How to get your Driver’s License Back
If your driver’s license is suspended for any reason, then you need to know how to get your driver’s license back. The process is a little different depending on why your license was suspended.
In order to be suspended, one of the following things must have happened to suspend your California Driver’s License:
- You didn’t pay something. This could be child support, or a fine to the court, or the DMV.
- Your license expired. (This is the easiest to fix).
- Something happened to you. That could be a seizure or other medical problem that makes you unsafe to drive, or it could be an arrest for DUI.
- You didn’t show up in court. This will always, for driving offenses, suspend your driver’s license, as there is a warrant out for your arrest.
Lets look more closely at each of these problems, what caused them, and what the remedy is.
1: You didn’t pay something.
This means that you didn’t make a payment, or skipped making payments, for one of the following:
- Court fines. The solution here is to go into court, recall any warrants, and pay off the fines or get back on a payment plan. You may need to see a judge. The photograph above is from the Orange County Superior Court’s amnesty program, which ended in April, 2017, but which waived past due fees for those that got their account current immediately for certain cases.
- DMV fees. The solution here is to pay the DMV fees. The DMV doesn’t take payments.
- Child Support. The family law court can hear your petition to change child support, and can lift a lien on child support if you make a few good faith payments. If your financial situation has changed, you can also get a retroactive order changing the past due amount, or challenge child support wrongfully ordered. Once fixed with the family law court, they notify the DMV to lift the lien (by having the court clerk issue an electronic “abstract”, which clears your record with the DMV and makes it cleared up for you to have a license issued again.
2. Your license expired.
If your license expired, you need to pay the renewal fee. Depending on your driving record, and how long you’ve had your license, you may need to take a vision test, or a driving test, during renewal. Once you’re renewed, you’re good to go.
3. Something Happened to You.
This title is intentionally vague, but that is because it covers so many options. The DMV will suspend your license for any of the following reasons:
- You have a seizure, or other medical problem that makes you unsafe to drive; or
- You have a DUI, or were convicted of a crime that suspends your license; or
- You are a “negligent operator” – that is, too many points from tickets or accidents.
Medical Suspension: The best strategy here is to request a DMV examination appointment, and have a doctor perform a quality, thorough examination and fill out the DMV’s medical evaluation form. With evidence that the medical problem is resolved, or is unlikely to continue, the DMV can reissue the license and eliminate the hold.
You have a DUI: The solution is to first get a restricted license, and then reinstate your license in full. This means you must pay the re-issuance fee, enroll in an alcohol school, and show you have insurance, through an SR-22. That will get you a restricted license after one month, if it’s a first time DUI. If it’s a second time DUI, you can get a license after 90 days if you add an IID, or wait one year and get a restricted license for the remainder of your suspension. As the top DUI Lawyer in Orange County, we can definitely help you with this part.
You are a negligent operator: The DMV allows you to have four points in one year, six points in two years, and eight points in three years. Anything above that will suspend your license. You can wait until any of those points drops off your record, timing wise, or you can request a hearing with the DMV Office of Driver Safety, which will allow you to show the need to drive and get your license back.
4. You Didn’t Show Up In Court.
Courts love to suspend a license if you don’t show up in court, as their way of showing who’s boss. They are serious about you making your court appearances. Even for the smallest driving violation, the court has the ability to put a hold on your license, causing your license to be suspended. The solution to this problem is easy – have a lawyer go into court for you, or go into court yourself, and recall the warrant, which updates the DMV and releases your license hold.
Contact us for questions.
If you have questions about getting your driver’s license back in California, contact us and our firm. We are here to help you.