License Release


Under California law, parents court ordered to pay child support must pay the complete monthly child support obligation on time. If the payment is late or the complete amount is not paid, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) can suspend or withhold California drivers and/or professional licenses. When the child support payment is late 30 or more days, DCSS submits the non-custodial parent’s name to the Agency Issuing the license, e.g., California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), for license suspension.


The licensing agency (DMV) sends a warning letter allowing the parent 150 days to work with DCSS to pay the past due child support. If the child support obligation is not paid within this time, the drivers and/or professional license suspension will take place. Our office can release your license in person and in some circumstances, over the phone.  Please note:  Licenses are not released automatically when payments are made.  Once you receive the warning letter from the licensing agency, you must contact our office to obtain a release.

In order to qualify for an over the phone license release you must meet one of the below criteria:


  • Your employer is sending in partial or full child support payments
  • You are receiving unemployment and part of your benefit is being applied towards your child support obligation
  • You are receiving General Relief benefits
  • You are receiving CalWORKS (cash aid assistance)
  • You have a court order for license release


If you do not meet one of the above criteria, please call 866-901-3212 to make an appointment to come into our office or you can walk-in between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.


If a notice of intent to suspend has been sent to you in the past, your license will automatically be suspended when a child support payment is late or not paid in full. Please be prepared to make a payment for the release of your license. You will need to make a payment to complete your monthly child support obligation plus a good faith payment on the back child support that is owed. Also, if you received a Notice of Intent to Suspend letter bring it with you to our office.


Your license can be resubmitted for suspension after 45 days of no or partial payment. To guarantee that your license will not be suspended please make your child support payment in full each month.  If there has been a change in circumstances that may warrant a change in your monthly child support obligation, you may request your case be reviewed for a potential change in your court ordered child support amount.


It can take up to two weeks after DCSS submits a request to a licensing agency for the release of your license to be processed.  Therefore it is important that you contact our office as soon as you are aware that your license will be suspended in order to avoid delays.