How to Request a DMV Hearing After a DUI Arrest in California

If you've been arrested for a DUI in California, one of your first and most important steps is to request a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This hearing is separate from your court proceedings and will determine the status of your driving privileges. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to request this crucial hearing.

Step 1: Understand the Timeframe

You have only 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest to request a DMV hearing. Failing to do so within this timeframe will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license, regardless of the outcome of your court case.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Information

Before contacting the DMV, make sure you have all the necessary information at hand. This includes your full name, driver’s license number, date of arrest, and the name of the agency that arrested you.

Step 3: Contact the DMV

You can request a DMV hearing by phone or in writing. Contact the DMV's Driver Safety Office nearest to where the arrest occurred. The contact information for these offices can be found on the California DMV’s website or through a quick online search.

Step 4: Specify the Type of Hearing

You have the option to request either an in-person or a telephonic hearing. Consider the pros and cons of each type. An in-person hearing may allow for a more comprehensive presentation of your case, but a telephonic hearing could be more convenient.

Step 5: Prepare for the Hearing

While waiting for your hearing date, it’s advisable to gather evidence and possibly consult with a DUI attorney. Evidence can include witness statements, information about the arrest, and any other relevant documentation.

Step 6: Attend the Hearing

Whether you choose an in-person or telephonic hearing, it’s crucial to be prepared. If you have legal representation, your attorney will handle most of the process. The hearing will focus on specific issues related to your DUI arrest and license suspension.


Requesting and preparing for a DMV hearing is a critical step in dealing with a DUI charge in California. Acting promptly and being well-prepared can significantly affect the outcome of your hearing and, consequently, your driving privileges.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and does not constitute legal advice. For specific guidance related to your case, please consult a qualified attorney.

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