License Restoration Questions - Driving Habits

Have you driven while your license was revoked/suspended?

Do you have any traffic offenses such as Reckless driving? Driving while your license was suspended?

Do you have any pending or outstanding traffic matters?

Driving Questions Explanation

Questions similar to the above sample questions ask whether or not you have violated the terms of your license revocation. Clearly, it is safe to assume that any tickets you received when you were not allowed to drive is an indication that you are unable and unworthy to be given any form of driving privilege. Your decision to drive, it may be suggested, is also an indication that you are unable to follow the law. There is simply no motivation for the hearing officer to allow you to drive where there is clear proof that you have decided to do so anyway, without legal authority. Your decision to drive while revoked or suspended also calls into question the truth of any and all answers that you have provided to the hearing officer, or will provide. You will lose all credibility before the Secretary of State if you have driven in violation of an order they have imposed. After all, the hearing officer is a sort of safeguard against anyone willing and ready to break the law while driving. A disregard for that safety by continuing to drive while prohibited from doing so may only thwart any additional efforts you may make to secure your right to drive.

Questions regarding your current driving record are meant to measure whether, despite your drunk driving offenses, you are a safe driver. Offenses such as reckless driving, careless driving, and suspended license offenses are of particular concern to the hearing officer. As such, you should discuss any special circumstances regarding the nature of these offenses; you must politely and fairly discuss whey they should have never appeared on your driving record. For example, losing control of your vehicle on a small patch of black ice may form a reasonable explanation for why you feel your conviction for reckless driving was excessive. Please note, however, that in attempting to explain away any marks on your driving record, you must be careful not to justify your actions or altogether deny responsibility for the offense. For instance, an explanation for your reckless driving offense should also be cushioned with the understanding that, in bad weather, it was still your obligation to drive carefully – even more carefully than you thought you were.

You driving record in general should be reviewed to ensure you anticipate any questions posed by the Secretary of State. There may be periods of time in which you received multiple traffic tickets. If that time frame simultaneously corresponded with instances in your work or personal life that caused you stress, it may be helpful to indicate that, in that limited instance, something in your personal life interfered with your ability to concentrate on other important matters. In so doing, you should also offer a truthful explanation regarding how that particular element of stress has been eliminated or alleviated by various changes in circumstances. If, for example, you received several traffic infractions at a time you were also enduring a bitter divorce, it may be helpful to suggest that the divorce has now been finalized, and that the stress you were forced to endure has helped you become a more centered and responsible individual.

You may be surprised to find a hearing officer asking questions that carry seemingly obvious responses. Do not be fooled. Obvious questions may have obvious answers; however, your credibility in answering those questions will be evaluated by the hearing officer. Do you waiver or seem anxious when the hearing officer asked whether you have driven on a suspended license? Do you seem concerned or afraid when answering such questions? You cannot and should not fake sincerity when answering such questions. Instead, you should endeavor to simply answer these questions honesty and without complication. A hearing officer, like a judge or jury, has the obligation of assessing your credibility and trustworthiness. To do so, a hearing officer not only listens to your answer. They also take note of how you answer, and whether or not your tone, body language, and voice inflections assist them in determining whether you are being truthful in your responses. You should not underestimate the simplicity of these questions and endeavor to be as honest and forthright in answering them.

As an aside, it may also be helpful to note that certain points have “fallen off” your driving record. While your ability to once again drive does not necessarily hinge on this issue, it may be helpful to briefly mention any positive remarks in this regard, since it demonstrates a renewed determination to learn from the mistakes of the past and be a safer driver in the future. While your driving record will be viewed as a whole, the time period corresponding to your period of suspension or revocation will be particularly scrutinized. You may obtain a copy of your driving record by contacting the secretary of state. You will be asked to fill out a form and pay a nominal fee for your record. If you request your driving record in advance of the hearing, you may be able to carefully study it to anticipate questions and account for any “red flags” that may appear on it.