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A better question might be, can you afford not getting your license cleared for work. However, how much it will cost to obtain a work-restricted driver’s license (DL) will depend primarily on why your DL was suspended or revoked. There are many reasons your DL could get suspended, and the method of obtaining a restricted DL varies depending on the requirements set forth for that suspension. The following are some of the reason for a DL suspension:

  1. A failure to appear (FTA) in court
  2. A DUI
  3. Refusal of a Blood Alcohol and Chemical (BAC) test
  4. A failure to carry auto insurance
  5. A failure to pay child support
  6. Too many Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points

This is not a comprehensive list, there are some others, but we discuss some of the procedures to obtain a work/school-restricted DL using these examples. The best place to start is with the DMV.CA.GOV website, the 2018 CA Driver Handbook .pdf, and apply with the DL 691; however,we will provide you with some of the basics. You should consult a traffic ticket attorney to gather more specific advice and guidance concerning your exact situation.

The Guidelines for a License Cleared for Work/School-Restrictions

You may drive:

  • To, from, and during work
  • You or your family member to get medical care for serious problems, or recurring appointments
  • When no other transportation is reasonably available for a minor child (K-12 only) to get to and from school

It is impossible to get a restricted commercial driver’s license (CDL); however, you may relinquish your CDL and apply for a Class C or M DL.

How to Get a License Cleared for Work

1.An FTA

CVC 40508, Release Upon Promise to Appear. To get a suspension lifted, in most cases, you must first clear the FTA. However, if the individual cannot immediately afford to pay the fines and fees an installment plan may be initiated. The court may, when reasonable public transportation is not available, allow driving back and forth to work and during work hours as necessary for work.

To start the process of clearing an FTA consult a traffic lawyer.


A DUI suspension for a first offense (or none within the last ten years) is generally six months (drivers under 21 face a different set of requirements). To get a license cleared or a work-restricted DL will require entering a DUI Program, submitting the DL 804, Proof of Enrollment, an SR-22, CA Insurance Proof Certificate, paying the $125 re-issue fee, and possibly having to install an ignition interlock device (IID). You can find a list of authorized IID dealers at DMV.CA.GOV. You must serve a minimum 30-day suspension before applying for the restricted DL, and it is only available to first offenders. Contact a DUI lawyer for more details.

3.BAC Refusal

The penalties for refusing a BAC are much higher than for an initial DUI. An automatic one-year suspension for a first refusal, a two-year revocation for a second, and a three-year revocation for a third. And, when you refuse a BAC, you are not eligible for a restricted DL.

4.Non-Insured Accident Suspension

If you have an accident while not insured, or your insurance does not meet the state-mandated minimum 15/30/5, you face an automatic one-year suspension up to four years. To get a license cleared for work, fill out the DL 691, pay the $250 penalty fee, the $55 re-issue fee (both may not be required, check with the DMV) and submit an SR-22, CA Insurance Proof Certificate. You may also post a $35,000 bond or self-insure. Although it is not possible to get a restricted CDL, you may drive an employer’s insured vehicle, not as a CDL driver, but as a parking valet or on private property with a restricted DL.

5.Child Support Non-Payment

According to the Dept. of Child Support Services (DCSS), when a payment is 30 days late or not paid in full a DL suspension can be issued. Visit their website or call the DCSS to discuss a release of your DL or instructions about the issuance of a work-restricted DL.

6.NOTS Points

If you accumulate four NOTS points within a year, six within two years, or eight within three years, the DMV will suspend your DL for six months, along with 12 months of probation, unless you request a DMV hearing and that hearing clears some or all points accumulated.

The DMV will consider hardship requests for a work/school restricted DL when you apply with a DL 691. Consult a traffic ticket attorney to get a license cleared or representation for a DMV Hearing.

Traffic Ticket Defenders for Kern County Drivers

Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, to discuss the specifics of getting your license cleared for work or a work-restricted DL. Bigger & Harman are traffic ticket lawyers that frequently defend drivers in Lamont, Bakersfield, and other traffic courts throughout Central California. Since they only practice traffic law, they spend many hours in traffic courts and hear rulings for their clients and others. This knowledge is used in resolving traffic tickets to get dismissals and reduced charges for their clients.

Email to start the process or get answers to questions about a specific charge.

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The 2018 CA Driver Handbook .pdf

The DMV.CA.GOV portal

The DCSS website

CVC 40508, Release Upon Promise to Appear

CVC 12810 & 12810.5, Issuance and Renewal of Licenses

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