Driving on a Suspended License in North Dakota

In North Dakota, your license may be suspended or revoked for certain criminal convictions, failures to appear in court, and other reasons. If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you may be charged with a crime.

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

Your license may be suspended or revoked for many reasons. You may be subject to mandatory revocation if you are convicted of:

  • homicide, if a vehicle was used
  • a misdemeanor resulting from your driving, if someone was seriously injured, or
  • making a false statement to the Department of Transportation about owning or operating a vehicle. (N.D. Cent. Code § 39-06-31.)

It may be suspended if you:

  • are incompetent to drive
  • use a driver’s license unlawfully or fraudulently
  • commit alcohol-related driving offenses
  • fail to pay a fine or serve a sentence for a criminal traffic offense
  • fail to appear for a criminal court hearing in certain circumstances, or
  • are convicted of an offense that contributed to an accident in which someone was killed or injured or property was seriously damaged. (N.D. Cent. Code § 39-06-32, § 39-20-04, § 39-20-04.1.)

Your license may also be suspended or revoked for other reasons.

Reinstating Your License

Your license may be suspended or revoked for varying periods of time. You should not drive on a suspended or revoked license. You may need to pay a reinstatement fee or complete other conditions before you may legally drive again. If your license was revoked, the state may investigate your driving records, habits and ability before it will issue a new license. (N.D. Cent. Code § 39-06-36.) You may need to pay a reinstatement fee of $50 or $100, depending on the reason for your revocation. (N.D. Cent. Code § 39-06-36.) In some situations, you may not need to pay a reinstatement fee. (N.D. Cent. Code § 39-06-36.)  

Criminal Charges for Driving After Suspension or Revocation

If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you may be charged with a Class B or Class A misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances.

You may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor for your first, second or third offense within a five-year period. (N.D. Cent. Code § 39-06-42(1).) The maximum penalty for a Class B misdemeanor is:

  • 30 days in jail, and
  • a $1,000 fine. (N.D. Cent. Code §  2.1-32(6).)

You may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for a fourth or subsequent offense within a five-year period. (N.D. Cent. Code § 39-06-42(1).) The maximum penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is:

  • one year in jail, and
  • a $2,000 fine. (N.D. Cent. Code §  2.1-32(5).)

If your license was suspended or revoked due certain offenses, including DUI and offenses for which revocation is mandatory, you may receive a minimum penalty of at least four days in jail. (N.D. Cent. Code §  39-06-42(2).)

In addition to criminal penalties for driving on a suspended or revoked license, your license plates may be impounded and your license may be suspended or revoked for a longer period of time. (N.D. Cent. Code § 39-06-42(3), § 39-06-43.)

Legal Help for Driving After Suspension or Revocation

A conviction for driving after suspension or revocation can have serious consequences for your life. Fines, jail time, and the possibility of a longer period of suspension or revocation can create difficulties with work or school, problems with insurance, and difficulties in other areas of your life. While the law provides specific penalties for this crime, your sentence will be influenced by the view that local courts and prosecutors have of driving after suspension or revocation. Only an attorney who is familiar with these charges in your area can provide you with this information.

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