Driver's License Suspensions Due to
Physical or Mental Conditions

The California DMV has the right to restrict or suspend a driver's license based on medical conditions. These conditions can be physical or mental. But they must actually affect the driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

Medical conditions are a common cause of driver's license suspensions and restrictions for elderly drivers. But California drivers of all ages can be affected.

Conditions that commonly result in California driver's license restrictions or suspensions include:

  • Alzheimer's disease,
  • Cataracts ,
  • Dementia,
  • Diabetes, and
  • Macular degeneration.

But any condition that can affect someone's driving ability can lead to a suspended driver's license.

Drivers are entitled to a hearing to prove they can safely drive

The good news is that the California DMV must give a driver the chance to prove that he or she can drive safely.

This is usually done at a DMV “reexamination hearing.” This is an in-person evaluation of a driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

At the hearing, an examiner will try to determine if a driver has the necessary physical and mental skills to drive a car safely. For this reason, such a hearing is also called a “P&M” hearing (for “physical and mental”).

To help you better understand how to keep your driver's license despite a medical condition, our California driving defense lawyers discuss, below:

california license suspended due to medical condition
California Vehicle Code 12806 lets the DMV suspend a license for a medical condition.

1. Medical conditions that can lead to a driver's license suspension

California Vehicle Code 12806 lets the DMV suspend a license for a medical condition. But the DMV may only do this if the condition actually affects someone's ability to drive safely. 1

Types of conditions that can lead to such a suspension include:

  • Alcoholism or drug addiction,
  • Disorders that can cause a “lapse of consciousness” or “episode of marked confusion,” or
  • Any other physical or mental condition that can affect a driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.2

Unfortunately, almost any condition can potentially fall within this last definition.

What are some common medical conditions that cause the DMV to restrict or suspend a license?

Common medical conditions that result in the DMV suspending or restricting a license include:

  • Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia,
  • Epilepsy,
  • Sleep disorders,
  • Vision disorders, such as cataracts or macular degeneration, or
  • Diabetes (which can cause a driver to have an increased risk of crashing).3

But any condition can lead to loss of driving privileges – either permanently or temporarily – if it affects driving ability.4

However, the DMV cannot restrict or take away driving privileges solely because a driver has one of these conditions. The condition must actually affect the driver's ability to drive safely.5

2. How the DMV finds out about physical or mental conditions

Any concerned party can alert the DMV about a condition that may affect a driver's ability to drive safely. And some parties (such as doctors) are required by law to report certain conditions.6

Common sources of information about a driver's condition include:

  • Medical professionals,
  • Law enforcement officers,
  • Judges,
  • Family members,
  • Friends,
  • Concerned private citizens, and
  • Even the driver him- or herself (in a driver's license application or during a visit to the DMV).
doctor writing down medical diagnosis which might cause suspended license
California law requires doctors to notify the DMV when a patient has a condition that involves lapses of consciousness.

Duty of a doctor to report medical conditions to the DMV

Doctors are a particularly common source of information for the DMV. This is because California law requires them to report anyone who suffers from a condition that can lead to “lapses of consciousness.”7

This type of report is known as a “confidential morbidity report.” California law also gives doctors the discretion to report any other condition(s) that they believe may interfere with a patient's driving ability.8

Example: Christine is a 65-year-old college professor who has just been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. So far her condition has not led to her having any lapses of consciousness while driving.

But without her even knowing about it, Christine's doctor reports her condition to the DMV. The DMV then decides to investigate and sends Christine a reexamination notice.

Doctors are immune from lawsuits for reporting someone to the DMV in good faith. This is true even if it turns out that the doctor was wrong or if the reported disorder did not actually affect the patient's driving ability.9

Other parties who commonly report a driver's medical condition to the DMV

Only doctors are required by law to report medical conditions to the DMV. But other parties have the option to do so.

For instance, law enforcement officers and judges may request a DMV reexamination for people if they think someone's driving might present a danger.

Example: A California Highway Patrol officer pulls Dave over for weaving between lanes. The officer notices that Dave's face seems sweaty and his speech is slurred.

The officer suspects Dave of violating California's DUI laws. He asks Dave to take a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test on a handheld Breathalyzer. Dave agrees (which he does not have to). The test shows no alcohol in Dave's system.

Dave then tells the officer he is diabetic and the officer believes him. He lets Dave go with a warning, but reports him to the DMV. The DMV then investigates to see whether Dave's condition prevents him from being able to drive safely.

Does a family member have to notify the DMV of concerns?

Family members, friends, and other private citizens are under no legal duty to report a medical condition to the DMV. But they may, if they want to, submit a California DMV “Request for Driver Reexamination” form.

Note that this form may not be submitted anonymously. The DMV does not accept anonymous “tips” about physical or mental conditions.

But this request is not a public record.10 It will remain confidential to “to the fullest extent possible.” This includes not disclosing to the driver the identity of the person who made the request.11

Example: Andrew has diabetes, which he controls well with diet and insulin. His cousin Katie is angry at him over a family matter. Katie reports Andrew to the DMV, claiming that his diabetes interferes with his ability to drive safely.

Andrew receives a reexamination notice from the DMV. He asks who reported him, but the DMV does not tell him that it was Katie. But he does prove to the DMV's satisfaction that he is able to drive safely despite his medical condition.

people standing in a DMV line
The California DMV may require an in-person "reexamination" of a driver with a medical condition.

3. What does the DMV do when it receives a report about a medical condition?

After receiving a report about a driver, the DMV will do an initial risk assessment. Then it will typically do one of the following:

  • Nothing (if the department decides nothing in the report indicates a risk);
  • Request more information, in the form of a “driver medical evaluation” (“DME”) form, (discussed in Section 5, below);
  • Schedule a “reexamination” of the driver (discussed in Section 6, below); or
  • In rare cases, immediately suspend or revoke a driver's license.12

Other options open to the DMV include the following (though typically the DMV will require a DME or reexamination first):

  • Put the driver on medical probation and require future medical reports;
  • Issue the driver a “limited term license” and reevaluate the driver at the end of the term;
  • Restrict where/when the driver can drive; or
  • Require the driver to use certain, specified equipment (such as corrective lenses).

4. Can the California DMV suspend a license without a hearing?

The California DMV is not required to hold a hearing before suspending a license IF it believes that the driver poses an immediate safety risk. Otherwise, the DMV must schedule a “P&M” (physical and mental condition) hearing first.

But even if the driver's license is immediately suspended or revoked, the driver has the right to request a hearing to contest it afterward.13

5. What is a “driver medical evaluation” (“DME”) form?

In some cases, after receiving a report about a driver, the DMV will require more information. In this case, it may ask the driver to submit a DMV “Driver Medical Evaluation” (“DME”) form.

This form requires the driver to provide the DMV with a comprehensive health history. The driver must complete and return the DME within 26 days.14 The driver must also sign the DME under penalty of prosecution for the California crime of perjury if the information is purposely false.

A DME also requires information from the driver's doctor. Such information includes a medical diagnosis, treatment plan, and anything else that might relate to the patient's driving ability.

The DMV will then review the DME. If it determines that the driver does not pose a safety risk, it will take no further action.

If the driver does not complete the DME the DMV can suspend the driver's license.

dmv re-examination meeting california
California DMV “reexamination hearings” are also known as "P&M hearings."

6. California DMV “P&M” hearings (reexamination)

If the DMV decides a driver's medical condition might pose a potential safety risk, it will schedule a “reexamination hearing.”15 This is an in-person evaluation to determine if a driver has the physical and mental skills to drive a car safely.

Other names for a DMV reexamination hearing include:

  • P&M hearing,
  • Lack of skill inquiry, or
  • Medical suspension hearing.

The hearing will take place at a local California DMV driver safety office. It will be conducted by a DMV hearing officer.16

Hearing locations are accessible to persons with disabilities. The DMV will also do its best to reasonably accommodate special needs with advance notice.

6.1. Notice of a P&M reexamination hearing

Sometimes the DMV will simply notify a driver that it has scheduled a P&M hearing. In such a case, the date and location of the hearing will be printed on the notice. By law, the DMV must provide at least 10 days advance notice.17

In other cases, the notice will say that the driver has the right to request a hearing. If so, the notice will specify:

  • The action the DMV proposes to take (such as a driver's license suspension, restriction, etc.), and
  • The reason(s) for the proposed action. 18

The driver will then have just 10 days from receipt of the notice to request a hearing from the DMV. 19 The DMV will then schedule a hearing that is at least 10 days later. 20

6.2. What happens if a driver does not request or does not attend a hearing?

If a driver does not attend a scheduled hearing, the DMV will automatically suspend or revoke his or her license. 21 This suspension or revocation will remain unless and until:

  • The driver requests another hearing,
  • The DMV agrees, in its discretion to permit one, and
  • The driver prevails at the rescheduled hearing.22

If the driver does not timely request an optional hearing, the DMV will automatically take the action(s) set forth in the notice. The driver will not have the right to request a new hearing at a later date.23

Example: Jeannie is diagnosed with macular degeneration. People with macular degeneration often experience difficulty driving at night.

As required by law, Jeannie's doctor submits a confidential morbidity report to the California DMV.

The DMV notifies Jeannie that it intends to restrict to driving during daylight hours only. It also tells her that she can, within 10 days, request a P&M hearing to contest the restriction.

Thinking it is junk mail, Jeannie tosses out the notice. At the end of the 10-day period, the DMV places the restriction on her license. If Jeannie then drives at night, she risks being cited for driving without a valid license, California Vehicle Code 12500.

6.3. Priority vs. “regular” reexaminations

In special cases, the DMV may order what is called a “priority reexamination.” A priority reexamination may be ordered after:

  1. A law enforcement officer personally observes someone violate a traffic law, and
  2. That person exhibits signs of physical illness, mental impairment, or disorientation, and
  3. The officer reasonably believes that it would be dangerous to allow the person to continue driving.24

A priority reexamination is exactly the same as a regular P&M hearing except that the driver has just five (5) days in which to request a hearing. The 5-day period starts running when the driver receives the “Priority Examination Notice” from the DMV.

If the driver does not request a hearing within this 5-day period, his or her license may be suspended without further proceedings.25

6.4. What happens at a California DMV P&M hearing?

During a P&M hearing, the DMV will decide if a driver has the physical and mental skills needed to safely drive. To do this, the hearing officer may:

  • Review the driver's DME form (if any),
  • Ask the driver questions about his/her driving history and specific incidents (if any) on the driver's record,
  • Hear testimony from the driver and/or his or her physician, and
  • Have the driver take a written, vision, and/or driving skills test.26

6.5. What factors can the Department of Motor Vehicles consider?

During a medical suspension hearing, the DMV officer will be checking for physical and/or mental limitations.

Factors the DMV will consider during the reexamination include the driver's:

  • Physical abilities, such as strength, coordination, and mobility;
  • Physical limitations or restrictions, if any;
  • Sensory functions, such as vision and hearing;
  • Mental capabilities, such as attention and judgment;
  • Knowledge of the rules of the road;
  • Medical history, including whether the condition is current;
  • Aggravating factors, such as drug and/or alcohol use, stress or lack of sleep;
  • Ability to control the medical condition with treatment; and
  • The driver's understanding and awareness of his/her limitations.

But the mere existence of one or more limitations is not enough for the DMV to suspend a driver's license.

The condition(s) must have an actual negative impact on driving. There must be facts in the record that show this.

6.6. Can a driver be represented by an attorney?

People have the right to be represented by a lawyer at during a P&M hearing. But this lawyer will be at the driver's own expense. Since a DMV proceeding is not a criminal proceeding, the state will not provide a lawyer for free if the driver cannot afford one.

Nevertheless, representation by an experienced California driving defense lawyer can be enormously valuable in helping a driver “pass” a DMV reexamination.

DMV "Physical and Mental" license review defense attorneys california
Drivers have the right to be represented by a lawyer at a California DMV P&M hearing.

7. “Defenses” against a P&M license suspension

A P&M hearing is supposed to be a neutral evaluation of a driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. But there are certain facts a driver and his or her attorney can call attention to.

Let's take a quick look at some of these “defenses” against a P&M license suspension.

The driver is currently able to drive safely

A driver may have a physical or mental condition that affected his or her driving in the past. But if it is currently under control, it should not be a cause for a license suspension.

As Burbank DMV hearing attorney John Murray27 explains:

“The hearing officer at a P&M reexamination should focus only on your current ability to drive safely. In order to be successful at a reexamination, a driver should focus on why he or she is now fit to drive and why the DMV should continue to allow the driver to do so.”

The driver's condition does not affect his/her ability to drive safely

Suffering from a physical or mental condition isn't enough to warrant a restriction on driving. The condition must actually affect a driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.28

The DMV must be able to point to facts in the record that support such a conclusion.

During the P&M hearing, the driver and his/her attorney will have the opportunity to explain or rebut the DMV's evidence. The driver will also be allowed to provide new medical evidence to show that he or she should be allowed to continue driving.

This new and/or rebuttal evidence can take the form of written documents and/or witness testimony on your behalf. The driver's doctor is obviously a good choice for a witness.

He or she may be able to testify that the patient's condition either:

  • Is one that does not affect the ability to drive safely, or
  • Is being controlled by medication or other treatment.

If the doctor is unable to testify, a detailed letter (in addition to the DME) explaining the above may be helpful.

Other potentially helpful evidence can include:

  • A California driving record free or light on accidents and traffic citations, and/or
  • Testimony of family, friends, and/or others who are familiar with how the person drives.

The driver can compensate for a medical condition

A driver may be able to show that he/she can compensate for conditions that would otherwise impair driving ability. Factors that may show that a driver is able to compensate include:

  • Vehicle equipment, such as extra mirrors or a car that is easy to drive;
  • An adjustment in physical habits, such as following distance or brake usage; and
  • Adjustments in the driving environment, such as driving only during the day or avoiding certain routes.

It may also be a good idea to enroll in—and, if possible, complete—a driver's safety course prior to the medical suspension hearing.

Taking a driver's safety course will show that that the driver is taking the situation seriously. It will also help the driver prepare for the written and driving tests he or she will likely be given during the reexamination.

8. Possible outcomes of a California P&M hearing

DMV hearing officers have a variety of options for people whose driving ability is affected by a medical condition. They range from letting the person continue driving (with or without restrictions) to permanently revoking the driver's license.

The DMV will notify the driver in writing of the hearing officer's decision. The driver has the right to appeal the officer's decision, as set forth in Section 9, below.

The actions the DMV can take after a P&M hearing are:

  • Let the person keep his or her license without any restrictions.
  • Schedule a “calendar” (follow-up) reexamination to obtain more information.
  • Place the driver on “Medical Probation I” (which requires the driver to comply with a specific medical regimen and to report any medical changes to the DMV).
  • Place the driver on “Medical Probation II” (similar to Medical Probation I, but also requires the driver to submit annual medical reports even if nothing has changed).
  • Issue the driver a limited term license for one or two years and require the driver to return at the end of that time for reevaluation.
  • Issue a restricted license, allowing the person to drive as long as he or she complies with specific conditions such as:
    • Wearing corrective lenses,
    • Equipping his/her vehicle with certain safety features (such as hand pedals or extra mirrors),
    • Not driving at night, or
    • Not driving at certain challenging times or places, such as at rush hour or on the freeway;
  • Suspend the driver's license (allowing the driver to get it back if the driver later proves he/she no longer presents a safety risk; or
  • Permanently revoke the driver's license (if the hearing officer determines the condition cannot be compensated for and is unlikely to improve).
attorney and judge speak regarding DMV license suspension
Drivers whose license is suspended by the DMV for a medical condition can appeal the decision to a court.

9. Challenging the DMV's decision

Someone who disagrees with the DMV's decision regarding a medical condition is not out of luck. The DMV and California law offer various ways to appeal the outcome of a P&M hearing.

9.1. Departmental review

A driver who is not happy with the outcome of a DMV hearing may request a “departmental review.” This request must be made within fifteen (15) days of notice of the original hearing officer's decision. 29

In most cases, requesting a department review postpones any suspension ordered by the hearing officer. Instead, it won't go into effect until the review is finished.30

The DMV will then review the reexamination and hearing records, including all the evidence presented. It will determine whether the hearing officer made the correct decision. A driver does not need to attend another hearing after asking for a departmental review.

9.2. Challenging a license suspension in court

A driver also has the right to challenge a medical condition license suspension in California Superior Court. The challenge must be filed within:

  • Thirty-five (35) days after notice of the results of a P&M hearing, or
  • Ninety-five (95) days after notice of the results of a departmental review (if one was requested).

The challenge is made by filing a “Petition for Alternative Writ of Mandate.” The deadlines and process for doing so are complicated. Hiring an experienced California DMV attorney is recommended. 31

10. License suspension for reasons other than physical or mental conditions

10.1. DUI

Another common type of suspension is a driver's license suspension for a California DUI.

A DUI arrest will trigger an automatic license suspension. People facing this type of suspension have the right to challenge it in a California DUI DMV hearing.

10.2. Negligent operator

The California DMV also suspends licenses of drivers who are so-called “negligent operators.”32

This occurs when a driver accumulates a certain number of “points” on his/her official DMV record. Someone can accumulate points for:

  • Moving violations (such as speeding or reckless driving),
  • Vehicle-related criminal convictions, such as:
  • Driving on a suspended license,
  • “Hit and run,”
  • “Wet reckless” DUI plea bargain, or
  • “Dry reckless” DUI plea bargain; or
  • Being involved in an accident in which the driver was at fault.33

Much as with medical conditions, drivers have the right to challenge negligent operator suspensions of their licenses.

Need help challenging a California driver's license suspension? Call us…

california driver's license suspension attorneys' receptionist
Call us for help

If you or a loved one needs help challenging a DMV license suspension, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

Call us at 855-LAWFIRM to speak to someone about your situation.

We have local law offices and experienced California DMV lawyers throughout the state.

We also have offices in Las Vegas and Reno and may be able to help if you are facing suspension of a driver's license for a medical condition in Nevada.

Legal References:

  1. California Vehicle Code 12806: “The department may refuse to issue to, or renew a driver's license of, any person:

    (a) Who is rendered incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle because of alcoholism, excessive and chronic use of alcoholic beverages, or addiction to, or habitual use of, any drug.

    (b) Who is addicted to the use of narcotic drugs unless the person is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code, in which case the person may be issued a probationary license, subject to reasonable terms and conditions, if that drug usage does not affect the person's ability to exercise reasonable and ordinary control in operating a motor vehicle on the highway.

    (c) Who has a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness or who has experienced, within the last three years, either a lapse of consciousness or an episode of marked confusion caused by any condition which may bring about recurrent lapses, or who has any physical or mental disability, disease, or disorder which could affect the safe operation of a motor vehicle unless the department has medical information which indicates the person may safely operate a motor vehicle. In making its determination, the department may rely on any relevant information available to the department.”

  2. See same.

  3. See National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration – “Medical Conditions and Driving: A Review of the Literature (1960 – 2000).” This report lists the following conditions as “red flags” for potentially compromised driving ability:

    A. Visual Conditions/Diseases

    1. Low vision (vision ranging from 20/200 to 20/50)

    2. Cataracts

    3. Diabetic retinopathy

    4. Glaucoma

    5. Retinitis pigmentosa

    6. Monocular vision (especially right eye blindness)

    7. Macular degeneration

    8. Nystagmus

    9. Visual field defects

    B. Cardiovascular Disease

    1. Cardiac arrhythmias if associated with cerebral ischemia (e.g., paroxysmal arrhythmias such as nonsustained

    paroxysmal ventricular tachycardia, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, paroxysmal

    atrial fibrillation/flutter; sinus node dysfunction)

    2. Artificial cardiac pacemakers if associated with cerebral ischemia

    3. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy if associated with cerebral ischemia

    4. Congestive heart failure if associated with cerebral ischemia

    5. Valvular heart disease if associated with cerebral ischemia

    C. Cerebrovascular Disease

    1. Cerebrovascular accident (Stroke)

    2. Transient ischemic attacks

    D. Diseases of the Nervous System

    1. Narcolepsy

    2. Sleep apnea

    E. Respiratory Diseases

    1. Chronic obstructive lung disease if associated with respiratory failure resulting in cognitive impairment

    due to generalized hypoxia

    2. Respiratory failure

    F. Metabolic Diseases

    1. Hypothyroidism if condition results in cognitive deficits

    2. Diabetes - the chronic effects of diabetes (e.g., diabetic retinopathy, cardiovascular disease, etc.)

    are listed separately

    G. Renal Disease

    1. Chronic renal failure if associated with cognitive impairment

    H. Dementia

    1. Progressive dementia (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, Multi-infarct dementia)

    I. Psychiatric Diseases

    1. Schizophrenia

    2. Personality disorder

    3. Chronic alcohol abuse

    J. Medications

    Chronic use of the following medications:

    1. Antidepressants (particularly the older tricyclics such as amitriptyline, imipramaine)

    2. Antihistamines (particularly the older antihistamines)

    3. Any drug that has prominent central nervous system effects (e.g., analgesics, some antihypertensives,

    sedatives, hypnotics, anxyiolytics, benzodiazepines, stimulants).

  4. Vehicle Code 12806(c), endnote 1.

  5. See same (Vehicle Code 12806(c) VC, endnote **.

  6. See also Vehicle Code 103900 VC: “ (a) Every physician and surgeon shall report immediately to the local health officer in writing, the name, date of birth, and address of every patient at least 14 years of age or older whom the physician and surgeon has diagnosed as having a case of a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness. However, if a physician and surgeon reasonably and in good faith believes that the reporting of a patient will serve the public interest, he or she may report a patient's condition even if it may not be required under the department's definition of disorders characterized by lapses of consciousness pursuant to subdivision (d).

    (b) The local health officer shall report in writing to the Department of Motor Vehicles the name, age, and address, of every person reported to it as a case of a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness.

    (c) These reports shall be for the information of the Department of Motor Vehicles in enforcing the Vehicle Code, and shall be kept confidential and used solely for the purpose of determining the eligibility of any person to operate a motor vehicle on the highways of this state.

    (d) The department, in cooperation with the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall define disorders characterized by lapses of consciousness based upon existing clinical standards for that definition for purposes of this section and shall include Alzheimer's disease and those related disorders that are severe enough to be likely to impair a person's ability to operate a motor vehicle in the definition. The department, in cooperation with the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall list those circumstances that shall not require reporting pursuant to subdivision (a) because the patient is unable to ever operate a motor vehicle or is otherwise unlikely to represent a danger that requires reporting. The department shall consult with professional medical organizations whose members have specific expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of those disorders in the development of the definition of what constitutes a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness as well as definitions of functional severity to guide reporting so that diagnosed cases reported pursuant to this section are only those where there is reason to believe that the patients' conditions are likely to impair their ability to operate a motor vehicle. The department shall complete the definition on or before January 1, 1992.

    (e) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall, in consultation with the professional medical organizations specified in subdivision (d), develop guidelines designed to enhance the monitoring of patients affected with disorders specified in this section in order to assist with the patients' compliance with restrictions imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles on the patients' licenses to operate a motor vehicle. The guidelines shall be completed on or before January 1, 1992.

    (f) A physician and surgeon who reports a patient diagnosed as a case of a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness pursuant to this section shall not be civilly or criminally liable to any patient for making any report required or authorized by this section.”

  7. Vehicle Code 103900(a), endnote **.

  8. Same.

  9. Vehicle Code 103900 (f), endnote **.

  10. Vehicle Code 1808.5 VC: “Except as provided in Section 22511.58 [application for disabled parking placard], all records of the department relating to the physical or mental condition of any person, and convictions of any offense involving the use or possession of controlled substances under Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code not arising from circumstances involving a motor vehicle, are confidential and not open to public inspection.

  11. See California DMV, “Potentially Unsafe Driver (FFDL 10).”

  12. Vehicle Code 13953: “In the alternative to the procedure under Sections 13950, 13951, and 13952 and in the event the department determines upon investigation or reexamination that the safety of the person subject to investigation or reexamination or other persons upon the highways require such action, the department shall forthwith and without hearing suspend or revoke the privilege of the person to operate a motor vehicle or impose reasonable terms and conditions of probation which shall be relative to the safe operation of a motor vehicle. No order of suspension or revocation or the imposition of terms or conditions of probation shall become effective until 30 days after the giving of written notice thereof to the person affected, except that the department shall have authority to make any such order effective immediately upon the giving of notice when in its opinion because of the mental or physical condition of the person such immediate action is required for the safety of the driver or other persons upon the highways.”

  13. Vehicle Code 13950 VC: “Whenever the department determines upon investigation or re-examination that any of the grounds for re-examination are true, or that the safety of the person investigated or re-examined or other persons upon the highways requires such action, and it proposes to revoke or suspend the driving privilege of the person or proposes to impose terms of probation on his driving privilege, notice and an opportunity to be heard shall be given before taking the action.”

  14. 13 California Code of Regulations (CCR) §100.01(a)(6).

  15. Vehicle Code 13801 VC: “In addition to the investigation, the department may require the re-examination of the licensee, and shall give 10 days' written notice of the time and place thereof. If the licensee refuses or fails to submit to the re-examination, the department may peremptorily suspend the driving privilege of the person until such time as the licensee shall have submitted to re-examination. The suspension shall be effective upon notice.

  16. Vehicle Code 14104.2(a): “Any hearing shall be conducted by the director or by a hearing officer or hearing board appointed by him or her from officers or employees of the department.”

  17. Vehicle Code 13801 VC: “In addition to the investigation, the department may require the re-examination of the licensee, and shall give 10 days' written notice of the time and place thereof. If the licensee refuses or fails to submit to the re-examination, the department may peremptorily suspend the driving privilege of the person until such time as the licensee shall have submitted to re-examination. The suspension shall be effective upon notice.”

  18. Vehicle Code 13952 VC: “The notice shall contain a statement setting forth the proposed action and the grounds therefor, and notify the person of his right to a hearing as provided in this chapter, or the department, at the time it gives notice of its intention to act may set the date of hearing, giving 10 days' notice thereof.”

  19. Vehicle Code 14100(a): “Whenever the department has given notice, or has taken or proposes to take action under Section 12804.15, 13353, 13353.2, 13950, 13951, 13952, or 13953, the person receiving the notice or subject to the action may, within 10 days, demand a hearing which shall be granted, except as provided in Section 14101.”

    See also Vehicle Code 14101: “A person is not entitled to a hearing in either of the following cases:

    (a) If the action by the department is made mandatory by this code [the Vehicle Code].

    (b) If the person has previously been given an opportunity with appropriate notice for a hearing and failed to request a hearing within the time specified by law.”

  20. Vehicle Code 14104 VC: “If the department grants a hearing as provided in this chapter, it shall fix a time and place for the hearing and shall give 10 days' notice of the hearing to the applicant or licensee. The notice of hearing shall also include a statement of the discovery rights of the applicant or licensee to review the department's records prior to the hearing.”

  21. Vehicle Code 13801 VC, endnote **.

  22. Vehicle Code 14103: “Failure to respond to a notice given under this chapter within 10 days is a waiver of the right to a hearing, and the department may take action without a hearing or may, upon request of the person whose privilege of driving is in question, or at its own option, reopen the question, take evidence, change, or set aside any order previously made, or grant a hearing.”

    See also 13 CCR 100.01(b): “The department may reschedule a reexamination at the request of the driver for good cause, in lieu of suspension, or may reschedule the reexamination at the need of the department.”

  23. Vehicle Code 14101: “A person is not entitled to a hearing in either of the following cases:

    (a) If the action by the department is made mandatory by this code.

    (b) If the person has previously been given an opportunity with appropriate notice for a hearing and failed to request a hearing within the time specified by law.”

  24. Vehicle Code 21061: “(a) In addition to any action prescribed in Division 17 (commencing with Section 40000.1), a traffic officer may issue a notice of reexamination to any person who violates any provision of this division and who, at the time of the violation, exhibits evidence of incapacity to the traffic officer which leads the traffic officer to reasonably believe that the person is incapable of operating a motor vehicle in a manner so as not to present a clear or potential danger of risk of injury to that person or others if that person is permitted to resume operation of a motor vehicle.

    (b) For purposes of this section, “evidence of incapacity” means evidence, other than violations of this division, of serious physical injury or illness or mental impairment or disorientation which is apparent to the traffic officer and which presents a clear or potential danger or risk of injury to the person or others if that person is permitted to resume operation of a motor vehicle.”

  25. Vehicle Code 13953, endnote **.

  26. Vehicle Code 14104.7 VC.

    See also Vehicle Code 12804.9 VC.

  27. Burbank criminal and DUI defense lawyer John Murray has earned a statewide reputation for helping clients keep their driving privilege. He represents clients at DMV hearing locations throughout southern California, including those in the City of Commerce, Covina, El Segundo, Oxnard, San Bernardino, and Van Nuys.

  28. Vehicle Code 12806(c) VC, endnote **.

  29. Vehicle Code 14105.5(a): “The person subject to a hearing may request a review of the decision taken under Section 14105 within 15 days of the effective date of the decision.”

  30. Vehicle Code 14105.5(b).

  31. See, e.g., Orange County Superior Court, “How do I ask the court to review DMV's suspension of my license?”

  32. Vehicle Code 12809(e) VC.

  33. Vehicle Code 12810.5 VC.

Free attorney consultations...

Our attorneys want to hear your side of the story. Contact us 24/7 to schedule a FREE consultation with a criminal defense lawyer. We may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed altogether. And if necessary, we will champion your case all the way to trial.

Regain peace of mind...

Shouse Law Defense Group has multiple locations throughout California. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Office Locations

Shouse Law Group has multiple locations all across California, Nevada, and Colorado. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

To contact us, please select your state:

Call us 24/7 (855) 396-0370