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California DMV - Suspended License Information


Suspended license information for California. A suspended license can be troublesome for your life as well as for your legal record. Learning how to handle a suspended driver's license will ensure as little trouble as possible.

If you have a suspended license, chances are good that you know what you did wrong. But for those in the audience who are not as naughty on the road as you are, they might want to find out what California thinks about bad drivers - and how it punishes them.

Why Might My Driver's License be Suspended?

Know that while getting your license suspended sounds as though you are some sort of coke dealer, it doesn't actually take a lot to get the California cops to rip that hot license out of your hands. Here are some of the common things that will get your driver's license take away: excessive moving violations, driving without insurance, refusal of sobriety test when pulled over, DUI, driver negligence, driving with a suspended license (okay, it will just be suspended more if you do this), driving without a license, reckless driving history, medical conditions, physical or psychological limitations, and other legal things you've done wrong. For example, if you haven't shown up for a court day, you might get your license suspended.

What Do I Do If My License is Suspended?

Nothing. Well, sort of. When your license is suspended, you can not drive until it is reinstated. So, you need to surrender your actual license to the DMV office or you can mail it to:

Driver License Inquiries
Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 942890
Sacramento, CA 94290-0001

You might be able to get a restricted license - like to go to work. To find out if you can, go to the DMV office to apply for this driver's license.

When your license is un-suspended, or restored, you will get a letter in the mail and you will learn what you need to do to get your driving privileges back.

How Can I Appeal a License Suspension?

You might want to beg the police officer or bribe them with millions of dollars. But that isn't effective. Or legal. So, instead, you might want to request a hearing in court so that you can explain your situation. The DMV chief administrator or an administrative law judge will hear your case and decide whether your license should stay suspended.

Or if you have a suspended license and you're afraid of points accumulating, you can sign up for a driver's education class - a.k.a. Driver Improvement Program.

What Steps Do I Need to Take to Restore My License?

Once you get the letter of freedom in the mail - also known as the Notice of Restoration, you will need to collect $125 to send to the DMV (or less, depending on your age and reason for suspension). Then you need to apply for a license renewal, just as you would if it were expiring. In some cases, you will need to pay a reissue fee, show proof of insurance to the DMV (fill out the form SR-22) and go through a probationary period. There might be court fines to pay as well. If your license was suspended for a medical condition, you need to provide documentation that says you're clear to drive (a DS 326 form). When you had your license suspended because of a DUI, you will need to fill out a DL 101.

Know too that you're under probation for a year after having your license suspended, so don't do anything stupid in that time period or you just have to start this whole process over.

Choose Your State

Q:How long does it take for a suspended license to be removed from your record in CA?

A:The duration of your license remaining suspended will depend upon the severity of your offense/violation. For example, you may get your license back in a few days if you were caught speeding or crossing a stop signal. On the other hand, if you have been arrested for DUI or any reckless driving, you may have to re-take the driving test and apply for a new license.