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DMV Defense FAQ

I have received a “Notice of Suspension” from the California DMV, what do I do now?

Read the notice carefully. It will identify why the DMV is taking action against you and will also tell you how much time you have to react. Generally speaking, the DMV will only permit you 10 calendar days to contest the intended suspension of your license. Contact CDA immediately. We can help!

Do I have to deal with the DMV alone; can someone help me? You do not have to face the DMV process alone and, frankly, you should not try. The DMV has a wide range of methods to suspend or revoke your driving privilege. The DMV Hearing Officers are specifically trained to manipulate the law as a means to justify a suspension. Defending yourself at a DMV Hearing requires that you be an expert at California Administrative Law, the California Vehicle Code and the California Evidence Code. The DMV process is complicated and terribly frustrating. Contact CDA immediately.

Do I have to be represented by a lawyer at the DMV?

No. California Law expressly dictates that a driver may represent himself or herself at a DMV Administrative Hearing. The law also states that the driver may be represented by any representative of his or her choosing. An attorney is not required. Contact CDA. We are a team of Administrative Law Specialists with years of experience protecting drivers at these hearings.

We can Help At a DMV Hearing, am I permitted to introduce witnesses or evidence that I am a good driver? Generally yes. In some types of hearings, (i.e. APS Hearings or Zero Tolerance Hearings), the DMV Hearing Officer may attempt to restrict testimony and evidence that he/she determines to be relevant. In many types of hearings, however, the rules of evidence are somewhat relaxed and you may have a greater opportunity to introduce witnesses and evidence to either rebut the DMV evidence or to demonstrate your ability to drive safely. The Staff at CDA are experts in determining the admissibility of evidence at all forms of hearings. Call CDA Today.

If the DMV suspends or revokes my driver license how do I get it back?

When the DMV takes an administrative action to suspend or revoke a person’s driving privilege, there are always conditions that must be met before the driver license is reinstated. Typically, a driver may be forced to serve a period of suspension during which they must not drive. Once the suspension/revocation period is served, that person may have to attend an approved DUI School or Defense Driving School. Drivers are often required to provide a special insurance certificate, referred to as an SR-22 Form. Some drivers will be required to demonstrate that a medical condition has stabilized or improved; or that medication has rendered them healthy enough to drive. Still other drivers may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device in their car before their license is reinstated. The only thing the DMV does automatically is suspend a person’s driving privilege. Getting that privilege re-instated requires that the driver take several proactive steps to accomplish the task. Call CDA right away. We can give you a roadmap to getting back on the road.

What is an SR-22 Form? Typically when we purchase automobile insurance, we are purchasing insurance to cover the car and any events which occur in relation to its operation. An SR-22 Form, however, is a “High- Risk” insurance policy that attaches to the driver. Essentially, the SR-22 Form identifies the driver as having had an Administrative Action taken against his or her driving privilege and further demonstrates the driver possesses the necessary liability coverage to protect the public. Purchasing and maintaining an SR-22 Form can be costly and may create problems with your current insurance provider. Contact CDA for guidance in this area. We can refer you to some of the insurance industry’s premier brokers who can guide you through the maze of insurance issues.

If a police officer seizes my driver license, can I go to the DMV and apply for a “duplicate” license?

Absolutely NO! When a police officer takes the action of seizing a person’s driver’s license, it is normally an immediate suspension of that person’s driving privilege. In most instances, the officer will replace your driver license with a pink colored temporary driver license. An attempt to circumvent the process is illegal and completely unnecessary. CDA has been informed that many attorneys will advise people to quickly approach the DMV, report their driver license as being lost, and immediately apply for a duplicate driver license.

Taking this action is a conscious act of guilt, may cause the DMV to draw you into another Administrative Hearing for fraudulent activity; and, most importantly, is a felony crime. When applying for the duplicate driver license, the applicant must sign, under the Penalty for Perjury, that they are legally entitled to the duplicate license and that all information contained in the application is true and correct.

Don’t do this to yourself. Simply go to your local DMV Field Office and apply for a California Identification Card. You are entitled to this form of ID and it is perfectly legal to make this application. Don’t try to pull a fast one. Ultimately, you could be discovered and face much more severe penalties. If you have any questions, call CDA. Our experts can advise you best how to proceed.

How long will my driving privilege be suspended?

There is no simple answer to this question. There are a variety of reasons the DMV may suspend or revoke a person’s driving privilege. The length of suspension or revocation can be affected by the reason for suspension; whether or not the driver has prior incidents of the same nature; or if the DMV Hearing Officer believes the driver may be an on-going danger to the motoring public.

The California Driver License may be suspended for as little as one month or may be revoked for a number of years. In some rare instances, the driver license may be fully revoked for life. If you have questions about your term of suspension or revocation, Call CDA. Our experts can research your issue and provide answers to your questions.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

Simply defined, an Ignition Interlock Device, also known as an IID, is a breath machine which is attached electronically to the ignition of an automobile. Although the science of these devices is complicated, the goal of the IID is to ensure that the driver of a vehicle has no alcohol in his or her blood stream. A driver entering a vehicle which is equipped with an IID must blow into a mouthpiece before the vehicle’s engine will start. If the device determines the driver’s breath is alcohol-free, the engine will start. If the device determines that the driver has alcohol on his or her breath, the device will lock-out the ignition and the car will not start until the device is reset by a company technician.

Typically, a court will order the installation of an IID into a driver’s car following a conviction for DUI where the driver has prior convictions for DUI. Additionally, the California Legislature is allowing a pilot program to operate in the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare, which requires that ALL persons convicted of DUI must install an IID device in any car they operate. Even 1st offenders are being forced to install and maintain these devices in their cars for specified periods of time.

The law surrounding these devices is still a bit murky and the issues are complicated. If you have been ordered to install an IID in your car, call CDA. We can answer your questions and refer you to some of the industry’s best experts.

What is the cost of hiring CDA to protect me?

The cost to retain CDA as your DMV Experts will vary depending upon the complexity of the legal issue involved, the amount of work required to protect you and the use of expert witnesses in conducting your hearing.

CDA is devoted to being part of your solution; we do not wish to be part of your problem.
Typically, our fees will run from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars depending upon the issues listed above. In most instances, CDA’s fees are cheaper than most attorneys.

Speaking with us is completely free! Meeting with us, consulting with us, and allowing us to answer your questions are benefits we provide to all drivers at no cost.

Call CDA Today. Let us get you on the road to protecting your driving freedom.

What if I can’t pay for representation upfront? You do not have to worry. Court costs, attorney;s fees and most importantly, keeping your license and protecting your driving privilage costs money. We have teamed with some of the best lenders in the business to let you get the representation you need now, and pay over time. Check them our here.




Quality DMV Defense isn’t something we preach, it’s what we practice. Our team is highly trained and experienced in every facet of our industry. This means that you’re in the best possible hands and protected by a team of professionals who care. 


When it comes to protecting your driving privilege, results are everything. We’ve conducted scores of DMV Administrative Hearings and our results are among the best in the State. Our goal is to win and that means you keep driving.

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