What Types of Licenses Does the DMV Issue?
The DMV issues driver’s licenses to those who meet the requirements and pass tests to receive one. Only drivers with valid licenses are allowed to legally drive on California roadways.
Having a driver’s license, however, does not necessarily allow you to drive any type of vehicle. There are noncommercial, commercial, and motorcycle licenses. Within commercial licenses, or CDLs, there are certain endorsements required for operating semi-trucks with double or triple trailers, transporting hazardous materials, driving tanks, and transporting passengers. There are also endorsements and certificates required for those who drive tow trucks, school buses, farm vehicles, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles.
What Can the DMV Do That Compromises My License?
The DMV can conduct internal and confidential investigations of license holders for a number of reasons without notifying them. The DMV may investigate an individual if records indicate that they have been involved in an accident that resulted in property damage, bodily injury, or death, or if they have been involved in three or more accidents in a single year. They may also investigate those convicted for alcohol offenses, reckless, negligent, or incompetent driving, or permitting fraudulent use of their license.
The DMV may summon you for an interview as part of their investigation or require that you retake the examinations required to hold the license, endorsement, or certification you have. If you are asked to participate in an interview or to be reexamined, you should contact a DMV attorney before responding.
If the DMV decides to take any action against your license, endorsements, or certifications, you can challenge such action in a DMV hearing. Once the hearing is scheduled, you must either appear or request immediately that it be rescheduled. Your presence is not necessary for the DMV to proceed against you.
What Are Suspensions and Revocations?
A DMV suspension and revocation differ primarily by the amount of time you are without a valid license. If your license is suspended, you cannot drive until it is reinstated, which often happens once you have resolved whatever issue led to the suspension. For example, the DMV may reinstate your license once you provide the mandatory proof of auto insurance. In other cases, your license is suspended for a specific period after which it is reinstated.
A revocation is indefinite, although you may be able to get it reinstated or obtain limited driving privileges. Revocations are commonly used in drug and alcohol-related offenses as punishment, to discourage the behavior, and to improve public safety.
Working With an Experienced DMV Attorney
As you can see, the DMV has considerable latitude and authority in matters involving your driver’s license, endorsements, and certifications. Its investigations are conducted without your knowledge and out of the public eye. Furthermore, the DMV is judge and jury at hearings, requiring only a hearing officer who has no legal training to prosecute the case and render a decision.
If all this seems like the deck is stacked against you, you’re correct. You should have an experienced DMV attorney on your side, defending allegations and helping you keep your license or maintain driving privileges while you await or appeal DMV decisions.