If you think your license has been suspended, but you’re not entirely sure, the best way to find out if your license has been suspended in California is to go straight to the source — the California Department of Motor Vehicles. You’ll need to request a copy of your driver record.
There are three ways to do that:
- Online at www.dmv.ca.gov ($2 fee).
- By mail by completing a Request For Your Own Driver License Identification Card Or Vehicle/Vessel Registration Information Record (INF 1125) form.($5 fee).
- In person at your local DMV office ($5 fee).
Once you view your driver record, you will know if your license has been suspended or not. If your license has been suspended, you should not drive until you have resolved the suspension, at which time the DMV will charge you a reissue fee for restoring your driving privileges.
Failure to Pay (FTP) Law No Longer In Force
The good news is that the state of California no longer suspends your driver’s license for failure to pay fines such as those associated with traffic tickets and court fees. As a result, since June of 2017, the DMV has strived to reinstate driving privileges to all California drivers with suspended driver’s licenses only for failing to pay fines. The Department of Motor Vehicles has also removed any failure to pay notices from all of its driver records.
While your license won’t be suspended for failure to pay fines, you are still legally responsible to pay court fees and fines. And if your license was suspended for some other reason, such as a DUI, the FTP change won’t affect that suspension.
Visit the DMV FAQs on Failure to Pay Violations for more information.
Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License
If you’ve already been charged with driving with a suspended license, an experienced Los Angeles lawyer specializing suspended and revoked license cases can help. Sometimes people risk driving with a suspended or revoked license because it’s a choice between breaking the law or getting fired from their job for not showing up. If you’re pulled over for any sort of traffic violation, you will face criminal charges for driving with a suspended or revoked license.
Difference Between a Suspended License and a Revoked License
In both cases, the DMV has taken away your driving privileges. In the case of a suspended license, you can get your license back after the suspension without much trouble. With a revoked license, the DMV completely cancelled your license. In that case, it will take a lot longer and a lot more work to get your license back.
Here’s a little more detailed information:
When your license is suspended, it is generally suspended for a specific time — say 6 months to a year. Once the suspension period is over, you can apply to the DMV to get it reinstated. The court may have imposed other conditions you have to meet as well, such as enrolling in traffic school. But in most cases, you should be able to get your license back once your suspension time has passed. Getting it back is pretty simple, because all you have to do is present documentation at the DMV and pay a reinstatement fee.
When you have a revoked license, the revocation is often described as “permanent,” but there is usually a way to get driving privileges again. But be prepared to put in more time and effort. You’ll have to complete your entire sentence and probation period, and any other requirements set by the court. This can take years. Even then, you have to start all over as if you are applying for a first-time driver’s license. That means taking a written test and a road test, and paying the testing fees. Only then can you potentially get your license back.
At the Simmrin Law Group, we understand what you’re facing. Don’t try to navigate the legal system and the DMV system on your own. We can help you develop your defense, and in many cases, get the charges or penalties reduced.
Contact a Lawyer for a FREE Consultation
Whatever the circumstances of your traffic violations are, you need a lawyer working with you to help you get the best possible outcome. Call the Simmrin Law Group at 310-997-4688 or use our contact form for a free case evaluation. We’re available to help you 24/7.