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How to check the status of your California drivers license

Posted by Neil Shouse | Mar 09, 2020 | 0 Comments

ca drivers license suspended
Was your license suspended? Here are some tips to find out...

There are 3 ways to check the status of your California driver's and whether it is valid or suspended:

  1. online on the DMV website,
  2. in person at a DMV office, and
  3. by mailing an INF 1125 form to the DMV headquarters.

Each method has a fee. That fee ranges from $2 to $5.1

There are 2 reasons for wanting to find out if your license is suspended:

  1. you were arrested or ticketed and are concerned about your right to drive, or
  2. you have completed a license suspension and want to make sure your right to drive has been reinstated.

Driving on a suspended license is a crime. It can carry up to:

  • 6 months in jail, and/or
  • $1,000 in fines.

Can I check the status of my California license online?

You can find out if your California driver's license has been suspended by going online. You can go to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) driver record request page. The record that you receive online will have the pertinent information. However, it is not considered an official document.

Once there, you will have to create an online account. The online account is meant to keep your driver record safe and private. To create an account, you will have to provide some personal information, like your:

  • email address,
  • driver's license number or ID number,
  • phone number,
  • date of birth, and
  • last 4 digits of your Social Security number.

After creating your account, you can pay to see and print your driver's record. The fee is $2.00, plus a 2.1% service fee for using a debit or credit card. The total charge will be $2.04.

Once you have paid, you will be shown your driver's record. You can print it out, if you want to. When you view your record online, this is the only opportunity to see it. If you do not print it out and leave the site, you will have to pay to see it, again.

Your address will not appear on the screen, but will be shown on the printout.

Can I go to the DMV office to get the information?

You can go to a California DMV office and request your driver's record in person.

At the office, you will fill out an INF 1125 form. You will provide your personal information and then:

  • check the box to request your driver's license record, and
  • provide your California driver's license number and date of birth.

The fee is $5. The record that you will receive is official.

Can I mail a request form?

You can also find out if your driver's license is suspended by requesting your driver record via mail.

This also requires filling out the INF 1125 form. After providing your personal information, license number, and date of birth, you mail the form to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 944247 MS G199
Sacramento, CA 94244

The $5 fee has to be included in the mailing.

The DMV will mail you an official driver's record.

What information is on the record?

Starting on March 20, 2019, California driver's records show the following information:

  • your address,
  • serious convictions for three, seven, or ten years,
  • DMV actions against the license, and
  • vehicle accidents on the driver's record required by California Vehicle Code 1808 VC.

This is less information than you used to receive with a driver's record request. You used to be provided with information that was used internally by the DMV. This information is not provided, anymore.

Why would I want to find out if my license is suspended?

There are 2 situations where it can be useful to check your driver's record for a suspension:

  1. you were pulled over, arrested, or ticketed and want to see if your right to drive has been suspended, or
  2. your license had been suspended and you want to make sure it has been reinstated.

If your license has been suspended, it does not automatically reinstate when the suspension ends. You have to take certain steps to have your license reinstated in California. Until you take these steps, your license will still be suspended.

What are the penalties of driving on a suspended license?

Driving with a suspended license is a crime in California. It is a misdemeanor that carries penalties of up to:

  • 6 months in jail, and
  • $1,000 in fines.2

Getting caught driving with a suspended license can also extend the length of the suspension. You will have to wait even longer for your right to drive to be reinstated.

Checking your driver's record can prevent this from happening. By checking your record, you can find out if your license has been suspended, or if it has not yet been reinstated.


Legal References:

  1. California Code of Regulations 350.44.

  2. California Vehicle Code 14601 VC.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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