CA Suspended License

Certain traffic violations and failure to resolve those that you have committed within a timely manner can result in California license suspension, which can be carried out by the California DMV or traffic courts. If you aren’t quite sure whether your points have caused a suspension or if you feel that there is reason to check your license, you could always obtain a California driving report, which can detail your history, including the violations you have committed and the points incurred to your license.

Getting your driving record in California is easy, with online options all over the net through 3rd party companies that will provide these reports within the shortest amount of time. You can also use the California DMV in order to obtain your driver record by mail or in person.

California Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 944247 MS G199
Sacramento, CA 94244-2470

Suspension Status Out-of-State

When your license is suspended within the state of California, your status is input into the NDR, National Driver Register, which informs other states of your licensing status. Any serious traffic violations are also reported to this register, allowing other states to base their licensing decisions on the information from you previous states. Therefore, if your license is suspended within the state of California, you will likely not receive an out-of-state license until your license can be reinstated.

The DLC, Driver License Compact, is much like the NDR, exchanging driver’s license information between states. However, this compact exchanges information about out-of-state drivers who, while visiting another state, obtain suspensions or other severe penalties to their license, sending status to their home state so they can receive their state’s penalties as well. That means if you commit a violation that will suspend your license in California while you are out-of-state, you will have to return home to receive the penalties.

Driving with a Suspended License

When you receive California license suspension, the length of the penalty can be different depending on what your license is being suspended for. At the same time, the penalties of driving with a suspended license can also vary, depending on the severity of the initial violation that received suspension of your license.

  • If you aren’t sure what penalties you are subject to or the length of time your suspension will last, or even what you can do for alternative licensing, call the local DMV at 1-800-777-0133 Mon-Fri 8am – 5pm or Wed 9am – 5pm to speak to a representative and discuss the implications, requirements, and alternatives available while holding a suspended California license.
  • If you are caught driving with a suspended license, a traffic attorney may be in your best interests as the penalties can be quite severe. Although an attorney can’t erase the violation, they can make the consequences much less severe and assist you with understanding your current situation and that to follow.

California Restricted License

There are circumstances that will allow you to obtain a restricted license if your original California license has been suspended. For instance, if you are convicted of a DUI/DWI for the first time, you may be able to complete a state-approved DUI/DWI program which may provide you with eligibility for a restricted license that will allow you to have restricted privileges for driving to work or school. You can call the DMV or a traffic attorney to determine your eligibility based on your situation.

California License Reinstatement

In many cases, you can reinstate your license after the necessary suspension time; however, there may be some cases in which reinstatement is not possible, such as if your suspension was determined indefinite by the court judge. This can often be the result of multiple suspensions or a severe offense that warrants indefinite suspension. Suspensions can typically range between 30 days and for life within California, with other states possibly issuing a license depending on their traffic laws and penalties concerning your violations on record.

Reinstatement of your license is going to depend on the violation that caused the suspension, as well as the amount of violations or suspensions you have incurred. If reinstatement is possible, you will have to follow the appropriate steps:

  • Complete the court specified mandatory suspension term.
  • Obtain any necessary forms determined by your violations and complete.
  • Provide proof of financial responsibility.
  • Make your appointment to report to the California DMV nearest to you.
  • Pay any court and reinstatement fees applied.

With some situations, you may be required to complete a probationary period in order to receive your original standard license with full privileges, which will require holding the license without any violations for a specific length of time.

If you are suffering from a condition that causes you to lose consciousness, diminishes alertness, causes poor judgment in any way, affects your vision, or decreases your reflexes, you may be subject to suspension of your license until you are able to provide certification that your condition has been rectified or is being managed.

What Violations Are Subject To Suspension?

If you wish to keep your driving record clean, there are many things that you can do. Practice safe driving and follow traffic laws to ensure you are avoiding penalties that can be quite severe. Multiple violations will easily cause you to lose driving privileges indefinitely, which can be a difficult situation. While restricted licensing is offered, you may not be eligible if you commit certain offenses or if you have multiple violations on your record.

  • Too many points. NOTS, Negligent Operator Treatment System,  Guidelines and Actions, official California records for violations and traffic offenses, collecting points, which can cause suspension when you reach too many.
  • Accident w/o proof of insurance or financial responsibility. When you are involved in a traffic accident, the DMV will check your insurance status or determine whether you were covered by financial responsibility at the time. If you weren’t, your license can be suspended.
  • Failure to report accidents. A Report of Traffic Accident occuring in California, SR 1, which can be downloaded, must be filed within 10 business days of any accident in which there was a death or injury, or in the case of damages exceeding $750. If you don’t report these accidents, your license could be suspended.
  • DUI/DWI arrest. California enforces quite tough DUI laws, with suspension possible for up to 4 months after your first conviction and restricted licensing not always possible. Suspension can last for up to 4 years in subsequent cases, with other charges also carrying influence in your suspension.
  • DUI before 21. California employs a zero tolerance law, which prohibits drinking for those under 21. The first time you are caught, your license can be suspended for a year.
  • Refusal to submit to drug or alcohol testing. Implied consent laws are enforced within California, meaning that when you sign for your license you consent to submit to alcohol or drug testing if you are stopped by law enforcement. Refusal to do so could cost you your license, even if you weren’t intoxicated.
  • Vandalizing private property. There is a penalty of license suspension for up to 1 year if you are caught vandalizing someone else’s property.
  • FTP, Failure to Pay, or FTA, Failure to Appear. If you are given a court date for a traffic citation and you don’t pay or appear in court, you are subject to suspension of your license.
  • Failure to pay required family support. Child support payments are regulated by the state and work with the DMV, with suspension of your license possible if you fail or refuse to make the required payments. A 150-day temporary permit will be provided if your license is suspended, during which time your issue must be rectified with the California DCSS.

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