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Suspended License Information for California

While some motorists regard driving as a basic right, the fact is that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege that must be earned and maintained by demonstrating safe and lawful driving. Under certain circumstances, an individual's California driver's license may be suspended or revoked for a specific length of time, depending on the person's driving record or history, and the particular violation(s).


There are a variety of reasons why your California driver's license might be suspended. Some of these are related to specific driving violations, while others may be due to violation of other State laws. Following are some of the most common reasons for a California driver's license to be suspended or revoked.

  • Excessive Moving Violations. The state of California operates on a point system, in which drivers accumulate points on their license for every moving violation they commit. If you accumulate 4 points in a year or six points in 2 years or 8 points in 3 years, your license will be suspended. If you accumulate too many points, you will be put on driving probation for a year and your license may also be suspended or revoked.
  • The Negligent Operator Treatment System Program (NOTS). Drivers in California who are 18 years and older are affected by this program. This program is based on a series of negligent operator points which are added to your driving license over a specific period of time. Warning letters will be issued to you for the same. More information on this program can be found here.
  • Driving Under the Influence. Your California driver's license will be suspended if you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The length of the suspension depends on the severity of the violation and whether it is a first or repeat offense. A first time offense (if you are over 21 years and you took a chemical test and the result was 0.08% body alcohol content) will see your license being suspended for four months. A second offense for the same within 10 years will result in suspension for a year. If you are under 21 years of age and you took a chemical test and the result was 0.01% BAC or more, your license will be suspended for a year.
  • Refusal of a Drug/ Alcohol Test or a Failed Test. If you refuse to take a blood or alcohol or urine test, you can get your license suspended or revoked.
  • Driving with a Suspended License or no License. Driving with a suspended license will lead to an increase in the length of the suspension, and you may also be imprisoned for up to five years. The duration of the additional suspension varies depending on the reason for the underlying suspension. Your driver's license may also be suspended if you do not have your license with you while you are driving.
  • Driving without Insurance. All motor vehicles driven in California must be properly insured. Failure to provide proof of valid auto insurance can result in your license being suspended. Your license will be suspended for four years if you are found to be driving without insurance. It may be returned to you after the first year, if you submit the proof of insurance to the DMV. You will need to ensure that you continue the insurance fro the next three years as well.
  • Other Driving-Related Violations. Your California driver's license may also be suspended if you engage in reckless driving, are found to be at fault in a fatal accident, or if you abandon your vehicle on a public highway. If you fail to report an accident within 10 days and where another person was injured or killed, or if incurred damages exceeded $750, you are liable to have your license suspended. You will need to file a "Report of Traffic Accident" for this.
  • Physical or Psychological Disqualification. The DMV's Chief Administrator can order a re-examination of any person who may not be fit to drive. An individual's driving privileges may be suspended if the re-examination finds they are physically or psychologically unable to drive safely.
  • Medical Conditions. If you suffer from a loss of consciousness, poor judgment, poor vision, lack of agility or decreased alertness, you may face a license suspension. For more information on this, check here.
  • Vandalism. If you are found guilty of vandalism, your license can be suspended for a year. If you are not old enough to drive, your right to apply for a driver's license can be delayed by a year.
  • Non-Driving Reasons for License Suspension. A variety of non-driving violations or issues can result in your license being suspended. These include: not responding to a DMV notice or not appearing in court; failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges; and not paying child support. If you default on your child support payments, your license can be suspended. In this case you will be given a temporary license for 150 days. You will need to contact the Department of Child Services (DCSS) about this.
If you believe your license has been suspended due to one of the reasons listed above it is advisable to speak with a Traffic Ticket Attorney or DUI Attorney.


Having your California driver's license suspended is a serious matter and it is essential to adhere to State law in the event that your license is suspended. The three most important things to be aware of following a license suspension are:
  1. If your license has not already been taken away from you in court, you must surrender it to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. You can surrender your license in person at a DMV office, or mail it to:
    Driver License Inquires
    Department of Motor Vehicles
    P.O. Box 942890 
    Sacramento, CA 94290-0001    
  2. While your license is suspended, you are not permitted to drive. If you are found driving with a suspended license, you may be imprisoned for up to five years, and/or the length of your suspension may be increased.
  3. After your suspension is over, you will receive a written notice of restoration, with instructions on how to restore your license. Do not drive until you have completed the necessary steps and received a valid, replacement license from the California DMV.
  4. You can also apply for a restricted license in person or at a local DMV office. Depending on your circumstances you may be allowed to drive (only) to work and back.


If you receive a Notice of Scheduled Suspension from the DMV, and you wish to challenge the suspension, you may request a hearing in court. An administrative law judge or the DMV Chief Administrator will hear your case, and determine whether your driver's license should be suspended or not. In addition, drivers whose license may be suspended due to accumulating excessive points may be eligible to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program. Completing a Driver Improvement Program removes three points from the current driving record, and in some cases can enable an individual to avoid having his license suspended.


You will receive a Notice of Restoration from the DMV after you have completed your suspension period. The notice will include complete instructions regarding how to get your license back. Generally, you will need to:
  1. A reissue fee is a fee paid to reinstate a driving privilege which has been suspended or revoked. The following is a list of reissue fees:
    $15 to add a court restriction
    $20 to remove a Driver License restriction
    $24 drug suspension
    $55 reissue fee (the most common type of reissue fee)
    $100 Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS)
    $100 Admin Per Se (APS)
    $85 APS (partial payment of the $100 APS fee)
    $45 APS (partial payment of the $100 APS fee)    
  2. Apply for a standard license renewal to obtain a new license.
  3. If your license was suspended due to negligent operator points you will have to:
  4. Pay a reissue fee to the DMV and also pay fines to the court.
  5. Show proof of auto insurance.
  6. Complete the negligent operator probation period successfully - i.e. without violating any traffic rules or being involved in an accident.
  7. If your license was suspended due to DUI:
  8. You will have to complete the mandatory probation period.
  9. Pay the reissue fee to the DMV.
  10. Show proof of auto insurance (California Insurance Proof Certificate, SR-22).
  11. Complete a DUI Treatment Program and file a Notice of Completion Certificate (DL 101).
  12. Pay the required court fines.
  13. A restricted license may be issued to you during your probation period if certain reinstatement requirements are met.
  14. If your license was suspended due to a medical condition:
  15. You will have to provide a satisfactory Driver Medical Evaluation (DS 326) and other information stating that the condition no longer exists and you are able to drive the vehicle.
  16. If your license was suspended because you failed to pay a traffic violation (FTP) or appear in court (FTC), you need to:
  17. Pay your fines or appear in court.
  18. Pay the reissue fee to the DMV.
Note that after your license is restored, you will be subject to a Mandatory Probation Period of one year, during which any new violations may result in an additional suspension of your California driver's license.


Reviews of Suspended License Information for California

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease 8 years ago and just applied for a handicap placard at the Ca. DMV for the first time, because of difficulty walking. In short, I complied with all of the requirements, but because my neurologist returned my medical info to the DMV 2 weeks late, they suspended my driver's on the spot. After 30 phone calls and 5 trips to different DMV offices over a month and a half, they finally lifted the suspension and I was cleared to drive.

What has made things even more of a nightmare, since I now have a suspension on my, what was a clean, driving record, my insurance premium went from $1000. to $2000. a year. I recently had to go on SS Disibility due to the disease. To add insult to injury, after contacting Director Jean Shiomoto Of the DMV and getting a letter acknowledging that it was my doctors clerical error, she still refused to help me. The law was made for people that intensionally don't comply with DMV requirements, not for struggling handicap people that didn't do anything wrong.

I can't believe the hardship that has been forced on me, when all I did was try and make getting around a little bit easier.

I received a citation for driving on a suspended license. The DMV order me to install an interlock on a vehicle in order to re install my licence. I just don't see how does having the interlock is an appropriate charge, if I was not under the influence. I just think that three years is ridiculous and it should be for drunk drivers. Those Breathalyzer are hazardous, you have to breath on them while driving and blowing hard can make people dizzy and maybe have an accident. So its dangerous. And three years is to much time, almost ridiculous.

My license was suspended while administrative paperwork was held up. When the paperwork was received, the DMV restored my license. However, during the suspension, I was unaware as I had moved and wasn't notified properly. It wasn't until my auto insurance renewal that I had found out my insurance rate went up upwards of 40%. The suspension was not related to any moving violations, accidental or DUI. Paperwork was delayed. The DMV said they would not remove the suspension on my record. The Good Driver Discount was developed by the CA Insurance commission, but the DMV controls who gets the Good driver Discount. Who can I appeal my suspension to?

I had a DUI in CA in 1996 (18 years ago - my only DUI ever) and paid the fine, but did not take the class (refused to take a religious-based AA class that forced me to A.) state that I was an alcoholic and B.) that I am a deist). As a result of refusing the class (there were NO non-AA classes available), my license was permanently revoked. Is there a time limit on such a revocation in CA? I now live in Oregon, which has a 15 year statue of limitations on fulfilling class requirements. Does the OR law allow me to get a new license despite California's perpetual driving ban, or am I forever forbidden from driving in ANY STATE because California requires me to make false religious declarations?

Is it legal for insurance companies to raise your rate after your license has been reinstated for child support, a non driving related issue?

If I have an out of state license do I still surrender my license to California DMV?

License help

is there a way to protest my license being revoked? i am not sure how to go about this and can not seem to find any information either


request a hearing in court

good info

Rizaldy Reyes driving Mercedes Benz black with plate 7BQP650

somebody is driving without license name is rizaldy reyes driving a black mercedes benz with plate number 7BQP650 in Daly City california

I need to know even if my license is suspended i have a different ticket can i pay for that online or do i have to physically go to dmv

To see if my license suspended

Paulette hopper

Pay on line for license

This is what I have been searching in quite a few web pages and I ultimately identified it right here. Wonderful post. I am so impressed. Could under no circumstances imagine of these a point is attainable with it…I imagine you have a excellent information in particular while dealings with these kinds of topics.

I got pulled over for failing to yield in New Jersey (there for work, now back home in SoCal). I also had an open container in the back seat floor from a barbecue the weekend before. Two voilations, no arrest, no DUI. Because I was coming back and not returning to NJ, asked a captain and he suggested requesting an early hearing and paying the fines, which I did, and that the violations should not get reported back to SoCal. Well I now have two points and trying to figure out what options are available to reduce them and insurance premiums. Can anybody help?

Can you get in trouble for getting in a car with someone you know is not a licensed driver?

No you can not if you are not the driver then your fine but you most likey will be walking if you do get pulled over


In the state of California is it true that your license is cleared after 5 to 7 years of suspension????

I am 20 years old and I have a clean driving record. I got a ticket for running a red light and driving 35 in a 25. I know the light was yellow and I had 3 witnesses in my car. I just left school when I was pulled over within 1.5 blocks. The 2 cops that pulled me over were beyond rude. One kept asking me if I was drunk and flashed his flashlight in my face a few times. I told him I just got out of school and was dropping my friends off at home. I told him I don't have any tickets and he said too bad now you do. I asked if there was anything I could do cause I can't really afford to pay a ticket. I work 3 jobs and pay my own school and rent and recently married. He said too bad you are a bunch of spoiled brat college kids and if you have a car you can pay a ticket. I was shocked. I took my ticket it came in the mail $800.00. I decided to fight it in court and bring a witness. I went to court and the cop told the judge he was chasing me for 4 blocks and then in the same breath told him he pulled me over after 1.5 blocks and that I admitted to running the red light (which I never did)The judge asked my side I told him the light was yellow and so did my witness. The judge basically called us liars. He then asked me about an accident I was in last year and said it was my fault. I told him it was the other drivers fault and it is recorded as that. He said no it says it was your fault. (I have proof from my insurance the other party was charged and I was injured in the accident) He decided to fine me $800.00 and suspend my license for 10 days. I HAVE NO RECORD. This is 2 points. I asked if there was community service or if I could go to traffic school and if I could have a restricted license for work and school and he said no you are getting off lucky and maybe your little friend can drive you. He then took my license. I can not believe this is how are judicial system works. I am thinking of calling the DA or appealing it. I am not sure if there is anything I can do but this is so unfair. Does anyone have any advice?

I am from WA State and have a WA State Driver License. I got my license suspened. I got a ticket in CA and I have take care of it. I have pay a reissue fee for WA State DMV. Now I have to pay a CA reissue fee too? Why is that when i'm not getting a CA license? And how do I take care of it when i'm in WA State?

I was caught driving with a suspended license last month. My car was impounded etc. Luckilly, I was able to get everything straightened out, my license reinstated and I got my car back. I had a court date this morning written on the ticket that the officer gave me. When I showed up, the court both criminal and traffic had no record of me being called to appear. I was told that I needed to call both courts continuously to find out when I needed to appear. Is there anything I can do to get this resolved?

My license was suspended in 2009 because I failed to deal with a seatbelt violation. I have opted to continue driving in the meantime and did so without incident until last weekend when I was pulled over for speeding. I assumed that were I to be pulled over for a traffic violation while driving illegally, the consequences would be serious and immediate. But all the CHP officer (on a bike) did last Saturday was ask for the usual documentation and then issue a speeding ticket without comment on the status of my license.

Is there something I should do proactively (i.e. before the court date for the speeding ticket) to insure I don't face jail time or additional substantial fines. Does the fact that the officer in this case neglected to deal with the suspension or even check my license have any bearing on how/when I ultimately get my license re-instated?

my lisence was suspended last november because of a traffice violation, i was speeding a year prior to it being suspended. i had set up payment plan with the court it was a total of 270$ and my plan was for 40$ per month. I was on my last month last summer and I could not pay the last 44$ due to the economy being so beat. i called the court to ask for an extension and they said they could not give me one. I was furious since I was being so faithful to them making my payments each month and on time and they could not help me out. So a month later they added a 300$ assessment to my ticket and they suspended my lisence. So i had to pay a full 344$ plus 226$ for speeding, like come on? really? funny how our own country aka the greatest country, keeps screwing us american's over.

i got pulled over without a permit last year for having a back light out. i got a ticket of about $350. i payed it off in three months. can i still get my permit after paying the ticket and almost year with no traffic violation or any trouble with the laws

I had received a dui and refused the field test, so i was told that my license would be revoked for 3 years. However I just got off the phone with the DMV and they told me i was eligible for a restricted license. Is this at all reasonable or sound right, because it doesnt sound right to me. It just doesnt sound right to me. please someone with experience or knowledge of how this works please let me know.

So I just got in a wreck, not that bad, but I don't have insurance yet because I literally Just bought it. I've never had a car before now and I've been living and going to school in LA for the past 2 years. Could I still get my license suspended? I was told if you are living here as a student you don't have to get a CA id... and so since I've been a student this whole time and never had a car, how could they get me? I'm so confused and I'll be pissed if it gets suspended...

is it possible that your license will get suspended if some people reported you as a bad driver? Cause earlier i was driving and then the car infront of me sudden break and then i tried to not hit that car so i change lane and then my car slipped from fast lane all the way to the slow lane. and then i slow down and there was old guy pulled me over and then i pulled over and he just starts yelling at me, and he said that he will report me to DMV safety cause im bad driver. I am very positive that I didnt hit his.

I was driving my dad's car when I was involved in an accident. I was not under the insurance so I paid all the damage that was done to the other vehicle. Now my license is suspended because I did not provide Financial Responsibility. So my dad's car was insured by not me, is that enough to suspend my license?

Did you ever find the answer to your question? I'm going through the same thing right now, not sure what to do!

My drivers license has been suspended because of failure to pay traffic tickets. I need to drive to work , to pick my kids up from school and to doctors appointments. How do I apply for a restrictive license in order o do limited driving?

i went to renew my caifornia drivers licence and had a hold on my licencefrom arizona for no registrayion on a van i bought. acar ran a redlightand hit the car in front of me. it demolished myvan. threy didnt give tow it or giveme a ticket. i dont know aboutit till now. they wont lift the hold till its paid. im on a limited 66 yrs disabled.on crutchets homless and was living in my van;ineed to get a restricted licence, i cant go to the doctors ,my hip is poped out. i cant do what i have to get done ,iam on a limited income.ihave to pay more for cabsand people to take me places.can i get apayment plan and a restriicted licence? the ticket is 395.00 and it is in mesa arizona.

I would try contacting a place called interfaith in escondido. They are a church based program that helps alot of homeless people, all people if you qualify. look em up in the phone book or on line, i am sure they can help you. Or the catholic charities sometimes help too.

Driver's license suspended for unpaid parking ticket, which after not being paid on time resulted in a $300 civil assessment on top of the the parking ticket. Not being able to come up with the $450 at the time, but needed to work, I was pulled over and then cited for driving on a suspended license. I paid payments on the fees, but while doing so, I was pulled over again and again cited for driving on a suspended license. I haven't any moving violations. This is because I failed to pay the original parking ticket on time. I have made payments in amounts many times more than the cost of the original ticket. This last time I was pulled over, my car was taken and impounded for 30 days. I did not have the money to get my car back, so it was sold at auction. The fees I need to pay are now over $2000 and has been sent to the Franchise Tax Board for collection. I am told I cannot make the payments, but must come up with the total amount due in one lump sum. I have gone to court and denyed a restricted license more than once. I have no car, no money, and am about to be fired due to difficulty getting to work as on the bus it takes nearly 3 hours to get to work one way and the bus is not always on time. My family members no longer want to give me a ride. Is there anything I can do?

Im in this exact same boat guys! Its total BS/ FTB took my return this year, and all that is left is 710.00, from initial 3200$. Mostly fees. Since FTB took?paid some of fees, NOBODY can tell me how to pay the remaining 710! WTF?? My life sits in limbo between DMV, FED TAX Board, and Courts. The kicker? I did community service hours, 135 hours to erase the majority of fines. Apparently I was supposed to pay a 30$ fee when i turned in my hours....didnt know this. they mailed my original hours back to me (wrong name on envelope), ant WRONG address, similar street. And I'm penalized for this? so unfair....worst part, my license is supended, but ALSO EXPIRED within the time this is all going on. Lovely.......

If my cousins 15 and got his license suspended for possession of marijuana and does not own a license than when will his license suspension take in affect.

I was driving someone else car,my license is suspended but can the DMV suspended the other person license if that was the car I was driving, the other person was not driving i was

If someone has a suspended license from another state, is it possible to go to California DMV and obtain one? Will it pop up that his drivers license is suspended in another state?

Yes it will

Did you ever get the answer to this question


I lost my license due to unpaid fines i have bout 700.00 paid off and the paper they sent me said the liability amount is 668.00 what does that mean and can i try and get my license back now?

All My D.U.I. fees are paid, I purchased my auto insurance and got my SR22, filed it at dmv santa ana. I renewed my licence and paid my registration fees but I still canot get my licence plate tags. What do I do?

Justice for all is crap. I just came across some very interesting stats. According to the 2010 California census there are 37,741,885 people in California.

28,490,000 are white americans

1,294,000 are blacks and hispanics combined

44.8% of non-dui black and hispanic American drivers have their license suspended

3.2% of non-dui white Americans drivers have their license suspended

Now for just DUI cases 38.65 % in california are white americans

black and hispanic combined is 12.7 % not counting asian and pIslanders

Is this why they have our races on our license? So if the court didnt know the races of people would we all have the same penalties?

I'm must be white trash cus they suspended my licence for not having enough money to pay my registration, and pay the ticket [which they also doubled for being slow in paying, $840. This is EXCESSIVE BAIL.

I unknowingly had my license suspened, I went to grad school in the bay area, and after i walked the stage I went home to Texas for a year to be with family that ive missed while in school. I stayed for 8 mths and the moved back to California ( San Diego) for work in research lab. I lived and work trouble free for a year, and in Jan. my apt was broken into, I call the cops to make a report and all he wanted was to run my license and criminal history which I had none, but what came up was 1 unpaid parking tickets on campus in 2009 and a camera red light, and told me I had a suspended license and took it. I then called the county where my ticket was held, and paid the parkng ticket which was just 100.00 but the red light ticket was diffrent, I wanted to pay but it was 880.00 plus court cost and dmv 125.00 fee and I was like why no one contacted me and she said we sent the ticket to the last known address and I asked her what address she gave me the wrong address, it was the previous owner, turned out that was the same day i just bought the truck and was driving home and the next day i reg. it in my name, I even faxed them the bill of sale and all she said was its not their fault they sent it to the wrong address. I said ill pay but minus the extra charges, because i was not notified and i did what I was supposed to do. I was a entry level biochem researcher that mainly did findings and rush them to diffrent lab for cancer and other mutation forms of illness so me driving was 75% of my job. I lost that job when they did monthly insurance purpose checks on staff. Im now onn edd and without a license I cant drive and look for a job and a lawyer is just as much as the tickets and fines, and since there are no partial payments im stuck, edd barely pays my rent.