Bureau of Administrative Reviews – Tampa Office

You may request a hearing electronically by submitting an application through tampabar@flhsmv.gov. Hearing applications can be found at www.flhsmv.gov/forms.

The BAR is part of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (often called the DHSMV or DMV). The contact information for the Tampa BAR is listed as follows:

Tampa Office of the Bureau of Administrative Reviews DHSMV
2814 East Hillsborough Avenue
Tampa, FL 33610

After a DUI Arrest in Hillsborough County, you only have ten (10) calendar days to file a demand for a formal review hearing to contest the administrative suspension of your driver’s license.

Requesting the administrative suspension will also allow you to immediately obtain the 42-day driving permit to continue driving for hardship purposes while the suspension is being contested.

The Reorganization of the Bureau of Administrative Reviews

Big changes occurred recently at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) offices throughout Florida. The DHSMV closed 8 of the 16 offices. The remaining eight (8) BAR offices are now responsible for all Florida counties.

The restructuring plan was the result, in part, of a research report concerning the “Statewide Reorganization of the Bureau of Administrative Reviews” prepared for the DHSMV by a gubernatorial fellow, Joshua Winograd, Class XIII.

In addition to closing half of the BAR offices, the report found that hiring and training were inadequate. As a result, the report recommended that only “attorney hearing officers” should be conducting formal review hearings. As a result, the BAR in Tampa now has two “Assistant General Counsel” hearing officers.

Read the full report here:

Florida DHSMV “Statewide Reorganization of the Bureau of Administrative Reviews Research”

The recommendations are projected to save the State of Florida at least $1,500,000.00. The transition is expected to require one full year to complete. As a result, the DHSMV closed the following BAR offices – Dayton Beach, Fort Myers, Fort Pierce, Gainesville, Lantana, Melbourne, Panama City, and Winter Springs.

Both the Tampa BAR and the Clearwater BAR will remain open. The Tampa BAR handles DUI cases for Hillsborough County, Hernando County, Citrus County, Marion County, Pasco County, Polk County, and Sumter County.

Benefits of Contesting the Administrative Suspension

At Sammis Law Firm, we recommend that our clients demand a formal review hearing instead of waiving all their rights to contest the administrative suspension.

The only way to challenge the administrative suspension is by demanding a formal review hearing. If it is invalidated as a result of the hearing, the suspension is immediately removed from your driving record.

Fourteen (14) reasons exist for winning the formal review hearing, although the most common reason is that the arresting officer or breath test operator “failed to appear” at the hearing. Procedural mistakes or a lack of evidence might also cause the suspension to be invalidated.

If you don’t contest the suspension during a formal review hearing, you have NO chance of getting the suspension invalidated. If the suspension is not invalidated, it remains on your driving record for the next 75 years (even if you avoid a DUI conviction in court).

Other benefits of demanding the formal review hearing include being able to question all of the witnesses in your case under oath. That testimony becomes crucial in fighting your criminal charges in court.

Never waive your right to a formal review hearing until you have spoken to an experienced criminal defense attorney and understand the essential rights you are giving up.

Contact an experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Tampa, FL, at Sammis Law Firm. Call 813-250-0500.

Don’t Waive Your Rights for an Immediate Hardship

Alternatively, if you have no prior DUI arrest, you can waive all your rights, stipulate that you were DUI for administrative purposes, and immediately obtain a “hardship” license.

To request the waiver review hearing, you must use Form 72034, which provides the following:

  • I hereby request a review of my record for the purpose of determining my eligibility for the immediate reinstatement of my driving privilege on a restricted basis as provided in section 322.2615(1)(b)3, Florida Statutes.
  • I understand the restriction is for Business Purposes Only as defined in section 322.271, Florida Statutes, and I must pay a $25.00 filing fee, pursuant to section 322.21(9)(a).
  • I understand that the restricted license will be for the duration of the suspension period imposed under section 322.2615, F.S., unless subsequently revoked by the court, as follows:
    • Driving with an Unlawful Breath-Alcohol or Blood-Alcohol Level = 6 months suspension
    • Refusal to Submit to a Breath, Blood, or Urine Test = 1 year suspension
  •  Reinstatement of the driving privilege on a restricted basis as set forth herein is conditioned on statutory eligibility requirements, including but not limited to enrollment in DUI School.
  • I also understand that acceptance of the reinstated driving privilege as provided in section 322.271(7)(c), Florida Statutes, is deemed a waiver of my right to a formal or informal review under section 322.2615, Florida Statutes.

By seeking immediate reinstatement, you are agreeing that the notation of the DUI suspension will stay on your driving record for the next 75 years.

The only benefit of waiving all your rights during the “waiver review hearing” is getting a hardship license to avoid the possible 30 or 90-day hard suspension.

You must also appear at the Bureau of Administrative Review in Tampa, FL, to obtain a hardship license and waive your rights. When you go to the Bureau of Administrative Review Office for a hardship license after an administrative suspension, be sure to bring proof of enrollment in the DUI school and a 30 Day Traffic Search with you.

For the court-ordered suspension after a DUI conviction, you must bring proof of completion of the DUI School.

Do not drive yourself to the hardship hearing because the hearing officer will ask how you got to the office. Also, if the hearing officer observes you driving when your privileges are suspended or revoked, you will be denied a hardship license.

The bottom line is that if you can survive a 30 or 90-day hard suspension (as a worst-case scenario if you lose the formal review hearing), you might be better off demanding a formal review hearing.

DUI Formal Administrative Reviews in Tampa, FL

Florida Statute 322.2615 allows for the administrative suspension of a driver license when the driver:

  • has an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of .08 or above; or
  • the driver refuses to submit to a lawful breath, blood, or urine test.

Different rules apply to a person under 21 years old accused under Florida’s zero-tolerance laws or a commercial driver subject to disqualification of their CDL.

This article explains how hearing officers prepare and conduct formal review hearings under Chapter 15A-6 of the Florida Administrative Code and Section 322.2615, Florida Statutes.

Preparing for the Formal Review Hearing

To Prepare for the Formal Review Hearing, the hearing officer will locate the file and review the paperwork to determine whether the hearing will be held for a DUBAL (driving under a breath/blood alcohol level) or a REFUSAL suspension.

The hearing officer will identify potential issues pertaining to the scope of the review.

The hearing officer will review the pre-hearing statement for witnesses and any written requests for continuances or pre-hearing motions submitted by the driver or the attorney of record.

In a DUBAL case, the hearing officer will determine which instrument was used by looking at the Breath Test Affidavit and then verifying a current copy of the Agency Inspection in the file.

Conducting the Formal Review Hearing

The hearing officer will record the hearing and read the formal review script for the appropriate type of suspension (either a DUBAL or Refusal). If the subpoenaed witnesses are absent, the hearing officer will ask for proof of service from the attorney/driver and whether a written notice was provided to the state attorney.

The written notice to the state attorney must include a copy of the issued subpoena, and it must be served after the subpoena is issued but before it is served on the witness.

If a continuance is granted, the driver/attorney will be notified of the new hearing date by mail. If the continuance is granted, then the evidentiary portion of the hearing will not be closed.

The Order from the Formal Review Hearing

After all of the evidence is presented at the formal review hearing, the hearing officer will consider all of the evidence, the weight of the evidence, and the credibility of the testimony. If submitted, the hearing officer will also review the case law. The hearing officer will determine whether a preponderance of the evidence supports the suspension.

The hearing officer will type up the order if the review is sustained. The driver/attorney has thirty (30) days from the date of the Final Order to file a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Circuit Court.

Writ of Certiorari from the DUI Formal Review Hearing

After a DUI Formal Review Hearing, a Writ of Certiorari is issued when a court agrees to review the proceedings of a lower court or hearing officer to determine the following:

  • whether procedural due process was afforded;
  • whether the essential requirements of law have been observed; and
  • whether the administrative findings and judgment are supported by competent substantial evidence.

The driver/attorney must file the petition within thirty (30) days from the date the final order of suspension was rendered. Once the petition is received, the Office of General Counsel will review it.

The Office of General Counsel will request a copy of the contents of the case file from the appropriate BAR office. The Office of General Counsel will then verify the timeliness, elements, and substance of the issues.

The Circuit Court then decides to grant, deny, or remand the case. Copies are then supplied to the field office. If General Counsel believes the court erred in ruling, it may file a petition for writ of certiorari with the District Court of Appeals to review the Circuit Court’s decision.

If the review is invalidated, the suspension is deleted from the driving record. All correspondence will be deleted except for a notation of the filing fee being paid, the formal review hearing being held, and the temporary permit being issued.

Statistics on Hearings at Florida’s Bureau of Administrative Reviews

The Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) is authorized to conduct hearings and reviews to determine eligibility to reinstate driver license suspensions and revocations under Section 322.2615, Florida Statutes (F.S.), Section 322.2616, F.S., Section 322.271, F.S., and Section 322.64, F.S.

The Bureau of Administrative Reviews is a part of the Office of General Counsel. At last count, the BAR comprised 116 supervisors, hearing officers, and administrative secretaries.

These employees work in 16 offices separated into three regions around the State of Florida. From July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2015, BAR conducted 87,515 hearings and reviews and received $1,570,033 in BAR-related fees.

BAR conducts administrative reviews and hearings for a variety of issues. Most hearings are for issues related to driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level or refusal to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test. Hearings and reviews include but are not limited to the following:

  • Formal Review Hearings – allows the driver to challenge the suspension or revocation of their driving privilege. Counsel and witnesses may be present;
  • Informal Review Hearings – allows the driver to request a hearing officer review all materials in the case file to challenge the suspension or revocation of their driving privilege. Only the hearing officer is present during this review;
  • Hardship Hearings – allows the driver to request a business or employment-restricted license because the suspension or revocation of their driving privilege is causing undue hardship;
  • Show Cause Hearings – allows the driver an opportunity to present evidence why a certain entry or action should not appear on the driving record;
  • Financial Responsibility Hearings – determines whether the applicant is within the scope of the Financial Responsibility Law of the State;
  • Medical Hearings – available to those whose driving privilege has been suspended or revoked for medical reasons; and
  • Re-Examinations – generated when the Department receives a report that questions a person’s mental or physical ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

The orders issued by the BAR are strictly administrative. The ruling holds no merit against criminal proceedings. If a BAR hearing officer invalidates the suspension of a driver license, it is possible that the criminal court could revoke the license when the criminal proceeding is finalized.

BAR hearing officers are required to conduct comprehensive training. The training consists of two phases. The first covers hardship hearings. Two months after completion of phase one, hearing officers conduct phase two, which covers administrative reviews.

Each phase is approximately a week-long training session conducted by BAR supervisors. Additionally, in between phases, hearing officers assist in the hearing and review process to gain valuable knowledge and experience.

The BAR’s Review and Hearing Process

BAR receives arrest packets relating to the suspension and revocation of driver licenses from law enforcement agencies. Once received, BAR reviews the packets for accuracy and compliance. These packets are retained for a minimum of 120 days. The packets include all of the arrest documents (if received) and all BAR correspondence.

If a review or hearing is requested from the driver, BAR schedules the administrative case within the BAR database (GOBI). GOBI is an access database utilized by all BAR members. It serves as a tracking system for all hearings and reviews. BAR members can create, update, delete, and run reports for BAR cases within GOBI.

Section 322.2615, F.S., states that hearing officers must submit their final order within seven working days once an administrative review is held. Once the order is determined, hearing officers will update GOBI. The hearing officer will also update the Florida Driver License Information System (FDLIS), the official driving record.

All hearings and reviews with the driver or witnesses present are recorded and placed in network drives specific for each BAR office. BAR processes transactions for all administrative hearings and reviews, and they can process the fees for reinstatement of the driver’s license. Drivers requesting an administrative review must pay $25, while those requesting a hardship hearing must pay $12.

Drivers must pay the BAR fees before their hearings and reviews.

  • Section 322.2616, F.S., gives BAR the authority to conduct formal and informal reviews for drivers under the age of 21 who were arrested for driving with an unlawful blood- alcohol or breath-alcohol level, or refusal to submit to a test to determine their blood- alcohol or breath-alcohol level.
  • Section 322.271, F.S., gives BAR the authority to issue hardship driver licenses for business or employment purposes. A driver who had their license suspended can request a hardship hearing. By opting for a hardship license, the driver does not contest the suspension or revocation of their license. Instead, they petition the Department for a restricted-use license because of the hardship the loss of their driving privilege has caused them. Most hardship license applications are approved and the decision is given to the driver at the conclusion of the hearing. In order to apply for a hardship driver license, a driver must complete or enroll in a driver training course or driving under the influence program substance abuse course. Once completed, the information is updated by the course provider and electronically sent to the Department. Nightly, the driving record of attendees is updated and can be tracked within Department systems.
  • Section 322.64, F.S., gives BAR the authority to conduct formal and informal reviews for holders of commercial driver licenses that were disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle due to driving with an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level, or refusal to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test.

History of Florida Bureau of Administrative Reviews

In 1996, the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) was created from BDI. In 1997, Florida Statute 322.2616 was enacted, allowing for the administrative suspension of the driver’s license of any person under the age of 21 found to be driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with a breath alcohol level of 0.02 or higher.

Florida Statute 322.2615 was amended in 1996 to more clearly define the scope of the review for an administrative hearing and to define the authority of a hearing officer further to subpoena witnesses for an administrative review.

Criticism of the Bureau of Administrative Reviews

How can you receive a fair and impartial hearing from a neutral and detached hearing officer when they work for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV)? Good question.

The DHSMV is a party to administrative law cases involving suspending or revoking a Florida driver’s license. The Department’s Bureau of Administrative Review (B.A.R.) is also responsible for hiring, selecting, and assigning non-lawyer hearing officers to preside over the review hearings, receive testimony and evidence, determine the facts, and reach conclusions of law.

The dual role of the DHSMV creates concern among drivers who appear before a hearing officer. Many believe the dual role creates an actual impropriety or, at a minimum, the appearance of impropriety. The driver can argue that the combination of investigative and adjudicative functions in the DHSMV creates an unconstitutional risk of bias in an administrative agency.

Record Update from the Florida Bureau of Administrative Reviews

After the HSMV receives a notice of suspension, it will update the records on BarNet in the GOBI Database. (often called “the GOBI/BAR database”).

The Administrative Reviews website BarNet section allows the hearing officer to update the record date, DL number, record name, run daily reports, schedule events, or add a new hearing date. The hearing officer imputes the following information:

  • Date of Hearing:
  • Time of Hearing:
  • Hearing Officer:
  • Continued From and By (1st):
  • Continued From and By (2nd):
  • Continued From and By (3rd):
  • Continued From and By (4th):
  • Name of Driver:
  • DL Number:
  • Hearing Held:
  • Location:
  • Type of Hearing: (Formal Review Hearing, Information Review Hearing, Waiver Hearing)
  • Telephonic Hearing
  • Results of Hearing
  • Adm Sus Type
  • Date Auth/Denl Iss or FIN ORD MLD:
  • Hardship Hearing Type:
  • DUI Count:
  • Attorneys:
  • Reason for Invalidation:
  • Arrest / Suspension County:
  • Agency Type:
  • Agency Name:
  • Arresting Officers Name:
  • Writ Filed:
  • Overturn by Court:
  • Invalidated on a Motion to Correct Record:
  • Date Amended Order Issued:
  • Additional Information:

Picture Tampa Bureau of Administrative Reviews Office

Eight Locations of the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR)

* Unless otherwise noted, each office is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

City Address Zip Code Public Phone Number
BAR in Clearwater

for Charlotte, DeSoto, Highlands, Hardee, Manatee, Pinellas, Sarasota

Office email:


DUI Packets:


4585 – 140th Avenue, North, Suite 1002
33762-3806 (727) 507-4405
BAR in Tampa

for Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Marion, Pasco, Polk Sumter

Office email:


DUI Packets:


2814 East Hillsborough Avenue
Tampa, FL
BAR in Jacksonville

for Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Union, Volusia

Office email:


DUI Packets:


7439 Wilson Blvd.
32210-3522 (904) 777-2132
BAR in Lauderdale Lakes for Broward County

for Broward, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Palm Beach

Office email:


DUI Packets:



3718-3 W. Oakland Park Blvd
33311-1151 (954) 677-5801
BAR in Miami

for Collier, Miami-Dade, Monroe

Office email:


DUI Packets:


7795 W. Flagler Street, Suite 82C
33144-2369 (305) 265-3001
BAR in Orlando

for Brevard, Indian River, Lake, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, St. Lucie, Seminole

Office email:


DUI Packets:


4101 Clarcona-Ocoee Road
Suite #152
32810-4221 (407) 445-5581
BAR in Pensacola

for Bay, Escambia, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, Washington

Office email:


DUI Packets:


100 Stumpfield Road

32503-7450 (850) 494-5728
BAR in Tallahassee

for Calhoun, Dixie, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla


Office email:


DUI Packets:


2900 Apalachee Parkway
32399-0500 (850) 617-2449


Through a public records request, we obtained the training materials for hearing officers conducting formal review hearings and other hearings at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews Office in Tampa, FL, and the surrounding areas. Those training materials included:

  • 08 Under 21 Zero Tolerance DUI under 322.2616
  • 09 CDL Disqualifications
  • 10 DUI Blood Cases
  • DUBAL Disqualification Script (Revised 8-15)
  • DUBAL Refusal Disqualification Script (Revised 8-15)
  • DUBAL Suspension and Disqualification (Revised 8-15)
  • Example Proof of Service
  • OLD PIII-T7-PP BAR Forms
  • PI-T7-PPT Scheduling Formal Informal Reviews
  • PI-T8-PPT Rule 15A-6 Formal Reviews
  • PI-T10-H1 Hardship Reinstatement Eligibility Requirements Rev 02-01-2017
  • PI-T10-PPT Hardship Eligibility
  • PII-T2-HO1 Checklist of Codes-Hardships (rev 2-15-2017)
  • PII-T2-PPT Coding Administrative Hearings
  • PII-T3-HO1 Review Waiver Script
  • PII-T3-PPT Review Waiver
  • PIII-T2-PP Rule 15A-6 Overview (Rev 4-17)
  • PIII-T3-PP 11D-8 FAC (Rev 4-17)
  • PIII-T6-HO2 Checklist of Codes – Formals_Informals (Rev. 4-10-17)
  • PIII-T6-PP Conducting a Formal Review

This article was last updated on Friday, January 5, 2024.