Written by: Christopher Yotz
In Missouri, the Department of
Revenue will deny issuance of a license to you for a period of 5 or 10 years if
you have been convicted too many times of DWI. In order to get your license
back after that period you must file a civil law suit against the Department of
Revenue. While it is possible that this suit can be filed and prosecuted on
your own I would recommend that you obtain the services of an attorney to do
the work for you.
If you get convicted of DWI for a
second time within 5 years of your first conviction then the Department of
Revenue will deny your ability to get a license for 5 years. In the past when
this denial period ended you could simply get reinstated through the
Department. However, after some statutory changes in Missouri you now have to
file a civil suit in the county where your last conviction occurred in order to
If you are convicted a third or
subsequent time for DWI then the Department will deny your ability to obtain a
license for 10 years. As with a 5 year denial, you have to file suit against
the Department in the county where your last conviction occurred in order to
obtain a reinstatement of your license.
In suits to obtain reinstatement of
your license after both a 5 and 10 year denial you have to meet certain
criteria. You must not have been convicted of drug or alcohol charges during
the period of denial (either the past 5 or 10 years). If you did get convicted
of such charges during that period then the clock starts over. You must also
show that you are no longer a danger to society.
Also, for the above reinstatements
you must be otherwise eligible to obtain a license. Therefore, you must have
completed a SATOP class for the conviction that caused the denial of your
license. You must also not be serving a period of suspension for moving
violations occurring during the denial period. I often see situations where people continued
to try and drive during their denial period and get charged for Driving While
Revoked along with other charges. This can cause additional license suspensions.
You must obtain a criminal
background check as part of a suit to obtain your license after a 5 or 10 year
denial. This is done by submitting finger print cards to the Missouri Highway Patrol. The Highway Patrol
then sends the results of this background check to the Department of Revenue
and the court for use at the hearing for reinstatement.
There will be a live court
hearing for you, the plaintiff, through your attorney (hopefully) to present evidence to the court showing that you deserve to have your license reinstated. Your attorney will have to present evidence to satisfy the
statutory criteria required for you to obtain your reinstatement. Therefore,
you will actually have to appear in court and testify.
Please keep in mind as well that
according to the statute you may not be able to obtain the above reinstatement
more than once. Therefore, if after getting a reinstatement your license is
denied again for DWI convictions then that denial may be for life. I heard the
unfortunate story of a person who received a reinstatement of her license after
a 10 year denial and went out to celebrate. She drank at that celebration and
got pulled over and arrested for DWI. This would result in a new 10 year denial.
However, since she could not pursue a suit for reinstatement for a second time
then that new 10 year denial is effectively a denial for life.