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Top Ten Questions > From Non-Residents

9. Must I complete DUI classes?

Self-EnrollIn a typical Sonoma County adult first offense DUI case with no allegation of refusal, injury or other aggravating circumstances, and no viable defenses, most California licensees are required to complete a DUI program consisting of weekly classes for three months, in order to comply with mandatory court probation orders (CVC 23538), and to lift the driving suspension that results at the end of a DUI case (CVC 13352.4, 13353.3). If you live in a different California county, usually a routine referral to a suitable program in your own county is available. Click on Ten Tips For Getting Your License Back on this site for a more detailed discussion about DUI classes.

But the best Sonoma County DUI lawyers know that if you live outside of California, you cannot enroll in, or complete the state-mandated DUI program of classes, because the only officially licensed and permissible DUI programs are located in California, not in your home state. Therefore, to avoid a violation of probation terms, good Santa Rosa DUI lawyers will often request a commonly allowed Sonoma County court resolution called "'self enrollment' in any DUI program required" in your home state.

This kind of creative wording should allow a non-resident to avoid violating probation for failure to timely enroll in and complete the California DUI program, but Sonoma County DUI lawyers understand that the California DMV imposes a separate and independent secondary DUI program class enrollment and completion requirement in order to lift the DMV's separate and independent driving suspension. Therefore the law includes a procedure for non-residents to lift that suspension which would otherwise remain in place until the DUI program classes were completed. Once any mandatory DMV suspension period has concluded (usually six or ten months following a first offense conviction), the driver may contact the California DMV in Sacramento and request a form, attesting to out-of-state residency, to be mailed to your non-California address. CVC 13353.5. Click here to see a sample Form Requesting Termination of Suspension. (Do not simply print and complete these forms: DMV may flag your effort as possibly fraudulent; if you qualify -- ask a local Santa Rosa DUI lawyer -- then you may call the number listed and request the newest forms be sent to you).

Tom WilsonNormal DMV practice is to send to you a Form DL4006 with specific requirements for your situation (typically signing the form, enclosing proof of residency, and enclosing a fee payment). Completion and return of the DL4006 form typically results in the California DMV relieving the driver of the requirement to attend and complete the California DUI program and is designed to clear the California DMV record by lifting any non-resident California suspension (see sample "Notice of Action" successfully terminating a suspension -- effectively forgiving the requirement to complete the DUI program) so that the driver may deal directly with the home state regarding any remaining requirements to full reinstatement of driving privileges. CVC 13353.5, 13 CCR 124.92-3.

If you are a non-resident, and the Sonoma County court is unwilling to allow self-enrollment, then your Santa Rosa DUI attorney may request that any DUI program requirement be satisfied with completion of an Internet DUI Program for non-California license holders. Although this type of program may only appease the court and does not satisfy the separate and independent California DMV program requirement, successful completion of the non-residency proof procedure above typically will satisfy the separate DMV requirement and accomplish the clearing of the California DMV record. There are other possible alternatives which your Sonoma DUI Attorney may discuss with you. Consult with a Sonoma County DUI lawyer about your specific case.


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, Sonoma County resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of Sonoma County 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.


Dave Jake Schwartz