Provisional License

If you are arrested for a first, second or third-time DUI in California, you may be eligible for a temporary or “provisional” drivers license. This license will allow you to drive to and from work, and some other appointments, during your DUI license suspension.

One of the hardest penalties of DUI is having your license suspended. In California, all DUIs have some form of license suspension as a consequence, even first-time DUIs and even those where no one was hurt. In fact, you can lose your license before you’re even convicted.

However, depending on the specifics of your DUI conviction, you may be able to apply for a special drivers license during the suspension. This is known as a provisional license, but it’s often called a restricted license or temporary license. Your provisional license will allow you to drive to and from work (or on certain work-related driving errands, if required by your job) during your work hours only. It will also allow you to drive to and from certain court-mandated appointments, like DUI school classes.

Who is eligible for a provisional license?

You may be eligible if this is your first, second or third DUI—but whether you are eligible will depend on the specific plea you agree to. This is why it’s important to have a lawyer handle your DUI.

You may also have to serve a “hard suspension” before getting your provisional drivers license. Hard suspension means you cannot drive at all during that time, not even to and from work. If you are given a hard suspension, there are no exceptions (but a good lawyer could help you prevent getting a hard suspension in the first place).

The conditions for getting a provisional license in your DUI case are:

  • 1 month (30 days) hard suspension in many first-time DUI cases
  • 3 months hard suspension for a second DUI
  • 2 years hard suspension for a third DUI
  • At least 1 year hard suspension for any of the above if you also refused the breath test (or other DUI chemical test)
  • For a fourth DUI in any 10-year period, you are not eligible for a provisional license

It’s important to know that you do not automatically get a provisional license, or driving privileges, after the hard suspension is served. You have to apply to the DMV to receive it. The DMV will require that you show proof of serving certain probation requirements, such as DUI school and any alcohol or drug treatment programs you were ordered to attend. They will also require proof that you have insurance, while will usually require a special type of insurance known as SR-22.

Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today. 

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