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If you`re convicted of a DUI do you have to take the DUI class no matter what to get your license back?

Oakland, CA |

I was convicted of 2 DUI`s in San Joaquin county 5 years ago when i was 19 years old. I have not been pulled over or received a driving citation since. I paid the $1500 in restitution. Would i have to take the 18 month DUI class to get my license back? Its been 5 years?

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Attorney answers 7


Each DMV has its own requirements but generally yes!

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


Yes. You can check with the DMV and see if you can get a provisional license once you start the classes.

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Yes, you will never be eligible for your California license unless and until you take the educational classes. You should go to your local office and ask them for the requirement to reinstate and with that you can get signed up for whatever program in your area.


In CA, yes the DMV requires you complete the SB38 (18 month) class in order to reinstate your license. Too bad you paid the restitution first, that is a judgment that the criminal court won't enforce. I've added a link to the list of class providers statewide. Find one in your county close to you and call them for an appointment.

Contributions on in no way create an attorney-client relationship nor are they intended to be relied upon as a course of action without having first consulted directly with an attorney, where the specific facts and circumstances of your case can be fully discussed.



I have actually only paid $500 in restitution. What do you mean its a judgement that the criminal court wont enforce? I could get my license back just by taking the 18 month class?

Daniel C Grupenhagen

Daniel C Grupenhagen


The court won't enforce the restitution award. It becomes a judgment that the victim can collect on but the criminal court won't enforce it like a term of probation. Yes, the class is still required by the DMV. If you have any questions about holds on your license, call the Mandatory Actions Unit of the DMV in Sacramento. They can be found on the CA DMV website.


Yes, regardless of the time that has passed, you will need to sign up for the alcohol class to get your license. If you go to the DMV, you may be eligible for a provisional license, allowing you to drive to school, work, home, etc.

Good luck!


I agree with all the above. Also, you may want to check if you have an outstanding warrant as the completion of the alcohol classes are routinely a condition of probation. I'm surprised you never had any issues with warrants or probation violations. Though, your probation is likely finished at this point since these occurred 5 years ago..

However, you were only 19 at the time - were you charged with VC 23140 or 23136? Alcohol classes are generally not a condition of probation in these offenses.



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