Having your license suspended or revoked can be inconvenient, humiliating and frustrating. That said, we know that Florida law does outline some exceptions to an otherwise rigid set of regulations and limitations governing the suspension and revocation of driver licenses. Whether your license has been suspended or revoked because you accrued too many traffic violation points, failed to pay traffic fine(s) or were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), the Florida State Statutes provides an avenue by which you can petition the court for reinstatement of your driving privileges for business (we will discuss what this includes below) or employment purposes.
Florida State Statute 322.271, within Chapter 322, governing Driver Licenses, gives people who have had their license suspended or revoked in Florida the right to, upon meeting requisite standards, ask the applicable state government department for the right to have their driver license reinstated for business or employment purposes only. According to subsection (1)(b) of 322.271, if you have had your driver license revoked under 322.27(5), for driving at an unlawful speed, after 12 months since the time of the revocation, you can petition the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (the “DHSMV”) for reinstatement of your driving privilege. Given the petition, and after investigation of the person’s qualification, fitness and need to drive, the DHSMV will hold a hearing to determine whether the driving privilege shall be reinstated on a restricted basis solely for business or employment purposes.
For purposes of 322.271(1)(b), a driving privilege restricted to business purposes only means a driving privilege that is limited to any driving necessary to maintain livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes, and driving for church and for medical purposes, whereas a driving privilege restricted to employment purposes only means a driving privilege that is limited to driving to and from work and any necessary on-the-job driving required by an employer or occupation.
For eligible individuals who have had their license suspended, canceled, or revoked for any reasons other than for being a habitual traffic offender under 322.27(5) as outlined above, the DHSMV shall notify the driver, at his or her request, of their right to a hearing pursuant to chapter 120. At this hearing the person whose license has been suspended, canceled, or revoked may show that such suspension, cancellation, or revocation causes a serious hardship and precludes the person from carrying out his or her normal business occupation, trade, or employment and that the use of the person’s license in the normal course of his or her business is necessary to the proper support of the person or his or her family. For the purposes of determining the person’s fitness and responsibility to have their license reinstated for a business or employment purpose only, letters from business people in the community, law enforcement officers and judicial officers may be requested.
The DHSMV has different requirements for what an individual must present and demonstrate in order to have their license reinstated based on the reason for which their license was revoked in the first place. For instance, the privilege of driving on a limited or restricted basis for business or employment use may not be granted to someone who has been convicted of a DUI violation until the completion of the DUI program substance abuse education course and evaluation discussed in s. 316.193(5). Further, except as outlined in s. 322.271(2)(c), the driving privilege discussed herein may not be given to someone whose license has been revoked pursuant to s. 322.28 or suspended pursuant to 322.2615 or who has been convicted of a DUI violation two or more times or whose license has been suspended two or more times for refusal to submit to a test.