DMV SELF-DEFENSE SOLUTION FOR
FIGHTING THE DMV SUSPENSION/REVOCATION OF A SPECIAL CERTIFICATE
DMV SELF-DEFENSE SOLUTION FOR
FIGHTING THE DMV SUSPENSION/REVOCATION OF A SPECIAL CERTIFICATE

What is a Special Certificate issued by the California DMV?

Every day, millions of California drivers hit the roads in this State exercising their privilege to drive.  Mothers transport their children to school, fathers make their way to work  and students head for class.  The vast majority of California’s licensed drivers are authorized to operate Class “C” vehicle based upon the provisions of their license.

There are millions more professional drivers who hold Commercial Class “A” and Class “B” licenses.  These drivers make a living operating specialized vehicles on our public roadways.  Professional “Big Rig” drivers transport cargo from coast to coast and transit bus drivers deliver passengers to their destinations.

At the top of the spectrum are a group of professional drivers who are trusted to transport our most precious cargo.  School Bus Drivers and Ambulance Drivers are among the most respected drivers in society.  Because these drivers must be held to the highest level of professional and personal conduct, they must be specifically qualified to operate the vehicles of their profession.

The California Vehicle Code specifically calls for School Bus Drivers and Ambulance Drivers to undergo advanced training and be specially certified to perform their duties.

School bus Drivers: In order to transport pupils in a School Bus, qualified drivers must hold a minimum of a Commercial Class “B” License which is then backed up by a School Bus Drivers Special Certificate.

 California Vehicle Code Section 12517(a)(1) determines:

“A person may not operate a school bus while transporting pupils unless that person has in his or her immediate possession, a valid license for the appropriate class of vehicle to be driven and endorsed for school bus and passenger transport.”

 California Vehicle Code Section 12517 (2) determines:

“When transporting one or more pupils at or below the 12th-grade Level to or from a public or private school or to or from public or private school activities, the person described in paragraph (1) shall have in his or her immediate possession a certificate issued by the department to permit the operation of a school bus.”

 Ambulance Drivers: In order to transport patients in an emergency ambulance, qualified drivers must hold a minimum of a Class “C” driver license which is then backed up by an Ambulance Drivers Special Certificate.

 California Vehicle Code Section 12527(a) determines:

“Except as otherwise provided, every ambulance driver responding to an emergency or transporting patients shall be at least 18 years of age, hold a driver’s license valid in California, possesses a valid ambulance driver certificate, and be trained and competent in ambulance operation and the use of safety and emergency care equipment required by the California Code of Regulations governing ambulances.”

  California Vehicle Code Section 12527(b) determines:

“Except as provided in subdivision (f), a person shall not operate an ambulance unless the person has in his or her immediate possession a driver’s license for the appropriate class of vehicle to be driven, and  a certificate issued by the department to permit the operation of an ambulance.” 

 California Vehicle Code Section 12527(c) determines:

“An ambulance driver certificate shall only be issued by the department upon the successful completion of an examination conducted by the department .”

 School Bus Drivers transport our most precious resource, our children; and Ambulance Drivers transport our must vulnerable citizens, those who are sick or injured.  The trust we place in these specialized drivers must be absolute and binding.  Therefore, it is appropriate to hold School Bus and Ambulance Drivers to the highest standards both in their professional and personal lives.

Before a driver is issued a Special Certificate to operate a School Bus or Ambulance, their professional and personal history should be scrutinized, and their training evaluated.  Once a person holds a Special Certificate, monitoring of that person’s integrity and morals must be maintained.  If the Department of Motor Vehicles receives information that an Applicant for, or the holder of, a Special Certificate has been involved in any act of moral turpitude, violence or anything that shocks the public trust, the department will move to refuse, suspend or revoke that person’s privilege to hold a Special Certificate.

How does the DMV learn I have been involved in an incident justifying the Refusal, Suspension, or Revocation of my Special Certificate:

The California DMV is deeply embedded in our society and therefore, may receive information effecting one’s Special Certificate from a variety of sources:

  • The California Department of Justice
  • The database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • The United States Department of Justice.
  • Local, State and Federal Prosecutors.
  • California Department of Emergency Services.
  • Paramedics, Fire Fighters, or other First Responders.
  • Employers
  • Physicians or other medical professionals.
  • Friends, family or neighbors.
  • DMV’s own database.
  • Social Media
  • Anonymous tipsters.

The DMV is not limited or controlled as to how it receives information that a School Bus or Ambulance Driver has been involved in an incident which disqualifies them from possessing a Special Certificate.

I’ve received an Order of Refusal, Suspension or Revocation of my Special Certificate. What are my first steps?

If you have received an order from the California Department of Motor Vehicles which refuses to issue you a Special Certificate; or seeks to suspend or revoke an existing Special Certificate, the first thing to do is take a breath.  As devastating as this could potentially be, you have a right to defend yourself.

Next, read the order carefully.  The order will tell you when it was written and the effective date of the Suspension/Revocation.  The order will also tell you why the action is being taken and that you have a right to request an Administrative Hearing to rebut the allegation.  The order will also tell you that you must contact the department within 15 days of when it was written in order to request a hearing.  Time is critical here so you should call California DMV Self-Defense immediately to begin planning your response.

Can I continue using my Special Certificate while I fight the Suspension/Revocation?

Once a person receives and order which refuses to Issue a new Certificate, or Suspends or Revokes and existing Certificate; there are some instances where the accused person MAY continue to use their Certificate to operate specialized vehicles.

Frankly, the Vehicle Code seems a bit contradictory in that School Bus Drivers may be awarded a “Stay of Suspension” while Ambulance Drivers specifically are not.

School Bus Drivers

California Vehicle Code Section 13371 (a), determines:

“Any driver or applicant who has received a notice of refusal, suspension, or revocation, may, within 15 days after the mailing date, submit to the department a written request for a hearing. Failure to demand a hearing within 15 days is a waiver of the right to a hearing.”

 California Vehicle Code Section 13371(d), determines:

“The department shall not stay an action when there is a Reasonable cause to believe the stay would pose a significant risk to the safety of pupils being transported in a school bus, school pupil activity bus, youth bus, or persons being transported in a general paratransit vehicle.”

This section of the Vehicle Code opens the door to the possibility of a driver being awarded a Stay of Suspension/Revocation during the proceeding if it can be demonstrated that allowing the person to continue driving School Buses will not post a risk to children.

Ambulance Drivers

California Vehicle Code Section 13374(a), determines:

“An applicant for, or the holder of, an ambulance driver certificate who has received a notice of refusal, suspension, or revocation may submit, within 15 days after the notice has been mailed by the department, a written request for a hearing.  Upon receipt of the request, the department shall appoint a referee who shall conduct an informal hearing in accordance with Section 14104.  Failure to request a hearing with 15 days after the notice has been mailed by the department is a waiver of the right to a hearing.  A request for a hearing shall not stay the action for which notice was given.”

 Essentially this means that while a School Bus Driver may qualify for a Stay of Suspension, an Ambulance Driver will not.

What issues may cause the California DMV Refuse, Suspend or Revoke a Special Certificate?

As stated above, professional drivers who operate School Buses or Emergency Ambulances transport some of the most precious cargo.  They literally have the lives of our children in their hands or may be responsible for vulnerable patients who cannot care for themselves.  As such, the California Legislature has determined that this category of driver must be held to the highest standards imaginable and if a driver commits any act that damages the public trust, their certificate must be withdrawn.

There are many events that may cause the DMV to refuse, suspend or revoke the Special Certificate of School Bus or Ambulance driver.  Some examples are:

  • If within three years, the person’s driving privilege has been suspended or revoked for the dangerous operation of any motor vehicle.
  • If within 12-months, the driver has caused or contributed to three traffic collisions.
  • If within 24-months the driver has caused or contributed to a serious injury or fatal accident.
  • Has violated ANY provision of the Vehicle Code pertaining to the safe operation of a motor vehicle.
  • Has violated any restriction of the Special Certificate, endorsement or commercial driver’s license.
  • Has knowingly made a false statement or failed to disclose a material fact on an application for Special Certificate or Endorsement.
  • Has been determined by the department to be a negligent or incompetent operator.
  • Has demonstrated irrational behavior to the extent that a reasonable and prudent person would have reasonable cause to believe the driver’s ability to perform the duties of a driver may be impaired.
  • Excessively or habitually uses, or is addicted to, alcoholic beverages, narcotics or dangerous drugs.
  • Does not meet the minimum medical standards established or approved by the department.
  • Does not possess a valid driver’s license of the appropriate class.
  • Has failed to meet any of the requirements for issuance or retention of the certificate or endorsement, including, but not limited to, payment of the proper fee, submission of an acceptable medical report and fingerprint cards, and compliance with prescribed training requirements.
  • Has had his or her driving privilege suspended or revoked for a cause involving other than safe operation of a motor vehicle.
  • Has been convicted of a sex offense.
  • Is required to register as a sex offender.
  • Has been convicted of a violent felony.
  • Has been convicted of an offense, other than a sex offense, that is punishable as a felony, within seven years.
  • Has been dismissed as a driver for a cause relating to the safe transportation of pupils or passengers.
  • Has been convicted, within seven years of an offense relating to the use, sale, possession or transportation of narcotics, habit-forming drugs, or dangerous drugs.
  • Is on probation or parole for any felony, theft, or any crime involving force, violence, threat or intimidation.
  • Has committed any act involving moral turpitude, including fraud or intentional dishonesty for personal gain, within seven years.

How does a driver defend themselves against the Suspension or Revocation of their Special Certificate?

The entire process begins when an applicant for a Special Certificate, or a person who already holds a Special Certificate, receives an Order of Refusal, Suspension or Revocation.  This is formal notification the DMV believes the driver has committed some act warranting the refusal or withdrawal of the certificate.  Make no mistake, this is not a warning, this is formal notification the DMV has already begun the process to remove the Special Certificate and it is critical that the driver respond quickly.  Some of the steps that occur in a Special Certificate Hearing:

  • The accused driver, or their representative, must make contact with the DMV’s Special Certificate Unit in Sacramento to make a formal request for a hearing. If the request is made in a timely manner, the DMV must grant the hearing. The file will then be transferred to the Driver Safety Office closest to the Driver’s home where a hearing officer will be assigned and a hearing date will be scheduled.
  • At the time the Request for Hearing is filed, a Request for Stay of Suspension should be filed as well (if this is a School Bus case).
  • The driver should file a formal Request for Discovery.
  • The driver should review the entire case and decide if subpoenas should be issued for additional evidence or is witnesses should be interviewed.
  • A “Notice of Affirmative Evidence” must be filed with the DMV ten-days before any hearing to make evidence admissible.
  • Conduct the Hearing.
  • Hearing Officer makes a written recommendation to the Certificate Action Review Board (CARB). CARB meets once a quarter to review the case and make a final decision.

The actual hearing itself is run like a court trial.  Evidence is introduced and argued.  Witnesses may testify.  The driver may testify and legal arguments and objections are heard.  This is a complex legal procedure.

How can I win an Administrative Hearing for a Special Certificate by myself?

If you find yourself in the predicament of having to fight the DMV to save your Special Certificate following, but you cannot afford the fees charged by Administrative Advocates and Attorneys we may have a Solution that fits your needs and your budget.

To begin with, you have to conduct a self-assessment of you and your case.  By answering these few questions for yourself and speaking with us, you can decide which of our solutions works for you.  Ask yourself:

  • Why is the DMV refusing, suspending or revoking your Special Certificate?
  • How critical is my need to maintain the certificate?
  • How complex are the issues in my case with the DMV?
  • How comfortable am I communicating by telephone, email and fax?
  • How comfortable am I conducting legal research and preparing legal documents?
  • How comfortable am I communicating with authority figures?

Once you have answered these questions then you can review the Solutions we offer to select one that meets your needs.

Platinum

$1200
  • We file a formal “Request for Hearing”
  • We file a “Request for Stay of Suspension”
  • We file a formal “Request for Discovery”
  • Collection of evidence & preparing witness statements: Included
  • We file a formal “Notice of Affirmative Evidence”
  • We prepare you for testimony: Question Prep
  • We provide you details about your DMV Hearing Officer
  • Any Follow-up after your Hearing: We handle it
  • We file a formal “Request to Terminate” Suspension

Gold

$750
  • Instructions: How to file your formal “Request for Hearing”
  • Instructions: How to file your “Request for Stay of Suspension”
  • Instructions: How to file your “Request for Discovery”
  • Instructions: Collection of evidence & the preparation of witnesses
  • Instructions: How to file your “Notice of Affirmative Evidence”
  • Provided: A list of questions you should expect to be asked
  • We provide you details about your DMV Hearing Officer
  • Any Follow-up after your Hearing: we instruct you how to handle
  • Instructions: How to file a formal “Request to Terminate” Suspension

Silver

$500
  • Instructions: How to file your formal “Request for Hearing”
  • Instructions: How to file your “Request for Stay of Suspension”
  • Instructions: How to file your “Request for Discovery”
  • Instructions: Collection of evidence & the preparation of witnesses
  • Instructions: How to file your “Notice of Affirmative Evidence”
  • Testimony Prep: NONE
  • We provide you details about your DMV Hearing Officer
  • Any Follow-up after your Hearing: we instruct you how to handle
  • Instructions: How to file a formal “Request to Terminate” Suspension
Learn More About Each Solution Here

Each one of our Solutions has been carefully crafted based on decades of experience gained in representing drivers at DMV Certificate Suspension Hearings.  We have actually been in the trenches fighting the DMV to restore the driving freedom of thousands of Clients.  By utilizing one of our three solutions, you put a defense team behind you with the skill, knowledge and experience to get the job done.  You put yourself in the position of being fully prepared and confident to face the DMV and to prevail in the end.

So, if you can’t afford the price of high quality Advocates or Attorneys, call Your DMV Self-Defense Solutions today.  You should never allow the DMV to steal your professional driving freedom without a fight.  Call us today and we’ll guide you through the battle.

In this solution we handle EVERYTHING to prepare you to represent yourself at a DMV Reexam or Hearing.  We manage everything right up to the point your hearing begins.  The Platinum Solution includes:

  • We file a formal “Request for Hearing” on your behalf with the Financial Responsibility Unit in Sacramento. This is done in a timely manner with proper documentation.  We then confirm the DMV has received the request so they can’t wiggle out of giving you a hearing.
  • We file a “Request for Stay of Suspension” on your behalf to stop the suspension of your driving privilege until the outcome of the Administrative Hearing.
  • We file a formal “Request for Discovery” which compels the DMV to provide you with all of its evidence.
  • We conduct a detailed interview with you to learn all about who you are as a person and how you came to the DMV’s attention.
  • From the information derived in the interview, we provide you a Checklist of things to be completed.
  • If the collection of evidence or the preparation of witness statements is important, we assist to get that done.
  • We file a formal “Notice of Affirmative Evidence” on your behalf to compel the DMV to accept all of your evidence.
  • We prepare you for testimony. In this phase we instruct you on what questions to expect during your hearing and how to appropriately conduct yourself and answer those questions.  We actually explain the entire hearing process and practice your testimony.
  • We update you on information concerning your individual DMV Hearing Officer. What type of things do they appreciate?  What type of things tend to irritate them?
  • If there is any follow-up after your Hearing, we handle it.
  • When the case draws to a conclusion, we file a formal “Request to Terminate” Suspension on your behalf with the DMV.

**We do not represent you at your Suspension Hearing but, we handle everything right up to that point and have you completely prepared to conduct your hearing, on your own with confidence**

One step down from the Platinum Solution is our Gold Solution.  In this solution, the burden of preparation falls more squarely on your shoulders but, we instruct you every step of the way.  The Gold solution includes:

  • Instruction on how to file your own formal “Request for Hearing” in a timely manner with the Financial Responsibility Unit in Sacramento and how to confirm the DMV’s receipt of the request.
  • Instruction on how to file your own “Request for Stay of Suspension” to stop the suspension of your driving privilege until the outcome of the hearing.
  • Instruction on how to file your own “Request for Discovery” to compel the DMV to provide you with its evidence.
  • We conduct a detailed interview with you to learn all about who you are as a person. We also learn what brought you to the DMV’s attention.
  • From the information derived in the interview, we provide you a Checklist of things to be done and how to appropriately communicate with the DMV.
  • If the collection of evidence or the preparation of witnesses is important, we instruct you on how to perform these tasks.
  • We instruct you how to file your own “Notice of Affirmative Evidence,” in an appropriate manner so the DMV will accept your items of evidence.
  • We provide you a list of questions you should expect to be asked during Administrative Hearing.
  • We update you on information concerning your individual DMV Hearing Officer. What type of things do they appreciate?  What type of things tend to irritate them?
  • If there is any follow-up after your Re-Exam or Hearing, we instruct you how to handle those issues.
  • When the case draws to a conclusion, we instruct you how to file a formal “Request to Terminate” Suspension with the DMV.

**In the Gold Solution, we do not represent you at your Administrative Hearing and we do not communicate with the DMV on your behalf but, we manage your case and instruct you every step of the way in preparing your own defense**

Our most basic solution is the Silver Solution.  In this solution, we provide minimal instruction on how to handle your case. The Silver Solution includes:

  • Instruction on how to prepare and file your own formal “Request for Hearing” in a timely manner with the Financial Responsibility Unit in Sacramento and how to confirm the DMV’s receipt of the request.
  • Instruction on how to file your own “Request for Stay of Suspension” to stop the intended suspension of your driving privilege until the outcome of your hearing.
  • Instruction on how to file your own “Request for Discovery” to compel the DMV to provide you with its evidence.
  • We provide a Checklist of things to be done based on our conversation with you.
  • If the collection of evidence or the preparation of witness statements is important, we instruct you on how to perform these tasks.
  • We instruct you how to file all of your evidence in an appropriate manner so the DMV will accept your items.
  • We update you on information concerning your individual DMV Hearing Officer. What type of things do they appreciate?  What type of things tend to irritate them?
  • If there is any follow-up after your Administrative Hearing, we instruct you how to handle those issues.
  • When the case draws to a conclusion, we instruct you how to file a formal “Request to Terminate” Suspension with the DMV.

**In the Silver Solution, we do not represent you at your Administrative Hearing and we do not communicate with the DMV on your behalf.  We do not conduct an intake interview but, we have you completely prepared to handle your matter on your own with confidence**

Schedule a Confidential and Free Consultation

Our team of DMV Defense Experts are standing by to answer any questions you may have. All calls are confidential and at no obligation to you. Reach out now to see how any of our Self Help DMV Defense services can help you.