Can I Use Bankruptcy to Get My Driver’s License Back?

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Can you use bankruptcy to get your driver’s license back?  Sometimes.  Keep reading.

A driver’s license can be restored if the license was suspended because of an unpaid judgment against an uninsured motorist under Minnesota Statutes, §171.182 IF the judgment is dischargeable under the Bankruptcy Code. Most judgments which result from automobile accidents will be discharged. However, some judgments may not be discharged. If the judgment was for a death or personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle (or vessel or aircraft) while intoxicated, the judgment cannot be discharged under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. If the debt were found to be for willful and malicious injury by the debtor it also could not be discharged in a Chapter 7 case. In other unusual situations, the debt may not be discharged. [See What Debts Cannot Be Discharged]

A driver’s license can NOT be restored if the purpose of the suspension, revocation or cancellation is to keep an intoxicated driver off the road or if the license was pulled because of one of the reasons for suspension cited under Minnesota law such as the driver is a “habitual” reckless or negligent driver or incompetent to drive a motor vehicle as determined in a judicial proceeding. See Minnesota Statutes, §171.18.

The right to drive can NOT be restored if a driver’s license is suspended because the debtor is in arrears on payment of child support or spousal maintenance (alimony) (Minnesota Statutes, §518A.65). The domestic support obligation will not be discharged. However, a Chapter 13 Plan may provide for payment of all or part of such obligations and may lead to restoration of a driver’s license under Minnesota Statutes, §§518A.65 and 518A.69.

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