Replacing Your Driver's License
Replacing Your Driver's License
Hi, I'm Charlie Roadman, Austin criminal defense attorney. And today we're going to talk about replacing your driver's license, which you generally have to do after a DWI arrest because the police will confiscate it, one, if you blow over the limit, 0.08, or, if you refuse to blow, or if you refuse to provide a blood specimen when they ask.
When I tell people they can go get a new driver's license at DPS, frequently people look at me like I'm crazy, like how can they do that? Is that allowed? And the answer is yes, you are allowed to go to DPS and get a new license. What you do is you say you lost it, which you did to those cops. DPS doesn't care. Even if they found out you were arrested for a DWI, they wouldn't stop you or arrest you or anything. They just shrug and go, "Okay, you're getting a new license."
People frequently ask me, "Can I do this online? Do I have to actually go to DPS?" And the answer is sometimes you can do it online if you have your audit number, which is this really 16 to 20 digit long number that's on your driver's license. But unfortunately, the police, since they took it, you don't have that audit number. And there's no way to get that. You can't call up and ask them for your audit number. So unless you have a picture of your driver's license with that audit number on it, you do have to go in person. Here's a link to the website where you can try to replace it online. And if you have all the information, that might be possible. But if not, you'll have to go in person.
The reason you need to get a new driver's license is because they never give you your old one back. Even when this is all done, they don't send you it back. So what they say is go get a new license. So what we advise is to go get one earlier, because we obviously use our driver's license in everyday things to buy stuff and checks or whatever. So not having a driver's license is lousy so there's no reason to wait. Plus, it helps us get an occupational license for you if you end up needing one in the future. When the police confiscate your driver's license after a DWI arrest, they do not put it in a little envelope to save to give back to you later. They take your driver's license and they do this with it. That's why you have to go get a new driver's license.
There are four locations in Travis County where you can get a new driver's license. One in Pflugerville, one in North Lamar, one northwest, one south. Here's a link, you can go and see the one closest to you. To get a new replacement driver's license, you need to bring either one primary document, which is like a passport, or two secondary documents, or one secondary document and two supporting documents. Here are lists of all those things, and you can go online and see what you have.
When you're going to get a replacement driver's license, you should definitely check in online in their inline, online system for DPS. And that way it tells you a specific time to show up. And once you get there, they'll help you within a few minutes and the whole process is much less painful. And here I'm going to show you how I did it. All right, I'm going to go get my new driver's license and I'm going to schedule a time online. So I go to Google and I type in DPS Texas inline, online. And so I get inline, online, and I'm going to go to the Austin North Lamar one. That's the closest to me here. And then I am going to get in line online here. And I'm going to replace my driver's license. So I am ready to go. Yes, put me in line. Okay, my phone number. I do have a Texas driver's license. They mean I've had one before the police took it away from me. So I'm going to replace. Okay. And yes, I'm prepared, put me in line. So I'm going to choose my time and we'll go from there. The application they have is online that you can just type it in and print it out. So I'll be ready when I get there.
I'm on my way to get my new driver's license. I'm bringing my passport, which is considered a primary document, meaning that's all I need to prove who I am. And they should give us a new driver's license. My appointment's at 2:39 so we'll see how it goes. All right, it may seem strange that one law enforcement agency takes your driver's license away and then another one is immediately willing to give it back to you. And this is how that happened. There was an article in The Statesman one day that said people who get DWIs get to keep their licenses. And some politician just ran to the capital and passed a law saying that when you get arrested for a DWI, the police have to physically take your license. So, the issue is that just taking your license doesn't change anything about the status of you driving. That's all determined by DPS's supercomputer. So just taking your license is really just sort of a malevolent thing that doesn't do anybody any good or it really serves no purpose other than to make a politician look like they're tough on crime. I've got my passport. I've got my application. Let's see how this goes. All right. We're C7025. We got here about what time?
2:30. All right. Let's see how this goes. I got my little license here. They're going to mail it to me, the real one, in 10 days. It took about 20 minutes and it cost $11. So I've been doing this 16 years and I've sent clients to get replacement driver's licenses for all of those years and I've never had any problems. So you're not going to have a problem unless you have a warrant for something else that I don't know about. But, if you did, it probably would've been caught when you got arrested. So you should go get a replacement license. If you have any further questions, just give us a call or check out our website, roadmanlaw.com. Good luck.