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What are some ways a person can get their license suspended in California, besides getting a DUI?


California, like most states, has many reasons in which their Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend a person's driver's license. Receiving and being convicted of a DUI is just one reason that your driving privileges may be suspended in CA.

According to the CA DMV in California a suspended driver license means a person's privilege to drive a car is temporarily withdrawn. The driver license may be suspended by either DMV or the court. Suspensions may be imposed if a person:

  • Is a negligent operator. (NOTS Program)
  • Was driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. (DUI)
  • Has a physical/mental condition or disorder that adversely affects the ability to drive a motor vehicle safely.
  • Was involved in a car accident and did not have proof of financial responsibility (car insurance).
  • Failed to pay (FTP) a traffic citation or failed to appear (FTA) in court on a traffic citation.
  • Fail to pay Family Support. Welfare & Institutions Code

The length of your suspension depends on the reason for the action. Suspensions can run from 30 days for a first conviction of reckless driving to 1 year for not taking a chemical test for DUI to indefinite because of a physical/mental condition or disorder.

The steps you take to get your driver's license back depends upon the reason(s) it was suspended. The following examples give you an idea of what you might need to do.

If your license was suspended due to you having a physical or mental condition or disorder to get it reinstated you would need to provide a satisfactory Driver Medical Evaluation (DS 326) and/or other medical information indicating the condition no longer affects the ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

A suspension due to being in a car accident and not having proof of financial responsibility (car insurance) means that to get your license back you would need to

  1. Complete a mandatory one year suspension.
  2. Pay a reissue fee to DMV.
  3. File Proof of Financial Responsibility (California Insurance Proof Certificate, SR 22)

Having your driver's license suspended because you failed to pay (FTP) a traffic citation or failed to appear (FTA) in court on a traffic citation means you must:

  1. Pay your citations or appear in court. You will be given an FTP/FPA abstract that says you fulfilled this requirement from the court.
  2. Pay a re-issue fee to DMV.

Contact the CA DMV at 1-800-777-0133 during normal business hours (Between 8-5, Mon., Tues., Thurs., and Fri. Between 9-5 on Wednesdays) for information about your particular situation. You will need to provide the DMV with your driver's license number so have it and any other information sent to you from DMV available on hand so you can get the specific information you need from the phone representative.


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