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Can The Police Officer Take My License Away?

In Tennessee, police officers can take away your driver’s license if it has been suspended, revoked, or canceled. If you have a canceled, revoked, or suspended driver’s license, you are legally required to immediately surrender to the Commissioner of Safety your driver’s license and surrender to the Commissioner of Revenue your vehicle registration. If you fail to surrender your license and registration to the relevant authorities, they can order police officers to confiscate them.

How Do I Surrender My Driver’s License?

If you had a valid driver’s license when your license was revoked or suspended, you are legally obligated to surrender it immediately or within 20 days of the suspension or revocation. Otherwise, the police can confiscate your license. You can comply with this requirement by:

  • Mailing your license to the Financial Responsibility Unit.
  • Surrendering your license at a Tennessee Highway Patrol Office or Driver Service Center office. You will receive a receipt that you will need to copy and send to the Financial Responsibility Unit.
  • Submitting a receipt that you surrendered your license to the court or that a police officer confiscated your license.

If you lost your driver’s license or if it was stolen, you must submit a statement detailing exactly how you lost your license or how it was stolen.

Why is My Driver’s License Revoked or Suspended?

Your driver’s license may be suspended for:

  • Truancy
  • Failing to answer a traffic citation
  • Committing frequent traffic violations

Your driver’s license may be revoked for:

  • Failing to pay child support
  • Not having proof of financial responsibility
  • Failing to pay court fees within a year of the conclusion of your criminal case
  • Getting convicted of certain crimes, such as DUI, underage consumption, driving with a suspended or revoked license, violating implied consent laws, drag racing, fleeing from an accident scene, vehicular homicide, and vehicular assault, among others.

It is also crucial to note that if you have an out-of-state driver’s license, the authorities, following the Driver’s License Compact, must notify the issuing state of any violation you committed in Tennessee. Consequently, the issuing state may revoke or suspend your license based on the qualifying violation.

An Important Note on DUI and Driver’s License Confiscation and Suspension in Nashville

The police cannot confiscate your driver’s license if they stop you due to a suspected DUI. They cannot also revoke or suspend your driver’s license for refusing to undergo a breath, blood, or urine test or if your BAC (blood alcohol content) is higher than the legal limit. However, the Tennessee Department of Safety will likely suspend or revoke your license if you get convicted of a DUI, which is just one of many harsh consequences that come with a DUI conviction.

Reach Out to a Skilled Nashville Criminal Defense Attorney Now

If you have been arrested or need legal guidance on a criminal charge you’re facing, our Nashville criminal defense attorney can help. Get in touch with Andrew C. Beasley, PLLC, and arrange your free case consultation with our Nashville criminal defense attorney by calling our office at 615-620-5803 or sending us an online message.

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