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Can a Felon Get a Driver’s License?

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Having a driver’s license is important for most people when working at a job. Not holding a license can prove to be an obstacle. Felons face enough challenges in finding a job.

So, can a felon get a driver’s license? Let’s take a look at this question.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the following:

  • Loss of Rights
  • Driver’s License Restriction?
  • Loss of Your Driver’s License
  • Getting Your Driver’s License Reinstated
  • Driving on a Revoked License


Loss of Rights

When you are convicted of committing a crime, you not only lose your freedom by being sentenced to prison, other civil rights are often taken away, depending on the state. There are some common rights that you will lose when you are convicted. Here are just a few:

  • Voting rights
  • Jury duty
  • Traveling out of the country
  • Owning firearms
  • Certain types of employment
  • Parental rights

The length of time that each of these civil rights is lost depends on the right and the state in which you reside.

Driver’s License Restriction?

Yet, one of the rights you don’t lose when you are convicted is the right to hold a driver’s license.

While the right to have a driver’s license is not lost simply as a result of your conviction as many other rights are, you can still be released from prison without a driver’s license. Let’s look closer at this.

Most felons are discharged from prison without a driver’s license because it expired while they were serving their sentence. Typically, it was not revoked while you were in prison.

What has probably happened is that because of the length of your prison term, your license has expired.

When you are released from prison you must go to a halfway house. One of the first things that you are required to do is find a job and also to get a driver’s license if it has expired.  

Loss of Your Driver’s License

So, can a driver’s license be lost as a result of your conviction? Well, yes it can.

A driver’s license can be revoked as part of your conviction. Here we will see how this happens.

Losing your driver’s license would occur for a third DUI or a conviction for a vehicular homicide. Another instance is for some drug-related offenses. Any of these crimes will result in a permanent license revocation.

In the case of a DUI, whether an offense is a misdemeanor or a felony DUI depends on several factors. The first of these is the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level at the time of the offense. The farther your BAC is above 0.08, the more likely it is that it will be considered a felony DUI.  

Another factor is how recklessly you were driving. The more recklessly you were driving, the more dangerous your actions.  

It also depends on whether there are injuries or deaths in the accident. The more injuries and the more serious they were, the more likely it is that a DUI will become a felony.  

A DUI with a minor in the vehicle will also result in a felony DUI. Driving with a suspended driver’s license will also result in a felony conviction. With previous felony convictions on your record, the more likely that the charge will be considered a felony.

Each state has its own laws regarding DUIs. Typically, a third DUI conviction will make these charges into a felony. You should seek legal counsel.

A driver’s license may be revoked following conviction of felony DUI and conviction for a non-DUI drug-related offense. If it was a vehicular homicide offense, you’ll be unlikely to regain your license. 

If your driver’s license was revoked because of an alcohol- or drug-related offense, you must complete an approved substance abuse program and provide proof of completion. You will also have to complete an application in the state where you live.

Getting Your Driver’s License Reinstated

If your driver’s license has been expired for more than two years, you can’t simply renew it online. After two years, an expired license can only be reactivated by starting the application process again. 

You will have to complete an application in the state where you live. You will also have to pass a written knowledge test, a driving test, and a vision test.

Driving on a Revoked License?

You might be tempted not to have your driver’s license renewed after your release. This seems like a major hassle to go through. 

Can’t you just drive without a license? You might not need to drive a lot, especially if you don’t have a job anyway. 

Driving with a revoked license is not a good choice to make. This is a serious offense with large fines and jail time. Typically, this is a misdemeanor.

For felons, especially while on probation, this would be a violation of your federal probation and likely result in returning to prison.

It is essential that as you seek to live an honest lifestyle, that you follow the law regarding even such things as getting a driver’s license. You haven’t lost the right to have one, but you need to obey the law in getting it back if it has expired.

Not doing so will jeopardize you freedom and could result in going back to jail.

Don’t take that chance. You are not defined by your past mistakes but by how you respond to them. Make a good choice.

What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to get a driver’s license with a felony? What was that like, and what happened? Please tell us in the comments below.

7 thoughts on “Can a Felon Get a Driver’s License?”

  1. Laws are more than fair. Maybe
    should be more stringent such as
    blood alcohol levels have been.
    Maybe increased degree of
    murder or manslaughter for death of close relative, ie spouse, minor
    children, etc.

  2. No they will not be able to get a driver’s license and that is the sad part they will release to society to fail because they know a typical family to survive both parties have to work or an individual will have to work. So they denie them there rights to a license after they paid there debt to society. Just to keep them in a stand still. And which sometimes put people in a bad place and then wonder why people fail. THERE IS NOT HELP FOR FELONS WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING YOUR LICENSE THEY DENIE YOU AND DON’T OFFER YOU AN APPEAL IN NORTH CAROLINA. SORRY TO TELL YOU GUYS THE TRUTH I HAVE A FRIEND GOING THRU THAT RIGHT NOW!

  3. I am searching for an inmate I write to through a prison ministry. He doesn’t have any family who is connected anymore. It will be a difficult trial for him. I am not able to help. We live thousands of miles a part and I wouldn’t feel comfortable anyway.

  4. I’m researching for my brother who will be release in a few months. Getting a new license will not be easy. He will have to show “proof of residency” along with his birth certificate and social security (he has both of these). How do you show proof of residency? He’ll be living with someone, doesn’t pay any utilities, doesn’t have an apartment because he won’t have any ID. It seems like a catch 22 situation.

  5. Gusto ko po magkaroon ng lisensya dahil gusto ko po makapag maneho.puwede po ba ako magkaroon kahit ako ay nagkaroon ng kaso sa bansa ko.pls,help me.thank you po.


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