Driver’s License Reinstatement After a DUI

Driver’s License Reinstatement After a DUI2021-03-18T19:00:39+00:00

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In Nevada, DUI suspects face two potential driver license revocations: (1) a 90-day administrative revocation; and/or (2) a criminal conviction revocation that varies in length depending on the number of the driver’s prior convictions. After either revocation runs, as a condition to reinstating revoked driving privileges, amongst other requirements, Nevada DUI law requires all applicants to “submit[] proof of financial responsibility.” This requirement can be satisfied by the applicant securing SR-22 insurance. The driver’s license reinstatement process can be challenging for DUI suspects. Here is what you need to know.

SR-22 Insurance in Nevada

At some point during DUI cases, an attorney will most likely be asked about SR-22 insurance. It is a common misconception that “SR-22” is an actual insurance policy or supplemental insurance policy. This is not true. The SR-22 is simply a form or certificate that the client’s insurer files with the State. Only “high risk” or “problem” drivers are required to maintain SR-22 proof with the DMV. The form, or “proof of financial responsibility” as it is defined by Nevada law, indicates that the driver has an insurance policy in effect that maintains the minimum amounts of coverage that are required by Nevada law. Depending on the State or insurance company, “SR” stands for “Safety Responsibility,” “State Report” and/or “State Requirement.” The “22” is just another government form number just like an IRS “1099” Form. Under Nevada law, “proof of financial responsibility” means:

proof of ability to respond for the future in damages for liability, on account of crashes occurring subsequent to the effective date of that proof, arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, in the amounts specified in NRS 485.185. 

As of January 2021, the amounts specified in NRS 485.185 are as follows:

[i]n the amount of $25,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person in any one crash; in the amount of $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one crash; and [i]n the amount of $20,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one crash . . . 

SR-22 Insurance Requirement for DUI Suspects

DUI suspects are required to secure SR-22 insurance proof even if they are ultimately found not guilty (criminally) or convicted of a lesser offense. Thus, the only way a DUI suspect can completely avoid the SR-22 requirement is if they are successful in both the administrative and criminal proceedings. The individual is required to maintain the SR-22 proof on file for three years after the date of reinstatement. If the client allows the proof to lapse, the DMV is mandated to suspend his license, permit or privilege. Please note that the foregoing requirement applies to all revocation reinstatements (90 day administrative per se revocation reinstatements, one-year administrative refusal revocation reinstatements as well as criminal-conviction revocation reinstatements. Naturally, the insurance premiums for drivers that are required to secure SR-22 proof are higher than other drivers. Just like ordinary insurance premiums, the premiums for SR-22 drivers will range depending upon a number of variables that are specific to the client (age, marital status, zip code, driving record, etc.).

It is important that DUI suspects are educated about Nevada law concerning SR-22 insurance. In Nevada, the average motorist’s insurance premiums who are required to secure SR-22 proof will increase by $75.00 to $85.00 per month (or $900.00 to $1,000.00 per year). The last thing an attorney wants is for a client to first learn of the foregoing consequence from the DMV when they apply for reinstatement.

Breath Ignition Interlock Device (BIID)

Although the motorist can choose to simply not drive during an administrative or criminal-conviction revocation and reinstate their driving privileges after the revocation period runs, reinstating during or at the inception of a revocation requires the installation of a breath ignition interlock device (hereinafter “BIID”) and the motorist must maintain the same in his/her vehicle for the duration of the revocation period. Additionally, DUI suspects that are ultimately convicted of DUI in criminal court must also install a BIID for a specific amount of time as a condition to reinstating their driving privileges. This BIID requirement is not a condition to driving during a revocation period, but rather, an additional sanction that is imposed even after the license revocation period(s) have expired.

Additional Requirements for License Reinstatement in Nevada

Reinstatement of an individual’s driving privileges involves more than a BIID and SR-22.  After the revocation period expires, the individual must reinstate their driving privileges.

At the end of the period of . . . revocation an appropriate replacement license must be issued to the licensee, upon satisfactory completion of the requirements for reinstatement established by regulations of the Department adopted pursuant to NRS 483.495. 

In connection with reinstating driving privileges, Nevada law requires a motorist to “provide for a fair evaluation of a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.” This means the DMV can subject reinstating motorists to any license testing they see fit (eye test, written test and yes….even the driving test).  However, the statute also provides the DMV with the discretion to “waive certain tests or requirements as the Department deems necessary.” In fact, the driving skills test is expressly waived if the individual is reinstating his driving privileges after a DUI-revocation that is less than one year in length.  However, the individual is still subject to the knowledge and vision tests.

The fee for driver’s license reinstatement in Nevada after a DUI revocation is $120.00.  Should the DMV request additional information “for the evaluation of the applicant’s fitness to operate a motor vehicle safely and any other information that the Department deems relevant,” the individual is required to provide the same before reinstatement. If you have any questions about DUI revocations or license reinstatement, please do not hesitate to contact a Las Vegas DUI lawyer for a free and confidential consultation.