If you live in another state and get a DUI in California, you might find it inconvenient to have to attend an in-person California DUI school as a part of your sentence. Ordinarily, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires people convicted of DUIs to enroll in and complete DUI driving school here in California.
A non-resident can request a waiver of the California in-person DUI school requirement by filing a 1650 waiver request. If you do not attend and complete an in-person DUI program in California and do not request and receive a waiver, your home state can deny you a driver’s license. Your only option then is to make repeated trips back to California to complete the DUI school.
How to Request a 1650 Waiver
You will have to wait until you are eligible to request that the California DMV terminate your DUI suspension or revocation. If the California DMV grants your request, you would not have to attend driving school in this state, and you will be able to apply for a license in your state of residence.
You must meet all of these conditions to be eligible for a termination of action as a non-resident:
- Any suspension or revocation of your driving privilege is no longer in effect.
- If you had any Administrative Per Se restrictions on your driver’s license, all such restrictions are no longer in effect.
- You are no longer ordered by the court or the California DMV to have an ignition interlock device (IID) or any other court-ordered or DMV-ordered restrictions.
- You have paid all applicable administrative service fees.
You can check your driver’s record to verify these factors. You may request this information by telephone, online, or by regular US mail. After verifying that you have met all of the conditions, you will need to file an application for termination of action (DL4006) with the DMV, along with acceptable proof of out-of-state residency, payment of fees, and proof of financial responsibility, if required.
Application for Termination of Action (DL 4006)
The Application for Termination of Action must get sent to the Mandatory Actions Unit of the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), with all the required documents and attachments. Before the termination of action under California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 13353.5 can happen, the Mandatory Actions Unit must verify that the applicant has met all of the conditions and requirements.
The applicant must swear under penalty of perjury that the individual is not a resident of California. Also, the applicant must voluntarily authorize the California DMV to cancel the individual’s California driving privileges if the DMV terminates the suspension or revocation as requested. It usually takes the California DMV a month or two to process the waiver packet.
Documents the DMV Will Accept as Proof of Out-of-State Residency
The DMV provides a list of 18 different kinds of documents they will accept to prove that you do not live in the state of California. You must submit at least one of these papers with your DL 4006 form.
A few examples of the acceptable out-of-state residency documents for the 1650 waiver form (DL 4006 form) include:
- A home utility or cell phone bill
- Official voter registration documents
- A mortgage bill
- A rental or lease agreement signed by both the owner/landlord and the tenant/resident
- An employment document
- A property tax bill or statement
- A change of address confirmation by the US Postal Service
Whichever document or documents you choose to submit to show out-of-state residency must show your current out-of-state address that is the same as you provide on your DL 4006 form.
What is Proof of Financial Responsibility?
Proof of financial responsibility in the context of driving means that a driver has automobile insurance that will pay the losses of people who get injured or property that gets damaged as a result of the driver. California tries to protect the general public from people exercising the privilege to drive without being financially responsible to people they might harm.
The DMV might require you to provide a California Insurance Proof Certificate (SR 22) from an insurance company authorized to do business in California. If your insurance is from a company not authorized to do business in California, the DMV will only accept that insurance document if you send in a Declaration Regarding Certificate of Insurance for Non-Resident Driver. That declaration is on the DL 300 form, California Proof Requirements for Non-Residents.
Who Needs a 1650 Waiver?
If you were a non-California resident and you got convicted of a “wet” driving offense, like:
- Driving under the influence, Vehicle Code 23152(a),
- Driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, Vehicle Code 23152(b)
- Underage DUI with a BAC of 0.05% or higher, Vehicle Code 23140
- “Wet reckless,” Vehicle Code 23103.5
You will have to enroll in and complete an in-person California DUI driving school unless you get a 1650 waiver of that requirement. A 1650 waiver comes with significant consequences. For starters, once you use a 1650 waiver, you can never get a second waiver in your entire lifetime.
Also, you will not be allowed to drive in the state of California for three years, even if you become a California resident. If you do move to California, you will have to complete the DUI school before the DMV will issue you a California driver’s license.
Consequences in Your Home State
Getting an out-of-state DUI conviction does not let you fly under the radar in your home state. The California court will notify a non-resident’s home state of the conviction. Also, the DMV in California will suspend your California non-resident driving privileges.
You can face negative repercussions in both states, California and your home state, after getting convicted of a DUI here. Your state will treat the California conviction as if it happened in your home state.
Your home state is allowed to impose its own penalties on you, even if they are more severe than the penalties the California court assessed. Typically, your home state will not allow you to drive legally using that state’s driver’s license until you satisfy all of the penalties of the California conviction, which include the DUI program requirements of the DMV. One of the program requirements is the California DUI school.
Can I Attend a California DUI School Online?
Generally, no. A person convicted of a DUI in California must attend a licensed DUI program unless the individual obtains a 1650 non-resident waiver. The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) evaluates, licenses, and monitors the compliance of all California DUI programs. The Behavioral Health Licensing and Certification Division, Driving-Under-The-Influence (DUI) Section is the specific aspect of the DHCS that performs these tasks.
You cannot simply enroll in any DUI school or program. The DUI school must be California-licensed to satisfy the penalties under your conviction. DUI school hopes to give participants an opportunity to address their problems with using alcohol and drugs, and to reduce the number of second and subsequent DUI offenses by individuals.
California DUI Programs
There are multiple levels of DHCS licensed DUI programs. For example:
- If you get convicted of reckless driving and you had a measurable amount of alcohol in your bloodstream, you must complete the “wet reckless program,” which is a 12-hour DUI education program.
- For a first-offense DUI conviction, the DMV requires the completion of a three-month 30-hour alcohol and drug education and counseling program. If the first offense was for a blood alcohol content of 0.20% or higher, the individual must complete a nine-month 60-hour alcohol and drug education and counseling program.
- If a person gets a second or subsequent DUI conviction, there is a mandatory 18-month multiple offender program. The program includes 52 hours of group counseling, 12 hours of alcohol and drug education, six hours of community reentry monitoring, and biweekly individual interviews during the 12 months of the program.
- For a third or subsequent DUI conviction, a county may choose to impose 30-month DUI programs, with 78 hours of group counseling, 12 hours of alcohol and drug education, 120 to 300 hours of community service, and close and regular individual interviews.
The high level of involvement and time required by California DUI programs make it difficult for someone who lives in another state to participate in and complete the program requirements.
COVID-19 FAQs for DUI School
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of California enacted measures to reduce exposure to the virus, including suspending or limiting DUI program services. Anyone participating in program services or wanting to enroll in the program could find limitations on the program due to COVID-19 restrictions. The DHCS supported telehealth services for DUI programs to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Are There Additional Penalties for a DUI Conviction in California?
Yes, and you do not get to avoid these consequences just because you are not a California resident. Also, keep in mind that your home state can impose additional penalties. In California, a first-time DUI conviction could include these penalties:
- DUI school
- A six-month driver’s license suspension period
- Up to six months in county jail
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for six months
- Fines and penalties adding up to as much as $1500 or $2000
- DUI probation of 3 to 5 years
- Work release
Getting a DUI conviction can impact your life in many other ways. You will want to work with a California DUI attorney to protect your rights if you get arrested for drunk driving.