What is a Reinstatement?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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When someone is restored to his or her previous status after having that status revoked, this is known as reinstatement. Reinstatement can take a number of forms, from reinstatement after excommunication from the church to reinstatement of a driver's license after satisfying legal requirements. As a general rule, in order to be reinstated, someone must demonstrate that the situation which caused the status to be revoked in the first place has been remedied.

In the financial world, someone with accounts in bad standing may have privileges or the accounts themselves revoked. To be reinstated, the person with revoked privileges would need to get the accounts current and in good standing so that the restrictions could be lifted. For example, a bank might close a customer's account after a large overdraft, in which case the customer would need to pay the overdraft and deposit funds to have the account reinstated.

Privileges granted by the government, such as a license to operate a vehicle or a certificate of naturalized citizenship, can also be revoked. Vehicle licenses might be revoked for failure to pay the license fee, in which case it would be necessary to pay the fee and a fine in order to get a license reinstatement. Citizenship is usually revoked on the grounds of criminal activity or egregious acts, in which case it may not be possible to obtain reinstatement, although former citizens can certainly try.


Another form of reinstatement, insurance reinstatement, can occur when someone brings an insurance policy up to date. Insurance policies lapse when the premiums are not paid. To reinstate the policy, it is necessary to pay the premiums, and there may be a holding period in which someone is only covered for limited things before the full policy takes effect. This is designed to discourage people from allowing their policies to lapse and then renewing them when they think that they will be needed.

Excommunication from a church can be accompanied by reinstatement if people demonstrate genuine repentance and fulfill requirements set out by the church. Likewise, people stripped of their positions in other organizations can apply for reinstatement if they feel that the revocation of their privileges was in error, or that they have addressed the situation which led to their removal.

When applying for restoration of position or privileges, people should be aware that they will be asked to demonstrate reasons that they should be reinstated or provide proof that the revocation was erroneous, and that they may be obliged to pay fees.


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