One of the most detrimental consequences of an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) is the resulting driver’s license suspension. A license suspension can have an adverse impact on many different areas in your life, harming your ability to hold down a job, attend medical appointments, or even run routine errands on a daily basis.
How To Get Your License Back After A DUI In California
Fortunately, there are certain ways that you may be able to get your license back – or even prevent it from being suspended in the first place. Some steps include scheduling a DMV administrative hearing, applying for a restricted license and requesting reinstatement.
1. Schedule a DMV administrative hearing: After being arrested for DUI in California, you will have 10 days in which you can request a DMV hearing to try and save your license from being suspended. Depending on the outcome of this hearing, your suspension will either be overturned or upheld. An attorney can help you maximize your chances of success during this hearing. If the suspension is upheld, you must serve a 30 day “hard suspension” of your license, meaning you may drive at all during this time period.
2. Apply for a restricted license: If this was your only DUI-related offense within the past 10 years and you were at least 21 years of age at the time of your arrest, you may be eligible to apply for a restricted or “hardship” license by enrolling in a licensed DUI First Offender program. Your program provider will send a Proof of Enrollment Certificate to the DMV at your request, after which you must pay a reissue fee and provide proof of financial responsibility. A hardship license will permit you to drive to and from your work and your DUI program for a period of 5 months.
3. Request a reinstatement: Once your full suspension has expired and you have not been caught in violation of its terms, you may request to have your license reinstated if you are able to show proof of insurance, proof that you have completed the DUI program, and pay a reinstatement fee. To show proof of insurance, you will need to notify your insurance company of your DUI arrest. If they choose to still cover you, they will provide you with a certificate known as an SR-22 form that indicates you are still covered despite your arrest. If you were sentenced to any period of incarceration as a result of you DUI criminal case, you must also fulfill this sentence before being eligible for a license reinstatement.