How does the DMV use Vehicle Code Section 13953 to immediately suspend a driver license? – The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the government agency granted the power to issue a driving privilege to qualified drivers. What few people understand, however, is the nearly unbridled power the DMV possesses to suspend or revoke a driver license. If the DMV receives information from a reliable source that a driver may suffer with a physical or mental condition which affects their ability to drive, the DMV may immediately suspend the driver license. This permits the DMV to act first and ask questions later. California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 13953 is an invasive section of the Vehicle Code which permits the DMV to immediately suspend or revoke a person’s driver license without advance notice.
Most often, the DMV will take an immediate suspension or revocation action under CVC section 13953 after receiving a Confidential Report of Morbidity from a physician or other qualified medical professional. This normally occurs when a physician learns that a driver may suffer with a physical or mental condition that creates an immediate hazard to safe driving and reports the condition to the DMV. Because the DMV will presume the accuracy of the doctor’s report, it will assume that an immediate hazard exists and will suspend or revoke the driver license even before notice is given.
CVC Section 13953 determines:
“In the alternative to the procedure under Sections 13950, 13951, and 13952 and in the event the department determines upon investigation or reexamination that the safety of the person subject to investigation or reexamination or other persons upon the highways require such action, the department shall forthwith and without hearing suspend or revoke the privilege of the person to operate a motor vehicle or impose reasonable terms and conditions of probation which shall be relative to the safe operation of a motor vehicle. No order of suspension or revocation or the imposition of terms or conditions of probation shall become effective until 30 days after the giving of written notice thereof to the person affected, except that the department shall have authority to make any such order effective immediately upon the giving of notice when in its opinion because of the mental or physical condition of the person such immediate action is required for the safety of the driver or other persons upon the highways.”
How we use CVC section 13953 to your advantage?
Because CVC section 13953 permits the DMV to suspend or revoke a person’s driving privilege immediately and without notice, it is common for a driver to receive a letter in the mail that notifies them that their license was suspended before they even opened the envelope. As upsetting as this is, don’t despair.
The courts across this country have ruled time and time again that once received, the driver license is a vested property right. Based on this, the law of Procedural Due Process requires that an accused driver be permitted to review any and all evidence against them and to present a defense against the allegation that suspended the license. So, even though the DMV has stolen your driver license, you are entitled to fight for its return.
Everything the DMV does is time sensitive and when dealing with issues of a driver’s physical or mental health, you may have as little as 5 days to contact the DMV to prevent the suspension of your driving privilege. If you have received an “Order of Suspension/Revocation” which informs you that your license has been suspended pursuant to CVC section 13953, pick up the telephone and call the DMV Defense Experts from California Drivers Advocates (CDA). We are a team of former police officers, DMV hearing officers, investigators and scientists who are ready to schedule a hearing in a timely manner and fight to get your driver license reinstated quickly. No matter what physical or mental condition may have, call CDA today. In many instances we can get you back on the road.
Video Transcript: Hi, my name’s Rob Collier. I’m the President and CEO of California Drivers Advocates. Today I’d like to speak with you about why the California DMV suspends a person’s driving privilege under the authority of California Vehicle Code Section 13953. 13953 is essentially a catch-all section of the Vehicle Code that empowers the DMV to go to immediate suspension if the Department believes a person has a physical or mental condition that affects their ability to drive.
So in many instances the DMV may suspect a person of having some problems related to driving and they can go to what’s called a reexamination, which is essentially an investigation prior to suspension. Under 13953 this is the DMV concluding that whatever the issue is that the person suffers, it is egregious enough or immediate enough that it creates an immediate hazard to the motoring public and so they go to immediate suspension and take you off the road. Now, have no fear, you can get your license back. You can be defended.
You can win a hearing to have your license reinstated. But you have to act quickly. In most instances people are notified of a 13953 suspension or revocation through the mail and that order will tell you that you only have 14 days to request a hearing.
So you have to act quickly. Again, I encourage you to defend yourself. Don’t let the DMV take your license without a fight and if we can help you, we would be glad to do so. Give us a call or visit our website.