You can face having your license suspended in Tennessee for failing to carry the minimum liability insurance or accumulating too many points on your driving record. If you’re caught driving with a suspended license you’ll risk penalties that include fines and/or jail time.
Since daily driving is the norm for so many of us, it might be hard to imagine losing your driving privileges. Even so, having your license suspended is more common than you think. License suspensions and revocations are treated differently by each state, so it’s a good idea to understand the laws where you live.
The car insurance specialist Jerry is here to guide you through 10 of the most common reasons for license suspension in Tennessee. We’ll cover the difference between having your license suspended and revoked, as well as how long you should expect to lose your license based on the severity of a violation.
Read on to find out how to legally get back on the roads.
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What’s the difference between a license suspension and revocation?
License suspension and revocation are commonly thought to be synonymous, but they are quite different. Here’s why:
- A license suspension means you’ve lost your driving privileges temporarily. As long as you avoid any further driving penalties, you can have it reinstated.
- A license revocation is reserved for more serious violations—it means the DMV has canceled your driver’s license. You may have to reapply to get it back.
The Tennessee DMV will suspend your license if you’ve been convicted of a substantial traffic violation, like having excessive points on your driving record or driving under the influence (DUI).
On the more serious end of the spectrum, your license could be revoked if you are convicted of vehicular homicide.
What can your license be suspended for in Tennessee?
There are several reasons your license could be suspended in Tennessee. You can even face a license suspension for offenses that have nothing to do with driving. Read on to dodge losing your license—even for a short period!
If you drive without car insurance
In Tennessee, driving without the minimum liability insurance could get you into some hot water. You will need to prove that you were carrying at least the state-required minimum on the date you were pulled over within 30 days of being ticketed. Failure to submit proof of insurance could end with a license suspension.
If you fail to appear in court
Depending on the reason you were pulled over, you may wind up with a traffic ticket that requires you to go to court. If you don’t show up to the courthouse on the day you are legally obligated to, you could have your license yanked.
If you drive under the influence
Also known as a DUI or DWI, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime. For a first DUI offense, your license will be suspended for one year regardless of whether you are over or under the legal drinking age.
If you accumulate too many points
Traffic tickets add points to your driving record. In Tennessee, drivers with 12 points within 12 months will have their license suspended for six to 12 months. You have the right to request a hearing to contest this decision.
If your license is suspended or revoked in another state
If you’ve lost your driving privileges in a state other than Tennessee, you will not be able to legally hold a Tennessee driver’s license. First, you’ll need to satisfy the other state’s requirements and submit proof to the DMV that the matter has been settled.
If you attempt to buy alcohol with a fake ID
Tennessee drivers under the age of 18 are subject to mandatory license suspension if convicted of trying to purchase alcohol with a fake ID. If you’re a first-time offender, the suspension will last one year or until you turn 17—whichever comes first.
If you leave the scene of an accident
It’s against the law in all 50 states to leave the scene of an accident. If you damage property in a collision and take off, you could have your license suspended. If you injure or kill someone in an accident and flee the scene, you’ll have your license revoked.
If you possess a weapon as a juvenile
If you’re under 18 and are caught in possession of a weapon, you’ll be looking at an automatic license suspension. For a first-timer, the penalty will last for one year or until you turn 17—whichever happens first. A secondary offense will result in a two-year suspension.
If you refuse to consent to sobriety testing
While it’s your legal right to refuse an officer’s request to give you a sobriety test, be aware that doing so will get you a license suspension between one and two years.
If you fail to maintain SR-22 insurance
If you’re a high-risk driver legally ordered to carry SR-22 car insurance and fail to do so, you can expect to have your license suspended—unless you can show proof that your SR-22 policy was filed and has not been canceled.
How to save money on car insurance in Tennesse
If you’ve gotten your license suspended, it’s not the end of the road. With the help of the licensed broker expert Jerry, you can find the light at the end of the tunnel.
After you downloaded the free Jerry app, all you need to do is answer a few general questions about you and your car. In under a minute, Jerry browses quotes from 50+ top-rated insurance companies to find you the best rate on a policy that meets your needs.
You won’t have to fill out any monotonous forms or wait on hold with insurance agents—Jerry takes care of all of that. When you find the right policy and decide to make the switch, Jerry will even help cancel your existing policy!
On average, people who use Jerry save $887 a year!
“Jerry brought my insurance deductible down from $2.5k to $1k without me having to switch companies. I even had a ticket on my record. If it can help me, Jerry will definitely help you save money.” —Maxwell N.
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