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Ending Driver's License Suspension Through Bankruptcy

I often get asked whether a bankruptcy can help to get a driver’s license back after it has been suspended because of a lawsuit for damages arising from the use of an automobile. Under Florida’s Financial Responsibility law ( Florida Statutes, Chapter 324) judgement creditor holding a judgement against a debtor arising from the use of an automobile in Florida can apply to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for the suspension of the debtor’s driver’s license until the judgement for damages is paid in full. The loss of driving privileges can mean the inability to get to work and take care of other necessities of modern life which can cause a rapid downward spiral for many people. Because the suspension of the driver’s license results from the existence of the debt, eliminating the underlying debt through bankruptcy also eliminates the basis for the license suspension. Once the debt is discharged in bankruptcy, the DHSMV is required by law to issue the debtor a new license. Be aware, however, that a judgement arising from an auto accident in which the debtor was charged with DUI will not be discharged in bankruptcy. Therefore, a bankruptcy would not result in new driving privileges under those circumstances.