The penalties for an out of state driver with a DUI in California are more complicated than for drivers with a California license. Normally, officers do not confiscate the license of an out of state driver because the California DMV has no jurisidction over the license of another state. However, the California DMV will move to suspend a person’s privilege to drive in California. So the DMV will assign an “X” number to the driver (which is a driver’s license number that starts with the letter “X”) and then attempt to suspend the privilege under that X number. When a person is convicted of a DUI, the courts notify the California DMV of the conviction which results in a suspension of the person’s license to drive in California. Under the Interstate Compact Act, the California DMV then notifies the DMV in other states and a driver’s license will then be suspended in their home state unless they enroll in California DUI program OR they apply for a 1650 waiver from the Mandatory Actions Unit of the Calfornia DMV. A 1650 waiver is a one-time waiver that allows the California DMV to release any any holds on their license if they can prove they live out of state. Proof can be in the form of a bill or some other document showing proof of residency. The driver must also show proof of financial responsibility – usually SR-22 insurance. Once the hold is released, the out of state driver will be allowed to drive in any state EXCEPT California. Any out of state driver that moves to California within three years of their DUI conviction will have to complete the California DUI class in order to legally drive in California.
A 1650 waiver can be obtained by contacting the Mandatory Actions Unit. It is almost impossible to reach this unit by phone. Wait times exceed an hour. The best way to obtain the waiver is to send in a request via mail. The DMV will only send the waiver to the licensee – not their attorney. The address for the Mandatory Actions Unit:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Mandatory Actions Unit, Mail Station J233
P. O. Box 942890
Sacramento, CA 94290-0001