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Colorado (Red) Restricted Driver’s License 

Posted on April 25, 2024 in

In Colorado, it is illegal to operate a vehicle if you have a suspended driver’s license. If you have a suspended or revoked driver’s license, you may be able to request that the court issue a red license for you, which may be given to you if you can show the reason for the court to approve it.

Driver’s licenses are most commonly suspended or revoked because of too many points added to your license for driving violations. If you are facing license suspension, it is critical to work with a Lakewood criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of James L. Finegan, P.C., to determine if you can be given driving privileges or have your license reinstated.

How You Get a Red License in Colorado

Under the state’s laws, any person over the age of 18 who accumulates more than 12 points on their license in a single year or accumulates more than 18 points within 18 months will face an automatic license suspension. When this happens, the Department of Motor Vehicles will send a letter to your home (the address on file with the issuing agency) to notify you that your license is suspended and why.

You will be told of a hearing for the license suspension in that letter. You need to attend that hearing. When you do, you will need to communicate with the Hearing Officer about why you believe you should be given a red license. To do that, you must show that:

  • You are not a threat to the public by being behind the wheel.
  • You have some type of real need to drive, such as needing to go to work or school because you have no other means of transportation.
  • You must agree to the specific restrictions put in place.

There is no guarantee that the court will provide you with a red license. When they do issue them, they typically limit a person’s driving for specific tasks, including:

  • School
  • Work
  • Getting groceries
  • Going to a medical appointment

If you are found to be driving with a red license for any other reason, it may be revoked, and you may not be allowed to drive legally in the state.

You May Not Know You Have a Suspension on Your License

If you have not updated your license in some time, especially your address, since you moved, you may not know how many points you have on your license or that it was suspended. You can request a copy of your driving records from the Department of Motor Vehicles to see how many points you have and the infractions that led to them.

You Can Fight Against Driving Violations

In many situations, it is possible to petition the court to remove points from your license if you can show they are not justified. That can be complex and typically is best done with the help of a criminal defense attorney.

If you have a red license, use it to the letter of the law. Over time, you may be able to reinstate your full driving privileges if you can prove that you are a safe driver.