Did the DMV suspend or revoke your driver’s license?
Or is it threatening to do so?
Or is the Department holding up your ability to obtain a license in another state?
Do you need to reinstate a driving license that has already been suspended?
Whatever your legal issues, our DMV Hearing Lawyers can fight to get your license back.
Battling the Department of Motor Vehicles can be a daunting and frustrating task. It helps
- to know the complex set of California DMV laws,
- to understand how to cut the red tape in this huge and stubborn bureaucracy, and
- to enjoy long-standing relationships with key Department staff who have the discretion to get things done.
This includes the DMV driver safety hearing officers who preside over the administrative hearings.
As of 2019, if you were arrested for DUI, you may be able to continue driving without limitation if you get an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your cars for a predetermined period of months or years.1
That’s what our California DMV attorneys offer. We offer representation as to the following matters:
Can I keep my license after a DUI in California?
If you get arrested for DUI, DUI of Drugs or Vehicular Manslaughter, the DMV will seek to suspend your driver’s license – even if the criminal case was just for a misdemeanor. If you are an out-of-state driver with a California DUI charge, you may lose your license to drive in your home state.
Everyone is entitled to a California DMV hearing after a DUI arrest, to challenge whether a driver’s license suspension should be imposed. This DMV hearing must be requested within 10 days of the DUI arrest.3 Our DMV lawyers represent you at the hearing, and many times prevail in avoiding a suspended license.
There are many ways to try to show the hearing officer that you were not drunk driving. Perhaps you had a medical condition that caused the breath test to return an inaccurately high BAC result. Or perhaps the police officer committed misconduct.
The DMV will likely allow you to continue driving to any location as long as you agree to keep an IID installed in your cars. Following a first-time DUI, you would need to keep an IID for four months. After a subsequent DUI, the IID period would be a year.4
How can a California DMV hearing lawyer help?
If you receive too many points on your driving record, you may be deemed a “negligent operator” and thereby see your driver’s license suspended and be placed on DMV probation. The DMV imposes points for a variety of Vehicle Code violations, including accidents, traffic tickets (moving violations), and DUI and other criminal driving offenses. The DMV can also suspend your driver’s license for causing an accident. The Department will hold a DMV fatality hearing for accidents involving serious injury or death.5
If you receive a warning letter notifying you of a negligent operator suspension, a California DMV lawyer can help you to fight any suspension order. You must act quickly to secure a negligent operator hearing. Our California DMV hearing lawyers can represent you and many times prevent the driver’s license suspension from being imposed.
What mental or physical conditions will cause me to lose my license?
If you have a physical or mental condition that affects your driving skills, you may face revocation of your California driver’s license. Examples include
- Alzheimer’s disease,
- diabetes, or
- any condition that may cause loss of consciousness or impair alertness, reflexes and motor skills.6
Some people, unfortunately, do suffer from conditions that legitimately should preclude them from driving–for their safety and the safety of others. Depending on your case, you may still be capable of driving safely and should not see your driving rights suspended.
Before suspending or revoking your license, the DMV must conduct a hearing called a DMV reexamination hearing or “lack of skill” inquiry. Our California DMV hearing lawyers have significant experience defending clients at these proceedings, and have enjoyed success at stopping driver’s license revocations.7
Do elderly people lose their licenses?
The California DMV imposes no “cut off” or maximum age for you to keep your driver’s license. Though the Department can and will revoke a license if it determines that you have lost the mental and physical faculties necessary to follow traffic laws and drive safely. Plus the Department of Motor Vehicles monitors senior citizens more closely – for example by requiring all drivers over 70 to renew their licenses in person at a DMV location. The Department may also require elderly drivers to submit to a supplemental driving performance evaluation.8
Our DMV lawyers represent senior citizens who face suspension or revocation of their driver’s license due to what the Department terms “lack of skill.” Before a license can be suspended, the elderly driver is entitled to a hearing. At the DMV hearing, we can present evidence to demonstrate the senior citizen client’s ability to drive a car safely.
What is California driver’s license fraud?
You commit driver’s license fraud when you use false identification or someone else’s identity to secure a California driver’s license. This may invite criminal charges for Penal Code 470 – Forgery. If you entered a DMV office with the intent to apply for a driver’s license fraudulently, you may also be charged with Penal Code 459 – Burglary.
Aside from criminal penalties, if you commit driver’s license fraud, you face a permanent loss of your California driving privileges. Before that happens, you are entitled to a hearing where you and your attorney may seek to get your right to a driver’s license restored.
If you’re in this situation, our California DMV hearing attorneys can help. By representing you with the criminal charges in court and the administrative proceedings at the DMV, we may be able to keep the matter off your record and get your driving privileges restored.
Will I lose my license if I miss court?
As of 2023, the court will no longer notify the DMV if you miss court. Therefore, the DMV should not suspend your license for it.9
Can I keep my license without car insurance?
The DMV will likely suspend your driver’s license for up to four years if you’re involved in a traffic accident and don’t have car insurance. Moreover, if you suffer a DUI conviction, the DMV will require you to submit an SR22 (proof of insurance) for three years. If you lose coverage, your insurance company will notify the DMV and this triggers a driver’s license revocation.10 Even here, our California DMV attorneys often can help you
- find affordable car insurance,
- clear the holds on your driver’s license, and
- get you back on the road.
What happens to my license if I get road rage?
Under 13210 CVC, the DMV can suspend your driver’s license for road rage behaviors. This is a 6-month suspension on a first offense and a year suspension for a second or subsequent offense.11 Here too, you are entitled to a DMV hearing to contest the suspension. A good defense attorney can often convince the Department
- that the accusations are unfair, and
- that a suspension should not be imposed.
What happens to my California driver’s license if I get a Nevada DUI?
It’s not uncommon for California residents to get arrested in the state of Nevada, especially when visiting Las Vegas or Laughlin. Our Nevada DUI defense attorneys practice throughout that state, and have become experts regarding Nevada DMV hearings in DUI cases. In Nevada, DUI arrests generally result in driver’s license suspensions. Though as in California, success at the DMV hearing can sometimes prevent this consequence.
For additional help…
If you or a loved one is in need of legal advice or help with DMV suspension hearings and you are looking to hire legal representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. Our criminal defense lawyers have years of experience in saving people’s driving privileges and achieving license reinstatements. Contact us as soon as you receive a notice of suspension from the DMV.
Our DUI/DWI/criminal defense attorneys have local criminal law offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California. You may also find useful information in our article on reinstating a driver’s license after revocation.
- California Senate Bill 1046 (2018).
- California Vehicle Code 13351 VC; California Vehicle Code 13552. See, for example: Cinquegrani v. Department of Motor Vehicles (Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Two, 2008) 163 Cal. App. 4th 741; Piper v. Department of Motor Vehicles (Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, 2014) 232 Cal. App. 4th 1310.
- Driving Under the Influence, California DMV.
- See note 1.
- California Vehicle Code 12810. See also California Vehicle Code 21461a VC.
- Anyone can notify the DMV that your driving privileges should be examined by sending in a form called a Request for Reexamination.
- DMV’s Reexamination Process (FFDL 27), California DMV.
- Senior Drivers, California DMV.
- California Vehicle Code 40509.5 VC. Assembly Bill 2746 (2022).
- Financial Responsibility (Insurance), California DMV.
- California Vehicle Code 13210 CVC.