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Having a revoked license is not the same as having a suspended license. When a driver's license is revoked, it is canceled. In other words, the driver must apply for a new license when the revocation period ends. This means that the driver must take the written test and driving test again and pay an application fee.

In contrast, when a license is suspended, a driver's license is only taken away for a period of time before it can be returned. Depending on why your license was suspended, you may need to take certain actions before you can drive legally again.

In New York, a driver's license can be suspended either definitely or indefinitely. If your license was suspended definitely, you cannot drive for a specified period of time. That period of time will have both a beginning and end date. Once the suspension period ends, you must pay a fee to terminate the suspension and make sure you have a valid driver's license before you can drive again. 

If your license was suspended indefinitely, you need to take a specific action to get your license back. Common reasons for indefinite suspensions include failing to pay a traffic ticket, failing to answer a summons for a moving violation, or failing to file a car accident report. In these examples, you must take pay the fine, respond to the summons, or file the report before your license will be reinstated.

Regardless of the reason for your driver's license suspension, you should have received notice from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. This notice will tell you what specific steps you need to take to get your license reinstated.

It is important that you take those steps as soon as possible. Driving while your license is suspended can lead to serious consequences, including fines of up to $5,000, an extension of your suspension period, or even time in jail.

If you have been charged with driving with a suspended license, you should contact an attorney experienced in traffic violations. The attorney can help you understand your rights and determine the best course of action.

Source: DMV.NY.gov, "Suspensions and revocations," Accessed March 4, 2015

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