The 10 Most Common Ways to Get a Suspended License in Colorado

Colorado drivers can have their driver’s license suspended for having too many points or for offenses like failing to pay fines or not paying child support.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
, your driver’s license can be suspended for a slew of reasons, ranging from a DUI to reckless driving to leaving the scene of an accident. Driving without insurance or driving with a suspended license can both result in fines and possibly jail time.
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What’s the difference between a license suspension and revocation?

Having your
Colorado driver's license
suspended isn't the same thing as having it revoked. Here’s what each of those terms means:
  • A license suspension means your driving privileges have been suspended for a specified length of time
  • A license revocation is a more serious penalty, meaning you’ll likely have to reapply to get your driving privileges back after a specified period of time

Points that can lead to driver’s license suspension in Colorado

Colorado has a points system, meaning if you accumulate a certain number of points on your driving record due to traffic infractions, your license can be suspended. The following are the number of points needed for drivers to lose their license, by age:
Minor drivers 17 and under
  • 6 or more points within any 12-month period
  • 7 or more points at any point for all drivers under 18
Minor drivers aged 18-21
  • 9 or more points within any 12-month period
  • 12 or more points within any 24 months period
  • 14 or more points at any point between the ages of 18-21
Adults 21 years of age and older
  • 12 or more points within any 12-month period
  • 18 or more points within any 24-month period
If you are suspended because of points, you’ll get a notice in the mail and be assigned a hearing date. If you don’t attend your hearing, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for one year. You are allowed to request a hearing while your license is suspended.
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What can your license be suspended for in Colorado?

Your license can be suspended in Colorado for a variety of reasons. Here are the most common reasons for your driving privileges to be temporarily taken away.

1. Driving under the influence (DUI)

Your license can be suspended if you’re convicted of
driving under the influence in Colorado.
The length of suspension can vary, depending on the situation and if it is your first offense or a subsequent offense.
The following suspensions apply for
  • First offense: 9 months
  • Second offense: 1 year
  • Third offense: 2 years

2. Refusing a blood alcohol content (BAC) test

If you refuse to take a blood alcohol test, your driver’s license can be suspended as well. Here are the penalties for refusing a BAC test:
  • First offense: 1 year
  • Second offense: 2 years
  • Third offense: 3 years

3. Driving with a suspended license 

If you’re stopped while driving with a suspended license, the length of your suspension will be increased, depending on the severity of the infraction. You may also be fined up to $500 and possibly imprisoned for up to five days.

4. Driving without insurance

All driversin the Centennial State must meet
Colorado's minimum insurance requirements
. If you are caught driving without insurance, you risk having your license suspended on the spot by law enforcement, fines, and potentially jail time.
Typically, the penalties in Colorado for driving without insurance are as follows:
  • First offense: Class 1 misdemeanor, $500 fine, a suspended license, $40 reinstatement fee, and required
    Colorado SR-22
    coverage for three years
  • Second offense within five years: $1,000 fine, four-month suspension, $40 reinstatement fee, and SR-22 coverage for three years
  • Third or subsequent offense: $1,000 fine, eight-month suspension, $40 reinstatement fee, SR-22 coverage for three years, 40 hours community service, potential jail time between 10 days and one year

5. Driving without a driver’s license

If you are cited for driving without a license but police do not suspend your license at the roadside, you will receive a notice of suspension in the mail. You can avoid this penalty by providing proof of insurance (SR-22) within 20 days of receiving the notice.

6. Other driving violations

Your driver’s license can be suspended in Colorado for other infractions, such as:
  • Reckless driving
  • An at-fault accident causing serious injury or death
  • Abandoning a vehicle on a public highway

7. Physical or psychological disqualification

The DMV can order a re-examination of your ability to safely operate a vehicle if provided evidence by:
  • A medical doctor
  • Law enforcement
  • Courts
  • An immediate family member
If you are found to be physically or psychologically unable to drive a vehicle, your license will be suspended.

8. Non-driving reasons

Your driver’s license can be suspended in Colorado for reasons that have nothing to do with driving, including:
  • Not responding to a DMV notice
  • Failing to appear at a court date
  • Not paying child support

9. Failing to pay traffic tickets, surcharges, and fines

If you are ticketed, cited, fined, or owe any surcharges, be sure to pay them—not doing so in Colorado can put you in danger of having your driver’s license suspended.

10. Leaving the scene of an accident

Your license can be suspended if you violate
Colorado's car accident laws
by leaving the scene or failing to stop immediately if an at-fault accident has occurred and severe injury or death has resulted.
MORE: Colorado hit-and-run
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