The most common reason for a driver’s license to be suspended is because it is the result of committing a previous violation or offense. License suspension is both a consequence as well as a penalty in and of itself. Driving with a suspended license can lead to further hearings in front of a judge and can only exacerbate the situation.

For this reason, it is important to know whether a driver has their license suspended before they hit the road. This article breaks down the laws around license suspension as well as details on how to find out if your license is suspended.

What is the New Law on Suspended Licenses in California?

In 2023, the California legislature passed a bill in which the laws prescribed in the bill will become law beginning on January 1, 2027. Under AB 2746, the way in which driving with a suspended license is penalized will change. The penalty for the first and second offenses will be considered to be an infraction which carries a lesser penalty than a misdemeanor. Every subsequent offense will be considered to be an infraction or a misdemeanor. This lowers the bar in terms of the level of punishment for driving with a suspended license.

Additionally, the law will “repeal that requirement of the DMV to suspend a person’s driving privilege” (AB 2746) if the driver does not appear in court for their hearing.

The courts are also no longer required to “notify the DMV of a violation of a written promise to appear or a lawfully granted continuance of their promise to appear in court or before a person authorized to receive a deposit of bail” (AB 2746). As a result, a driver in California can drive much more easily with a suspended license.

How can I see if my driver’s license is suspended online?

Woman checking status of driving license online - how do you know if your license is suspended

The easiest way to find out if your driver’s license is suspended is by going to and selecting “Driver’s Record Request”. Make sure that you have a printer set up before you file your record request. Once you make the request and pay the fee, the DMV website says that you will only have one opportunity to print out the record without having to pay again. You will also need to create an account on their website.

What other methods can I use to find out if my driver’s license is suspended?

To request your records in person: You will need to go to the DMV that can perform this request for you. This may mean traveling to a different DMV than the one you typically use. Be sure to find out the acceptable method of payment before you make the trip. You can use the location search feature on the DMV website to figure out which DMV can perform the request. Alternatively, you can call the DMV to find out this information.

To request your records via mail: You will need to carefully fill out Form INF 70 ( and mail the form as well as the acceptable method of payment to the below address:

Department of Motor Vehicles

Public Operations – MS G199

P.O. Box 944247

Sacramento, CA 94244-2470

Reasons for License Suspension in California.

Below are some of the driving-related reasons why your driver’s license may be suspended in California. 

  1. You were charged with a DUI as a minor. One of the penalties for driving without a license as a minor is for the courts to delay the issuance of the driver’s license when the minor becomes eligible.
  2. You were charged with a DUI. One of the penalties for driving while under the influence is the suspension of one’s driving privileges.
  3. You drove recklessly, and as a result, you caused a car accident. The courts may suspend your license as a penalty for driving recklessly. They may order for you to attend a class or a course before revoking the suspension.
  4. You have too many demerit points on your license. Points are given due to a number of moving violations including speeding, failure to signal, and making an improper U-turn.
  5. You were driving without insurance and got into a car accident.

Below are some of the non-driving related reasons why your driver’s license may be suspended in California.

  1. You failed to pay child support.
  2. You vandalized a property. This offense includes graffiti.

How long can your license be suspended in California?

The time it takes for the courts to revoke the suspension on your driver’s license depends on the reason your license was suspended.

For example:

  1. If you were driving without car insurance and got into an accident, “your driver’s license will be suspended for four years” (Rev. 4.22.08.CC).
  2. Vandalism will lead to a suspension of one’s driver’s license for up to one year.
  3. Too many demerits on a driver’s license will lead to a suspension of up to six months or a revocation of the license.
  4. If you refuse to take a BAC test, “your license will be suspended or revoked even if you’re innocent. (Rev. 4.22.08.CC)” 

How can I reinstate my suspended license in California?

Now that you know that your license has been suspended, you can find out what it will take to get your license reinstated.

Once your suspension ends, you will still need to complete any additional requirements ordered by the court to reverse the suspension on your driver’s license. A further requirement may mean that you need to pay a fine and/or complete a course or training program.

To be clear, waiting out the suspension will not mean that the suspension is automatically revoked. If you do not actively reinstate your license, you will not be able to legally drive.

After you have completed your suspension and any additional requirements, you can reinstate your driver’s license online. Go to California’s DMV website ( and select “Suspended Registration Reinstatement / Proof of Insurance Submission. You will need to provide documentation and pay a fee to reinstate your license.

Need Help Getting Your Driver’s License Reinstated?

The Law Office of David L. Faulkner, a Bakersfield suspended license attorney, is dedicated to helping and representing clients with suspended licenses in Bakersfield, California. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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