Napa County Courthouse

Top Ten Questions > From Non-Residents

2. May an officer take my home state license?

Out of state platesNot usually. A good Napa DUI lawyer will explain to you that a driver license is commonly known to be the property of the state which issued it. Although Napa County police have the duty to confiscate a California driver license under the "stop and snatch" law (CVC 13382) following an alcohol-related DUI arrest, this authority is not extended to non-California licenses.

But all too often, Napa DUI lawyers see new or poorly trained law enforcement officers (often from smaller, rural police departments) make mistakes and fail to return an out-of-state license to the driver. Typically, licenses which are confiscated by Napa County law enforcement are forwarded to the Sacramento DMV and destroyed within days of arrest. If you held a driver license issued by a state other than California and it was not returned to you, then you should seriously consider contacting a Napa DUI attorney, such as Jake, immediately to try to secure the return of your home state license before it is mailed from the arresting agency. Consult with a Napa County DUI lawyer about your individual case.


Any result portrayed was dependent on the facts of that case, and the results will differ if based on different facts.

Our DUI Lawyers

Dave Jake Schwartz is an Honors Graduate from UC Hastings Law School, and UC Davis, former Federal Judicial Clerk, and Nationally Qualified Sobriety Tests Practitioner. Member of the California Bar for 30 years, Wine Country resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of North Bay DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.



Phone Hours: 6am - 6pm Everyday

Fax Only: (707) 540-6056

Dave Jake Schwartz, PC

California State Bar No. 138607

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Dave Jake Schwartz