How to Restore Your License after Getting a DUI in California and Live out of State

DUI in California, but live out of State? Remove a Suspension of Your Driver's License if You Receive a DUI in California with a 1540 Waiver Packet.
Tom Wilson Counseling Center receives many phone calls asking whether they can take an online DUI class to comply with court requirements for a DUI in California. The answer is, it depends.
Scenario #1 : You are a resident of  California and have been convicted of a first-time DUI offense in California. Your license is suspended by the CA DMV. In order to remove the license suspension, the DMV requires you to complete the AB541 3-month DUI class. The DMV will not accept completion of a DUI class from another state, whether done in person or online. The class must be taken at a program approved by the county where the DUI occurred. Even though the court may have approved an of state program or an online DUI class to satisfy court requirements, the DMV will not under any circumstances, accept that class.
However, the court may allow you to take an out of state or online class if you travel for work out of state,  or attend school out of state. However, you would only fulfill the court's requirements, not the DMV's requirements. if you want to remove the suspension, you would have to complete the 3-month class with a CA approved provider who has a physical presence in the state.
Scenario #2: You are a resident of  California and have been convicted of a first-time DUI offense in California. Your license is suspended by the CA DMV. In order to remove the license suspension, the DMV requires you to complete the AB 541 3 month DUI class. You decide to move out of state for a new job and intend on becoming a resident of that state. You learn that the new state cannot issue you a license because the CA DMV has a hold on your licenses. Once CA removes the suspension, then the new state can issue you a new license.
Solution: To remove that suspension of your CA license you must call the DMV Mandatory Actions Unit in Sacramento, CA (916-657-6525) and request a "1650 waiver packet." The DMV will mail the packet to your address. You must fill it out and return it. You will have to show proof that you live at the new address, such as a utility bill with your name and current address. By returning the finished packet to the DMV you are waiving your privilege to drive in CA or to get a CA driver's license. When CA lifts the suspension, the new state will also remove the suspension in the new state.
If you come back to CA within 3 years of the CA DMV processing the waiver and you want your CA license back, you will have to comply with the requirements that existed before, i.e., complete the 3 month class in CA. If you come back and apply for a CA driver’s license after 3 years, you won't have to take the class.
Scenario #3: You are not a resident of  California and have been convicted of a first-time DUI offense in California. Your license may or may not be  suspended by the DMV. The court requires you to complete the AB 541 3 month DUI class. The court may allow you to take an out of state or online class if you live out of state or attend school out of state. You would fulfill the court's requirements, but not the DMV. If for whatever reason, the DMV has a hold on your licenses, you simply complete the 1650 Waiver process as previously mentioned in this article.
This information is provided as a public service by Tom Wilson Counseling Center, and does not constitute legal advice or warrant accuracy. Please contact a California attorney for legal advice regarding your particular legal and court requirements

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