California DMV 1650 Waiver to Complete DUI School Out-of-State

A 1650 waiver is a request by a non-California resident, who was convicted of DUI in California, for the DMV to wave its DUI program requirement.

The DMV's DUI program requirement says that a driver must enroll in and complete an in-person California DUI school if convicted of a California DUI or "wet" driving offense such as:

Note that without the waiver, the person's home state can refuse to issue a license to the resident until he completes the DMV's DUI program. This means that he would have to travel back-and-forth to California until he finishes the DU school.

Also note that the waiver can only be granted once in the motorist's life. And, a driver applies for it by completing a 1650 waiver packet issued by the DMV.

If the waiver is given:

  • the non-California resident does not have to complete DUI school, and
  • he cannot drive in California for three years after the waiver is granted.

In addition to completion of a DUI school, other penalties for a first-time DUI conviction in California may include:

Our California criminal defense attorneys will highlight the following in this article:

dmw waiver

1. What is a 1650 waiver?

A 1650 waiver is a request by a non-California resident, that was convicted of DUI in California, for the DMV to wave its DUI program requirement.

The DMV's DUI program requirement says that a driver must enroll in an in-person California DUI school if convicted of a California DUI or "wet" driving offense such as:

  • Vehicle Code 23152(a), driving under the influence,
  • Vehicle Code 23152(b), driving with a BAC of .08% or higher,
  • Vehicle Code 23140, underage DUI (BAC of .05% or higher), or
  • Vehicle Code 23103.5, "wet reckless."

Note that this waiver can only be granted once in a person's lifetime.

2. What happens when a non-resident gets a California DUI?

Several different things happen when a non-California resident gets convicted of a DUI in California. Some of these include:

  1. Upon conviction, the court in California sends notice of the conviction to the California DMV, which then suspends the non-resident's driving privileges in California.
  2. The DMV sends notice of the California conviction to the non-resident's home state.1
  3. Upon this notice, the home state treats the DUI as it took place in its own state.
  4. As such, it may impose its own penalties on the driver (which may be tougher than those imposed in California).
  5. It will also likely take away the motorist's driving privileges until he completes all requirements for the California DUI conviction – including the DMV's DUI program requirement.

As for this last happening, note that it will typically be burdensome for a driver to complete the DUI program because:

  • he is out of state, and
  • would have to travel back and forth to finish the school.

California realized this burden, and therefore, created the 1650 waiver.

3. What is the effect of a 1650 waiver?

The overall effect of the 1650 waiver is that it removes the DUI school requirement. This means the non-California resident does not have to enroll in the program or complete it.

As a result, the driver can get a license in the state in which he lives.

confused person

4. How does a person apply for the waiver?

A person that wishes to apply for a 1650 waiver must perform the following actions:

  • contact the California Department of Motor Vehicle and ask that a 1650 waiver packet be sent to his address,
  • complete the packet,
  • prove that he lives outside California by providing a utility bill from the utility company in his state, and
  • pay the applicable application fee.

Please note that a driver cannot apply for the waiver until after the suspension period imposed by California ends. This could be as short as a few months.

Once a completed waiver packet is submitted to the California DMV, it is typically processed within four to eight weeks.

5. What happens if the out-of-state driver returns to California?

If the non-California resident travels back to the state or decides to move to California after he is given a 1650 waiver, then he cannot legally drive in the state for three years after the date the waiver was given.

And, before the driver can get a valid California driver's license, he must complete the DMV's DUI program.

6. What is a California DUI program?

A driver must enroll in an in-person California DUI school if convicted of a California DUI or "wet" driving offense.

DUI education program providers must be licensed by the State of California. Licensed providers conduct only in-person programs.

DUI classes offered via the internet DO NOT meet California's DUI Program requirements.2

The required length and likely cost of a DUI education program will depend on the driver's specific DUI offense.

California DUI school includes both counseling and education. Most of the counseling will be in a group setting. But there will also be some one-on-one interviews.

The program provider will provide the court and the DMV with a certificate of completion when the defendant successfully completes the program.

7. What are some other penalties for a first-time DUI conviction in California?

In addition to completion of a DUI school, other penalties for a first-time DUI conviction in California may include:

  • 3 to 5 years of DUI probation,
  • fines and penalty assessments totaling between $1,500 and $2,000 (depending on the county),
  • a 6-month driver's license suspension,
  • installation of an ignition interlock device for six months,
  • up to 6 months in county jail, and
  • work release.

Were you convicted of a DUI in California but live in a different state? Call us for help…

california dui attorneys
Call us for help at (855) LAW-FIRM

If you or someone you know has been convicted of a DUI offense in California, but live somewhere else, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. We can be reached 24/7 at 855-LawFirm.


References

  1. This notice might not be given to the following home states: Georgia, North Dakota, Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. All other states within the United States are signatories to the Interstate Driver License Compact. This compact says that a state will give notice of a DUI conviction to a driver's home state, except in the case of the six states mentioned above.

  2. California Health and Safety Code 11836.10 HSC.

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