DMV 1650 Waiver

A 1650 waiver is an appeal by an immigrant charged with California DUI to have his/her DUI school order waived by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

According to the DMV's DUI program, if you have been convicted of drinking under the influence in California, you must physically join and finish a  DUI school in California. Some of the driving offenses that could lead to this include:

  • Underage DUI (BAC of 0.05% and above under VC 23140)
  • Driving with a BAC higher than 0.08% under VC 23152(b))
  • Driving when intoxicated (VC 23152(a))
  • “Wet recklessness driving” (VC 23103.5)

Some states cannot give a driving license to you without the waiver until you finish the DUI school by the DMV. It means you will always need to travel to California until you complete the DUI  program.

You can only be issued a waiver once in your life, and you apply by finishing the DMV’s 1650 waiver packet.

If you are granted the waiver:

  • You are not allowed to ride in the state for up to three years
  • You must not complete the DUI school

You are also likely to face the following penalties besides completing a DUI program:

  • A DUI probation of up 3-5 years
  • A release from work
  • An ignition interlock device will be installed in your vehicle for up to six months.
  • A 6 months conviction in jail
  • Suspension of your driving license for up to 6 months
  • You may also pay fines of up to $2000, depending on your county

What if an Immigrant is Charged with California DUI?

Various things take place once an immigrant has been charged with California DUI. These things include:

  • Once you have been convicted, the California court sends a notice to the California DMV notifying them about your conviction. The DMV then suspends your driving rights in California.
  • Your notification of the conviction in California is then forwarded to your home state by the DMV.
  • Once your home state receives the notice, it takes the DUI change as though it happened in its country.
  • Your home state may also impose some penalties, which is likely to be harsher than the penalties inflicted in California.
  • Additionally, your home state may also take away your driving flights until you finish the obligation for the DUI conviction in California. This includes the DUI program by DMV.

Even though completing the DUI program is a must, several factors make it hard for you to complete. For example:

  • You will be away from the state
  • You will be required to travel to and from 

After realizing these challenges, California came up with the 1650 waiver.

The Effects of a 1650 Waiver

Its significant effect of the 1650 waiver includes eliminating the requirement to complete a DUI school. This means that it is not compulsory to join or finish the program. You can then get your driving license in your home state.

How to Appeal For the 1650 Waiver

If you are looking forward to applying for this waiver, you must do the following:

  • Reach out to the  Department of Motor Vehicles in California and request that the 1650 waiver package is sent to your address.
  • Fill out the packet
  • Provide your utility bills from a utility firm in your home state as a way to confirm that you reside outside California.
  • Clear the set fee to complete the process.

Remember, you can only appeal for the 1650 waiver after completing the suspension by California. This mainly takes several months.

After the California DMV receives the waiver packet, they begin the process, which takes up to 8 weeks.

What will happen if you return to California?

After you move back to your home state and you wish to travel back to California, you must wait for a few years from the day you were given the 1650 waiver without legally diving.

Note that you must complete the DMV’s DUI school for you to get an effective California driving license.

The California DUI Program

California DUI school is a program that offers education on alcohol as well as prevention measures. The DMV orders this program in California. For you to enroll in this program', you must have been convicted of various DUI offenses like:

  • Vehicle code 23103.5, “wet diving.”
  • (Vehicle code 23152(A) Driving while intoxicated
  • Vehicle code 23140 (underage DUI with a BAC above 0.05%)
  • Vehicle code 23152(B) (diving with a BAC above 0.08%)

You must enroll in a DUI education facility whose personnel have been licensed by California state. Note that you must also attend an in-person program. Programs taken online do not have the required requirements for a DUI program in California.

You can not enroll in many  DUI school programs unless:

  • You have a court order or
  • You have a notice from the California DMV on your driving license suspension.

Examples of the program include:

The “Plea Bargain”/ The Twelve-hours DUI Program

If you have been convicted for the first time in California for “wet recklessness,” you are supposed to complete these DUI guides, also called (SB 1176).

This is an offense that has been reduced from the DUI plea bargain; hence you cannot be arrested for the violation of a wet reckless.

This program comprises six weeks of classes, each taking up to 2 hours. 

 “The Twelve-hours Minor Drinking School”

AB 803 program is another term given the effect program for children below 21 years in California. This program is also a two-hour class that takes six weeks. If you are an underaged driver, you will be asked to undertake the program if:

  • Your age is between 18 to 20 years and
  • It’s your first conviction with DUI.

Three -months First DUI Conviction School (BAC Under 0.20%)

You will be asked to complete a three months DUI program if:

  • It's your first DUI conviction within ten years.
  • You had a BAC above 0.20%

This program is also called an AB 541 class and is the main first DUI conviction program. This program covers DUI offenders of alcohol as well as DUI of substance abuse.

If you are to attend these DUI plans, your completion and attendance will be the conditions of your DUI probation. This program involves guidance for 30 hours. Classes can be different based on the education program provider. But in most cases, it usually takes 10 to 15 classes. That is one weekly class for 3-4 months.

In general, this three-months school comprises of:

  • Three personal counseling sessions
  • Group counseling for 18 hours
  • Education sessions for 12 hours
  • An enrollment and intake session

The nine months DUI Program, BAC OF 0.20% and Above

This program is also referred to as an AB1353 program. You will be ordered to complete this program if:

  • It is your first DUI conviction of a BAC higher than 0.20%
  • If following your arrest for DUI, you denied taking a chemical test.
  • You plead liable to "wet recklessness,” and you have another record of DUI within the last ten years.

This program consists of  guidance for60 hours that involves:

  • Group sessions of 22 hours( one every other week)
  • Six education classes, with each going for two hours. (they may include a mixture of film and lecture)
  • 16 personal interviews (each running for 15 minutes)
  • You are required to attend up to 36 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

18-months Second -time DUI Offenders School

If you are convicted of California DUI for the second time within ten years for the previous DUI, you will be ordered to complete an 18 or 30 months DUI program. This program is also referred to as (SB38). At times, the judge can also order an 18-month program instead of a 30-month school for third-time DUI offenders.

An 18(eighteen) month DUI program consists of:

  • Group counseling for 52 hours
  • A 12-hour drug/alcohol education
  • Monitoring of the community reentry for 6 hours
  • Bi-weekly personal interviews which take place at the beginning of the year of the classes

 30-month Double DUI Offender School

This program is also termed the (SB 1365) which is authorized in a few California counties. If you cuny allows this type of program, the judge will only request you to take part if:

  • Your blood alcohol concentration was high during your second DUI conviction or
  • You were convicted of or no defy or pled liable to third for the following DUI offense. This applies regardless of your BAC.

This program consists of:

  • Group counseling for 78 hours
  • Education on abuse of alcohol and intoxication for 12 hours
  • Community services of 120 to 300 hours
  • Regular personal interviews.

Other First-time DUI Penalties in California

If you have been convicted of a first-time DUI in California, you may face the following penalties on top of completing a DUI school:

  • DUI probation of 3-5 years
  • A 6-month suspension of your driving license
  • Wok release
  • Fines and penalties between $1500 to$2000
  • A 6 month sentencing in county jail
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for up to six months

Find a Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me

If you or your loved one has been charged with DUI in California but reside in a different state, you should reach out to The Law Offices of Ross Howell Sobel for help. Our professional and experienced attorneys will guide you in every step. Call us today at 818-582-2350 for a free consultation.


The information on this website is for advertisement and informational purposes only. The facts of every case are unique and nothing on this page or on this website should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and viewing of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.