Driving Under the Influence: Age 21 and Older

Spanish Version

Admin Per Se Immediate Driver License Suspension or Revocation

The administrative license suspension program, known as “Admin Per Se” (APS) was implemented in 1990 as a stronger deterrent to drunk driving. The following information is a general guide for drivers 21 years of age and older who become subject to an APS DL suspension or revocation (action). All APS cases are unique. If this guide does not provide the specific information you seek, additional information is available on the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website at dmv.ca.gov.

Who is Affected?

DMV is required to suspend or revoke the driving privilege of any person arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, who does either of the following:

  • Takes a chemical (blood or breath) test which shows a 0.01% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level while on DUI probation, 0.04% BAC while driving a commercial vehicle, and/or a 0.08% or more BAC while driving a noncommercial vehicle.
  • Refuses to take or fails to complete a chemical test (blood or breath) to determine their BAC level or the drug content of their blood.

A urine test is not available unless both the blood and breath tests are unavailable, or the person is a hemophiliac or taking anticoagulant medication.

What Happens to My DL?

The officer will give you an Order of Suspension/Revocation. If you have a valid California DL, the officer will take your DL and send it to DMV (to be destroyed). The Order of Suspension/Revocation includes a temporary DL valid for 30 days from the issue date (usually the date of your arrest). At the end of the 30 days, the action goes into effect. If the officer does not serve you with an Order of Suspension/Revocation, DMV will mail you one.

The temporary DL does not allow you to drive if there is another DMV or court-imposed DL sanction in effect.

The APS action is independent of any jail, fine, or other criminal penalty imposed in court if you are convicted of a DUI offense.

What Does DMV Do?

DMV automatically conducts an administrative review pursuant to California Vehicle Code (CVC) §13557, which may include an examination of the officer’s sworn report and any accompanying documents, such as an arrest or traffic collision report.

If the review shows there is no basis for the APS action, it will be set aside. DMV will notify you in writing only if the action is set aside.

What Can I Do About The Suspension/Revocation?

You have 10 days from the receipt of the Order of Suspension/Revocation to request a hearing to show that the APS action is not justified. DMV will conduct a telephone hearing unless you request an in-person hearing. The APS action will not be stayed (delayed) unless:

  • You request a hearing within 10 days from the issue date of the order and DMV cannot provide a hearing before the effective date of the action.

Before the hearing, and upon request, you may see and/or obtain copies of DMV evidence. If you want copies released to someone else, such as an attorney, you must give the person signed permission. You have the right to have a sign or language interpreter present at your hearing. Immediately notify DMV if you require an interpreter.

You may represent yourself or, at your own expense, an attorney or another person may represent you at the hearing. You may present oral testimony and other evidence. Your testimony will be taken under oath or affirmation and the hearing will be recorded.

DMV ordinarily does not arrange to have the peace officer testify. However, DMV reserves the right to call the officer if their testimony is needed. You may subpoena the officer or any other witness(es) you feel may help your case and have relevant testimony or evidence to present. You are responsible for paying the required fees and ensuring your witness(es) receives the subpoena.

After the hearing decision, you may submit a written request for a departmental review, pursuant to CVC §14105.5 within 15 days of the effective date of the notice. The fee for a departmental review is $120 pursuant to CVC §14907.

Hearing Issues

Your need for a DL is not an issue at the APS hearing. Additional information on APS issues is available at dmv.ca.gov.

How Long Will I Be Suspended or Revoked?

A.    If you took a chemical test, and the results showed a 0.04% BAC while operating a commercial motor vehicle, or a 0.08% or more BAC while operating a noncommercial vehicle, your driving privilege will be suspended based on APS for:

  • 4 months–first offense.
  • 1 year–1 or more separate offenses in 10 years.

A court-ordered DUI probation prohibits a person previously convicted of a DUI from operating a motor vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in the driver’s blood (0.01% BAC).

If you took a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) or chemical test, that showed results of 0.01% or more BAC, and you were on a court-ordered probation for a prior DUI conviction of CVC §§23152 or 23153; in addition to the APS action, DMV will impose a concurrent 1-year suspension based on violation of your DUI probation.

B.    If you refused or failed to complete a PAS or other chemical test, and you were on a court-ordered probation for a DUI conviction of CVC §23152 or 23153, the following licensing sanctions will apply:

  • First offense: 1-year suspension or 2-year revocation, if on DUI probation.
  • Second offense: Within 10 years of a separate violation of DUI, will result in a 2-year revocation or 3-year revocation, if on DUI probation.
  • Three or more offenses: Within 10 years of any combination of the above violations, convictions, or separate administrative determinations will result in a 3-year revocation.

To reinstate your driving privilege after an APS suspension/revocation, you must:

  • Pay a $125 reissue fee to DMV (CVC §14905).
  • File proof of financial responsibility with DMV (for example a California Insurance Proof Certificate [SR 22], $35,000 cash deposit, surety bond, or self-insurer certificate pursuant to CVC §16430).
  • Maintain proof of financial responsibility for 3 years.

Am I Eligible for Restrictions?

Commercial DL-holders must downgrade to a noncommercial DL, except a motorcycle DL, to obtain a restricted driving privilege.

Note: If your violation occurred in a commercial motor vehicle, you will be restricted to driving only to and from the DUI program.

You may apply for the following DL restriction options:

A.    Restricted to driving to, from, and during the course of employment and/or driving to and from DUI program activities.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • This is your first offense.
  • You completed a chemical test.
  • The results showed a BAC level of 0.04% or more while operating a commercial vehicle, or 0.08% or more while operating a noncommercial vehicle.
  • You were age 21 or older.
  • Your driving privilege is not suspended or revoked for some other reason.

Restriction Requirements:

  • Serve out a 30-day suspension period from the suspension effective date.
  • Provide proof of enrollment in a first offender DUI program as described in CVC §23538(b).
  • File proof of financial responsibility, most commonly an SR 22.
  • Pay a $125 reissue fee.

B.    Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Restriction – Effective January 1, 2019.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • You completed a chemical test.
  • The results showed a BAC level of 0.04% or more while operating a commercial vehicle, 0.08% or more while operating a noncommercial vehicle, or 0.01% while on DUI probation.
  • You were age 21 or older.
  • Your driving privilege is not suspended or revoked for some other reason.

Restriction Requirements:

  • Provide proof of enrollment in a DUI program as described in CVC §§23538(b) or 23542(b).
  • File proof of financial responsibility, most commonly an SR 22.
  • Install an IID and provide a Verification of Installation Ignition Interlock Device (DL 920) form.
  • Pay a $125 reissue fee.


If you have any questions, call the Driver Safety Office in the city closest to your arrest:

Bakersfield(661) 833-2103
City of Commerce(323) 724-4000
City of Orange(714) 703-2511
Covina(626) 974-7137
El Segundo(310) 615-3500
Fresno(559) 445-6399
Oakland(510) 563-8900
Oxnard(805) 988-3050
Redding(530) 224-4755
Sacramento(916) 227-2970
San Bernardino(909) 383-7413
San Diego(858) 627-3901
San Francisco(415) 557-1170
San Jose(408) 229-7100
Santa Rosa(707) 576-2710
Stockton(209) 948-7715
Van Nuys(818) 376-4217