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How to Reinstate Your Driver's License After a DUI Suspension

The state of California can suspend or revoke your driver’s license for a variety of reasons. Although each reason may be a penalty for some sort of action or behavior, not all reasons are connected to how you drive.

Common reasons a driver’s license can be suspended include failing to appear in court, not paying a fine related to traffic citations, and not keeping proof of car insurance on your person or in your car. It could also be tacked on as a punishment for being convicted of a driving-related crime, such as a hit-and-run or a DUI, or for not paying child support payments that were established by the court.

With so many different ways to lose your driver’s license in California, it may come as no surprise that there are a variety of different procedures you can follow to get it back, or "reinstate" it. The following are common ways to reinstate your driver’s license, based on the offense that led to the suspension. Speak with a Santa Rosa criminal defense attorney today if you need to reinstate your license after a traffic offense.

Negligent Operator (Reckless Driving):

  1. Complete any required Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) probation
  2. Pay reissuance fees to DMV and other fees to the court
  3. File or update proof of insurance or financial responsibility

DUI Arrest or Conviction:

  1. Complete mandatory suspension periods
  2. Fulfill any other criminal penalty requirements (prison time, probation, etc.)
  3. Pay reissuance and court fees
  4. Complete a DUI safety program with a Notice of Completion Certificate
  5. File or update proof of insurance

Failing to Appear in Court or Pay Child Support:

  1. Appear in court as required
  2. Pay any fees or fines to parties, such as the court or ex-spouse
  3. Pay reissuance and court fees

Physical or Mental Disability:

  1. Complete a Driver Medical Evaluation (Form DS-326)
  2. Collect additional medical records regarding your disability
  3. Prove to DMV you are still fit to operate a vehicle

SR-22 Forms & Proof of Insurance

You may have noticed that several of these reinstatement processes mentioned needing to file or update your proof of insurance. In California, this means purchasing additional insurance coverage and having your insurance provider send an SR-22 form to the DMV. This form acts as proof that your insurance premiums have increased. In the event that you cannot raise your insurance any further with your current carrier, and thus you cannot get an SR-22 form, you will need to contact the California Department of Insurance for assistance and alternatives.

Restricted Licenses and Other Solutions

If your license is suspended and cannot be reinstated right away, you may be able to get a restricted license that allows you to drive to certain places, such as work or school. If your license has not yet been suspended but will be soon, you can also defend your driving privileges, stop the suspension, and never have to worry about the trouble of reinstatement at all. For either solution, you can contact the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. for legal assistance. Our Santa Rosa criminal defense attorney can provide you with the guidance and counsel you need in this time of uncertainty.