DUI and Insurance Licenses
What happens to a California insurance agent, broker, or producer licensee with a DUI conviction? This page discusses a DUI and how it affects Insurance Agents and Brokers licensed in CA.
Your license is issued by, and granted by, the California Department of Insurance. They set the terms and requirements of what you must do to keep your license.
DUI and Insurance Licensees – Your Duties upon being arrested for DUI
If you are arrested for a DUI, you may wonder if you have any requirements to disclose your pending case, or your arrest, to the Department of Insurance or DOI.
Under the DOI’s rules, you do not have to disclose arrests. Their website states:
Must I disclose if I am only arrested for a crime?
No. You do not have to report only an arrest for a crime.
DUI and Insurance Licensees – Your duties upon The filing of charges.
The filing of charges, which is done by the prosecutor with the court, is different. The DOI states that you must disclose in writing by mail any felony charges filed against you by a County or State District Attorney or United States Attorney within 30 days of the felony charges being filed. That would include a DUI charged as a felony. The criminal complaint or indictment issued will identify the charges and crimes you are accused of committing for the Department of Insurance.
Note that most DUIs are misdemeanors. The DOI states that you do not have to report misdemeanor charges being filed against you, but you must report any misdemeanor once it results in a conviction.
DUI and Insurance Licensees – Your duties if convicted of DUI.
A conviction does require disclosure to the Department of Insurance in California. They require mailed written disclosure of any convictions, as any changes to your criminal background record must be reported. A conviction is one of the items listed as mandatory to disclose under their rules.
DUI and Insurance Licensees – Other disclosure duties.
As mentioned above, you must disclose even just the filing of felony criminal charges in state or federal court. You must also file written disclosure of any of the following:
- An administrative action regarding a professional or occupational license;
- Discharge or attempt to discharge, in a personal or organizational bankruptcy proceeding, an obligation regarding any insurance premiums or fiduciary funds owed to any company, or managing general agent;
- Any admission, or judicial finding or determination of fraud, misappropriation, or conversion of functions, misrepresentation, or breach of fiduciary duty.
DUI and Insurance Licensees – How to Disclose:
In order to meet the Department of Insurance’s disclosure requiriements, you will need to do three things:
1) Complete the Change in the Background Information Disclosure Form (LIC FORM #2557B) (AB 2557B);
2) Attach certified copies of all court documents, setting forth the disposition of the matter, together with any other relevant documents or information that you would like to have considered. All such documents must be submitted within 30 days of the change; and
3) Mail the completed form to the Department of Insurance, Producer Licensing Background Section at the address listed below.
California Department of Insurance Attn: Producer Licensing Background Section, 300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1600, Sacramento, CA 95814. You can fax to (916) 323-1512.
DUI and Insurance Licensees – How Bad is It?
Like a DUI and nursing licenses, DUI and pilot licenses, or a DUI and a real estate license, a conviction for DUI is among the most common reasons for a denial of a California license application for a license. California appellate courts tend to usually, but not always, uphold the licensing agencies in these situations. In Griffiths v. Sup Ct (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 757, Dr. Griffiths, a physician with a medical license, pointed out that he had no history of drinking at work, missing work due to drinking, or making mistakes on the job based on drinking.
But the court ruled that driving under the influence of alcohol is (1) evidence of an inability or unwillingness to obey the law and (2) constitutes a serious breach of duty owed to the public. And, the court found in that case.
How long will an applicant for license be required to disclose a prior DUI in an application for State professional/occupational license? Always.
DUI and Insurance Licensees – How can you keep your license?
Is there anything that you can do to avoid denial of a license or suspension of your license based on a prior DUI?
In most cases, yes. State law requires licensing agencies to give weight to all evidence of rehabilitation and mitigation offered by you, and to make an individualized determination of the applicant’s worthiness to be licensed by the agency. A DUI will not automatically cause disqualification.
Contact us if you need representation for a DUI. We have handled cases for those that are licensed by the Department of Insurance, and we can help you. Get in touch with us today.