Don't worry, that's why there are second chances in life! Which is why we’ve created this guide of everything you need to know to get your license back after a suspension. Reinstating your DL will be safe and secure - just like your driving when you get your new license, especially after you complete your defensive driving course!
When You Can Reinstate Your Suspended LicenseA California driver’s license suspension is a temporary revocation of the privilege to operate a vehicle due to breach of certain laws and regulations. In other words: if you break the law bad enough, you will get your license taken away. A CA suspended license status can occur because of a few reasons.
The most common are unpaid California traffic tickets or simply accumulating too many traffic tickets. It’s not a competition - it’s breaking the law! Tickets include moving violations, car accidents, and driving while intoxicated (DUI.) You can even get your driver’s license suspended because of unpaid taxes or child support!
Before you start the process of reinstating your license, you first must wait through the suspension duration. Usually, the timeframe goes as follows:
- After your suspension period has ended, you can pursue California driver’s license reinstatement
- Reinstatement is not automatic - drivers are required to apply for a CA driver’s license reinstatement to restore their driving privileges
- To reinstate your driver’s license, you must follow the reinstatement process which will differ based on the reason for suspension
How to Reinstate a California Suspended Driver’s LicenseFirst things first: you must examine your suspension order to determine the reason for suspension and look for any special requirements for reinstating your driver’s license in California.
CA driver’s license reinstatement procedures are not the same for all offenses. Therefore, you could have to take extra steps depending on the severity of your suspension. Below are the steps necessary to reinstate your license:
- Complete the suspension period
- Pay the license reinstatement fee
- Provide evidence of completing a required course, such as traffic school or a DUI/substance abuse course
- Provide proof of car insurance - usually for a DUI or for driving without car insurance. You may need to provide form SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility
- File a satisfactory Driver Medical Evaluation or other medical information - if your license was suspended due to a physical or mental injury
- Resolve all criminal charges
Fees to Reinstate a California Driver’s LicenseYou’ll always pay the price for breaking the law - literally! There are fees attached to everything related to your driver’s license. Reinstating your DL is no different. The standard administrative cost for a suspended or revoked license is $55 and can be higher in the case your license was suspended for DUI violations. The CA DMV also charges the following reinstatement fees:
- Drug suspension: $24
- Adding a court restriction: $15
- Removing a driver’s license restriction: $20
California Traffic SchoolIf you have a suspended driver’s license in California, one of the conditions for license reinstatement might be a required CA DMV approved defensive driving course. Not only could it help get your license back, but you might be able to reduce points on your license, and even earn a discount on your monthly car insurance payment.
Drivers facing a CA driver’s license suspension, who have been referred by a court, may also be eligible to participate in traffic school, but only once in an 18-month period.