DUI License Requirements

DUILicenseSuspensionIf you were arrested for DUI in Los Angeles county, you should be aware of what happens to your license and how to get it back as quickly as possible.  As with any DUI case, there are DMV and court consequences of a DUI.  This includes license action taken by the DMV and the court.  It is important to understand what happens to a person’s license when the DMV takes action,  and when the court takes action.

DMV:Avoiding a DUI License suspension from DMV, or if getting your license back as soon as possible:

First Offense DUI: 4 month suspension, with the ability to get a restricted license (To/From work after the first 30 days)

In California, the DMV has authority to suspend a driver’s license under the “APS” or “Administrative Per Se” procedures.  The process starts when the officer in the case takes the driver’s license and furnishes the driver with a pink document.   In the upper corner of the document, you can see “APS” written.  This is the person’s temporary license, and is only valid for 30 days.  If the driver fails to request a hearing after the first 10 days, the driver will face an automatic suspension starting 30 days after the arrest.

If the DMV determines that a suspension is warranted, the suspension will begin after the driver is given a notice, usually two weeks following the conclusion of the hearing in the case.

Process to get license back:

The driver will receive a notice from the DMV that states when the suspension will take effect, and exactly what steps are needed to get the licesne back.   For the typical first offender, the steps are:

  1.  Wait the first 30 days
  2. Obtain an SR-22 or other proof of financial responsibility
  3. Visit local DMV branch office, pay a reinstatement fee and have new license issued (including getting a new picture taken.)


  1. 6 month license restriction
  2. In Los Angeles (and three other California counties) install an ignition interlock device for a period of 5 months


The criminal court in a DUI case will also take license action if a driver is convicted of DUI.   If the driver is successful in beating their case, no court restrictions will occur.  It is possible to win at the DMV and lose in court, or more commonly, to lose at DMV and win in court.   The driver will only face license restrictions/suspension if they are convicted in court or lose their DMV hearing.

Wet Reckless:

A wet reckless conviction will avoid court restrictions and IID requirements but may still involve DMV suspension through the APS process.

DUI License Requirements Reference Links:

DUI License Restriction:  Guide to getting your license back following a DUI restriction.


Posted in DMV Defenses, DMV Hearings.

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