Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in New Hampshire

Criminal charges for operating a vehicle during a license suspension or revocation.

By , Attorney (University of San Francisco School of Law)
Updated December 06, 2022

In New Hampshire, your license can be suspended or revoked for a variety of reasons, including traffic violations, criminal convictions, and matters unrelated to driving. If you get caught driving during a suspension or revocation, you'll likely face criminal charges.

This article goes over the various reasons your license can be suspended or revoked and the penalties you'll face for driving on a suspended or revoked license in New Hampshire.

What Does It Mean to Have Your License Suspended or Revoked?

When your license is suspended or revoked, it generally means that the state has taken away your driving privileges. In other words, while the suspension or revocation is in place, you can't lawfully drive.

General Differences Between Suspension and Revocation

In many states, "revocation" and "suspension" are used synonymously and mean the same thing. However, some states use the term "suspension" to mean a temporary loss of privileges and "revocation" to mean the permanent loss of privileges. But even in states where revocation is permanent, the driver can typically apply for reinstatement after a certain period of time.

Difference Between Suspensions and Revocations in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, there's little difference between suspension and revocation, though the statutes use both terms.

What Are the Reasons for License Suspension or Revocation in New Hampshire?

Lots of circumstances can lead to the loss of driving privileges. Some of the more common reasons for license revocation or suspension include:

  • being convicted frequently enough of serious traffic offenses that the state believes you show a disrespect for traffic laws and a disregard for safety
  • being a habitually reckless or negligent driver (as shown by New Hampshire's point system or other indicators such as accidents)
  • having an impairment that makes you incompetent to drive
  • fraudulently using a license
  • failing to appear in court for a traffic citation or for certain criminal charges
  • negligently causing an accident that killed or injured someone or resulted in serious property damage
  • having three convictions in the same year for certain traffic violations
  • evading tolls
  • being a sex offender who fails to comply with registration requirements for more than 30 days
  • being convicted of reckless driving
  • being convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • being convicted of vehicular homicide, and
  • refusing to submit to or failing a chemical test in violation of the state's implied consent laws.

However, this list contains just some of the ways a driver's license might be suspended—there are many others.

What Are the Penalties for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, driving on a suspended or revoked license can be charged as a violation (like a minor traffic offense), a misdemeanor, or a felony, depending on the circumstances.

Offenses that are Violations

Generally, driving on a suspended or revoked license is a violation. A violation carries a minimum fine of $250 for a first offense and $500 for a second or subsequent offense (provided the driver has no violations within the past seven years). The maximum fine for a violation is $1,000.

Misdemeanor Offenses

In many circumstances—including where the original suspension was for a DWI or reckless driving or the driver has a prior offense within the past seven years—driving on a suspended or revoked license is a misdemeanor.

In certain of these circumstances—including where the driver has a prior offense within the past seven years or the original suspension was for reckless driving—driving on a suspended or revoked license is class B misdemeanor and carries up to $1,200 in fines.

However, if the driver's suspension was related to a DWI or vehicular homicide, the offense is still a misdemeanor but carries a minimum of seven days in jail, a maximum $1,000 fine, and an additional one year of revocation.

Felony Offenses

Driving on a suspended or revoked license can also be a class B felony where the offense results in injuries or the death of another person. A class B felony carries up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $4,000.

How do You Reinstate a Revoked or Suspended License in New Hampshire?

The period of time your license is suspended or revoked may depend on the reason for the suspension or revocation and other reasons. After your period of suspension or revocation expires, you generally need to pay a reinstatement fee and might be required to fulfill other conditions before your license will be valid again. In most cases, the reinstatement fee is $50 or $100.

Legal Help for Charges of Driving After Suspension or Revocation

Driving on a suspended or revoked license can come with severe consequences. So, if you've been arrested for one of these offenses, it's a good idea to contact an attorney for help. A qualified lawyer can help you understand how the law applies in your case and what you're up against.

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