How to Check if Your California Driver’s License Is Suspended?

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Every year, thousands of drivers throughout the state lose their driver’s licenses for all types of reasons. When a suspension is issued, the driver must abide by the terms of the court order and complete all the legal requirements necessary for reinstatement. Their suspension period largely hinges on why they lost their license in the first place, but many people may qualify for reinstatement without realizing it. Unfortunately, it is also possible for a driver to mistakenly assume their license is valid when it is not.

The Kreeger Law Firm provides comprehensive legal counsel for all types of personal injury claims in Sacramento, CA, and we have handled many cases involving drunk driving accidents, reckless driving accidents, and other incidents that often lead to at-fault drivers losing their driving privileges. If you or a loved one lost your driver’s license for any reason, never assume it has been reinstated before checking yourself.

How to Check if Your California Driver’s License Is Suspended

The state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for maintaining records of all driver’s license issues in the state, demerit points issued to those licenses, and for tracking suspensions, revocations, and reinstatements. If you need to check if your driver’s license is suspended, there are three ways to do so:
  1. You can visit the California DMV’s online portal to verify your license status. This service entails a $2 fee.
  2. You can submit a Request for Your Own Driver License Identification Card or a Vehicle Registration Information Record to the DMW through the mail. This service entails a $5 fee.
  3. You can visit your local DMV office to check the status of your license in person. Unfortunately, this service also entails a $5 fee.
While many people think disdainfully of interacting with the DMV, all three of these options are relatively easy and more than affordable, so it is well worth the time and effort to verify the status of your license instead of assuming it is valid and facing criminal charges.

Common Causes of Driver’s License Suspension

People can lose their driver’s licenses in various ways:
  • If you caused a car accident because of reckless driving, a driver’s license suspension is likely to be a major element of your total sentence. Depending on the nature of your behavior, the judge who handles your sentence may require you to complete a driver’s safety course or another training program before you can qualify to get your license back.
  • Causing a DUI accident is a very easy way to lose your driver’s license, and suspension is likely to be the least of your concerns if you have been convicted of DUI. While it’s possible to petition for a restricted license that can allow you to commute to and from work after a DUI accident, you are unlikely to qualify for any early reinstatement. You will need to complete the full term of the suspension period and complete the other prerequisites for reinstatement handed down by the judge.
  • Accruing too many demerit points on your license within a short time can lead to an automatic driver’s license suspension. These points are assigned in response to traffic violations and criminal actions behind the wheel.
No matter how you lost your license, it is understandable to want to have it reinstated as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance for these efforts and help you secure reinstatement faster than you may expect.

FAQs About Driver License Suspension California

Your options for having your license unsuspended may be limited depending on why you lost it in the first place. For most, completing the suspension period is the only way to have their license reinstated. However, others may need to pay license reinstatement fees, resolve any criminal charges related to the suspension, and complete an extensive series of driver safety courses, DUI education courses, and more before they can qualify for reinstatement.

Driving without an appropriate license is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in county jail. Additionally, the defendant will face an increased suspension, and they will need to complete more steps to qualify for reinstatement once they have successfully completed their suspension period.

The most common reason for a driver to have their license suspended is conviction of a DUI offense. The suspension period issued in response to a drunk driving conviction depends on whether the defendant has a record of prior DUIs, whether they caused bodily injury or death to anyone else while driving under the influence, and other variables unique to the case.

Hiring legal representation you can trust will make your reinstatement process much easier to complete. Your Sacramento car accident lawyer can help you make a compelling argument in a license reinstatement hearing, assist you in understanding your responsibilities if you have prerequisites to complete before you can qualify for reinstatement, and more.

If you are unsure whether your license is suspended, you can check via mail, online, or in person at your local DMV office. There is a small fee for this service, but it is always best to verify the status of your license if you are unsure. If you assume it is legal to drive when it is not, you could face criminal charges, even if you honestly believed you were legally allowed to drive.

The Kreeger Law Firm has helped many past clients with all manner of legal affairs related to driver’s license suspension. You may qualify for reinstatement without realizing it, or you may need assistance understanding the requirements you must fulfill before you can get your driver’s license back. Whatever your situation entails, contact us to learn more about the legal services we offer and what we can do to help you get your license reinstated.