New DUI Reportability Requirements

Introduction

Beginning January 1, 2007, if you request an out-of-house/public driving record printout, any DUI offense on your record will appear for 10 years from the violation date

Q1.    What changes will affect DUI offenses on a driving record?

A.   Effective January 1, 2007, new legislation extends the reporting period for DUI offenses from 7 to 10 years for all public requestors, including insurance companies.

Q2.    Why did the law change?

A.  The new law allows insurance companies access to the driving record information to properly apply the new provisions of the Insurance Code established under Senate Bill 597 (2005), to determine a customer’s eligibility for a good driver discount. Based on the new laws, drivers with a DUI violation occurring within the past 10 years are not entitled to receive a good driver discount.

Q3.    I had a DUI in June 1999 that no longer appears on my driving record. Will this violation now show on my record again, since it occurred less than 10 years ago?

A.  Yes, based on the new law, your DUI offense will appear back on your driving record and will remain there until June 2009, 10 years from the violation date.

Q4.    I have been getting a “good driver” discount on my car insurance ever since my 1998 DUI went off my record in 2005. Will I still qualify for this discount?

A.  Unfortunately, no. Under the new law, you may not qualify for a good driver discount again until 2008, 10 years from the date of your DUI violation. You may want to contact your insurance representative if you have additional questions regarding your insurance premiums.

Q5.    Will my DUI violation automatically be removed from my driving record after 10 years?

A.  Yes, a DUI offense that occurred more than 10 years ago will not appear on your out-of-house/public driving record.

Q6.    Will the new law affect me if my DUI violation occurred over 10 years ago?

A.  No, a DUI violation that is already more than 10 years old will not reappear on your driving record.

Q7.    How do I know which violations will report for 10 years?

A.  Under the new law, any DUI violation under California Vehicle Code sections 23140, 23152, or 23153 will report for 10 years. There are some other non-DUI violations (e.g. 23103.5 “wet” reckless) that will report to courts and law enforcement for 10 years and may count against you for the purpose of determining increased penalties for repeat offenders, but will continue to show on a public driving record for only 7 years.

Q8.    Why is the DMV discriminating against individuals with DUI offenses?

A.  The department is not discriminating against individuals with DUI offenses. It is implementing legislation that is intended to discourage DUIs by increasing the time-period that an offense remains on an individual’s driving record.

Q9.     Will an exception to the new law be made if an individual has no tickets or violations after the DUI offense?

A.  No, the 10-year reporting period applies to all non-commercial drivers, even those who maintain a clean driving record thereafter.

Q10.     What will happen if my insurance company previously gave me a good driver discount and now finds out I had a DUI more than 7 years ago.

A.  It will be up to your insurance company to correctly apply the provisions of the Insurance Code and make decisions regarding your policy based on specific entries on your driving record. They may modify your existing policy, offer you a new policy that does not include a good driver discount, or cancel your policy completely.

Check with your insurance company representative if you have specific questions related to your eligibility for a good driver discount.

Q11.    I drive for a living and my employer participates in the DMV Employer Pull Notice (EPN) Program. My employer is not aware that I had a DUI in December 1997. Will my DUI now be reported to my employer?

A.  Effective January 1, 2007, your DUI will again report on your driving record since it occurred within the past 10 years.  The department’s EPN program automatically generates and mails a driver record to the employer for newly enrolled drivers, or upon any action or activity updated to the record, or annually for currently enrolled drivers. 

Although employers will not automatically be notified of a DUI that reappears on a driving record when the new law takes effect on January 1, 2007, the DUI violation will appear on the next printout DMV provides to your employer.

Q12.    I drive for my employer.  I’m afraid I will lose my job if my employer finds out I had a DUI in 1998.  The DUI did not appear on my DMV printout that I provided to my employer nine months ago when I was first hired.

A.  It will be up to your employer to determine if the DUI will affect your employment. You may want to discuss your concerns with your employer.

Q13.    How does the new law affect me if I have a commercial driver license (CDL)?

A.  The new law pertains only to non-commercial drivers.  Due to federal requirements established under the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (MCSIA), the reporting period for DUI violations is different for commercial drivers.

For example, a conviction for a major violation committed in a commercial vehicle (e.g. DUI) will be retained for a period of 55 years on a CDL record, as will a driver license suspension or any withdrawal action. 

Q14.     What will happen if my insurance policy is cancelled because of a DUI violation?

A.  If your insurance policy is cancelled for any reason, you need to get new insurance right away, since it is illegal to own or operate a vehicle without liability insurance in California. You may want to check with your own insurance company before going to another company; they may offer you a policy without a good driver discount. 

Current law requires your insurance company to electronically report your insurance information to DMV. Once your insurance company notifies the department that your policy has been cancelled, you will receive a notice indicating that your vehicle registration will be suspended if new insurance information is not submitted within 45 days.

In addition to proof of insurance for registration, if you are required to maintain a California Insurance Proof Certificate (SR 22) for your driver license, you will need to have your new insurance company file a new SR 22 with DMV immediately to avoid the suspension of your driver license based on the cancellation of your insurance proof certificate.

If necessary, individuals unable to obtain insurance through their regular insurance company may have any agent or broker make an application to the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP). You may contact CAARP directly by calling 1-800-622-0954.