Drivers License Suspension in California
Just because you have taken driver training classes and passed the exam does not mean that a drivers license is a right. When you are driving in the state of California, there are times when the state can decide to take your drivers license away. This could be for a short period of time, or it could mean forever depending on the severity of the offense.
The Difference between CA License Suspension and Revocation
It is important to know the difference between having your drivers license suspended versus having your license revoked. There are sometimes ways to fix the problem if you know which issue you are facing.
Having your license suspended means that you cannot operate any vehicle for a certain amount of time. Usually, you can get your license back if you pay certain fees, and wait out your suspension period. If you are caught driving during the time your license is suspended, you may face even harsher penalties, including more fines or possibly having your license revoked.
The state of California can revoke your license for serious offenses such as felonies, or even a failure to appear in court. When the DMV and the state of California revoke your license, your privileges are taken away completely. If you wanted to try to reinstate your drivers license, you would have to apply, take the exam, and pay the fees all over again, after waiting the designated amount of time. This could be anywhere from one to five years.
Some examples of driving acts which may warrant California license revocation include:
- High speeds on crowded roads during peak traffic hours
- Attempting to evade law enforcement
- Driving under the influence combined with reckless driving acts leading to an accident
- Flagrant disregard involving foreseeable risk of traffic laws, signals or signs, weather or road conditions, known mechanical defects, or pedestrians
- Driving recklessly in a vehicle for which you are not licensed or trained to drive
How Your CA License Can Be Suspended
In California, either the Department of Motor Vehicles or the court can suspend your license. A suspension may be placed on someone who:
- Has too many moving violations
- Is a negligent operator
- Was driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- 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 a traffic citation or failed to appear in court on a traffic citation
- Fails to pay family support
It is important to keep your car insured, your license up to date, and not to neglect any tickets you may have received from driving. Failing to keep up with any of these may lead to your California state drivers license being suspended.
How to Get Your CA License Reinstated
If you find that you have done something that resulted in getting your drivers license suspended, do not worry. There are ways to get your license back. It all depends on the reason for the suspension.
Usually, if your license has been suspended, you will need to pay fines to the Department of Motor Vehicles as well as to the court. You must also file “proof of financial responsibility,” to prove that you have insurance, with the DMV. You may also have to complete classes, such as with a DUI conviction, and you may face possible imprisonment.
If your license was suspended due to a physical or mental condition, you will need to provide a Driver Medical Evaluation stating that your condition no longer affects your ability to drive a vehicle safely.
Your ability to drive a motor vehicle in the state of California is not a guaranteed right. In order to keep your California drivers license you must follow the laws that govern the use of the public roads. Please be careful both for yourself and for those around you.