This article addresses what you need to do to get your license back after a DUI. The DMV will not tell you, but there is a way to get your license back early, way before the date they gave you on the letter.
California has the unenviable reputation of confiscating the most licenses from drivers after a DWI incident. As if the arrest for DUI wasn't bad enough, the frustration in dealing with the DMV in order to get your license reinstated can be even more traumatic. Remember, the police officer probably took your physical license from you at the time of arrest and you were issued a "temporary license" that you have been driving on since your release. That temporary license did not have your photo and many entities will not accept it as a valid form of ID. This article is written to provide critical information necessary for a person to get their official photo license returned following a driving under the influence resolution in Court.
Here is the step by step process to follow to get your drivers license from the California DMV after the 30 day "hard" suspension and a disposition in Court:
- Get enrolled in the DUI school ordered by the Court or your attorney. Take your paperwork from the Court to your chosen class and make sure they file the correct form with the DMV, they will sometimes give you the official form which you can file yourself, but you are paying them a fee so they should do it for you. If you are a California resident you should confirm the class satisfies the requirements of the DMV. If you are a non-CA resident be sure to speak to your attorney about the options you have. Make sure the program also files the enrollment certificate with the Court as well. You must do this within 21 days of the resolution in Court so do not delay.
- Make sure you have an SR-22 filed with the DMV. An SR22 is nothing more than an official proof that you have the minimum required proof of insurance mandated by the DMV. You cannot simply send in the little card you got from the insurance company, that will not be sufficient. The proof must be sent in by the insurance company in order to comply with CA law.
- If the offense occurred in Los Angeles County you must install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. The DMV will check to verify the ownership of any vehicles registered to you or any person at the home in which you reside and have access to. If you do not own any vehicles, use any vehicle or have access to any car at the residence there is a waiver which you can fill you and send to the DMV, but the State will not reinstate your license unless and until you install an IID in a vehicle you drive. For more information about IID, visit our IID information page.
- You must pay a re-issue fee to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This fee ranges from $140 to $240 dollars and must be submitted in order to receive your original license.
- Ensure you have no outstanding tickets or "holds" on your license such as tickets you never paid or any FTA or failure to appear.