Navigating Maryland MVA’s Response to Vehicle-Related Violations
Facing the aftermath of a vehicle-related law violation in Maryland can be daunting, but it’s crucial to understand the steps that follow a conviction and the options you have. Maryland’s District Court works in tandem with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to ensure that appropriate measures are taken in response to such violations. Here’s a breakdown of what happens and what options you have if you receive a notice of suspension or revocation from the MVA.
Maryland’s Points System
Upon being convicted of a vehicle-related law violation, the Maryland District Court notifies the MVA, which then applies points to your driver’s record based on the severity of the violation. The total number of points accumulated over a two-year period prior to the violation determines the MVA’s subsequent actions:
3 to 4 points: The MVA sends a warning letter.
5 to 7 points: The MVA requires enrollment in a Driver Improvement Program (DIP).
8 to 11 points: The MVA sends a notice of suspension.
12 or more points: The MVA sends a notice of revocation.
Responding to a Notice of Suspension
If you receive a Notice of Suspension due to accumulating 8, 9, 10, or 11 points, your response options depend on whether your points are for alcohol or drug-related violations:
1. Accept the Suspension: You can choose to accept the suspension, in which case you must return your driver’s license to the MVA before the suspension date indicated. You can return it by mail or in person to any MVA office or the Administrative Adjudication Division (AAD) in the Glen Burnie MVA office. Returning it late could extend the suspension period. If you no longer have the license, a written explanation or Certified Statement form is necessary.
2. Request a Hearing: If you believe the suspension should not be imposed, you can request a hearing by completing the notice and paying the filing fee within 15 days of the notice date. The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) will conduct the hearing, with details provided on the notice.
3. Ignition Interlock Program: For certain cases (primarily involving alcohol related offenses in which a Breathalyzer is refused of a BAC of .15 or greater is recorded), you can apply for the Ignition Interlock Program to avoid suspension.
Notice of Revocation – Responding
For those who accumulate 12 or more points, a Notice of Revocation is issued. The options vary based on whether you have alcohol or drug-related convictions:
1. Accept the Revocation: Similar to suspension, you can accept the revocation by returning your license before the indicated date. Returning it late might extend the revocation period. A written explanation or Certified Statement form is necessary if you no longer have the license.
2. Request a Hearing: If you want to contest the revocation, request a hearing by completing the notice and paying the filing fee within 15 days. The Office of Administrative Hearings will conduct the hearing, with details provided on the notice.
3. Ignition Interlock Program: Just as in the suspension scenario, you can choose the Ignition Interlock Program to retain driving privileges.
For those facing suspension or revocation, it’s important to understand the process of reinstating your driver’s license. Specific instructions and requirements are provided in the notice you receive.
In conclusion, when dealing with notices of suspension or revocation from the MVA after a vehicle-related law violation, you have a range of options to consider. Carefully assess your situation, your driving record, and the specifics of the violation, then choose the path that aligns with your circumstances and goals. Whether it’s accepting the consequences, seeking a hearing, or exploring the Ignition Interlock Program, understanding your options empowers you to make informed decisions and work toward maintaining your driving privileges.