Why does the DMV Suspend a Driver License for Fraudulent Activity?

Why is the DMV suspending my license for Fraud?   –   The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the government agency possessing the power to issue, maintain and review the privilege to hold a California driver license. Many people, however, are not aware that the DMV also holds the nearly unbridled power to withdraw, suspend or revoke the driver license of any person if there is cause to do so. It is the stated goal of the DMV to promote public safety by ensuring that only qualified persons are issued a driver license; and that only responsible drivers maintain that privilege. The DMV’s primary focus in the area of fraud occurs in two instances: Fraudulent activity during the application, renewal, or upgrade of a driver license and or Fraudulent activity involving the unlawful use of an existing driver license.

In the first instance, public safety may be adversely affected if a person who lacks the skill to drive is able to fraudulently obtain a driver license. An untrained or unskilled person who operates a motor vehicle may not possess the skill-set or knowledge to obey basic traffic rules. Public safety may also be affected when the holder of a Class “C” driver license fraudulently obtains a Class “A” driver license without proper schooling and testing. Just because a person may possess the skills necessary to operate a mini-van, does not mean they possess the skills necessary to operate a semi tractor-trailer. If that driver fraudulently obtains a Class “A” driver license without proper training and testing, they could pose a very real danger to the motoring public.

In the second instance, if a person fraudulently uses a driver license issued to another person to secure financial loans or public services, the general public is harmed. If a young person uses an altered driver license for the purpose of unlawfully purchasing alcohol or entering venues reserved for older patrons, the public trust is violated.

The California DMV is empowered to deny, suspend or revoke the driving privilege of any person involved in fraudulent driver license activity whether or not it directly involves an act of public safety or driving. Essentially, the DMV will take an action against a person if necessary to promote public safety, proper identification, or the integrity of the department’s database.

What gives the DMV the authority to suspend a driver license for fraud?

The power to deny, suspend or revoke a driver license is granted to the Department of Motor Vehicles through the California Vehicle Code (CVC).

CVC sections 12809, 13359, and 14610, grant the DMV the power to deny the issuance of a driver license, or to revoke an existing driver license for fraudulent activity.

  • 12809 (a)—The DMV may take action if the department is satisfied the applicant is not entitled to the license;
  • 12809 (b)—The DMV may take action if the applicant has failed to provide the information necessary to issue a license;
  • 12809 (c) – The DMV may take action if the person has made or permitted the unlawful use of any driver license;
  • 12809 (d)—The DMV may take action if the person has knowingly used a false or fictitious name, made a false statement or concealed a material fact; or otherwise committed any act of fraud.
  • 13359—The DMV may suspend or revoke the driving privilege of any person upon any grounds which authorize the refusal to issue a license;
  • 14610 (a)(1)—The DMV may take action if any person who possesses, displays or allows the display of any canceled, revoked, suspended, fictitious, or altered driver license.
  • 14610 (a)(2)—The DMV may take action if any person lends his driver license to another or knowingly permits its use by another person.
  • 14610 (a)(3)—The DMV may take action if any person uses, displays or presents any driver license not issued to him;
  • 14610 (a)(4)—The DMV may take action if a person refuses to surrender a driver license that has been suspended, revoked or canceled;
  • 14610 (a)(5)—The DMV may take action if a driver allows any unlawful use of driver license issued to him;
  • 14610 (a)(6)—The DMV may take action if a driver commits any act or fails to perform any act required by law;
  • 14610 (a)(7)—The DMV may take action if a person photographs, duplicates or reproduces any driver license in a manner that it could be mistaken for a valid license;
  • 14610 (a)(8)—The DMV may take action if a person alters a driver license in any manner.
  • 5 (a)(1)—The DMV may take action if a person sells, distributes or uses any crib sheet, cheat sheet, or other device which contains the answers to any examination for any class of driver license, permit or certificate;
  • 5 (a)(2)—The DMV may take action if a person impersonates or allows the impersonation of an applicant for any class of driver license, permit or certificate for the purpose of fraudulently qualifying the applicant for such driver license, permit or certificate.

How can I protect myself at the DMV?

If you have received an “Order of Suspension/Revocation” in the mail from the California Department of Motor Vehicles alleging your involvement in a fraudulent act, you must immediately begin the process of fighting to protect yourself. In most instances, the “Order of Suspension/Revocation” will provide you a limited period of time to react—usually 10 to 14 days.

Successfully defending your driver license against an allegation of fraudulent activity begins the moment you open the notice from the DMV.

Your very first step should be to telephone the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates. The moment you engage us as your DMV representative, we begin the process of protecting you. We will make the initial contact with the DMV to preserve your right to an administrative hearing and to extend your driving privilege until the process ends.

Make no mistake, the DMV is not suggesting they MAY suspend or revoke your driver license. The “Order of Suspension/Revocation” means the DMV is convinced you committed a fraudulent act and they have already begin the process to take you off the road. If you take no action, or if you are delayed in responding, your driving privilege WILL BE suspended or revoked. Inaction is not a viable option if you hope to keep driving.

If properly conducted, a fraudulent activity hearing at the DMV is run much like a mini-trial. Exhibits are introduced, evidence is presented and witnesses may testify. This is a full-blown legal proceeding with the DMV hearing officer acting as the prosecutor, judge and executioner. With years of experience in this field, the DMV Defense Experts from California Drivers Advocates provide you the best opportunity to win your fraudulent activity hearing and to preserve your driver license.

Call us today; we’re ready to fight for you

Proper defense at a fraudulent activity hearing includes professional investigation, preparation and execution; but none of that will occur unless you are granted a hearing and are well represented.

The DMV Defense team from California Drivers Advocates is comprised of former police officers, former DMV Hearing Officers, investigators and scientists. We’ve seen every form of fraudulent activity. Because we represent drivers throughout the State of California, we have worked in every Driver Safety Office from Redding to San Diego. We have the training, experience and willingness to protect you in your time of need. Call CDA today, you’ll be glad you did.

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More about Fraudulent Activity at the California DMV

Unlawful Examination at the DMV

Fraudulent Documents at the DMV


About the Author:

Rob Collier
Mr. Collier served with distinction as a Law Enforcement Specialist with the United States Air Force and received an honorable discharge. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Security Police Academy and the United States Army Police Investigators School. While stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, Mr. Collier was one of the first Security Police Specialists to provide “close‐in” security for Space Shuttle Missions when that program was new. Mr. Collier is a Distinguished Graduate of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Academy (Class 228) and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Weapons and Tactics School (SWAT). He received specialized training in basic accident investigation and determining speed from skids at the San Bernardino Sheriff Academy. For nearly 15 years, Mr. Collier was the Operations Officer for one of the most prominent specialty DUI law firms in the country. Reporting directly to that firm’s owner, Mr. Collier directed the day to day operations of DUI attorneys, investigators, expert witnesses and support staff. He developed the firm’s “white glove” policy of client care that is now the hallmark of our company. He has been involved in the preparation, investigation, and presentation of literally thousands of DMV administrative hearings throughout Southern California. Receiving hands on training from defense attorneys, retired DMV hearing officers, and some of the best scientific experts in the field, Mr. Collier possesses a unique level of experience; making him a true expert in the field of Administrative Advocacy. Mr. Collier is our Chief Advocate and available to represent clients in all categories of DMV hearings in California. If your case is assigned to one of our other professional advocates, Mr. Collier will personally review and supervise each case. He is accessible to each and every one of our clients.