How long will a DUI stay on my record in California?


  • A misdemeanor DUI is on your criminal record and California DMV record for 10 years.
  • The ten year time period begins on your arrest date (and not on your conviction date).
  • After 10 years, the courts and DMV cannot use that DUI against you.
  • A felony DUI is on your record for 10 years.


Presently a DUI conviction will be on your record for 10 years starting from your arrest date (and not from your conviction date).

However, there are efforts in the California legislature to make a DUI stay on your record for a lifetime and to be used against you for your whole life. This means if you got a DUI 20 years ago and get arrested for another DUI it will be your second DUI and you will face additional punishment.

Expect the worse and expect the California DUI laws to change in the future and make your DUI stay on your record for 15 years or longer, if not for a lifetime.

This is my second DUI

California is ridiculously tough on people who get a DUI within 10 years of another DUI.

You must realize that, on a second DUI, California Law wants to :-

  • Put you in jail for 96 hours
  • And SUSPEND your license for one year without driving at all; no driving, not even to work, on a second DUI.

See also DUI Penalties and Laws FAQ

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