Driving a vehicle on public roads when your license has been revoked is a serious issue with serious consequences. At the very least, if you’re caught driving with a revoked license your insurance rates will go up significantly.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the license revocation, you may also suffer more serious consequences like being dropped from your insurance altogether, being forced into a high-risk policy group, or even fines and imprisonment.
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Every state in the union has laws against driving with a revoked license. In many jurisdictions it’s nearly impossible to find a lenient court system willing to look the other way or accept a plea to a lesser charge.
Getting caught behind the wheel when your license is revoked is something that will go on your driving record and stay there for a long time, even in addition to all of the other consequences previously mentioned.
So a word to the wise: don’t do it.
What are some of the reasons states will revoke a license?
In most states there are about a half-dozen circumstances which could trigger the revocation of a driver’s license. Keep in mind that revoking a license is different from suspending it. When a license is revoked the individual is allowed no driving privileges whatsoever during the revocation.
With a suspended license, a driver can still usually get behind the wheel to go to and from work, at the very least.
Suspensions tend to be short-term and can usually be cleared up if the driver meets certain conditions. Revocation is much more serious and can be triggered by:
- DWI/DUI infractions
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Driving without proper insurance coverage
- Persistent speeding violations
- Failure to pay tickets
You should also be aware that in many states a suspended license can be revoked in the future under certain circumstances. For example, a New York state driver may have his license suspended as a result of allowing his insurance policy to lapse.
If he does not surrender his car’s plates and registration in a timely manner his license could then be revoked. In such cases it’s even possible that the vehicle in question cannot be registered or insured during the revocation, even by a different driver.
Why is my insurance company so concerned about a revoked license?
A car insurance company determines individual rates based on a number of factors. All of those factors combine to give the insurance company a good idea of how likely you are to do something that will result in a claim against them. This is the principle of risk.
Since license revocation is always the result of negligence on your part, a revoked license tells the insurance company that you are an extremely high risk.
They are unwilling to take that risk on you without forcing you to make a financial investment of equal value.
Although not always, license revocation sometimes results in being dropped from your current insurance policy. DWI arrests are one of the most common causes of such a scenario. If you are dropped as a result of a license revocation you will likely have difficulty finding another provider to insure you in the same risk pool you were in prior to the revocation.
In most cases you will be assigned to a high risk pool which will have higher rates.
How long will the insurance company hold a revoked license against me?
Insurance companies differ in the way they keep records and apply driving history to premium calculations. Most of them use a method called “stacking” which involves keeping track of incidents as they occur, stacking them successively one on top of another. The ones at the bottom of the stack are dropped from the record first.
Unfortunately, the stacking method usually doesn’t apply to license revocations. This is especially true in instances involving DWI or leaving the scene of an accident.
A license revocation will most likely remain part of your insurance record for a minimum of five to seven years. You may be allowed to return to a lower risk pool after three or four years, but the revocation will remain on your record and the insurance company will keep a close eye on your driving history.
Further license suspensions or revocations will simply move you into an ever increasing risk pool and could eventually result in the inability to get any insurance coverage at all.
Don’t let a previously revoked license stop you from searching for the best online car insurance quotes. Get started by entering your ZIP code now!