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California DUI Arrest With Out-Of-State Driver’s License, What Happens?

MA License.jpgIf you were arrested in California for drunk driving, and you have an out-of-state driver’s license, you are subject to the same two processes that a California resident with a California driver’s license faces: The administrative process through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the criminal process through the courts. In addition, you may face additional penalties in your home state.

The officer in California cannot take your out-of-state license. However, they typically give you notice that your privilege to drive in California will be suspended 30 days after the arrest date.

The DMV is immediately notified of your arrest and you only have ten days from the date of arrest to request an administrative per se, or APS, hearing challenging the suspension. If you do not schedule the APS hearing within those 10 days, your driving privileges will be suspended 30 days after the arrest. If you request a hearing, the suspension is stayed or postponed pending the outcome of the hearing.

If you fail to request a hearing or you do not prevail at the hearing, your privilege to drive in California will be suspended. The suspension period will depend on how many other prior drunk driving convictions you have on your DMV record.

So your privilege to drive in California is suspended, how does that affect your right to drive elsewhere? Well, the Interstate Drivers License Compact, or DLC, requires all states that are a part of it to share driving history with other states. The idea is for each driver to have one license and one record. California is a part of the DLC, so they report DUI’s to the state where the driver is licensed, except for the four states that are not part of the compact, (Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Massachusetts).

Once your home state receives notice of the drunk driving arrest, they may take action against your license. What penalty you will have depends on your specific state. Some states take action when California suspends your license. Others wait to see if you are convicted in court. Some states only penalize the driver if the California statute is the same or similar to the driving under the influence statute in the home state.

Separate from the administrative process with the DMV, the court process also involves the possible consequence of a license suspension. If you are able to get your matter dismissed or your charges reduced, you may not have your license suspended by the court and your home state may not take action against you.

If you have been arrested for DUI in California and you have an out-of-state license, it is imperative that you seek an exclusively, DUI defense firm that can assist you in trying to limit the negative consequences in California and your home state.

The above blog article is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. Laws may change and may not apply to your case. For the latest information or to get legal advice, speak to a DUI attorney in your area.


If you have a DUI case pending against you, speak to The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman about your defense today. Call 619-260-1122 or fill out the Contact Us form on this page for a free telephone consultation.