Getting a Restricted License After a License Suspension in California

Posted almost 5 years ago. Applies to California, 10 helpful votes



File an SR-22

You will need to contact an insurance provider and have them file a form SR-22 with the DMV. This form of minimum coverage must be updated by your insurer every six months for three years. If you fail to maintain your SR-22, your license will be immediately suspended by DMV. You can get an SR-22 from your current insurance provider or a different company.


File Proof of Enrollment in a First Offender Program

You will need to enroll in a minimum three month DUI program called the "First Offender Program." Typically, a client will receive a referral from the Superior Court. This is the easiest way to get into a program. If you can't get a court referral, you will need to go to the DMV and request an H-6 printout of your driving record. You can take the program in either your county of residence or employment and it will meet one night a week for approximately 2 to 2.5 hours. Although DMV will only require a level one, three month program, the Superior Court may require you to complete a 9 month, level 2 program if your blood alcohol was greater than .20% or if you refused a chemical test. Once you've enrolled, the program will typically file your Proof of Enrollment with the DMV for you. Bear in mind that you will likely have to have this document filed with yhe Superior Court as well.


Wait 30 Days?

If you have taken an Administrative Suspension, you will have to wait thirty days before applying for the restricted license. If you have been convicted of DUI but did not suffer an administrative suspension (unlikely but possible), you are immediately eligible for a restricted license without waiting thirty days. Remember, a "wet reckless" does NOT carry a mandatory suspension.


Go to the DMV

You'll need to go to any DMV field office and apply for the restricted license. You will need to pay a $125 license reissue fee. Your license will be restricted for 5 months from the date you get your restricted license. Thus, if you're going to get one, get it as soon as you become eligible. You will be restricted for 10 months on a 9 month First Offender Program requirement. Although DMV should have your documents on file, bring all of your documents with you to DMV just in case.


So I'm Restricted, Now What?

This license will look just like your last one, however, it will have your restriction of to and from work and to and from the First Offender Program printed on the back. Take your restriction seriously, if you're caught driving outside the scope of your restriction, you can be charged with a serious misdemeanor offense which may carry more punishment than your original DUI case, in some counties meaning actual jail time.

Additional Resources

Bay Area DUI Information


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