When a person is arrested for driving under the influence in California, even before a verdict is handed down by a court, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will automatically suspend the person’s driver’s license. The license suspension can be avoided by arguing the matter in a DMV hearing before an administrative law judge, but no matter the outcome of the hearing, the license may still be suspended or revoked if a person is actually convicted of DUI.

In addition to a license suspension, a person suspected of driving under the influence also faces the risk of serious fines and jail time, depending on the exact circumstances of the person’s case. With so much on the line in the face of a DUI charge, anyone suspected and charged with the offense can’t afford not to partner with an experienced DUI defense attorney. The attorney will handle nearly every aspect of the legal process that arises from the charges and will even argue to keep the person’s driving privileges intact.

California’s SR22 Requirement

In the event that a person’s driving privileges are suspended or revoked because of a DUI conviction, the person will have to provide an SR22 to the DMV in order to have driving privileges reinstated. The SR22 is requested by the DMV, but can be obtained from the person’s insurance company. The form tells the DMV that the person has met the minimum state insurance requirements to legally operate a vehicle on the road, and the form is required before any driving privileges will be reinstated.

The SR22 Red Flag

The California Department of Motor Vehicles does not inform insurance companies of DUI convictions or license suspensions, but an insurance company can request a person’s driving record information to determine whether or not to stop insuring the person or to increase the person’s insurance rates. Since the SR22 can only be obtained from a person’s insurance company, the fact that the person is asking for an SR22 will set off a red flag with most insurers who will then ascertain why the SR22 is needed so that rates and policy decisions can be made accordingly. If requesting the SR22 from an insurance company, the company may decide to cancel the policy and not issue the SR22 at all, or to issue the SR22 but increase the person’s rates.

A company is only required to provide the SR22 if it insures the person – a company that cancels a policy because of a person’s driving record does not have to provide an SR22, and the person will have to find another insurance company willing to insure the person and provide an SR22 to the DMV.

Also for Conditional Licenses

An SR22 will help a person convicted of driving under the influence in California have his or her driving privileges reinstated after a suspension or revocation, but the SR22 can also help a person receive a conditional driver’s license. The conditional driver’s license allows drivers with suspended privileges to drive to certain, court approved destinations – but a conditional license will not be issued unless a person can provide an SR22.