There are a number of reasons California drivers may need to apply for restricted licenses. People that have violated traffic laws, have been involved in an accident while driving without insurance, convicted of a DUI, did not show up in court or have not paid traffic tickets, did not pay child support, have driven negligently, or are not physically or mentally able to drive, may all qualify to apply for a restricted driver’s license. People with any of these issues have to contact their local Department of Motor Vehicle to find out if they qualify for a restricted license.
Driving With A Restricted License
If you have a restricted California driver’s license, you will only be able to legally drive under certain conditions. For example;
- You may be allowed to drive to and from work, on certain days of the week, times of the day, or using a specific type of vehicle.
- You may also be required to have an ignition interlock or other devices.
- Some drivers may have to wear eyeglasses or other corrective contact lenses.
- Physical devices like leg or arm prosthetics may also be required for certain people to legally operate a motor vehicle with a restricted license
Getting A Restricted License
In order to get a restricted driver’s license, you have to apply to your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
- They will look at the reason for the suspension of the license and let you know whether or not you qualify for a restricted license.
- If you qualify, you can then get the appropriate forms from the DMV website.
- As part of the application process, you are also required to pay a reissue fee of $55 and a $250 penalty fee.
- You must also submit a proof that you have SR-22 insurance.
- The Department of Motor Vehicles will then make you aware of the specific driving restrictions you will have.
Duration of Keeping the Restricted License
The length of time you may be required to keep a restricted license varies based on the reason you had to get one in the first place.
- For people with visual or physical problems, a restricted license needs to be used for as long as the problem persists. For some people that may mean keeping the restricted license for the rest of their lives.
- People that were required to get a restricted license for legal reasons or due to having their driver’s license suspended may have to keep the restricted license for as little as 30 days or for several years.
The specific length of time depends on how long the courts determined their license should be suspended.
Not Everyone May Be Qualified for a Restricted License
Not everyone that applies for a restricted license has one issued to them. The determination of who qualifies for a restricted license is made by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- If your license was suspended and you later your application for a restricted license denied, then you have to wait until your suspension is lifted and your license is reinstated before you can legally drive.
- That may require you to pay court fines and a reissue fee, complete any probation to which you were sentenced, and show proof of insurance.
- At that point you can drive without restriction.
A restricted license is a courtesy and not a right. The DMV has certain criteria they use to decide who qualifies for a restricted license. People have their driving privileges curtailed or denied because they either pose a danger to themselves and others, or as a form of punishment. However, a restricted license can help you remain productive and enable you to fulfill your basic responsibilities in your day to day life.