At the beginning of 2022, the law regarding DUI diversion changed. DUIs are no longer eligible for diversion in California. Please contact our office with any questions. Email us at OR Call us at: (415) 523-7878

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Who Is Eligible To Apply For A Restricted Driver’s License In California?

A person who has enrolled in a DUI school obtained SR-22 insurance and paid a reissue fee is eligible to apply for a restricted driver’s license in California. If a person lives out of state, then it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a restricted license.

Do The Same Time Limits Apply For Individuals Who Are Under 21 Years Of Age?

If a person under the age of 21 receives a DUI conviction, then they will typically be disallowed from driving for one full year and will not be allowed to get a restricted license. There is something called the “critical need to drive,” which is difficult to show and requires a lot of documentation but can sometimes give people driving privileges to get to and from work or school. If a person could take a bus and get to work or school within a reasonable amount of time, then the courts probably will not grant driving privileges. In other words, a person would have to show the courts that there aren’t any public transportation options when they need to get to school or work.

How Do I Request A Formal Hearing?

A request for a formal hearing must be submitted within 10 days of an arrest. Anyone can request an administrative per se hearing after having been arrested for a DUI. The police or the judge will issue a pink temporary license that will list the date of arrest. Sometimes there are two dates on a temporary license, so it is important that people look at the correct one. If the tenth day following the date of arrest falls on a weekend, then they should (but do not always) automatically give a hearing. I recommend that anyone who has been arrested for a DUI contact an experienced DUI lawyer who really knows what they are doing and who practices in the area where the arrest took place.

When someone contacts me from any of the nine counties, I typically tell them that if they do hire me (and 10 days have not yet passed from the date of arrest), then I will contact the DMV for them. I typically do not like to contact the DMV unless I have been hired on a case. A person should have plenty of time within the 10 days following an arrest to speak with a couple of lawyers, choose one, and have that lawyer contact the DMV to request a hearing. The attorney can ensure that a hearing has been requested, that the printed documentation is ready and that the necessary letters are mailed to the DMV. Sometimes a hearing will happen right away, but every case is different. A person who lives in San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin County, Sonoma County or, Napa County would call the San Francisco Driver Safety Office and request a hearing or fax a request for a hearing. If a request is faxed, then the DMV will call and allow a person to set up a hearing.

If a person waits until the ninth or tenth day following an arrest and they have not hired an attorney, then they will need to contact the DMV to request the hearing. If they do not, then their license will go into suspension 30 days after the date of arrest. In addition, they would no longer be able to fight the administrative suspension. While requesting a hearing with the DMV seems fairly easy, people are not always instructed to do so. In fact, I spoke with someone the other day who never even received a pink temporary license from the police or judge. However, even if someone was not properly instructed to call the DMV within 10 days of an arrest, they will still face the consequences of having failed to do so.

For more information on Applying For Restricted Driver’s License, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

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Aaron Bortel
With 30 years of specialized experience in DUI defense, Attorney Aaron Bortel is a dedicated advocate for those facing DUI charges in the Bay Area. Committed to helping clients avoid jail, save their driver’s licenses and jobs, and prevent permanent criminal records, he combines deep legal expertise with genuine care for his client's welfare. Trust in a lawyer who not only defends but truly supports you through challenging times.

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