The only accurate way to determine the exact reason for the license suspension is to go down to the Alabama Department of Public Safety Driver License Division (Reinstatement Unit) located at Public Safety headquarters at 301 S. Ripley St. in Montgomery and request to speak to a reinstatement specialist. Don't bother to call - the phone lines are nearly always busy.
You will need your driver license number or some other form of ID. The resinstatement specialist will pull up your file electronically and give the exact reason for the suspension and the method to settle the suspension.
From what appears in your post, you had an accident and failed to post proof of financial responsibilty - normally an automobile insurance policy in effect at the time of the accident. Under the Code of Alabama, the Director of Public Safety is required to suspend the driver license of any person involved in an accident who fails to post proof of financial responsibility for a period of two years from the date of the accident. This corresponds to Alabama's general statute of limitations for tort actions. If a claim is not filed at the end of two years, the licensee is eligible to have the driver license reinstated upon payment of the reinstatement fee ($100). If, however, a claim was filed and the judgment was unsatisfied (commonly, by virtue of a default judgment), the suspension remains in effect for ten (10) years, subject to one additional re-filing, or possibly as long as twenty (20) years from the date of the accident. The judgment must be satisfied before the Director can release the suspension.
There are two ways to settle an unsatisfied judgment - a conditional release where "installment" payments are made to the judgment holder (usually, an insurance company) or general release where the entire judgment or a negotiated lesser amount is paid in full at one time.
If the suspension order is a result of an unsatisfied judgement - usually a default judgment entered by the circuit court - you will not be eligible to obtain an Alabama driver license until the judgment is satisfied. The Director cannot issue you a driver license until a release has been issued by the judgment holder.
Your best course of action is to hire an attorney to attempt to negotiate a reduced settlement and to pay off the judgment in one single payment - this is termed in the law an "accord and satisfaction."
You normally have two options. Bankruptcy,(if bankruptcy is an option) or arranging some type of payment arrangement with the plaintiff or his/her insurance company. They then provide the agreement to the state and they allow you to get a license.
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.
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