How to Get Your License Back if You Got a DUI in California and Live Out of State

Oct 17, 2022

What happens regarding your license suspension, if you happen to live out of state and get a DUI in California? Unfortunately, if there is a license suspension, you do not have the ability to get a restricted drivers license by attending a DUI course within the State of California.  This can be a real problem and is one the most confusing issues that comes up in the area of DUI law.  

After a conviction for a DUI, if you have an out-of-state Drivers License, your license in your home state could be suspended indefinitely if you do not take action to clear up the suspension in California.  If you were living in California, that would mean attending a DUI program, obtaining the special SR22 insurance, discussed below, and paying the license reinstatement fee. However, because were out of state, you couldn't attend a licensed California DUI program, which was only done in person and in the State of California.  Temporarily, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many California licensed DUI programs have been offering Telehealth as an option for remotely completing the DUI program.  This could be an option if you live outside the State of California.  My concern, however, would be that prior to completion of the program, these temporary orders could be rescinded and all your effort to do the program would be a waste. 



Fortunately, the California DMV has simplified the process for applying for a waiver to complete the DUI program if you live out of state.  You can now complete a form online to terminate the requirement for completion of the DUI program if you live out of state ( ).  This form used to be known as a DL 1650.  It's now changed to a DL 4006.  You must fill out the form and show proof that you are living out of state (utility bill, trash bill, etc.). To be eligible you must also complete the entire suspension period for the DUI conviction or administrative license suspenson.  DMV also requires you to have the SR22 (a special insurance for those convicted or administratively convicted of a DUI).   You must maintain this SR22 insurance for 3 years.  There are many companies that will provide this insurance for a very low rate.  Don’t be duped into paying an arm and a leg for it.

 Keep in mind, when you fill out the waiver, you also agree that your license in California will be cancelled, and you cannot obtain drivers license in California for three years.  So, effectively, you cannot drive in the State of California for that time period.  Just FYI, if you ever return to California and want a California drivers license, you will be required to do the course that you didn’t do originally. Also, on a side note, your attorney should request from the judge that you be required to do whatever course is directed by DMV.  This way, you can avoid doing a course if you are applying for the waiver, as DMV is not requiring you to do a course by completing the waiver. Lastly, if you are out of state and the judge did require you to do a course, you may be able to complete an online course to satisfy the court requirements. Just be aware that these online courses, other than approved Telehealth through a license California program, will not satisfy California’s requirement of an in state course, should you return to California.

Category: DUI Defense

Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.

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Michael E. Mitchell, at the Mitchell Law Group, Inc., is one of the top DUI defense attorneys in Fresno, California. He has over a decade of experience handling DUI cases throughout the Central Valley, including in Clovis, Madera, Tulare, Visalia. He is a certified field sobriety instructor and practitioner under the standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is a member of the California DUI Lawyers Association. His advice and knowledge is, routinely, sought after by other attorneys practicing in the area of DUI defense. He is an expert in the area of DUI defense in both Federal, State, and on the Appellate level. If you're looking for the best DUI Lawyer in Fresno to handle your case, give us a call today to see how we can put our knowledge to work for you.