Empowering California Drivers

To Maintain Their Driving Privilege


 What is a Notice from the California Department of Motor Vehicles?

 All California drivers will receive some type of correspondence from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) at one time or another.  The most common items received by drivers in the mail are “Notices.”

A Notice is the DMV’s way of informing a driver that he or she is required to take some type of action.  The most common Notices received by drivers are:

  • Notice of Driver License Renewal: This normally arrives in the mail once every five years before a person’s driver license is due to expire.
  • Notice of Vehicle Registration Renewal: This notice normally arrives once each year to remind a driver that they must renew the registration tags on their vehicles.

There are however, more onerous “Notices” sent out by the DMV.  Some of the most common are:

  • Notice of Appointment: This is normally issued by the DMV when it is scheduling a driver for some form of testing (i.e. written test, vision test, driving test).
  • Notice of Re-Examination Appointment: This is normally issued by the DMV when the department has received notification from any source that a driver may no longer possess the Skill, the Knowledge or the Physical/Mental Capability to drive.  This type of notice informs a driver that an investigation has begun to determine their fitness to drive.
  • Courtesy Notice: This type of Notice is normally issued by the DMV as a warning to a driver that their violation point count is too high and they are in danger of suspension if they receive any more points on their record.
  • Notice of Findings and Decision: This type of Notice is normally issued by the DMV at the conclusion of an Administrative Hearing.  This advises the driver whether they won or lost their hearing and what action the DMV intends to take with regards to their driver license.

What action should I take after receiving a “Notice” from the DMV?

 Everything the DMV does is time sensitive so you should assume a “Notice” is giving you a specific period of time to take a specific action. If you have received a “Notice” from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, it is best to read it and read it again.  Make sure you are crystal clear as to what the Notice requires you to do and then get it done.

Although there is no legal requirement that a driver be represented at any DMV action, it can often be in the driver’s best interest to seek professional help to decipher the meaning of any Notice.  A driver can enlist the assistance of an Administrative Advocate to explain the meaning of any Notice received from the DMV and to plan a proper response if necessary.



Talk to a DMV Defense Expert