7 Things Out of State Drivers Need to Know about a DUI in California

If you received a DUI in California with an out of state license then there are certain important things you need to know about what happens next.

Overview Of DUI in California

California has some of the country’s strictest Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws and they are applied equally to both in state and out of state drivers.

In California, DUI crimes are charged under:

Because state law will apply, if you currently live in another state and have been arrested for a DUI in California, you will want an attorney to assist you through the proceedings1.

1. Can An Officer Confiscate My Out of State Drivers License?

Regardless of what state you live in, a California police officer does not have jurisdiction to confiscate your license if it was issued out of state.

2. Can I Lose My California Driving Privilege?

Though the officer cannot confiscate your license, you will receive an Order of Suspension that notifies you that your California driving privileges will be suspended in 30 days.

Driving itself is a privilege in California and the DMV can take away that privilege during an arrest for a DUI.2

3. How Long After Arrest do I Have to Schedule a DMV Hearing?

After you receive the Order of Suspension, you have 10 days to schedule a hearing with the DMV if you wish to contest the suspension of your California driving privileges.

4. If I Live in California, but Still have an Out of State Drivers’ License, am I Considered an out of State Driver?

Yes.  This means both that the arresting officer cannot confiscate your license and that the issuing state will be notified of the arrest if a member of the Interstate Drivers’ License Compact.

5. Will a DUI Affect my Driving Privileges in my Home State?

If your state is a party to the Interstate Drivers’ License Compact, the California DMV will inform the DMV in your state of the arrest, and in the event of conviction, your home state will impose its own DMV penalties within that state.

California is one of 45 states that shares information with other states regarding serious driving offenses such as an arrest and conviction for a DUI.

The only states that are not a party to the Interstate Drivers’ License Compact are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

6. Do I need to come back to California for court?

In most misdemeanor DUI cases, you may waive appearance and have your attorney appear in court on your behalf. This is an important benefit for out of state drivers who are unable to remain in the state throughout the proceedings.

What about for a felony?

Generally, for a felony the person charged must be in attendance at all hearings but depending on your previous record, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a waiver with the court regarding your absence.

7. What are the Penalties for a California DUI for Out of State Drivers?

Even though you are an out of state driver, a DUI conviction in California can carry with it serious repercussions including

These repercussions will follow you back to your own state and you will face repercussions there as well. The severity of the consequences and the complexity of dealing with criminal matters across state lines make it imperative to contact a California DUI lawyer for support.

If this is not your first DUI conviction, the same rules still apply to out of state drivers as in state drivers.  See the sections on first DUI in California, 2nd DUI, 3rd DUI, or fourth time DUI’s for more information on how this will impact you as an out of state driver.

Should I Get a Different Attorney in my Home State?

It is not necessary to get a separate lawyer to defend you in your home state if your arrest was in California.

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How We Can Help

If you have been arrested for a DUI and would like to learn more about what attorneys charge.

If you want to understand why its important to have an attorney represent you.

If you are ready to discuss a pending DUI case with an attorney contact the Aizman Law Firm at 818-351-9555 for a free confidential consultation.

Request A Free Consultation 818-351-9555 


  1. Cal. Veh. Code §§ 23152(a), 23153 []
  2. California Dept. of Motor Veh., Arrest for Driving Under the Influence General Information, []

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