What Is a Restricted Driver’s License in California?

January 05, 2023 by Seppi Esfandi in California  Criminal Defense  DUI  
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How Can I Obtain a Restricted Drivers License?

A restricted license permits anyone to use a motor vehicle under certain conditions. After an arrest or conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), most restricted licenses in California entail regaining restricted driving privileges (DWI).

There may be a variety of requirements for obtaining a restricted license after a DUI, such as:

  • Verify that you enrolled in an approved California DUI program.
  • There is a $125 fee to get your license reissued.
  • Only drive to and from your place of work or court-ordered program and carry evidence of financial responsibility (SR-22 insurance).
  • After a conviction for DUI in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, or Tulare counties (pilot counties), you should install an ignition interlock device (IID).

A restricted license will let you drive to and from employment and an alcohol education program outside a pilot county.

An IID restriction will allow you to drive legally in all 50 states if you have the device in your car.

If you have a restricted license and live in a pilot county, you may legally take your IID-equipped car anywhere inside the county.

There are several possible constraints, including:

  • Reduced driving to and from the workplace
  • Fewer opportunities to drive children to school
  • Driving restrictions to medical facilities

What Will Happen if You Don’t Go to Your DUI Program?

If you don’t go to the program or don’t finish it, your restricted license will be taken away, and your suspension will start again.

If you are caught driving after having your license taken away, you could spend anywhere from five days to a year in county jail and pay a fine of $300 to $1,000.

Who is Ineligible for a Restricted License in California

Not every DUI offender is qualified to get a limited license, so they may drive to work. In general, a driver is disqualified if:

  • They refused to submit to a chemical test after being arrested for DUI, or
  • They drove with a revoked or suspended license when stopped for DUI.

It’s possible that a “hard suspension” might also result in ineligibility. In some circumstances involving a DUI and:

  • A second, third, or more DUIs in the past ten years.

If someone is given a “hard suspension,” they will not be allowed to drive during that time. However, following the completion of the mandatory suspension term, the individual may apply for a restricted license.

Please be aware that restricted licenses are only issued for individual use. No individual may get a restricted license for use in commercial driving.

How Long Can You Drive After Getting Pulled Over for a DUI?

If you have been detained for DUI and granted a suspension or revocation, you can use your interim license for 30 days from the date of the order. You must file for a DMV hearing within ten days of your arrest date to keep driving with a temporary license for more than 30 days.

Suppose a decision to suspend your license is reached at your DMV hearing. In that case, you will need to apply for a restricted license so that you may continue driving to and from employment, school, and any court-ordered programs (like DUI courses) throughout your suspension or revocation. The temporary license will be valid until the conclusion of the DMV hearing if a request for a hearing is filed within ten days.

If You Get a Second DUI, Can You Get a Restricted License?

You may still get one of two options for restricted licenses if it is your second DUI.

Option 1:The first choice is to postpone applying for a standard restricted license until after the harsh one-year ban has passed.
Option 2:Install an ignition interlock device for a year and apply for a restricted license immediately.

What Are the Consequences of Violating a Restricted License?

In California, driving in violation of a restricted license might result in a license suspension with no provision for a restricted license. You might potentially face criminal accusations with possible fines and imprisonment.

If you have been charged with DUI, talk to a trusted DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. The expert lawyers are there to protect your rights. They can help you get a restricted license fairly and may even be able to get your DUI charges reduced or dropped altogether.

Need an Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Attorney who has over 21 years of practice defending a variety of cases.

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Lara S.
December 3, 2019
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

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