New DMV Laws

Teen Drivers, Check this out...


The newest restrictions, enacted in January of 2006, are expected to cut down the number of teen car accidents and the number of teens who are injured or killed each year in California.

  • Teens who have had their driver's license for less than one year may not drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless the driver is accompanied by licensed driver age 25 or older. Exceptions for a job, school, a family need, or a medical emergency.
  • Teens who have held their driver's license less than one year may not transport any passengers younger than 20 (except family members) without having someone 25 or older in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.

Why Target Teens?


The most common cause of death for teens in the United States is traffic accidents. A combination of inexperience and risk-taking leads to potentially dangerous situations.

Another serious danger to the youngest drivers is the use of drugs or alcohol. Teens are not only new at driving, but they're new at being inebriated as well.

To speak to teenage drivers directly about the responsibilities they face and how to get a license, the California DMV has created a Web site just for them. DMV's teen Web site


Vehicle Registration Laws

Effective January 1, 2008


Diesel-Powered Vehicles

Prohibits the DMV from registering, renewing the registration, or transferring the ownership of a heavy-duty diesel motor vehicle, as specified, if the owner or operator has an outstanding emissions-related citation until that citation is cleared as determined by the Air Resources Board. (AB 233 Chapter No. 592)


Operative January 1, 2010


Adds diesel-powered vehicles manufactured after the 1997 model-year that have a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 8,501 pounds to be in the biennial smog check program.


Disabled Parking — Operative January 1, 2008


Limits the maximum consecutive number of times a person can renew a temporary disability parking placard. Increases fines for second and third violations related to illegal parking in disabled spaces. Alters signage and painting requirements for disabled parking spaces of buildings constructed or renovated on or after July 1, 2008. (AB 1531 Chapter 413)


Increased Fees — Operative July 1, 2008 — Sunsets January 1, 2016


Establishes the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program, the Air Quality Improvement Program, and the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (Health and Safety Code) and provides funding for these programs through an increase in the smog abatement fee, the vehicle registration fee, the vessel registration fee, and the identification plate fee. (AB 118 Chapter 750)


Off-Highway Motor Vehicles (OHVs) — Sunsets January 1, 2018


Increases the registration fee for OHVs. Requires the department, in the design of the OHV identification plate or device, to make the identification number the most prominent feature. (SB 742 Chapter 541)


Special License Plates Fee Exemption


Increases the registration fee for OHVs. Exempts the surviving spouse of a former American Prisoner of War or of a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from paying specified vehicle-related fees if she/he elects to retain the deceased spouse’s special license plates. Authorizes a member of the former prisoner of war’s family, or the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient’s family, as defined, to retain one of the special license plates as a family heirloom. (SB 386 Chapter No. 357)


Vessel Emissions Standards — Operative July 1, 2008


Prohibits the DMV from registering vessels with stern drive or inboard engines manufactured after January 1, 2008, if they do not meet emissions regulations. Requires the retail seller to certify on the original application for a CF number if the vessel is in compliance with the emissions regulations Requires vessels with a spark-ignition marine engine of less than 500 hp manufactured on or after January 1, 2008, or Vessels with a spark-ignition marine engine with any rated output power manufactured on or after January 1, 2009, to have a permanent affixed label indicating that the engine meets or exceeds the emissions standards, and Requires the hang tag for the engine to be submitted with the initial application for a CF number. (AB 695 Chapter 609)


Year of Manufacture Plates — Operative July 1, 2009

Extends the Year of Manufacture (YOM) license plate program to include 1969 year model or older passenger vehicles and 1972 or older commercial vehicles. Increases the original YOM application fee to $45. (AB 462 Chapter No. 497)


Motor Carrier Permits

Authorizes the DMV to waive the $150 reinstatement fee if a Motor Carrier Permit was suspended for a lapse in insurance coverage, and it is subsequently found that there was no lapse in coverage. (AB 913 Chapter 58)

Driver License

Effective January 1, 2008


Driving Under the Influence Repeated Offense: January 1, 2009


Makes it unlawful for a person who is on probation for a driving-under-the-influence offense to operate a motor vehicle at any time with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or greater. Imposes an admin per se driver license suspension on persons found to violate this prohibition. (AB 1165 Chapter 749)

Medical Examination for Special Certificates


Authorizes the medical examination for an original or renewal certificate to drive a schoolbus, school pupil activity bus, youth bus, general public paratransit vehicle, or farm labor vehicle to be given by a licensed, advanced practice, registered nurse qualified to perform a medical examination or by a licensed physician assistant. (AB 139 Chapter 158)

Reporting Abstract of Record of Court


Reduces the time in which the clerk of a court is required to forward to DMV an abstract of the record of the court from 10 to 5 days after conviction or sentencing. (AB 421 Chapter 746)

Declaration on an Original/Renewal Application for a Driver License: July 1, 2008


Requires an applicant as a condition of obtaining or renewing a driver’s license to sign a declaration acknowledging that a driver may be charged with murder if a person is killed as a result of driving under the influence. (AB 808 Chapter 748)

Smoking in Vehicles With Minor Passengers


Makes it an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) for a person to smoke a pipe, cigar, or cigarette in a motor vehicle any time a minor is present in the vehicle. (SB 7 Chapter 425)

Reckless Driving/Racing


Increases penalties for first conviction of reckless driving or engaging in a speed contest resulting in specified injuries to a person other than the driver. (AB 2190 Chapter No.432). First-offenders would be subject to confinement in state prison or county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than 6 months, or by a fine of not less than $220 (reckless driving) or $500 (speed contest) nor more than $1000.

Traffic Violations Adjudication


Prohibits the courts from dismissing serious traffic violations through completion of a traffic violator school program or any other court-approved program for safe driving. Serious traffic violations are those that would result in the assessment of two negligent operator points. (AB 645 Chapter 161)

Transit Buses Right-of-Way Sign


If approved by the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, this would: Authorize a transit bus to be equipped with a specified yield right-of-way sign on the left rear of the bus. Require motorists to yield to a transit bus when the sign is activated. (AB 1492 Chapter 451)

Cell Phones


Requires the use of hands-free wireless phones as of July 1, 2008, with limited exceptions. (SB 1613 Chapter No. 290)

Driver License Suspension


Increases the mandatory driver’s license suspension period to ten months for persons convicted of a first offense of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol if the individual’s blood alcohol concentration level was .20% or greater, and the court orders an enhanced alcohol treatment program. (AB 1756 Chapter No. 692)

Driving Infraction


Creates a new infraction for driving a motor vehicle while knowingly permitting a person to ride in the trunk. A passenger found guilty of riding in the trunk of a vehicle would be guilty of an infraction. Both the driver and passenger would be subject to fines pursuant to a specified schedule. A driver convicted of knowingly permitting passengers to ride in/on the trunk of a vehicle would receive one negligent operator point on his or her driving record.

Makes driving under age 21 with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01% or greater a citable offense, and if convicted, the person would be guilty of an infraction subject to increased court fines. Currently subject to suspension under the Zero Tolerance Law. However, this would not be a point count. (AB 1850 Chapter No. 900)

Emergency Vehicles


Requires drivers to take specific precautionary actions on a highway when passing a stopped emergency vehicle when the emergency lights are activated. Makes it an infraction for failure to comply with those requirements. (AB 1610 Chapter No.375)

Clarifies existing statute regarding the use of headlamps during darkness and/or inclement weather. (AB 1586 Chapter No. 311)

Graffiti and Vandalism


Allows courts to impose increased driver license sanctions for graffiti and vandalism. Courts may now suspend a driver license for a period of up to two years, or delay issuing a license for a period of one to three years. (AB 2923 Chapter No. 434)

Ignition Interlock Device


Prohibits a manufacturer of an ignition interlock device (IID) from furnishing information to any individual or entity that would allow modifications to be made that would allow it to be used in a manner that is contrary to its intended purpose. (AB 3045 Chapter No.835)


Occupational Licensing Laws

Effective January 1, 2008


Occupational Licensing


Expands the authority of the DMV to order restitution to victims who have suffered financial loss or damage by a vehicle dealer, manufacturer, distributor and transporter when the occupational license has been suspended or revoked. Expands DMV’s authority to refuse to issue a license to include until restitution has been paid. (SB 525 Chapter 93)

Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights


Allows dealers to increase the restocking fee under circumstances involving the purchase of a leased vehicle by the lessee.(AB 305 Chapter 219)

Consumer Protection


Creates the Consumer Motor Vehicle Recovery Corporation to manage a $5-million recovery fund to compensate consumers who have suffered monetary loss as the result of a vehicle dealership closure or insolvency. A $1 fee will be collected by the DMV on each vehicle sold by a dealer or lessor/retailer. This fee cannot be passed on to the consumer. (SB 729 chapter 437)

Recreational Vehicle Sales


Establishes a requirement that a recreational vehicle manufacturer and a dealer authorized by that manufacturer to sell its line of recreational vehicles enter into a written franchise agreement, which is to include specified information. (AB 1092 Chapter 406)

Traffic Violator School Licensing


Requires DMV to submit a report to the Legislature, by July 1, 2008, containing a plan to consolidate all forms of traffic violation instruction programs under DMV’s licensing authority. Increases the amount a traffic violator school may charge for a duplicate completion certificate and addresses a fee issue associated with class cancellations. (AB 758 Chapter 396)

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