What Is a Suspended Driver's License?

The California DMV may suspend or revoke your driver's license.  When you license is suspended or revoked, you are NOT allowed to operate a motor vehicle.  You must get the suspension or revocation lifted and your license reinstated before you are allowed to drive again.  Driving without an active license is a serious offense.

Why Did I Get a Suspension or Revocation?

There are many reasons why you may have your license suspended or revoked.  The following is a list of the most common reasons for having your license suspended or revoked.

  • No insurance - Auto insurance is required on all vehicles operated or parked on California roadways.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI / DWI) conviction.
  • Underage drinking, even if not while driving
  • Failure or refusal of a drug or alcohol test
  • Excessive points on your driving record
  • Failure to report an accident
  • Vandalism
  • Failure to appear in court for a traffic ticket
  • Failure to pay Child Support.

How Do You Get Your License Reinstated After a Suspension or Revocation?

The answer depends on why your license was suspended.  If your license has only been temporarily suspended you can wait for the time to pass.  Contact your local DMV office for details on whether you can get it reinstated and when.

"I Need to Drive to Work or I'll Lose My Job"—Restricted Licenses and SR-22 Forms

Depending on why your license was suspended, you may be able to get a restricted license.  A restricted license will allow you to drive to limited places during the suspension.  You may be required to purchase special additional insurance using an SR-22 form.  You may also be required to pay additional fees for the restricted license. Contact your local DMV office to find out more details.