A common question that arises from clients is whether they can get their driver’s license back if it has been revoked after a car accident. The topic of whether you can discharge debts related to a car accident bankruptcy has been previously discussed by Grant McNutt in his blog post from December 18, 2014. He discussed that normally you can discharge debts arising from a car accident. Some common reasons a driver may lose their driver’s license after a car accident would be because they did not have insurance and/or were unable to pay to repair the other person’s car. Also, many times those involved have been hurt in the accident and there are medical bills and personal injury claims.
Tennessee Financial Responsibility Act
In Tennessee, the Tennessee Financial Responsibility Act (TFRA) was enacted to encourage Tennessee drivers to be financially responsible for damages caused in an automobile accident. A driver’s license is subject to revocation if the debtor violates the law. If you have been involved in an accident and the State of Tennessee has revoked your driver’s license, TFRA has an exception under TCA § 55-12-106(15) that a discharge in bankruptcy will permit you to have your license reinstated. In addition to the bankruptcy filing, the law also requires a reinstatement fee to be paid and the individual to pass a driver license examination.
As Grant McNutt pointed out in his prior blog post, if the car accident was the result of a DUI or is a willful or malicious injury accident, those debts cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy. However, if your car accident was not one of those two kinds, you can take care of the debt related to your car accident and also have your license reinstated once you file a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy. Call one of our Bond and Botes offices nearest you to get a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney.
Heather Ellis Banks is an Associate Attorney at the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Knoxville, Tennessee. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Memphis, Cecil.C. Humphreys School of Law. She has been helping consumers to navigate through the bankruptcy process since 2005. Read her full bio here.