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How long is a driver's license suspended in CA after a DUI if you are found guilty in BOTH the DMV APS and criminal courts?

Los Angeles, CA |

I understand that the DMV suspends for 4 months and the court can suspend for an additional 6 months (however, one can opt for the restricted license after 30 days).

Would I be able to ride out the 4 months and get my license back in October (if license suspended in June)? Or does the criminal court's conviction add to it?

The other terms of probation will also be included in there (3 month alcohol program, AA meetings, etc.).

Thank you so much!

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Attorney answers 3


It appears from your question that you are alleged to have committed a FIRST DUI in California. Obviously the answer to your question is different depending on how many DUI's a person is alleged to have committed and the state having jurisdiction. On a first DUI in CA, the DMV will rule on the APS hearing and usually upholds the suspension of the driver's license. The suspension letter from the DMV will say that your CDL is suspended for 4 months, but you can get it back on a restricted basis after 30 days if you show proof to the DMV that you are enrolled in a DUI program (usually AB-541 3 month program depending on the Blood Alcohol Content), an SR-22 from your insurance company, and a $125 reissuance fee.

If you do not want to get the restricted CDL, you can just wait but still need to do the AB-541 program, as well as file an SR-22 and pay the reissuance fee, to get your CDL reinstated, so you might as well get your restricted CDL so you can drive to and from the program and to and from and for work.

The CA courts got out the business of restricting and/or suspending CDL's a few years ago and is now leaving that up to the DMV unless it is a severe case. Consequently, the court conviction should not have any affect on the date you can get your CDL back.


Yor cannot get you full status license back after the DMV suspension of 4 months if you are convicted of VC 23152 (a) or (b). The court suspension is 6 months, but you can get it restricted during that time if you enroll in a dui school (which is required in most plea deals) and pay the DMV $15.00 reissue fee. This is why most people get the restriction after the 30 day suspension.


To get a Restricted License to drive, you now need to enroll in the alcohol program by calling a program from this complete list: Please call the one closest to you now if you have not done so already.

Inform them you are eligible for a DMV restriction effective 30 days from the effective date of the suspension. (This is per any DMV Notification of Findings and Decision letter.)

Tell them you want a "DMV Referral" (you are telling them this because you do not yet have court papers referring you to the program; the pink temporary issued by the officer entitles you to this DMV Referral. If they tell you that you first need the court papers, ask to speak with the Director of the program or the person's supervisor. You should be able to use the original pink temporary and/or the DMV decision. They may try to tell you to get an "H-6" driver record printout; you may ask if you can bring the pink temporary or the DMV decision.)

Once you are enrolled in the program, and have proof of that enrollment to take to DMV, you can get a restricted license as long as you also have contacted your insurance company who will electronically file an "SR-22" (proof of insurance certificate, not insurance id card) and as long as you pay the reissue fees to DMV.

So just call the program and the insurance company to do these things asap.

The program will send proof of enrollment to DMV.

Once you have the proof of enrollment and SR 22 in place, you just go to a local DMV field office and pay any reissue fees for the restricted license.

There are often considerable delays between calling & getting an orientation appointment (so you can get proof of enrollment) and between getting proof & DMV receiving it. So you need to call the program immediately to make an appointment for enrollment

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