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Q. My last DUI was 15 yrs ago. The court did not revoke my license, but the DMV did & in order to get my license back, the DMV required I enroll in & complete the 18-month multiple offender program & get an SR-22. I was eligible for a RESTRICTED license allowing me to drive to & from work & school, etc., provided I was enrolled in & in good standing with the 18-month program. I did get started on the program but 4 months in, I was distracted by personal matters & took a leave of absence & never went back. I did not apply for the restricted license during those 4 months.
I just learned California expunges DUI convictions after 10 years but understand this has nothing to do with the DMV decision. Is there also a time frame when the conditions set forth by the DMV to get my license also go away?
Answer: Unfortunately, this is a common misunderstanding – that there is an automatic expungement of a DUI conviction after 10 years. While a DUI cannot be used as a prior once 10 years have passed, that does not mean that it disappears from a criminal record – in fact, if you ran a criminal record, you will find it is still there, and would be there for life until you do an expungement.
A DMV driver’s record shows all actions, for life, like criminal records. Unlike a criminal conviction, the driving record does not have a procedure for expungement – the DMV requires that you follow their procedures to get a license back, no matter how much time has passed, to get whatever you need done and your license reinstated.
The alternative is to give up driving privileges in California, and have a license issued in another state, for which California can issue a waiver of any driving privileges, or any license hold that might cause you a problem in another state.
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