Throughout the State of California, drivers are finding it exceedingly difficult to conduct any business with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A recent study by the California Department of Public Health found that DMV Field Offices are literally a breeding ground for the COVID-19 Virus. The very nature of DMV Field Offices places customers in close proximity to one another for extended periods of time and there are numerous surfaces in the field offices that are touched by a score of people.
As a result, the vast majority of DMV Field Offices are shuttered for “in-person” business. While some “on-line” services are creating some relief, many drivers are becoming increasingly frustrated by the inability to do DMV business.
One division of the DMV that is largely unaffected by the pandemic is the Office of Driver Safety.
The Driver Safety Office (DSO) is essentially the DMV version of a courthouse. Everyday of the week, the Driver Safety Office is conducting license suspension hearings to determine the driving future of California drivers. Hearings conducted at the Driver Safety Office are run like miniature trials where evidence is presented and argued, objections are waged, witnesses testify and legal arguments are offered. Most of these hearings are conducted in an “in-person” setting.
As archaic as the DMV may seem, they have been making strides in the area of technology and virtual services. The Driver Safety Office is well positioned to transition to conducting hearings in a “telephonic” format. Up and down the state, DMV Hearing Officers are calling attorneys and advocates to convert hearings from an in-person format to the much safer telephone format.
The conventional wisdom of the DMV is that evidence can be introduced and witnesses can testify in a telephonic format that protects the public and DMV employees. So, the lesson here is that despite the trappings of the Coronavirus and despite the fact that the DMV’s doors are closed, the Driver Safety Office is very much open for business and is suspending driver licenses in a telephonic format. The moral of the story is, if you have a suspension action pending with the Driver Safety Office, it will proceed.
Here at California Drivers Advocates, we have the infrastructure and systems in place to conduct business in virtual format. We have a fully automated Client Management system, a reliable computer based telephone system and all the systems in place to represent you remotely. We have literally conducted hundreds of telephone hearings and have modified our approach to ensure a Client’s case does not suffer.
If the California DMV is working to suspend your driving privilege you should not feel that the Coronavirus will slow their process. The DMV will suspend your license if it believes it has good cause, regardless of where this public health emergency stands. If you are facing a suspension action from the DMV, just know we are open for business and ready to defend your privilege.