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Obtaining a Work-Restricted Driver’s License (DL) in California

When your California DL gets suspended, there is an option, albeit limited, for drivers to get their driving privileges restricted for work-related driving, but not when you are a professional driver or commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder. A CDL holder is not authorized to participate in the CA work-restricted DL program due to federal regulations unless they downgrade to a regular DL.

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 16072, Suspensions stipulates a driver can request a work-restricted DL when their driving privileges have been suspended. They must submit proper documentation, pay a $250 administration fee, and maintain a certificate of financial responsibility (SR-22) throughout the suspension.

The following is our top three reasons to get a work-restricted DL:

Number One Reason for Work-Restricted DL

Drive to work and back. The work-restricted DL allows you to drive to work each work day. The work-restricted license is not so stringent to preclude you from driving to lunch. If you chose to leave the office to eat, you are okay. Also, if you are driving on work-related business, you can drive with your restricted license. And, if you leave for work and you ordinarily drop your children off at school and then pick them up after school, this is acceptable as well.

Alternatively, an employer can authorize a restricted driver to operate their vehicle if it is insured. The employee is not driving while suspended when driving their employee’s vehicle if it does not require a CDL.

Number Two

Medical Treatment Restriction. When you are getting treated for an ongoing medical condition that requires more than one consultation or treatment, you might be eligible for another form of work-restricted DL. A medical practitioner must evaluate and authorize the patient to drive with a restricted license. The doctor or medical authority must complete and sign the DL 691.

A medical practitioner for this program could be a family, marriage, or child counselor, dentist, clinical psychiatrist or social worker, psychologist, or another licensed healthcare provider.

Number Three

School transportation for Minors. If you have primary or secondary school-aged children, live in a remote area, and there is no school or public bus, you might also be eligible to get a work-restricted DL. The school administrator or principal must sign the DL 691.

Also, a critical need. A college-aged child under 21 who gets a license suspension might be eligible for a critical need restricted DL. This DL is another form of work-restricted DL. A critical need license allows a young person to drive to school and back; drive in case of a family emergency, back and forth to work, or documented school-related activities.

For whichever reason you believe you are eligible for a work-restricted DL, the wise option is to consult with a traffic ticket attorney who can present your reasoning and documentation to a traffic court judge.

How to Obtain a Work-Restricted DL in CA

When a non-CDL gets suspended, a work-restricted DL can be requested using a completed DL 691 with payment of the $250 fee and required endorsements to a local DMV. The driver or their designated legal representative makes a request for the “To/from/during” employment, school, or medical treatment. A work-restricted DL is valid for the period of suspension and allows the person to drive only to and from work, school, medical or work/school-related activities.

Consult with a Traffic Law Professional

The work-restricted DL policies and laws are complicated. In California, many drivers are eligible for a work-restricted DL. However, the process is extensive and usually requires a skilled traffic attorney to present your case to a traffic court judge.

A DL suspended due to too many Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) accumulated by the driver means you never asked for a DMV hearing or you lost your hearing case. In either case, the CA DMV can suspend your license for six months with a 12-month concurrent driving probation period. Any subsequent conviction, failure to appear, or accident (regardless of fault) during that period will result in another six months suspension and 12 months of promotion. A third incident will likely lead to a DL revocation, which means you must start a new application for a DL. To prevent this, you should hire a traffic lawyer to represent you and request a DMV hearing within ten days of receiving notice of suspension.

A suspended DL and traffic tickets are complicated, and in many instances you need a traffic ticket lawyer to make sense of your charges, help you restore your DL and your driving record, and work with you to request a work-restricted DL. A traffic ticket lawyer will offer the best advice for a restricted license. If you choose to fight your ticket, you will get the best results from a knowledgeable ticket traffic attorney.

Contact Bigger & Harman, APC

When you need assistance with a traffic ticket, a DMV hearing, or a work-restricted DL request after a suspension, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español 661.349.9755.

Bigger & Harman regularly assist drivers in Barstow and other San Bernardino County locations in getting a dismissal or reduced charges for their traffic tickets. We value the opportunity to serve the SoCal drivers and make every effort to ensure you get the best possible results. Give us a call and let’s talk about your situation.

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CVC 16072, Suspensions

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