Some traffic tickets stay on your Missouri driving record forever, such as: “Driving While Suspended”, DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs), Excessive BAC (blood alcohol content), “No Insurance,” “No Driver’s License” (state, not municipal), “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” (state, not municipal), vehicular manslaughter, any felony, and any conviction involving a drug- or alcohol-related driving offense or enforcement contact.
In Missouri, some first-time DWI and MIP convictions are eligible for expungement (removal or deletion) from your permanent record. See my blog post for more information about expungement of these types of convictions.
A “Driving While Suspended” Traffic Ticket Will Never Qualify to be Removed from Your Missouri Driving Record
Once a year, the Missouri Department of Revenue removes certain types of tickets from its database of driving records. A speeding ticket or other traffic violation can be removed from your Missouri driving record if 1) it was issued for a minor offense, 2) it is more than 3 years old, and 3) it did not cause a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Convictions that stay on your driving record permanently (for “Driving While Suspended,” DWI, DUID, etc.) are not eligible for removal.
What Kinds of Traffic Tickets Are Considered “Minor Offenses” and Qualify to be Removed From Your Missouri Driving Record?
The state of Missouri considers the following to be “minor offenses” and are eligible to be deleted from your driving record: speeding tickets, stop sign violations, “Failure to Signal,” “Failure to Yield,” and “Careless & Imprudent Driving.” These types of tickets will be removed from driving records during the Missouri Department of Revenue’s annual purging of old tickets from its driving record files.
Unfortunately, the Missouri Department of Revenue’s annual housecleaning of its files does not catch all traffic tickets that are eligible to be deleted. See my previous blog post titled “Speeding Ticket Points Stay on Your Missouri Driving Record for Only 18 Months” to find out how to determine if you have old speeding tickets or other traffic violations that are eligible to be deleted from your driving record and how to request that those old tickets be removed.
What Should You Do if You Get a “Driving While Suspended” Traffic Ticket in Missouri?
Don’t ignore a “Driving While Suspended” ticket, mistakenly thinking that it’s just another speeding ticket. As noted previously, a conviction for “Driving While Suspended” stays on your Missouri driving record forever, and any insurance agent who reviews your driving record prior to giving you a price quote for car insurance will be able to see it.
If you want to avoid a conviction for “Driving While Suspended,” you can hire a traffic law attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney to get the ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point violation. Your lawyer will need to show proof to the Court that your driver’s license has been reinstated before the prosecuting attorney can recommend any type of reduction or amendment of the charge.
If you have multiple “Driving While Suspended” convictions on your driving record, you have less of a chance that a court will agree to amend or reduce your current “Driving While Suspended” charge.
12 Points Are Added to Your Missouri Driving Record for a “Driving While Suspended” Conviction and Your Driver’s License Will be Revoked for 1 Year
If you decide to not hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the Court and, instead, you decide to just pay the fine for the “Driving While Suspended” ticket, then a conviction for “Driving While Suspended” will be added to your driving record. That conviction will cause 12 points to be added to your driving record. In Missouri, if you accumulate 12 points on your driving record within 12 months, your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year.
How To Get Your Missouri Driver’s License Reinstated
To find out how to get your driver’s license reinstated, call the Missouri Department of Revenue at (573) 526-2407 ext. 1 or go to this page of the Missouri Department of Revenue web site for information about what is required to get your driver’s license reinstated.
The Requirements for License Reinstatement Vary, Depending on the Reason for the Suspension or Revocation
The requirements for getting your license reinstated depend on the reason your license was suspended or revoked in the first place. For example, if your license was suspended because you refused to take a breathalyzer test during a DWI traffic stop, then you will have to complete a SATOP (Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program) class before you can get your driver’s license reinstated.
If your license was suspended because of unpaid speeding tickets, you will have to pay the fines for those tickets and obtain compliance letters from each court to show proof of payment before your license will be reinstated. If you have already pleaded guilty to the traffic violations but your guilty plea was fairly recent, it is possible that a lawyer can withdraw your guilty plea and negotiate a plea bargain with the Court to get the traffic ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point infraction. You will still have to pay fines and court costs, and compliance letters will be required before your license will be reinstated.
You may have to provide proof that you have purchased liability insurance coverage for your car before your driver’s license is reinstated. There is a form called SR-22 that must be filed with the Driver License Bureau in Jefferson City, Missouri to prove that you have met this requirement. Your insurance agent can file the form for you after you purchase the insurance.
Regardless of the reason for your driver’s license suspension or revocation, you will also have to pay a small fee (either $20 or $45), in addition to any fines or court costs that you owe, in order to get your driver’s license reinstated. The amount of the reinstatement fee varies depending on the reason for the suspension or revocation.
For more information about Missouri traffic law, go to my Traffic Law Resources page for links to information regarding Missouri speeding tickets, points, courts, Missouri driver’s licenses, and other traffic-related issues.