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How Do I Complete California DUI School If I Live Out of State?

Waiver sheet and gavel

How Do I Complete California DUI School If I Live Out of State?

Understanding 1650 Waivers

Most individuals convicted of driving under the influence in California must attend DUI school. However, what happens if you are convicted of DUI in California but live out of state?

Before a DUI charge results in a criminal conviction, contact a Los Angeles DUI attorney for a free consultation. The drunk driving charges might be unlawful, or you may have a valid DUI defense that results in dismissed charges or an acquittal. An experienced California DUI attorney might be able to negotiate a DUI plea bargain that reduces the charges to a lesser offense.

What Is a California DMV DUI Program?

A California DUI program or DUI school is an educational program. Providers must be licensed by the State of California to provide in-person DUI programs. The required length of attendance depends on the specific DUI offense and sentence.

DUI school includes education and counseling. When the person completes the DUI program, the provider sends a certificate of completion to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) and the court. The person must complete the required program and all other DUI sentence terms to apply to reinstate their California license.

Who Needs a 1650 Waiver?

If you are convicted of DUI in California and are a non-California resident, you need a 1650 Waiver. Your DUI sentence likely includes mandatory completion of DUI school. If you do not complete the mandatory requirements or waive the requirement by filing a 1650 Waiver, your home state might refuse to issue a driver’s license until you complete the California DUI school.

Frequently Asked Questions About California DUI School for Out-of-State Drivers?

Our California DUI attorneys receive many calls from out-of-state drivers who were arrested for DUI. Some of the most frequently asked questions about DUI school for out-of-state residents include:

What Happens When a Non-Resident Gets a California DUI?

Non-residents convicted of drunk driving in California have their California driving privileges suspended by the California DMV. The DMV sends notice of the conviction and suspension to the person’s resident state.

Most states treat a DUI conviction in one state as an impaired driving conviction in their state. Therefore, the home state may impose penalties, including suspending the person’s driver’s license in their home state until the person completes all terms of their DUI sentence in California, including completing DUI school.

Can I Attend a California DUI School Online?

No, California DUI schools are not offered online. California Health and Safety Code §11838.11 requires any entity offering the driving-under-the-influence program in California to have a valid license. Therefore, all classes must be in-person.

What is a 1650 Waiver?

You must attend an approved DUI program when you are convicted of driving under the influence. The in-person program is required when you are convicted of drug and alcohol-impaired offenses such as:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (California Vehicle Code 23152);
  • Driving with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08% or higher;
  • Driving with a BAC of .05% or higher when under the age of 21 years old (California Vehicle Code 23140);
  • Driving with a BAC of .04% or higher if driving a commercial motor vehicle or vehicle for hire with a passenger inside; or
  • Wet reckless under California Vehicle Code 23103.5.

1650 Waivers are used to request a waiver of the requirement to attend DUI school after a conviction for drunk driving. DUI school waivers can only be granted once in a person’s lifetime.

What is the Effect of a 1650 Waiver? Does It Let Me Complete DUI School Our-of-State?

Attending in-person DUI programs when you live outside of California can be a problem. The person might be unable to travel back and forth to complete the program. As such, California created the 1650 Waiver.

The effect of a 1650 Waiver removes the requirement to complete DUI school as a punishment for drinking and driving for a non-California resident. The result is the person can apply for reinstatement of their driving privileges in their home state.

How Does a Person Apply for the Waiver?

You must wait until you are eligible for the California DMV to terminate the requirement to attend and complete DUI school. The requirements and conditions to be eligible for a waiver include:

  • The license suspension or revocation period imposed for your California DUI conviction has expired;
  • You have paid all administrative service fees;
  • You are not under a court order or DMV requirement to install an ignition interlock device (“IID”); and
  • Any Administrative Per Se restrictions on your driver’s license have expired.

Once you meet all the requirements for waiving the required classes, you can request a 1650 Waiver packet to complete and file with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

How Do I Get My 1650 Waiver Packet?

Once you meet the requirements, you must complete an Application for Termination of Action (Form DL 4006) as part of the 1650 Waiver packet. You may obtain the form from the California DMV in person, by mail, or online. The packet contains this form, proof of residency, and proof of financial responsibility.

The completed 1650 Waiver packet and required documentation are sent to the DMV Mandatory Actions Unit of the California DMV. The Mandatory Actions Unit verifies that you met all requirements for a 1650 Waiver.

In addition, you must certify that you voluntarily authorize the DMV to cancel your California driver’s license. Generally, it takes four to eight weeks for the DMV to complete the review and grant the waiver.

What Documents Will the DMV Accept as Proof of Out-of-State Residency?

You must certify under penalty of perjury that you are not a resident of the State of California. The DMV lists 18 acceptable out-of-state residency documents you can submit with your application to prove you are not a California resident.

Examples of acceptable residency documents include, but are not limited to:

  • Home utility bill or cell phone bills;
  • Mortgage bill or statements;
  • Employment documents;
  • Tax return documents;
  • Official voter registration documents;
  • Property tax bill or statements;
  • Insurance documents;
  • Medical documents; or
  • Records of a financial institution.

The out-of-state residency document must have your first and last name and the out-of-state address that matches the address listed on the application, which is located outside California.

What is Proof of Financial Responsibility for a California Driver’s License?

You must also provide proof of financial responsibility when you file your application to waive DUI school. Financial responsibility generally refers to the liability insurance a person must have to drive in California. However, the types of financial responsibility that California accepts for drivers are:

  • A motor vehicle insurance policy in the minimum amounts required by law;
  • A cash deposit with the DMV of $35,000;
  • A surety bond from a company licensed to do business in California of $35,000; or
  • A DMV-issued certificate of self-insurance.

A California Insurance Proof Certificate (Form SR-22) is also acceptable proof of insurance. Non-California insurance documents must be accompanied by a declaration Regarding Certificate of Insurance for Non-Resident Driver located on form California Proof Requirements for Non-Residents (DL 300).

What Happens if the Out-Of-State Driver Returns to California?

Before you apply for a 1650 Waiver, it is essential to know what would happen if you returned to or moved to California. First, you would be unable to legally drive in California for three years after the date the DMV grants the waiver request. Furthermore, before you would be eligible for a driver’s license in California, you would need to complete the DMVs DUI program.

What Are Some Other Penalties for a First-Time DUI Conviction in California?

Attending DUI school is just one of the penalties that you face if convicted of a DUI. A first-time DUI conviction that does not involve any aggravating factors generally results in:

  • DUI school;
  • Up to six months in county jail;
  • Penalties and fines imposed that could total over $1,500;
  • A six-month license suspension;
  • DUI probation from three to five years; or
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (“IID”).

However, the punishment for impaired driving increases depending on the facts of the case and your criminal record. DUIs are offenses which count as prior offenses in California, meaning your punishment increases with each conviction within a 10-year period. Convictions for felony DUI count against you for sentencing, regardless of the age of the conviction.

What Are the Consequences in Your Home State for a California DUI Conviction?

Each state enacts impaired driving laws. Therefore, the laws in your home state may differ from California DUI laws. Generally, your home state learns about the drunk driving conviction from California. What happens next depends on the DUI laws in your state.

Many states, like California, treat an out-of-state conviction for impaired driving the same as if the conviction occurred within the state. At the very least, most states require that the person complete their California DUI sentence before they can apply to reinstate their driver’s license in their home state. States are permitted to impose penalties according to their laws, even if those penalties are more severe than California’s DUI penalties.

What Should I Do if I Am Arrested While Visiting California and I Don’t Have a California License?

Contact a California DUI defense attorney immediately. Do not discuss your case with police officers or a prosecutor without a lawyer present. There could be one or more DUI defenses that apply in your case.

A skilled DUI attorney investigates the circumstances of the traffic stop. Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop. They must also have probable cause for a DUI arrest. If the officers stopped and/or arrested you unlawfully, the evidence gathered against you might be inadmissible in court.

Another DUI defense strategy involves challenging the accuracy and/or reliability of the evidence. Officers make subjective evaluations about a driver’s impairment level based on a driver’s performance on field sobriety tests and physical appearance. An attorney might challenge those observations to create doubt about whether the driver was impaired when arrested.

Furthermore, environmental factors, a driver’s health, and police conduct can significantly impact the results of chemical tests. The results of blood tests and breath tests may be falsely high because of factors that have nothing to do with the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

An experienced DUI lawyer analyzes all evidence to determine the best defense strategy to use in your case.

Contact a Southern California DUI Attorney for a Free Consultation

The best way to avoid problems after an out-of-state DUI charge is to hire an experienced DUI lawyer to represent you in court. If you were charged with driving under the influence, contact our SoCal DUI lawyers to discuss how we can help you fight DUI charges.

Talk To A DUI Defense Attorney

An experienced attorney can evaluate your case and discuss your options with you. A lawyer serving DUI clients will often offer a free no obligation consultation and everything discussed is protected by the attorney client relationship.

Schedule a free consultation with one of our expert California DUI attorneys here.

Interested in this topic, or other topics similar to it? Find more articles on our blog, updated regularly! 


The post How Do I Complete California DUI School If I Live Out of State? appeared first on Law Offices of Taylor and Taylor - DUI Central.

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