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Drivers License Restraints and Holds

Drivers License Suspensions, Revocations, Denials & Cancellations

Drivers License Restraints and Holds

A person’s privilege to drive may be restrained (taken away or severely limited) for up to one year or more if the driver accumulates too many points, commits certain traffic violations or fails to adhere to the rules or requirements established by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). More information about Drivers License Restraints is provided below.

What Are The Types of Drivers License Restraints?

There are six types of driver’s license restraints, as follows:


Drivers License Point Suspensions

Drivers License Point Suspensions

If a driver accumulates too many “points” assessed in a certain period of time by the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for convictions of certain traffic violations, the driver’s license may be suspended for up to one year. These types of driver’s license restraints are classified as “Point Suspensions.”

Suspension of Driving Privilege

The amount of points you are allowed before the suspension of your driver’s license depends upon your age and whether you were driving as a chauffeur. Your driving privileges will be suspended for up to 1 year if your license is assessed the following amount or more of points in the listed amount of time, as follows:

Adult Drivers (21 Years or Older)
12 points in any 12 consecutive months
18 points in any 24 consecutive months
Read more about Adult Drivers
Minor Drivers (18 to 21 Years Old)
9 points in any 12 consecutive months
12 points in any 24 consecutive months
14 points during the lifetime of the license (age 18 to 21)
Read more about Minor Drivers
Minor Drivers (Under 18 Years Old)
6 points in any 12 consecutive months
7 points prior to the age of 18 years old
Read more about Minor Drivers
Chauffeur Drivers (Violations Must be During the Course of Employment)
(additional restrictions apply)
16 points in 1 year
24 points in 2 years
24 points in 2 years
Read more about Chauffeur Drivers

To Calculate Your Points …

When there is a conviction for a traffic violation, the court notifies DMV usually within a few days. The proper amount of points is then assessed to your driving record and they are considered to be “accumulated” on the date of occurrence of the violation. A Point Suspension will occur if there are too many points on the violation date.

For Example: Let’s say you get a ticket on January 1st, you go to court on February 1st, and after a continuance you finally plead guilty to the charge on March 1st. Here’s what happens: On about March 2nd, the court sends notice of the conviction to DMV, and the conviction is placed on your DMV record about 2-3 days later, with a recorded violation date of January 1st. DMV then looks backwards from the recorded date of violation (January 1st) to see if you have accumulated too many points within a certain time (1 year, 2 years, the lifetime of the license in the case of minors, or 4 years in the case of chauffeurs) prior to and including the violation date. If you have accumulated too many points within the relevant years, then DMV will suspend your license for up to 1 year.


Drivers License Administrative Suspensions

Drivers License Administrative Suspensions

If a driver is administratively determined to have committed or gets a conviction for certain traffic violations, the driver’s license may be suspended for a certain period of time or until certain conditions are met, or both. These types of driver’s license restraints are classified as “Administrative Suspensions.”

Common Types of Administrative Suspensions

There are 65+ Ways to Lose Your Drivers License — called Drivers License Restraints — and many of the ways to lose your license are categorized as Drivers License Administrative Suspensions. Following are some of the more common types of this restraint:

Drivers License Administrative Suspensions
No Liability Insurance ConvictionNo Liability Insurance Conviction – In cases where a driver gets a conviction for Failure to Provide Proof of Insurance (NPOI), the driver will be required to get SR-22 Insurance before a specific action date. If the driver provides proof of the SR-22 Insurance to DMV before the action date, then no suspension will occur. If the driver fails to provide proof of SR-22 Insurance before the action date, the driver’s license will be suspended until SR-22 proof is provided and the completion of the Drivers License Reinstatement process.
Failure to Obtain SR-22 InsuranceFailure to Obtain SR-22 Insurance – In cases where the DMV has required a driver to have SR-22 Insurance and the driver fails to provide proof of the SR-22 Insurance. The driver’s license will be suspended until proof of the SR-22 Insurance is provided and the completion of the Drivers License Reinstatement process.
SR-22 Insurance CancellationSR-22 Insurance Cancellation – In cases where the DMV has required a driver to have SR-22 Insurance and the driver initially gets the insurance but subsequently cancels it during the period that it is required. The driver’s license will be suspended until the SR-22 Insurance is reinstated and the completion of the Drivers License Reinstatement process.
Failure to Respond to an Insurance AffidavitFailure to Respond to an Insurance Affidavit and Notice of Suspension – In cases where a driver is stopped by a police office and the driver cannot provide proof of insurance, the officer may issue the driver an Insurance Affidavit and Notice of Suspension Form. The driver then has 7 days to provide proof of insurance that was valid at the time of the stop or obtain SR-22 Insurance in cases where there was no insurance at the time of the stop. If the driver fails to provide proof of insurance within the 7 day period, the driver’s license will be suspended until proof of insurance or SR-22 Insurance is provided and the completion of the Drivers License Reinstatement process.
Failure to Pay a Colorado Traffic Infraction JudgmentFailure to Pay a Colorado Traffic Infraction Judgment – In cases where a driver has received a conviction for a Traffic Infraction and has failed to pay the ticket. The driver’s license will be suspended until an Outstanding Judgment/Warrant Release is provided to DMV and the completion of the Drivers License Reinstatement process.
An Outstanding Arrest WarrantAn Outstanding Arrest Warrant for a Colorado Traffic Ticket or Driving Charge – In cases where a driver who has received a traffic ticket or driving charge does not appear in court to answer the charge and an arrest warrant has been issued. The driver’s license will be suspended until an Outstanding Judgment/Warrant Release is provided to DMV and the completion of the Drivers License Reinstatement process.
Failure to Take Care of an Out-of-State Traffic Ticket or Driving ChargeFailure to Take Care of an Out-of-State Traffic Ticket or Driving Charge – In cases where a driver has received a traffic ticket or driving charge from another state and the driver has failed to take care of the ticket. The driver’s license will be suspended until an Outstanding Judgment/Warrant Release is provided to DMV and the completion of the Drivers License Reinstatement process.
Failure to Pay an Outstanding Judgment or RestitutionFailure to Pay an Outstanding Judgment or Restitution – In cases where a driver has been ordered by the court or has a judgment entered against him to pay damages that directly resulted from a traffic violation (e.g. property damage or personal injury due to reckless or careless driving). The driver’s license will be suspended until the court provides an Outstanding Judgment/Warrant Release and the completion of the Drivers License Reinstatement process.
Failure to Comply With a Child Support OrderFailure to Comply With a Child Support Order – In cases where a driver has failed to comply with a court’s order for the payment of child support. The driver’s license will be suspended until a Notice of Compliance is sent electronically to DMV from the State Child Support Enforcement Unit and the completion of the Drivers License Reinstatement process. In certain cases, you may also be eligible to get a Probationary “Red” License in order to give you time to make arrangements to pay any child support that is due.
Two or Three Convictions for Stealing FuelTwo or Three Convictions for Stealing Fuel – In cases where a driver receives a second or third conviction for taking fuel and failing to pay for it, and the driver’s license will be suspended for a period of six months or one year, respectively.


Drivers License Revocations

Drivers License Revocations

If a driver is administratively determined to have committed or gets a conviction for certain traffic violations, the driver’s license may revoked for a certain period of time (e.g. 3 months, 9 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years or 5 years) or until certain conditions are met, or both. These types of driver’s license restraints are classified as “Revocations.”

Common Types Drivers License Revocation

There are 65+ Ways to Lose Your Drivers License — called Drivers License Restraints — and many of the ways to lose your license are categorized as Drivers License Revocations. Following are some of the more common types of this restraint:

Drivers License Revocations
Driving With a BAC .08% or Greater (21 Years or Older)Driving With a BAC .08% or Greater (21 Years or Older) – In cases where the DMV has administratively determined that a driver who is 21 years of age or older operated a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08% or greater within two hours of the operation of the vehicle. Different rules apply for drivers under 21 years of age. C.R.S. § 42-2-126.
Driving With a BAC .02% or Greater (Under 21 Years of Age)Driving With a BAC .02% or Greater (Under 21 Years of Age) – In cases where the DMV has administratively determined that a driver who is under 21 years of age operated a motor vehicle with a BAC of .02% or greater within two hours of the operation of the vehicle. C.R.S. § 42-2-126.
Refusal of a BAC Test (Express Consent Refusal)Refusal of a BAC Test (Express Consent Refusal) – In cases where a driver refuses to take and complete a blood or breath test to determine the person’s BAC (blood or breath alcohol content) level. In Colorado, a driver is required to take and complete a test under the Express Consent law, which requires that the driver complete the test or else face a Mandatory Revocation of driving privileges if the driver refuses the test.
Conviction for DUI (21 Years or Older)Conviction for DUI (21 Years or Older) – In cases where a driver who is 21 years of age or older is convicted of Driving Under the Influence. Different rules apply for drivers under 21 years of age. C.R.S. § 42-2-125.
Conviction for DUI or DWAI (Under 21 Years of Age)Conviction for DUI or DWAI (Under 21 Years of Age) – In cases where a driver under 21 years of age is convicted of Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Impaired. C.R.S. § 42-2-125.
Driving Under Insurance SuspensionDriving Under Insurance Suspension – In cases where a driver’s license is under suspension for no insurance and the driver gets a subsequent conviction for driving despite the suspension.
Conviction for Failure to Render AidConviction for Failure to Render Aid – In cases where a driver is convicted of failing to stop and render aid as required by law. C.R.S. § 42-2-125.
Controlled Substance ConvictionControlled Substance Conviction – In cases where a driver is conviction for driving under the influence of a controlled substance or while a habitual user of a controlled substance. C.R.S. § 42-2-125.
Felony Conviction Where Motor Vehicle UsedFelony Conviction Where Motor Vehicle Used – In cases where a driver is conviction for any felony crime in the commission of which a motor vehicle was used. C.R.S. 42-2-125.
Certain Felony ConvictionsCertain Felony Convictions – In cases where a driver is conviction for vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, or criminally negligent homicide while driving a motor vehicle. C.R.S. § 42-2-125.
Habitual Drunkard or Drug Addict DeterminationHabitual Drunkard or Drug Addict Determination – In cases where a driver is determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be an habitual drunkard or addicted to the use of illegal drugs. C.R.S. § 42-2-104.
Mental Disability or DiseaseMental Disability or Disease – In cases where a person has been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be mentally disabled or diseased. C.R.S. § 42-2-104.


Drivers License Denials

Drivers License Denials

In cases where a person is not legally competent to obtain a driver’s license or where an unlicensed driver is administratively determined to have committed or gets a conviction for certain traffic violations, the person may be denied eligibility to apply for driver’s license for a certain period of time (e.g. up to 1 year or longer) or until certain conditions are met, or both. These types of driver’s license restraints are classified as “Denials.”

Common Types of Drivers License Denials

There are 65+ Ways to Lose Your Drivers License — called Drivers License Restraints — and many of the ways to lose your license are categorized as Drivers License Denials. Following are some of the more common types of this restraint:

Drivers License Denials
Conviction or Administrative DeterminationConviction or Administrative Determination of Any Violation That Would Result in a Suspension or Revocation – In cases where a person is convicted or administratively determined to have committed any offense that would have resulted in a Revocation, a Point Suspension or an Administrative Suspension if the person had possessed a valid driver’s license. C.R.S. § 42-2-125.
Lack of Proof of IdentityLack of Proof of Identity – In cases where a person is unable to provide proof of his identity. C.R.S. § 42-2-125.
Lack of Proof of AgeLack of Proof of Age – In cases where a person is unable to provide proof of his age. C.R.S. § 42-2-125.
Illegal Presence in the United StatesIllegal Presence in the United States – In cases where a person’s presence in the United States is in violation of federal immigration laws. C.R.S. § 42-2-125.
Habitual Drunkard or Drug AddictHabitual Drunkard or Drug Addict Determination – In cases where a driver is determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be an habitual drunkard or addicted to the use of illegal drugs. C.R.S. § 42-2-104.
Mental Disability or DiseaseMental Disability or Disease – In cases where a person has been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be mentally disabled or diseased. C.R.S. § 42-2-104.
Certain Convictions Prior to the Age of 16Certain Convictions Prior to the Age of 16 – In cases where a person, while under the age of sixteen, is convicted or administratively determined to have committed any offense that would have resulted in a Revocation, a Point Suspension or an Administrative Suspension if the person had possessed a valid driver’s license. C.R.S. § 42-2-125.
Failure to Complete Certain RequirementsFailure to Complete Certain Requirements for Persons Under 18 Years Old – In cases where a person under the age of 18 years old fails to complete certain requirements involving instruction permits, driving logs, and driving experience. C.R.S. § 42-2-125.
Failure to Successfully Pass Driving ExaminationsFailure to Successfully Pass Driving Examinations – In cases where a person fails to successfully pass the driving examinations that are required during the driver’s license application process. C.R.S. § 42-2-104.
Failure to Furnish Proof of Financial ResponsibilityFailure to Furnish Proof of Financial Responsibility – In cases where a driver is explicitly required by DMV to prove financial responsibility after the driver is convicted or administratively determined to have committed certain offenses, such as causing an accident resulting in damages. C.R.S. § 42-2-104.


Drivers License Cancellation

Drivers License Cancellation

Drivers license Cancellations may occur due to non-driving related issues that arise involving the issuance of the driver’s license (e.g. when a driver pays for the driver’s license fee with a personal check for payment that “bounces” a few days after the license is issued). The driver’s license is cancelled until the administrative defects are cured. A Cancellation is not a driver’s license restraint per se; rather, it is cancellation of a person’s driver’s license which may be reissued by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) upon the satisfaction of the reason for the cancellation.

Common Reasons for Drivers License Cancellation

There are 65+ Ways to Lose Your Drivers License — called Drivers License Restraints — and many of the ways to lose your license are categorized as Drivers License Cancellations. Following are some of the more common reasons for this type of action:

Drivers License Cancellations
Lack of Valid PaymentLack of Valid Payment for the Drivers License – In cases where a person is issued a driver’s license and the payment for the license is made by a check that bounces.
Upon the Death of the SignerUpon the Death of the Signer for Drivers Under 18 Years Old – In cases where a driver is under the age of 18 and the death of the signer for the minor occurs. C.R.S. § 42-2-110.
Incorrect or Fraudulent InformationIncorrect or Fraudulent Information – In cases where a person provides inaccurate or fraudulent information on a driver’s license application or related paperwork. C.R.S. § 42-2-122.
Physical or Mental Disability or DiseasePhysical or Mental Disability or Disease – In cases where a person is unable to operate a motor vehicle because of a physical or mental disability or disease. C.R.S. § 42-2-122.
Permitted Use or Conviction for Unlawful or Fraudulent UsePermitted Use or Conviction for Unlawful or Fraudulent Use of a Drivers License or Records – In cases where a driver uses or permits another person to use a driver’s license, permit, title or license plates for unlawful or fraudulent purposes. C.R.S. § 42-2-122.
Failure to Register a VehicleFailure to Register a Vehicle as Required by Law – In cases where a driver fails to register a vehicle in Colorado as required by law. C.R.S. § 42-2-122.


Drivers License Restraints as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO)

Drivers License Restraints as a Habitual Traffic Offender

If a driver accumulates too many convictions for certain traffic violations, as detailed below, the driver’s license may be revoked or denied as an Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) for a mandatory period of five years. These types of driver’s license restraints are the most serious of all the driver’s license restraints.

Revocations or Denials as an Habitual Traffic Offender

The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will revoke or deny as an Habitual Traffic Offender a person’s driver’s license, as follows:

Drivers License Habitual Traffic Offender Revocations

If either one of the two following conditions occurs, the DMV will set a hearing to determine whether your driver’s license will be revoked or denied as an Habitual Traffic Offender for a period of five years. The driver cannot shorten the 5-year restraint period with “credit for good behavior” and there is no provision for any sort of Probationary “Red” License or other hardship license during the restraint period.

Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) RestraintHabitual Traffic Offender (HTO) Restraint (Condition #1) – Three (3) separate convictions of any of the following violations committed within a period of seven years:
a. DUI, DUI Per Se, DWAI, or Habitual User;
b. Reckless Driving;
c. Driving Under Suspension, Revocation or Denial;
d. Knowingly making a false affidavit or affirming falsely to a Colorado motor vehicle agency;
e. Vehicular assault or vehicular homicide, or manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide which results from the operation of a motor vehicle;
f. Aggravated motor vehicle theft; or
g. Conviction for failure to perform the duties required by law at an accident scene.
Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) RestraintHabitual Traffic Offender (HTO) Restraint (Condition #2) – In cases where a driver has too many convictions for moving violations occurring within a five year period, as follows: a. Ten (10) convictions of four or more point violations; or b. Eighteen (18) convictions of one to three point violations.

Convictions for Driving Under a Restraint of Habitual Traffic Offender

Driving Under a Restraint as an Habitual Traffic Offender is a very serious charge. A conviction will often result in a heavy fine and jail time of 6 months or more, depending upon the circumstances in your case.



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