why New York allows drivers with certain suspensions to apply for hardship licenses so that they can drive to school and work or complete other essential tasks. 
You must apply for a
hardship license
in person at your local DMV. New York offers three types of hardship licenses:
  • Conditional license: If your driver’s license was suspended for a
    DUI violation
    , you can apply for a conditional hardship license. You must attend a DMV-approved
    Impaired Driver Program (IDP)
    to receive this type of hardship license.
  • Restricted use license: This type of hardship license can be given to drivers whose license was revoked for non-alcohol- or drug-related moving violations.
  • Out-of-state driver’s license: A hardship license can be given if you have a driver's license issued in another state and you do not meet the requirements of the other hardship licenses.

New York SR-22 requirements

New York does not require drivers to file an
SR-22 certificate
proving they’ve purchased auto insurance in line with the
NY minimum insurance requirements
. Drivers will need to submit proof of
liability insurance
when applying for a New York driver’s license reinstatement. 
New York requires that all drivers meet the state-mandated minimum insurance requirements:


Driving with a suspended license is strictly prohibited in the State of New York. If you choose to drive with a suspended license, you can be criminally charged and your car insurance rates will increase. 
If you wish to drive within the period that your driver’s license is suspended, you can apply for a restricted license or hardship license.
You must pay a suspension termination fee to reinstate your driver’s license in New York. This fee is typically $50.
To check if your license is suspended or revoked in New York, sign up for a MyDMV account and use the
My License, Permit, or ID
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