Being a HTO or Habitual Traffic Offender

A habitual traffic offender (HTO) status is a designation used by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to revoke a person’s driver’s license for a period of five years. In appropriate cases, it is possible to lift a driver’s HTO revocation and reinstate driving privileges.

Under Section 322.264, Florida Statutes, a “habitual traffic offender” is defined as any person whose driving record, as maintained by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, shows that such person has, within a five-year period, accumulated:

(1) Three or more convictions of any or all of the following offenses:

  • Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
  • Any violation of Section 316.193 [DUI];
  • Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
  • Driving a motor vehicle while his or her license is suspended or revoked;
  • Failing to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death or personal injury of another; or
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle while his or her privilege is disqualified; or

(2) Fifteen convictions for moving traffic offenses for which points may be assessed as set forth in Section 322.27, Florida Statutes, including those offenses set forth above.

Under Section 322.271, Florida Statutes, a person whose driving privileges have been revoked due to designation as a Habitual Traffic Offender may, 12 months after the date of revocation, petition the Department of Motor Vehicles for reinstatement of driving privileges in the form of a Hardship or “Business Purpose Only” license.

If not eligible for a hardship or business purpose license, the driver must wait the full five years before petitioning again for restoration of his or her driving privileges. Even then, restoration and reinstatement do not occur automatically. In appropriate cases, there are steps that can be taken to restore your driving privileges without waiting the full year for a hardship license, or the full five years for a regular license. With an attorney, you may be able to contest the legality of the decision to classify you as a habitual traffic offender in the first place.

If you have received a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles notifying you of a Habitual Traffic Offender revocation, you may have options to save your license. Contact us today for your free consultation.

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