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How to Get a Restricted License

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How Can I Get a Restricted License?

Requesting a restricted license is optional. A restricted license generally allows you to drive only to and from work or DUI school. In order to get a restricted license, you must meet certain criteria. This may depend on whether you were 21 years of age or older at the time of the arrest, if you have prior DUIs, and if you refused a chemical test after your arrest.

After a First Time DUI

Whether you can get a restricted license will depend on whether you won your DMV APS hearing. Assuming the following factors apply:

  • You do not have a previous DUI offense,
  • Were over 21 at the time of the offense,
  • Did not refuse to take a chemical test, and
  • Were not on probation for an alcohol-related offense, then

If You Won the DMV Administrative Hearing

If you were successful in the DMV APS hearing, but were later convicted of a DUI in court, then you can immediately apply for a restricted license. There is no need to wait out the 30 day suspension. You can then take the following steps to secure your restricted license. (SeeCalifornia Vehicle Code 13352.4)

  1. File an SR-22, also known as a certificate of financial responsibility insurance;
  2. Enroll in an approved 3-month First Offender Program; and
  3. Apply for a restricted license from the DMV, and pay the $125 fee. (See VC 13357.7)

If You Did NOT Win the DMV Administrative Hearing

If the DMV suspended your license after losing the administrative hearing, you must take wait additional time to apply for a restricted license:

  1. Wait the full 30 day period after the DMV APS suspension date;
  2. File an SR-22, also known as a certificate of financial responsibility insurance;
  3. Enroll in an approved 3-month First Offender Program; and
  4. Apply for a restricted license from the DMV, and pay the $125 fee. (See VC 13357.7)

What Are the Limits on a Restricted License?

For a first-time DUI offense, the restricted license will allow you to drive only:

  • to and from work;
  • drive for your work; and
  • to and from DUI school (and activities required by the DUI First Offender Program). (SeeVC 13352.4(c))

Can a Restricted License Add Time to My Driver's License Suspension?

Again, this depends on whether you win your DMV hearing and whether you are convicted of a DUI in court:

  • If you lost your DMV administrative hearing, but are NOT convicted in court, the period of a restricted licenses will last for 5 months. (1 month suspension and 5 months restricted license). This applies if your case was dismissed completely, or if your charges were reduced to a wet reckless. (See VC 13353.7(a)(3))
  • Alternatively, if you win your DMV APS hearing, but are convicted in court for a DUI, then the restricted period lasts for six months. (See VC 13352.4(b))

You will receive credit for the time of your DMV suspension if you lose both your DMV administrative hearing AND are convicted of a DUI. (See VC 13353.3(c))

Commercial Driver's License

If you hold a commercial driver's license, and your regular driver's license was revoked or suspended as a result of the DUI, then:

  • if you were operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest, you will not be eligible for a restricted driver's license; (see VC 13352.4(g)), however
  • if you were NOT operating a commercial vehicle during the DUI arrest, you ARE eligible for a restricted license, but not for commercial driving privileges. (See VC 13353.7(c))

Chemical Test Refusal

If you refused to take a chemical test after being arrested for a DUI, then you will not be able to get a restricted license.

After a Second DUI Offense

After being charged with a second DUI within a ten-year period, the DMV will suspend your driver's license for two years, (see VC 13352(a)(3)). However, you may still apply for a restricted license if you were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, but NOT under the influence of drugs. To apply for a restricted license, you have two options:

  1. Wait a one-year suspension term and complete the 12-month Multiple Conviction Program; OR

2. Wait a the three-month suspension term; complete the 12-month Multiple Conviction Program; install a verified ignition interlock device, or IID, in your vehicle; and calibrate the IID at least once every 60 days. (See VC 23575, 13352)

Then:

  • File an SR-22, also known as a certificate of financial responsibility insurance;
  • Enroll in an approved 3-month First Offender Program; and
  • Apply for a restricted license from the DMV, and pay the $125 fee. (See VC 13352(a)(4)))

A restricted licenses without an IID For a first-time DUI offense, the restricted license will allow you to drive only:to and from work;drive for your work; and to and from DUI school (and activities required by the DUI First Offender Program). (See VC 13352.4(c))

However, having a restricted license WITH an IID will allow you to drive anywhere. Some police officers may not be aware of this, but after Senate Bill 598 passed, the IID restricted license will allow you to drive anywhere as long as you are using the IID.

You will only be able to drive the IID equipped car. (See VC 23575(f)(1))

You may be able to drive a company car as an employee without having to install an IID, under certain conditions. (See VC 23576). In order to qualify, you will need to notify your employer your driving privileges have been restricted, then submit DMV Form DL 923, and keep the form inside the company vehicle. You can find the DMV DL 923 form at the DMV, or request the form by calling the DMV at: 1-800-777-0133.

After a Wet Reckless With a Prior DUI

If you received a DMV license suspension after a second DMV offense within a 10-year period, but are only convicted of a wet reckless, you can still get a restricted license. You must:

  • Wait 90 days from the date of the administrative DMV hearing suspension;
  • Attend a 9-month First Conviction Program (DUI School); and
  • Install an ignition interlock device (IID) and have it calibrated once every 60 days. (See VC 23575).

The restricted license will be in effect for the remaining time under the one-year suspension. (SeeVC 13353.3(b)(2)(C)).

With an IID restricted license, you will be able to drive anywhere. You will not be limited to driving to and from work or DUI school.

As stated above, You will only be able to drive the IID equipped car. (See VC 23575(f)(1)). You may also be able to drive a company car as an employee without having to install an IID, under certain conditions. (See VC 23576). To qualify, you will need to notify your employer your driving privileges have been restricted, then submit DMV Form DL 923, and keep the form inside the company vehicle. You can find the DMV Form DL 923 at the DMV, or request the form by calling the DMV at: 1-800-777-0133.

After a Third DUI Offense

After getting a third DUI within a 10-year period, the DMV will revoke your driver's license for three years. (See VC 13352(a)(4)). However, if the conviction did not involve any drugs, limited to driving under the influence of alcohol, you can still apply for a restricted driver's license. To apply for a restricted license, you will:

  1. Wait a six-month suspension term; OR

2. Complete the 12-month Multiple Conviction Program; (See VC 23575, 13352)

Then:

  • Install a verified ignition interlock device, or IID, in your vehicle; and calibrate the IID at least once every 60 days;
  • File an SR-22, also known as a certificate of financial responsibility insurance;
  • Enroll in an approved 18-month Multiple Conviction Program (or 30-month program, if ordered by the court); and
  • Apply for a restricted license from the DMV, and pay the $125 fee. (See VC 13352(a)(4)))

Again, with an IID restricted license, you will be able to drive anywhere, not just limited to driving to and from work or DUI school.

You will only be able to drive the IID equipped car. (See VC 23575(f)(1)). You may also be able to drive a company car as an employee without having to install an IID, under certain conditions. (See VC 23576). To qualify, you will need to notify your employer your driving privileges have been restricted, then submit DMV Form DL 923, and keep the form inside the company vehicle. You can find the DMV Form DL 923 at the DMV, or request the form by calling the DMV at: 1-800-777-0133.

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