Getting Back Your Driver’s License

If you were involved in a car accident and didn’t have insurance, often the other person’s insurance company will try to have your driver’s license suspended. Usually, you can only get back your license by paying the judgment to the insurance company. These are often called “subrogation” claims. Subrogation claims are handled by the Financial Responsibility Section of the county. If you are on Oahu, they are located at 1199 Dillingham Blvd, A101.

But bankruptcy gives you another way to clear the debt. Once you receive your bankruptcy discharge, you no longer owe the judgment, so the Financial Responsibility Section has to release your license. They normally require a certified copy of the discharge order, available from the bankruptcy court. Cost for a bankruptcy is usually cheaper than paying the judgment and can wipe out other debts in addition to restoring your driver’s license.

One unsettled issue is if the creditor or the Financial Responsibility Section needs to release your driver license at the time of the bankruptcy filing. This is a bigger issue for Chapter 13 since they typically do not get their discharge for 3-5 years.

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