As if the arrest for DUI was 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. Shortly following the Court resolution you will receive a letter from the DMV titled “Order of Suspension”. Here is the step by step process to follow to get your drivers license reinstated:
- Get enrolled in the appropriate DUI school, you may need to get a DMV printout (sometimes referred to as an H6) and take that to the school you select so they can determine the type of program you will need to attend. 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. You generally just need to get enrolled in order to qualify for the reinstatement, however the school will tell you what is required for the proof of enrollment to be filed.
- 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.
- Assuming you do not have any prior convictions, decide which option works better for you: Option 1 is to wait out the full 6 months and don’t drive. Option 2 is to get an Ignition Interlock installed in your vehicle, an IID requires you blow into it and have no alcohol for the car to start. 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. Once installed you can drive ANYWHERE you want but must have it for 6 months. Option 3 is get a RESTRICTED license that allows you to drive only to work and school for a period of one year with no IID.
- You must pay re-issue fees 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, failures to appear and any outstanding child support payments.
- Lastly, you should be advised a DUI conviction results in 2 points on your DMV record. If the driving under the influence case involved an accident this could add an additional point. You are allowed 3 points in 12 months. However, if you have more than one additional point on your record the Department will suspend you a different way called a negligent operator. If you receive notice of this you should consult a lawyer immediately as a separate hearing can be requested to challenge the action and possibly avoid the suspension.