Letter from the Missouri Department of Revenue

Did you get a letter from the Missouri Department of Revenue?

Chances are, if you did, you did not like what it said. If it relates to your driving license, here are a few pointers:


Do not ignore the letter.

Most letters from the Department of Revenue are not full of good news. If you have perfect conduct, the only contact you have from DOR about your driving privileges is a post card concerning the need to renew your license.

If you start to accumulate points, or are convicted of a few types of offenses, you get letters, usually threatening or notifying you of an upcoming problem.

If you read these carefully, which, unfortunately most of my clients do not, you will see that buried in the last couple of lines is a statement advising that if you do nothing, the suspension/revocation/denial will go into effect unless you file a timely appeal. Not only that, by design or accident, these letters are very wordy but say very little. So, you read them, but still don’t know what they mean or what you should do.

Contact an attorney who understands the process.

At the DOR, I dealt with numerous case types that competent attorneys would file on behalf of their clients (usually in response to letters). The scales are tipped in favor of the DOR, and against those who might ignore their mail. In the US, to have your license taken away, the government has to provide you with notice, and an opportunity for a hearing. If you ignore your mail, often you will lose your rights to contest the taking of your license at hearing. Indeed, the hearing might not take place at all. The end result can be a long wait until you can get your license back, having to take part in certain programs to get your license back, and costly periods where you must carry SR-22 insurance, and without getting the chance to say your piece.

Take action right away.

In order to do something about your letters and get an attorney on the case, you need to give yourself some time. This is not something that you want to rush around doing with 3 days left until the deadline. Being rushed limits the time you can take to consider if the attorney you want to hire is right for you. Also, being rushed can lead to poorer decisions. I do suggest that folks start looking for an attorney very soon after realizing that they need one. Cases do not have to be filed at the last minute, so, the sooner you hire someone, the sooner you can start to have piece of mind.

I recently answered this question on a public forum where people ask lawyers questions. I also answer this question for callers once per week.

You can lose your license for 10 years in Missouri if you get convicted of DWI, DUID, or BAC in Missouri or many other states three times in your life. To be clear, any combination of the three conviction types, totaling three received in a lifetime, will result in Missouri denying you a driver’s license for 10 years.

You can seek what is called a “hardship license”, or to be technical and use the name in the Missouri statutes, a “limited driving privilege,” from a circuit court in Missouri if you file and pursue the correct type of case, and you are not ineligible.

Before I joined the DOR in 2013, the law was that, if you had a 10-year denial, you had to do a “hard walk” for 3 years before you could be eligible for a hardship. That hard walk was done away with before I got there. Now, as then, a person is eligible for LDP from “day zero” of such a denial (keep in mind that there are many eligibility requirements, but waiting 3 years is no longer among them).

At DOR, I dealt with dozens of open LDP cases at a time, and played my part at the hearings at a rate of about 10 per month. Of all the cases I handled, I only saw 2 unrepresented people successfully get their case on the dockets and before a judge. However, because neither I nor the judge could advise these people of what the law means, or what they should do next, they never actually had a hearing, and thus never got their LDPs.

And that is a perfect losing record for the unrepresented.

I know how to screen my clients for eligibility (so as not to waste their time and money), and how to get them a hearing before the judge as quickly as anyone (so as not to waste their time and money). Lawyers have a bad reputation for wasting clients’ time and money. Because I know exactly how to pursue these LDP cases, I can help people and and get them on the road as soon as possible.

Contact me to see if we should file your hardship case.

I also discuss the reinstatement process in another post, and give a few thoughts on getting ready for an LDP or reinstatement on this site.

Missouri expungement law is a fast-changing area, with many positive changes set to go into effect in January 2018. Anyone with a record would probably like to know if their history can be “cleaned up.” Many people contact me wanting to know if they can get a DWI expunged. Expungement of a first-time DWI conviction in Missouri is possible.

If you are convicted of DWI in Missouri, you might be eligible for an expungement of the conviction if at least 10 years have passed since the conviction and this conviction is the only DWI you’ve had. Keep in mind that the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that these expungements can purge a DWI conviction, a license suspension, and/or a refusal from a driver’s record, all three of which may have arisen from a single arrest.

Some things in your history or “status” make it impossible to expunge a DWI according to the current law. You would not be eligible for expungement if you currently have, or have had, a commercial driver’s license (CDL), or have any later/subsequent or currently pending (in law-speak) “alcohol-related enforcement contacts.” Such contacts include refusals, alcohol-related license suspensions or revocations, DWI charges, or the like.

An example: if you had a DWI conviction 10 years ago, but had a refusal 7 years ago from a separate arrest, neither can be expunged. If you only had a DWI conviction 10 years ago, you’re likely to be able to have it removed.

Depending on your driving record, first time DWI expungement may mean the difference between getting a job you want, housing you like, financial aid you need, etc., and not.

Having your first-and-only DWI expunged is a necessity to some who have been wrestling with the after-affects of that one mistake. It might be a symbolic victory over the discretions of a younger self. Others have all but forgotten that this conviction is on their record, but now consider it a good idea to take up before the law, or their life’s plans, change.

I will speak to anyone about expungement, briefly, free of charge. I provide a low-cost, experienced expungement “check-up” and full consultation to those who want to see if they should go ahead with a full expungement case. If there is anything in the checks that makes you ineligible for expungement, that is where we stop. This is to save you time, money, and disappointment. Of course, the cost of the check-up is applied towards the total fees of a full expungement case if you chose me to help you.

I dealt with these cases on the “other side,” representing the Department of Revenue’s interest in court. I know how these cases work, and how to do them correctly.  You owe it to yourself to call an experienced DWI and driving privilege lawyer like myself in order to discuss whether or not expungement is possible.

You can lose your license for numerous reasons, including:

Administrative DWI suspensions and revocations (BAC result), administrative hearing and bench trials de novo
Refusal to submit to chemical test
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID)
Zero tolerance violations (for underage drivers)
Mandatory Insurance, Security suspension, and failure to file an accident report
Medical fitness to drive citation (medical/physical exam, written/skills test)
Limited driving privileges during denials of 1-10 years
Child support suspensions for failure to pay
Ignition interlock device tempering and failure to maintain
Failure to Appear suspensions
License issuance denials
Out-of-state interaction with Missouri license status
Missouri issues interacting with out-of state license status
Points suspensions (alcohol and non-alcohol related)

If you get a letter from the DOR about your license, call Cameron!

Those arrested in Missouri for DWI face both criminal charges and civil “sanctions” as a result.

Many people are at least somewhat familiar with court procedure and will continue their criminal case until the court denies further attempts.

You must keep in mind that in Missouri, the Department of Revenue can suspend or revoke your license starting as soon as 15 days after your arrest for DWI.

If you received a notice like this one (http://dor.mo.gov/forms/2385.pdf) when you were arrested, or even if you are not sure if you did or not, you must act quickly to preserve your right to appeal the administrative suspension.

Having an attorney with the experience to appeal your suspension can mean the difference between having a chance at keeping your license, and losing it without the right to appeal.


Selecting which attorney will defend your DWI is an important decision.

Keep in mind these tips:

  • Beware of anyone whose practice areas lump “traffic” in with “DWI”. Why? These two categories of problem have almost nothing to do with each other when examined by an experienced attorney. Approaching the handling of a speeding ticket is vastly different to the approach to defending a DWI. Placing them in the same category may mean you need to keep looking.
  • Beware of anyone says “…and you will lose your license for a period of time.” Why? An experienced and client-focused attorney will always tell you that keeping your license is at least a possibility! Being told that you WILL lose your license is a clue that you may need to keep interviewing attorneys.



Starting January 1, 2017, the requirement that a petitioner for a court-ordered limited driving privilege be driving-related-felony free will be adjusted.

The “look-back” will be limited to the 5 years immediately preceding the petition.

If you have been under a 10 year denial, and haven’t been able to get an LDP, you may become eligible once the law changes.

Contact me today to see if you need to file your petition for limited driving privileges.

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