Colorado DMV

The Colorado DMV is the state agency that administers vehicle registration and driver's licenses in Colorado. Some traffic violations and criminal convictions have an impact on your driving record. After a ticket, criminal conviction, or DUI arrest, the DMV may suspend or revoke your license. You have to meet specific requirements in order to have your license reinstated by the DMV. In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:

1. What is the Colorado DMV?

The DMV is the Division of Motor Vehicles, which falls under the Department of Revenue in Colorado. The DMV handles vehicle registration, driver certification state identification, and driver's license services for the state of Colorado.

The DMV also enforces restrictions on drivers for violations of state laws and regulations. This includes suspension, revocation, cancellation, and denial of licenses for traffic and criminal violations. The DMV also presides over administrative hearings for driver's who want to challenge their driver's license suspension or revocation.

2. When does the DMV suspend or revoke a license?

The DMV can suspend or revoke or suspend your license for a number of reasons, including criminal arrests, criminal convictions, traffic violations, or violating a court order. The DMV may revoke your driver's license for:

3. Why does the DMV revoke your license after a DUI?

The DMV revokes a driver's license if they have a chemical test showing their blood to be over the legal limit. The DMV will revoke a driver's license for a DUI arrest or refusing to submit to a chemical test. Unlike other criminal offenses, the revocation begins after a DUI arrest or chemical test refusal, instead of after a conviction.1

The license revocation period depends on the type of DUI violation and the driver's DUI history.2


License Revocation Period for a 1st Violation

License Revocation Period for a 2nd Violation

License Revocation Period for a 3rd or Subsequent Violation

DUI 0.08% BAC or higher

9 months

1 year

2 years

Underage DUI over 0.02% BAC

3 months

6 months

1 year

Commercial DUI 0.04% BAC or higher

1 year

Lifetime Revocation


Refuse to Submit to a Chemical Test

1 year

2 years

3 years

Commercial drivers can also face a lifetime revocation for failing to submit to a chemical test.

4. How do you appeal a license suspension?

The DMV provides a hearing process to challenge a license suspension from a DUI or refusing a chemical test. A person who has received notice of a revocation must make a written request for a review of the DMV's determination at a hearing. The request must be submitted within seven (7) days after the person receives notice of the revocation. If the driver does not submit a written request within 7 says, he or she has waived the right to a hearing.3

A DMV hearing is to be scheduled within 60 days of the request for a hearing.4 DMV hearings are administrative hearings and less formal than a typical court hearing. You can have an attorney represent you during the DMV hearing, although there is no right to an attorney if you cannot afford one. During the hearing, the hearing officer will review the evidence, including any testimony, and render a decision on your license suspension.

5. How do I get an ignition interlock license after a DUI?

If your licensewas revoked because of a DUI, you may be able to get an ignition interlock restricted license. An ignition interlock device (IID) is installed on your vehicle which prevents the vehicle from operating if the driver submits a breath test containing alcohol. The IID requires a breath to start the car, and rolling samples to continue driving. If the IID detects alcohol, the vehicle will not start and the device will register a failed sample.

After a first DUI violation, you may be eligible to get an ignition interlock device restricted license after serving one month of your revocation period. If your license was revoked for refusing a chemical test, you must serve 2 months of your revocation period. An IID restricted license will allow you to drive with an IID on your car.

Drivers who want to know if they are eligible to participate in the early reinstatement IID program should contact Driver Services at 303-205-5613.

6. How can I get my license back after a suspension or revocation?

You can get your license reinstated if you have satisfied all the requirements for your license revocation. This includes serving all the time required under restraint on all driving restraint actions. You may be able to get a restricted license before your revocation period ends if you are eligible for an IID restricted license and have an IID installed in your vehicles.

If your license was revoked because you were convicted of a DUI, you have to complete the Application for Reinstatement, submit a reinstatement fee of $95, have an SR22 certificate of financial responsibility for one to three years, and complete a level 1 alcohol education course.

Call us for help...

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If you have been arrested for a DUI or lost your license because of a criminal conviction in Colorado, please contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group. 

Legal References

  1. C.R.S. 42-2-126
  2. C.R.S. 42-2-126(3)
  3. C.R.S. 42-2-126(7)
  4. C.R.S. 42-2-126(8)

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