Empowering California Drivers

To Maintain Their Driving Privilege

DMV Hearings


Why Does the California DMV Conduct Administrative Hearings?

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the government agency empowered with broad authority to suspend or revoke the driving privilege of any person in the State of California if good cause exists to do so.

If the DMV suspends or revokes a person’s driving privilege, California Law mandates that the affected driver be provided an opportunity to present evidence to reverse that action.  Although driving in California is a considered a privilege, once the driving privilege is obtained it becomes a vested right with great value.  If the DMV seeks to remove a person’s privilege to drive, the Laws of Procedural Due Process permit that person to fight that government action.

A properly conducted Administrative Hearing is run much like a “mini-trial.”  Evidence is introduced, objections are considered, witnesses may testify and experts may offer opinions.  These are complicated legal proceedings, so a driver who represents themselves at a DMV Administrative Hearing must have a working knowledge of the California Vehicle Code, the California Government Code, the California Code of Civil Procedures and the Evidence Code.

California law does permit an accused driver to represent themselves at all Administrative Hearings so there is no requirement that a person hire an attorney.  The DMV process can be exceedingly difficult to understand, however, and can cause a great deal of frustration so the law also permits an accused person to be represented by any person of their choosing.  Many drivers find it wise to be represented by DMV Defense Experts known as Administrative Advocates.  These highly trained and experienced representatives have a commanding knowledge of the appropriate laws and DMV policies regarding a wide range of Administrative Hearings.  Some of the most common Administrative Hearings conducted by the DMV are:

If a person’s driving privilege has been suspended or revoked by the DMV, there is a requirement that they contact the Driver Safety Office closest to their home within a specified period of time (normally within 14 days) to schedule a hearing.  In the average case, it can take anywhere from 45 to 90 days to resolve the matter; assuming everything goes well.

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