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3. Why is contacting DMV so important?

The best Fairfield, Vallejo and Vacaville DUI lawyers will explain to you at the beginning of your first conversation that, in nearly all Solano County DUI arrests, the arresting officer confiscates your driver's license and gives you a pink carbon copy of a notice of suspension and temporary license, unless you have an out-of-state license or the alleged DUI is only drug-related, or there is otherwise no or very low alcohol testing. Click here to see a real example of this type of notice: Pink Temporary License. The Pink Temporary License is also discussed in Tip #5 above. You can also check out Jake's quick instruction video on the DMV's pink temporary DUI license by clicking here: Jake's Instruction Video Shorts.

Solano DUI Pink Temporary License Hearing Rights

The last paragraph of the pink license (look for the heading "Hearing Information" towards the bottom, as pictured here) states that you have only 10 days from the date you received the notice to ask the DMV for a hearing (it's called an Administrative Per Se "APS" hearing) in Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville in order to stop the DMV's automatic suspension or revocation of your driving privileges in the State of California. Usually this 10-day period starts on the DUI arrest date, but not always -- check the written "Detention/Arrest Date" at the top of the pink license itself. There is no reference to business days, so this "10-Day Rule" means ten calendar days (although there may be rare exceptions, see below). This DMV suspension or revocation is otherwise automatic on the day your pink license expires, and is entirely different and independent from the court's proceedings. For example, you might win in court later if your Solano County DUI attorney succeeds in having your case dismissed, but still lose your license because of this separate DMV APS proceeding and DUI suspension.

Click on Ten Tips To Get Your License Back on this site for a detailed explanation of the differences between the APS suspension and the Solano County court's separate conviction-related suspension. You will begin to see why hiring a Solano DUI lawyer to defend you at the Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville DMV and in Solano County Superior Court is a good idea.

If you hire a Solano DUI lawyer then the lawyer can (and should) contact the San Francisco DMV for you, but usually you or your lawyer must request this hearing within 10 days of your DUI arrest or service of the pink notice and license, in order to be certain to preserve your right to challenge any DMV license suspension later at the Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville DMV. If you miss this deadline, then in most cases you lose any ability to completely protect your driving privileges. Usually, early in a DUI case before we know how the arresting officer will describe the incident, the best defensive strategy is to aggressively preserve all of your options by means such as a timely and proper request for a Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville DMV hearing as soon as possible after the DUI arrest.

Obtaining a stay on the pending suspension

Typically the pink temporary license handed out after a DUI arrest gives the holder 30 days of driving privileges (assuming you are otherwise validly licensed). But what about after that 30 days? If your Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville DUI lawyer successfully requests the DMV hearing within the first 10 days from the date of the DUI arrest, then the DMV is usually required to stay (postpone) the suspension which would have been imposed following expiration of the 30-day pink temporary license, and send the arrestee a New Temporary License which is intended to allow driving until the outcome of the hearing. In Solano County, these new temporary licenses are usually issued once your Solano DUI attorney sets the date of this requested hearing a few weeks after first contacting DMV. The new replacement temporary license usually lasts about four months from the date of issue. The new temporary license can be extended or shortened by your Solano DUI lawyer depending on when the DMV hearing issues are expected to be resolved.

Public defenders do not handle DMV

If you decide you want a Solano DUI attorney but you intend to ask for a public defender to provide for your defense because you believe you qualify financially for a court-appointed lawyer, then understand that the Solano County public defenders do not handle DMV cases and do not have nearly as much experience as most private DUI lawyers defending DUIs at the DMV. And even if they could handle DMV in a different world, they are nearly always appointed only after you personally appear in Fairfield or Vallejo court, usually well after the 10 days from arrest, but the fact is that Solano County public defenders only handle Solano County criminal cases, and Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville DMV is a separate administrative law proceeding to lose or protect your driver license.

How to request the hearing

Note that different attorneys might provide different types of information to DMV about you and your incident depending on the unique circumstances of your case, so if you are going to hire a Solano County DUI attorney inside the ten-day period following arrest, then asking your attorney to accomplish this hearing request on your behalf allows him/her to proceed as they are most comfortable, given the facts of your case and in your best interests.

If you still wish to do this yourself, then you may telephone the DMV at the number provided on your temporary license (or click here for info on how to Contact a DMV Driver Safety Office), and then follow up with such confirmation as a written certified return receipt mailing to the proper address on the temporary license. To be effective, you may want to include in the mailing your name, driver's license number, and date of arrest. To preserve all of your options, you may specifically request an "in-person" hearing in Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville (assuming you live in Solano County or will be hiring a local attorney). If you are still considering hiring a DUI attorney, you may inform the DMV of this so that they can wait to schedule the hearing directly with your Solano County DUI lawyer at a time that is mutually available.

To be fully prepared, you may also request "discovery" which is the packet of information which will be used by local Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville DMV to support the ultimate decision whether to suspend your license. By asking for the discovery, you will be able to see what documents the DMV has collected to be used against you, including what the Solano County law enforcement officer said about your case, his/her reasons for pulling you over or first encountering you, your performance on any field sobriety tests, and the results of any blood or breath alcohol tests, etc.

Don't be discouraged by confusing or incomplete advice, or unexpected questions

Don't be discouraged by the constant busy signals, or long-winded recordings, and, as discussed in Tip #10 ("Don't Follow Bad Advice") on this site, don't be discouraged from asserting your rights in person if, for example, a Solano County police officer, or Sacramento or San Francisco DMV phone operator, or Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville DMV counter clerk states that you don't "need to" or "have to" get a DUI DMV hearing, and you should just "wait" until you receive a DUI suspension notice from DMV.

Frustrated DUI phone guy During a new client call, one woman arrested for DUI told Solano DUI lawyer Jake Schwartz, "I called the number this morning and asked if I should have a hearing date, and the DMV lady said "It's up to you, why, are you disputing it?" So I said "No, I got a DUI so I guess not," and she said "Your license is valid now for 30 days, and then you'll be suspended for 30 more days, and after that you can go to the DMV and ask for a work license." So I was all confused and decided to call you."

Same story, different actors, on another new client DUI lawyer call, a Solano County DUI client told Jake, "I called the number on the pink temporary license, but the DMV operator said, "Is there any reason why you believe the DUI charges are not true?" The client then asked Jake, "Are they going to laugh at me during the hearing?"

Another client on her first DUI lawyer call told Jake that, when she tried to get her DMV hearing set up within the first 10 days after arrest, "They told me that I would have to set up an appointment but I should just wait until I go to court to figure out what to do with my license, so come back in 30 days to see if I can get a restricted license."

Another client, during his DUI attorney call, told Jake that, when he called for the DUI DMV hearing, "The guy said that if you have had a drink and then drive, then you are drunk driving; most people try to put it behind them and move on."

Another client, during her first DUI attorney call, related that when she called to ask for a hearing, the DMV employee stated "Here's what you do: get an SR-22 and you'll get your license back!"

A good Solano County DUI lawyer will explain to you that not only is this kind of "advice" completely over-simplified, confusing and intimidating, but in addition, if you don't successfully ask for a hearing and challenge the Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville DMV administrative suspension, you will lose any possibility to take control of the process and you will lose the opportunity to protect yourself from a DUI license suspension. If you follow such advice, or fall victim to this manipulation, you will lose valuable rights that could have saved you.

Beyond 10 days?

If you believe you are already outside of 10 calendar days from the date of your DUI arrest, you should contact a local Solano County DUI lawyer immediately to see if you still have time or otherwise fall within a limited number of exceptions to the 10-day rule.

Solano DUI 14-Day Notice

For example, even though the ten days have expired, the citing officer may have failed to serve you with, or incorrectly completed, the "Administrative Per Se Suspension/Revocation Order And Temporary Driver License," otherwise known as the "pink temporary license" (see Tip #5). If the pink license was never given to you, or was incorrectly filled out by the arresting officer, or was in the wrong language, the DMV may send you a "14-Day Re-Notice" with a renewed opportunity to request a DMV hearing to challenge the pending suspension. Click here to see this "14-Day Re-Notice" (the important language is boxed in the sample pictured here), and see also this same concept with a 10-Day DMV Re-Notice (often received in refusal cases and probation violation cases).

Another example is if your 10th day from the date of your Solano DUI arrest falls on a weekend or recognized holiday, in which case you may have one or more extra days to preserve your right to fight the pending suspension. You can see that it may not be too late to try to save your license if it is about to be suspended. A Solano County DUI lawyer can help you move properly and quickly in this regard.

Be sure DMV has your correct mailing address

If DMV has an old mailing address (for example, outside of Solano County) then you might not receive critical notices providing a time-sensitive right to a hearing (sometimes only 10 days), or giving you a date for the start of a suspension, or sending you a new temporary or permanent license, which are usually sent to you at your address on record at DMV.

Because the vehicle code requires you to provide a change of address to DMV within 10 days of obtaining a new address, you are not permitted to complain if DMV sends important documents to an old address on record. In order to allow your Solano County DUI lawyer to react quickly and challenge wrong or unfair decisions or planned actions against you, you must ensure that DMV has your correct address, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so. You can visit the Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville satellite DMV office to submit a Solano County change of address, or click here to Update Your Address Online, if DMV has an old address.


Any result portrayed was dependent on the facts of that case, and the results will differ if based on different facts.

Our DUI Lawyers

Dave Jake Schwartz is an Honors Graduate from UC Hastings Law School, and UC Davis, former Federal Judicial Clerk, and Nationally Qualified Sobriety Tests Practitioner. Member of the California Bar for 30 years, North Bay resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of North Bay DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.

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Dave Jake Schwartz