California Vehicle Code (CVC) Sections, 12809(c), 12809(d), and 13359, grant the DMV the necessary authority to refuse to issue, or to revoke the driver license/privilege of any person for fraudulent activity. To ensure the issuance of the driver license to only genuinely qualified applicants and to deter fraudulent activity, especially among minors, the DMV will take action in fraud cases against the driver license/driving privilege of any person (minor or adult) where there is evidence of fraudulent activity.
CVC Section 13800, grants the DMV the necessary authority to conduct investigations to determine if the driver license/driving privilege of a person should be suspended or revoked; or probation imposed, when it receives information that the licensee has applied for, received, or used a California Driver License in or by fraudulent means.
CVC Section 13801, grants the DMV the power to suspend or revoke a person’s driver license/driving privilege when it suspects the person of fraudulent activity and that person refuses to submit or fails to complete a department ordered reexamination.
CVC Section 12801.5 requires that any person applying for the original issuance of a driver license must prove that they are legally within the State of California.
Because California is populated by a diverse number of cultures, confusion can easily occur when applicants apply for a driver license using documents that are common in their homeland but considered suspicious by the State of California. For example, birth dates on documents from other countries will often place the date before the month. Birth records in the Spanish language often place the date of birth before the actual event. This is not fraudulent; it is simply a cultural difference in record keeping. Hispanic men will frequently document their mother’s surname after their father’s surname. Conversely, married Hispanic women traditionally list their father’s family name following that of their husband’s. In Asian cultures, it is common for the family to list its surname before the individual’s name.
In a society as culturally rich and diverse as California’s, mistakes can be made. This is an example of how a simple mistake of fact can be misconstrued as an intentional act of fraud. Perfectly innocent people should not be stripped of their driver license because of confusion in translation.
The DMV is responsible for conducting a complete review of the department’s evidence, as well as any evidence or testimony you present. The hearing officer is tasked with weighing all evidence while considering the need for Traffic Safety.