Home · Blog · DUI : Out Of State Licenses

Drivers who normally live out of state but get a DUI in California or drivers who get a DUI in California and then move out of state are in a worse position than California residents. First, drivers who had out-of-state driver licenses should not get their actual licenses taken away at a DUI arrest because California police and the California DMV do not have jurisdiction to confiscate an out-of-state license. However, the DMV will move to suspend a person’s privilege to drive in California. For drivers with out-of-state licenses, the DMV will assign an “X” number to the driver (which is a driver’s license number that starts with the letter “X”) and then attempt to suspend a person’s driving privilege under that X number.

Whether a driver had a California license at the time of the arrest or an out-of-state license, the same problem is going to arise when that person moves to another state or returns to their home state. When a person’s privilege to drive is suspended in California – either following a DMV hearing or a court conviction – the California DMV will then report the results to almost all the other states under the Interstate Compact Act.* This could then result in a license suspension in the other state that can last indefinitely, until the suspension in California is cleared. In order to clear the suspension in California, the driver must either complete a DUI program in California or apply for a waiver of the suspension through certain forms that can be acquired from a special unit in the DMV called the Mandatory Actions Unit. These forms are known as DL 4005, 4006 and 4007 (formerly known as a 1650 waiver packet). A driver who fills out these forms and sends them back to the Mandatory Actions Unit, can get a one-time waiver that allows the California DMV to release any any holds on their license if they can prove they live out of state. Proof can be in the form of a bill or some other document showing proof of residency. The driver must also show proof of financial responsibility – usually SR-22 insurance**. Once the hold is released, the out of state driver will then be allowed to get a license in their state BUT they CANNOT drive in California for a period of three years – even with a valid out-of-state driver’s license. Any out of state driver who comes to California within three years of their DUI conviction will have to complete the California DUI class in order to legally drive in California.

The necessary forms can be obtained by contacting the Mandatory Actions Unit of the DMV. It is almost impossible to reach this unit by phone. Wait times exceed an hour. The best way to obtain the waiver is to send in a request via mail. The Mandatory Actions Unit will only send the forms to the licensee – not their attorney. The address for the Mandatory Actions Unit:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Mandatory Actions Unit, Mail Station J233
P. O. Box 942890
Sacramento, CA 94290-0001

Applying for a waiver can only be done AFTER the suspension period is over. We encourage you to request the forms ahead of time and then mail them in about a month prior to when your suspension is about to end as the processing time for these applications is 4-8 weeks.

This requirement creates a big problem for defendants who live out of state because they cannot obtain a restricted driving privilege in the same way that California residents can obtain one. For example, a first time misdemeanor conviction for Vehicle Code section 23152 (DUI without injury) will result in a 6-month driver’s license suspension. However, California residents can immediately obtain a restricted license as long as they have an SR-22, have enrolled in a DUI program and pay a $125 license re-issuing fee to the DMV. However, an out-of-state resident cannot complete the California DUI program. Therefore, their California driving privilege will be suspended the full six months. After that suspension, the out-of-state resident may then send in the application for a waiver in order to end the suspension or the suspension can continue indefinitely.

It’s important to work with attorneys who are familiar with all the rules and regulations of the California DMV so that you can get your driver’s license back as quickly and easily as possible. The Right Attorneys can get you the Right Results. Make the Right Choice.

*There are currently five states that do not comply with the Interstate Compact Act – Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin. That means if you live in one of these states, you should be able to get a license in that state even if your license in California is suspended.

**Non-residents may also have to complete a DL 300 form which lists the requirements for what type of insurance is needed following a DUI suspension. You will either have to get an SR-22 from a California insurance company or an out-of-state insurance company that is authorized to do business in California. The form specifies the requirements. You can click HERE to find the form online.

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