How Does A Restricted License Work?


When your state Department of Motor Vehicles feels that you are no longer able to drive without restrictions, then you are given a restricted license. But, contrary to popular belief, this is not always done because of any kind of driving violation. There are a couple of reasons why people get restricted licenses, and it usually takes time to turn that restricted license into a full license with all of the privileges offered to responsible drivers.

Learner’s Permit

The first type of restricted driver’s licenses is the learner’s permit first-time drivers get after they pass a road test and a written test. Each state has their own age for being able to get a permit, with the ages usually ranging from 16 to 18. The learner’s permit allows the bearer to drive only in daylight and only with a licensed driver. In some states, a driver with a permit cannot have any passengers other than the licensed driver.

Restricted Due To Infractions

The laws in each state are different, but the general rule is that repeat traffic offenders usually get their licenses taken away. People with multiple DWI or DUI infractions will have their licenses taken away based on state laws. Once the driver has completed all of the paperwork and waited the predetermined amount of time, they are issued a restricted license.

Only The Basics

In most states, a restricted license allows the driver to go to work, go to the grocery store and pick up their children from school. Beyond those situations, the driver cannot be on the road at all. This severely restricted license may also be accompanied by a device that tests for alcohol before the car can be started.

Getting The License Back

The restricted license is put into place for a time determined by state law. Once that time has expired, then driver will pay a fine and apply to get their full license back. Some states make drivers go through another restricted license that offers more freedom, but still restricts the driver’s movements. Once the terms for this next restricted license have been satisfied, then the driver can apply to get their full license back.

A person using a restricted license has usually committed multiple infractions of serious driving violations. Over the course of the restricted license, the driver would have paid heavy fines and possibly served jail time. In some states, drivers who put themselves in a situation where they have to get another restricted license for more violations often lose their licenses for life.