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California

Driver Handbook
2008

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor


State of California
Dale E. Bonner, Secretary
Business, Transportation and Housing Agency
George Valverde, Director
Department of Motor Vehicles
Governor’s Message
California Driver Handbook

My Fellow Californians:
You have in your hands a valuable handbook
that can help ensure a safe driving experi-
ence. For your protection and those of others,
I strongly urge you to read it and keep it handy
for future reference.
As Governor, I have always been supportive
of you, the driver. I want you and your family
to be safe at all times while driving California
roadways, and that is why I signed two very im-
portant laws that will take effect on July 1, 2008.
One law requires all drivers to use hands-free
devices while talking on cell phones. The other law bans teenage drivers
from using all electronic devices – including cell phones – while behind
the wheel. With the implementation of these laws, many lives will be
saved from car accidents caused by distracted drivers.
In addition, I also want your business transactions with the DMV to be as
seamless as possible. If you have not done so, I encourage you to check
out dmv.ca.gov. It is a great website where you can conduct tasks such
as renewing your car registration or driver license online – rather than in
line.
Your state government will continue to take action to find ways to further
improve the California driving experience, but I also need your help. You
can help me and your fellow Californians keep our roads safe by apply-
ing what you learn in this handbook. Working together, we will ensure
that our state continues to be a fantastic place to live.

Wishing you a safe drive,

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Check out these
Online Services:
• Renew you driver license
and vehicle registration
• Make appointments
(excempt commercial driving test)
• Complete a change of address
• Complete a release of liability
• Take a sample driver license test
• Order special plates
• Get forms brochures,
and handbooks
• Find answers to your questions
• Calculate registration fees

Don’t stand in
GO ON LINE !

www.dmv.ca.gov
24/7
Telephone Service
Call 1-800-921-1117 and use the
Automated Voice Recognition System to:

• Make appointments
(except driving test)
• Pay registration renewals
or call
1-800-777-0133 to:

• Get forms and publications


• Listen to general information
• Get field office locations,
hours, and driving directions
• Make an appointment
for a driving test
  — Between 8 a 5, Mon., Tues., Thurs., &. Fri.
  — Between 9-5 on Wed.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
New laws. ........................................ viii around children.............................. 15
dmv INFORMATION.............................ix blind intersections.......................... 15
alleys.............................................. 15
GENERAL INFORMATION. ................... 1 near railroad tracks........................ 15
Disclaimer.....................................1
near light rail vehicle crossings...... 16
Who Must Have A License?............1
California Residents......................... 1 near streetcars, trolleys, or buses.. 16
California Military Personnel............. 1 business or residence districts....... 17
Nonresident Military Personnel......... 1 near Animals.................................. 17
New Residents................................. 1 TRAFFIC LANES. ................................ 17
Adults Visiting California................... 2 Line Colors..................................... 17
Minors Visiting California.................. 2 Choosing A Lane. ........................... 17
Examples of
THE CALIFORNIA DRIVER LICENSE... 2 lane markings........................... 17
Accurate Identification.................... 2 Changing Lanes. ............................. 18
Basic Information............................. 2 Bicycle Lanes.................................. 18
Duplicate Licenses........................... 2 Passing Lanes................................. 18
Name Changes. ................................. 3 Carpool Lanes ............................... 19
License Renewals............................. 3 Center Left Turn Lanes. ............... 19
LICENSE CLASSES............................... 3 Turnout Areas and Lanes.............. 20
OBTAINING A DRIVER LICENSE.......... 5 End-of-Lane Markings................... 20
Acceptable Documents.................... 5 TURNS................................................. 20
Application Requirements For A Examples of Right
Basic Class C Driver License..... 5 and Left Turns............................. 21
Adults’ Permit Requirements.......... 6 Legal U-Turns. ............................... 22
Adults’ License Requirements........ 6 Illegal U-Turns. ............................. 23
THE EXAMINATION PROCESS............. 7 SAFE DRIVING PRACTICES............... 23
Where To Take The Tests................. 7 Scanning.......................................... 23
DMV’s Examinations......................... 7 Know What Is Ahead...................... 23
SEAT BELTS. ......................................... 8 Know What Is At Your Side............. 25
Mistaken Beliefs About Know What Is Behind You............... 26
Seat Belts. .................................... 8 Clean Windows And Mirrors........... 26
Child Restraint System Adjust Seat And Mirrors.................. 27
And Safety Seats.......................... 9 How Well Can You Stop?................ 27
Riding Safely With Air Bags......... 10 Driving In The Fog. ........................ 27
Side-Impact Air Bags. .................... 10 Driving In Darkness....................... 27
Unattended Children Driving In Rain or Snow................ 28
In Motor Vehicles....................... 10 Driving In Hill Country. ............... 28
LAWS AND RULES OF THE ROAD.....11 HORN, HEADLIGHTS,
Right-Of-Way Rules.......................11 and EMERGENCY SIGNALS... 28
General Information.........................11 Use Your Horn................................ 28
Pedestrians......................................11 Don’t Use Your Horn....................... 29
Crosswalks..................................... 12 Use Your Headlights....................... 29
Intersections................................... 12 Use Your Emergency Signals......... 29
Roundabouts.................................. 13 Following Distances...................... 30
On Mountain Roads........................ 13 Taking Dangers One At A Time....... 30
Multiple and single Splitting The Difference................... 30
lane roundabout........................ 13 Problem Drivers.............................. 30
Speed Limits.................................... 14 Merging In/Out Of Traffic. .........31
Maximum Speed Limit. ..................... 14 Space To Merge.............................. 31
Reduced Speeds. ............................ 14 Space To Cross Or Enter................ 31
Heavy traffic or bad weather........... 14 Space To Exit.................................. 31
Towing Vehicles, Buses, Passing Other Traffic. .................. 32
or Large Trucks............................... 14 Space To Pass................................ 32
Space To Return............................. 32

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SIGNALING. ........................................ 32 Good Vision For All Drivers........ 52
Hearing............................................ 52
SHARING THE ROAD Alertness........................................ 52
WITH OTHER VEHICLES. ............... 33 Medications..................................... 53
LARGE TRUCKS and RVs........... 33 Health And Emotions..................... 53
Braking........................................... 33
Conditions Physicians
Turning............................................ 34 Must Report. .............................. 53
Trucker’s Blind Spots—
The “No Zone”................................ 34 Special Section - Minors. .......... 53
Maneuverability.............................. 34 Minors’ Permit Requirements........ 53
Buses, Streetcars, Minors’ Permit Restrictions. ........ 54
and Trolleys................................. 35
Minors’ License Requirements. ..... 54
Light rail vehicles.......................... 36 Exceptions - Minor
Emergency vehicles........................ 36 License Restrictions................... 55
Slow moving vehicles..................... 36 Traffic Violations Increase
Accidents. .................................... 56
Animal-drawn vehicles................... 37
Teenage Traffic Deaths................... 56
Motorcycles................................... 37
Bicycles........................................... 40 Actions Against The Provisional
License.......................................... 56
Pedestrians who are blind............. 40
Keeping Your Provisional License... 56
Road Workers & Work Zones...... 41
Habitual Truant—Persons
Double Fine Zones......................... 42
Age 13 To 18................................ 57
Move Over & Slow Down. ............ 42 Minors and Cellular Phones........ 57
Vehicles With Hazardous Loads... 42
PARKING............................................. 42 Traffic Lights and Signs........... 57
Parking On A Hill.......................... 42 Traffic Signal Lights..................... 57
Parking At Colored Curbs........... 43 Pedestrian Signal Lights. ............. 58
Illegal Parking............................... 44 Traffic Signs................................... 58
Special Parking Rules................... 44 MISCELLANEOUS LICENSING
Important Driving Tips............... 45 INFORMATION. ............................... 62
Dealing With Traffic Renewal By Mail or Internet. ...... 62
Congestion................................... 45 License Extension........................... 62
Dealing With Road Rage............... 45 License In Your Possession........... 62
Cellular phones............................. 45 Address Changes........................... 62
Accident Avoidance........................ 46 Medical Information Card............. 63
Keep Your Car Visible..................... 46 Organ Donation. ............................ 63
What Is The Road Like................... 46 Unlicensed Drivers........................ 63
Curves............................................ 46 Diplomatic Driver Licenses........... 63
Water On The Road........................ 46 Driving Schools............................. 63
Slippery Roads............................... 46
Free ID Cards For P&M
Conditions.................................... 64
Driving In Heavy Traffic................... 47
Identification (ID) Card................. 64
Traffic Speeds................................. 47 Mature Driver Program................ 64
Handling Emergencies................... 47 Pedestrian Responsibilities*. ........ 64
Skids On Slippery Surfaces............ 47 Record Confidentiality. ................ 65
Acceleration Skids.......................... 48 Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips....... 66
Locked Wheel Skids....................... 48 Traffic Breaks ............................... 66
Steering Wheel Locking Device...... 48 What A Driver Should Do
Accidents. ....................................... 48 During An Enforcement Stop.... 67
Causes Of Accidents...................... 49 ACTIONS THAT RESULT IN
Involved In An Accident................... 49 LOSS OF LICENSE.......................... 70
Reporting The Accident.................. 49 Financial Responsibility................. 70
ADDITIONAL DRIVING RULES.......... 50 Insurance......................................... 70
Things You Must Not Do............... 50 Insurance Requirements................ 70
Things you must do. ....................... 51 Accidents On Your Record.............. 71
HEALTH AND SAFETY........................ 52 Accidents, Insurance, and Minors... 71
Safety For The Aging Driver. ...... 52 Drinking While Driving.................. 71

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Drinking And Driving Is Speed Contests/Reckless
Dangerous................................... 71 Driving.......................................... 77
Drugs And Driving.......................... 72 Possessing Firearms...................... 78
Carrying Alcohol In A Vehicle.......... 72 Traffic Violator School
Drivers Under 21 (Possession of Dismissals..................................... 78
Alcohol)....................................... 72 Suspension or Revocation
Drivers of All Ages.......................... 73 By DMV........................................ 78
BAC Limits...................................... 73 Suspension By Judge..................... 78
ADMIN PER SE..............................74 vehicle registration
Court DUI Convictions..................74 requirements............................. 79
Drivers 21 and Older­—DUI Programs California Vehicles. ....................... 79
and Restricted Licenses.............. 75 Out-of-State Vehicles................... 80
Designated Driver Program. ........ 76 Related Fast Facts
Getting a Ticket.............................. 76 Publications................................. 81
Evading a Peace Officer. .............. 76 Sample test............................... 85, 86
Points on The Driver Record....... 77
Vandalism/Graffiti—All Ages....... 77

Where To Write
If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this publication,
please send them to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Customer Communications Section
M/S H165
P.O. Box 932345
Sacramento, CA 94232-3450

© Copyright, Department of Motor Vehicles 2008.


All rights reserved.
This work is protected by U. S. Copyright Law. DMV owns the copyright of this work.
Copyright law prohibits the following: (1) reproduction of the copyrighted work; (2)
distribution of copies of the copyrighted work; (3) preparation of derivative works
based upon the copyrighted work; (4) displaying the copyrighted work publicly; or
(5) performing the copyrighted work publicly. All requests for permission to make
copies of all or any part of this publication should be addressed to:

Department of Motor Vehicles


Legal Office M/S C128
P. O. Box 932382
Sacramento, CA 94232-3820

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New laws
Cellular Phone Use, Effective July 1, 2008.
• Drivers 18 years of age and older are required to use a hands-free device
while driving.
• Teens (under age 18) are not permitted to use cellular phones or other
wireless devices while driving.
Smoking:
• Smoking in a vehicle where a minor is present is an infraction and is
punishable by a fine up to $100.
Slow for the Cone Zone:
• Drivers are required to move over to the right shoulder and slow down
when approaching a roadside emergency along a state highway or freeway.
The law is designed to reduce the deaths of police officers, tow truck driv-
ers, paramedics and other emergency personnel who are aiding stranded
or injured motorists. Use caution if lane changes are required and do not
block the intersections.
Use of Windshield Wipers:
• Turn on your headlights if inclement weather or low visibility (1000 feet
or less) requires the use of windshield wipers.
Child Safety
• Do not leave a child six years of age or younger unattended in a motor
vehicle when the child’s safety is at risk. (Example: In a car on a very hot
day or the engine is running and the keys are in the ignition.)
• A child may be left in a vehicle when supervised by a person age 12 or
older.
Evading a Peace Officer
• Do not deliberately run away or attempt to evade a peace officer perform-
ing his/her duties (police pursuit). The punishment is up to one year in
county jail.
• If serious bodily injury occurs during a police pursuit, the punishment
is:
- up to seven years in state prison or up to one year in county jail, or
- a fine of $2000 to $10,000, or
- both a fine and imprisonment
• If a person is killed during a police pursuit, the punishment is up to ten
years in state prison.
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dmv INFORMATION
DMV field offices are open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday,
Thursday, and Friday and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Some
offices are open the third Saturday of every month. A few offices offer
only driver license or vehicle registration service. Call one of the toll-free
numbers below or go online to find the locations and service options of an
office near you.
• Call 1-800-777-0133 between • Call 1-800-921-1117, 24 hours
8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to: a day, 7 days a week, to:
- Get driver license and vehicle - Access DMV’s voice recog-
registration information, forms, nition system.
and publications. - Renew your vehicle registra-
- Find office locations and tion using a credit card and
hours. the Renewal Identification
- Make a driving test appoint- Number provided on your
ment. billing notice.
- Speak to a DMV representative. - Make a non-driving test ap-
pointment.
Go online at: dmv.ca.gov for:
• Field offices—locations, hours, directions, phone numbers
• Making appointments (except for commercial driving tests)
• Ordering personalized plates
• Driver license and identification card information
• Vehicle/vessel registration information
• Downloadable forms
• Publications—handbooks, brochures, sample tests
• Senior driver information
• Teen driver information
• Links to other state and federal agencies

Advertising sponsorship, instead of your fees, helps defray the printing costs
of this publication. The products and services provided by the advertising
sponsors are not promoted or endorsed by DMV, but the significant contribution
by the advertising sponsors is most appreciated.

If you would like to advertise in this publication, please call the Office of State
Publishing Advertising Department at 1-866-824-0603.

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GENERAL INFORMATION California Military Personnel
If you are out-of-state on active
Disclaimer military service in the U.S. Armed
Fees mentioned in this handbook Forces and have a valid California
are subject to legislative change. driver license, your license will
This handbook is only a summary be valid for the full time you are
of the laws and regulations. The absent from the state and for 30
Department of Motor Vehicles days from your discharge date, if
(DMV), law enforcement, and honorably discharged outside of
courts follow the full and ex- California. Carry both your driver
act language of the California license and discharge papers during
Vehicle Code. You may buy a those 30 days.
copy of the Vehicle Code at any
Call 1-800-777-0133 and ask for a
DMV office or view it online at
card (DL 236) which extends your
dmv.ca.gov.
license. Military dependents do not
Who Must Have A License? qualify for this extension.
California Residents Nonresident Military Personnel
California residents who drive on If you are 18 years of age or older,
public highways or in public park- see the rules for “New Residents”
ing facilities must have a California and “Adults Visiting California.”
driver license, unless they are: Licensees eligible for military
• Members of the Armed Forces or extensions should carry docu-
United States (U.S.) Government mentation from their home state
civilian employees who only to verify their status to local law
drive vehicles owned or con- enforcement.
trolled by the U.S. on federal New Residents
government business. When you make your home here
• Persons who drive farming or take a job and you want to drive
vehicles not normally used on in California, you must apply for
public highways. a California driver license within
• Persons who drive legally reg- 10 days.
istered off-highway vehicles Residency is established by: vot-
or snowmobiles straight across ing in California elections; paying
a highway (other than a free- resident tuition at a California
way). college or university; filing for
a home owner’s property tax ex-
emption; obtaining a license; or
receiving any other privilege or
benefit not ordinarily extended to
nonresidents.
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Adults Visiting California the U.S. as authorized under federal
Visitors over 18 years old with law. Your true full name, as shown
a valid driver license from their on your legal presence document,
home state or country may drive in will appear on your DL/ID card.
California without getting a driver
license as long as their home state
Basic Information
A driver license shows that you
license remains valid.
have been given permission by
Minors Visiting California the state to drive on public road-
Visitors between 16 and 18 years ways. You may apply for a driver
old may drive with their home license at most DMV offices. (See
state license or instruction permit page ix.)
for only 10 days after arriving in
If you have no outstanding actions
California. After the 10 days, they
on your record, you will receive a
must have either a:
license after you pay the fee, cor-
• California driver license, or rectly answer questions about the
• Nonresident Minor’s Certificate law and safety rules, show that
which is issued by DMV to a your physical and mental condition
minor who has given proof of is satisfactory, and demonstrate
financial responsibility. your ability to drive safely. If you
have a medical condition or a dis-
THE CALIFORNIA ability, DMV may require you to
DRIVER LICENSE take a driving test and/or present
a statement from your physician
Accurate Identification regarding your condition.
The reliability, integrity, and con- A person must be at least 21 years
fidentiality of the California driver old to drive most commercial
license (DL) and identification vehicles for hire in interstate com-
(ID) card­ is of prime concern to merce and to transport hazardous
all levels of government, and the materials or wastes.
private sector as well.
It is critical that these documents Duplicate Licenses
be completely authenticated and ac- To replace a lost or damaged
curate. The California Legislature driver license, you must go to a
has declared the DL/ID card as the DMV office and pay a fee for a
primary identification documents duplicate. You should also present
in this state. California law requires photo identification. If DMV can-
that all customers who apply for not confirm your identity, you will
an original California DL/ID card not be issued a temporary license.
submit proof of legal presence in If you are a minor, your parents

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must sign the DMV application If DMV cannot confirm your
form (DL 44). identity, you will not be issued a
Once a duplicate license has been temporary license.
issued, the previous license is A driving test may be required as
not valid. Destroy it if you find part of any driver license transac-
it later. tion. Driving tests are not required
simply because of age.
Name Changes
Qualified drivers may be eligible to
Change your name with the local
renew by mail or online at DMV’s
Social Security Administration
website. (See page 62)
(SSA). DMV electronically verifies
your name, birth date and social Refer to the California Commercial
security number (SSN) with the Driver Handbook, the Recreational
SSA. Vehicles and Trailers Handbook,
or the California Motorcycle
If you change your name, you must
Handbook for additional license
take your old DL/ID card to a DMV
information.
office with acceptable verification
of your “true full name.” (See page
5.) You must pay the applicable fee LICENSE CLASSES
and a new picture and thumb print This handbook assumes your inter-
will be taken. Your old photo DL/ est is in a basic Class C license.
ID card will be invalidated and With a valid Class C license -
returned to you.
You may drive:
License Renewals - any 2-axle vehicle with a
DMV issues a regular DL for a five- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
year term. The license expires on (GVWR) of 26,000 lbs. or
your birthday in the year shown on less.
the license. It is against the law to - any 3-axle vehicle weighing
drive after your license expires. 6,000 lbs. or less gross.
DMV sends a renewal notice to
- any housecar 40 feet or less.
your address of record about two
months before your license ex- - a vanpool vehicle, designed to
pires. Follow the instructions on carry more than 10 but no more
the renewal notice. If you do not than 15 persons including the
receive a renewal notice, go online driver. The driver must have
or call to make an appointment. a valid medical certification
(See page ix.) on file with DMV and carry a
valid medical card. The driver

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must also have a signed cer- • No motor vehicle under 4,000
tification stating he/she has lbs. unladen weight may tow
not been convicted of reckless any vehicle weighing 6,000
driving, drunk driving, or hit- lbs. or more gross.
and-run in the last five years. (VC §21715)
(VC §12804.9[j]) Detailed information on other
A farmer or employee of a farmer license types can be found in the
may drive: California Commercial Driver
- any combination of vehicles Handbook, the Recreational Ve-
with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs. hicles and Trailers Handbook, the
or less if used exclusively in Ambulance Drivers Handbook,
agricultural operations and it and the California Motorcycle
is not for hire or compensa- Handbook.
tion. The various classes of licenses/en-
You may tow: dorsements are listed as follows:
- a single vehicle with a GVWR Commercial Class A
of 10,000 lbs. or less including Restricted Class A Fire Fighter
a tow dolly, if used. Noncommercial Class A
With a vehicle weighing at least Commercial Class B
4,000 lbs., you may tow: Restricted Class B Fire Fighter
- a trailer coach or 5th-wheel Noncommercial Class B
travel trailer under 10,000 lbs. Basic Class C
GVWR when towing is not for Commercial Class C
compensation.
Motorcycle Class M1
- a 5th-wheel travel trailer ex- Motorcycle Class M2
ceeding 10,000 lbs. but under
15,000 lbs. GVWR, when Ambulance Driver Certificate
towing is not for compensation Verification of Transit Training
and with endorsement. Certificate
School Bus Endorsement
NOTE:
• Class C licensees may not tow Refer to the Commercial Driver
more than one vehicle. Handbook, the Recreational Ve-
hicle and Trailers Handbook,
• No passenger vehicle, regardless or the California Motorcycle
of weight, may tow more than Handbook for additional license
one vehicle. information.

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OBTAINING A DRIVER Armed Forces ID Cards, Certifi-
LICENSE cate of Naturalization, Permanent
Resident Card, or a foreign passport
When you apply for an original
or Mexican Border Crossing Card
DL/ID card, you must present an
with a valid I-94.
acceptable birth date/legal pres-
ence document and provide your Your social security number will
social security number. Depending be verified with the Social Security
on the birth date/legal presence Administration.
document you present, your first True full name verification docu-
California DL/ID card may expire ments are:
on the same date as that document. • Adoption documents—contain-
If the name on your birth date/ ing your legal name as a result
legal presence document is differ- of the adoption.
ent from the name on your DL/ID • Name change documents—
card application, you must also containing your legal name
bring an acceptable true full name both before and after the name
document. (See next column.) Your change.
thumb print and picture will also
be taken. For any other DL/ID card • Marriage Certificate.
transaction, you should present • A certificate, declaration, or
photo identification. registration document verify-
ing the formation of a domestic
Acceptable Documents partnership.
An acceptable birth date/legal pres-
ence or true full name document is • Dissolution of marriage doc-
issued by a county or state. This ument—containing your legal
document is a certified copy of name as a result of the court
action.
the original (the original is always
retained by the county or state) and Application Requirements
contains an impressed seal or an
For A Basic Class C Driver
original stamped impression. The
certified copy will be returned to
License
you. If you make a copy of the certi- To apply for a driver license, you
fied copy, DMV will not accept it must:
for birth date/legal presence or true • Submit a completed DMV appli-
full name verification. cation form (DL 44). Signing this
Some acceptable birth date/legal form means you agree to submit
to a chemical test to determine
presence documents are: U.S.
the alcohol or drug content of
Birth Certificate, Proof of Indian
your blood when required by a
Blood Degree, U.S. Passport, U.S.
peace officer. If you refuse to

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sign this statement, DMV will is no upper age limit. If you want
not issue a permit or license. to obtain professional driver edu-
• Present an acceptable birth date/ cation and driver training, refer to
legal presence document. page 63.
• Provide your true full name. You must have an instruction per-
mit while learning to drive. Your
• Provide your Social Security accompanying driver must be 18
Number. It will be verified with years of age or older and have a
the Social Security Administra- valid California driver license. The
tion. person must be with you in the ve-
• Pay an application fee when you hicle, close enough to take control
apply for any new or change of of it at any time. An instruction
class permit or license. It will permit does not permit you drive
not be returned. The fee is good alone—not even to a DMV office
for 12 months and allows you to to take the driving test.
take the appropriate law test(s) If you have a motorcycle permit,
three times, if needed, during you cannot carry passengers, you
that period. The fee pays for both must ride during daylight hours
the instruction permit and driver only, and you cannot ride on the
license, if you qualify for both freeway.
within the 12-month period. If
the application expires, you must To get a permit, you must:
resubmit documents, repay the • Be at least 18 years of age.
application fee, and retake the • Complete the application re-
required tests. quirements.
• Pass an eye exam. Any person • Pass a traffic laws and road signs
with a best corrected vision of test.
20/200 or worse in the better eye
cannot be issued a driver license Adults’ License
or use a bioptic telescopic or Requirements
similar lens to qualify for a driver If you have never been licensed,
license. you must:
• Have your picture taken. • Be at least 18 years of age.
• Give a thumb print. • Complete all the steps required
for a permit.
Adults’ Permit Requirements
If you are 18 years old, meet the • Bring your instruction permit
application requirements, and with you to your driving test.
pass the tests, you may be issued • Pass a behind-the-wheel driving
a California driver license. There

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test. If you fail the first driving are required when you apply for an
test, you must pay a retest fee original or upgrade to a different
for a second or third attempt class of license. Appointments are
and wait until the next day or available for all DMV services. An
the next available appointment appointment is usually required
before you are tested again. to take any driving test.
If you have an out-of-state or out- NOTE: To allow you sufficient
of-country license, you must: time for testing DMV will not be
• Be at least 18 years of age. administering written or audio ex-
ams after 4:30 p.m. On Saturdays
• Complete all the steps required
the cut-off time is 11:30 a.m. for
for a permit. (A temporary
exams.
license will not be issued if
your visual acuity is worse than DMV’s Examinations
20/70 in both eyes together.) Your driver license examinations
• Surrender your valid out- include:
of-state driver license. Your • A vision test. (Bring your
out-of-state license will be glasses.)
invalidated and returned un- • A test of traffic laws, road signs,
less you are applying for a and driving safety rules. (This
commercial license. book will help you. Study it.)
NOTE: Driving tests for holders • A driving test, if required. For
of out-of-state or U.S. territory the driving test, bring:
licenses are normally waived.
However, the department may - your old license or instruction
require a driving test for any permit, if you have one.
type of application. Driving tests - a licensed driver.
are required for out-of-country
- proof that the vehicle is prop-
license holders.
erly insured.
- a vehicle that is safe to drive
THE EXAMINATION and displays a front and rear
PROCESS license plate. The vehicle’s
brake lights, horn, parking
Where To Take The Tests brake, and electric signals
You may take the written, vision, must work properly and the
and driving tests at any DMV vehicle cannot have bald tires.
office which provides driver license The driver’s side window must
services. Written and vision tests

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roll down. The windshield traffic ticket. Also, the driver will
must allow a full unobstructed be given the ticket if a passenger,
field of vision and there must younger than 16, is not wearing
be two rear view mirrors his/her seat belt.
(one on the left outside of the Always use your seat belts (includ-
vehicle). ing the shoulder harness) if your
You will be asked to locate vehicle is equipped with them and
the controls for the vehicle’s even if the vehicle is equipped with
headlights, windshield wip- air bags. If you wear only a lap belt
ers, defroster, and emergency when driving, your chances of liv-
flashers. You must demon- ing through an accident are twice
strate how to use the parking as good as someone who doesn’t
brake. You must show that wear a lap belt. If you wear a lap
your car is properly insured. and shoulder belt, your chances are
If you use a rental car for the three to four times better.
driving test, the driver’s name Pregnant women should wear the
must show on the contract as lap belt as low as possible under
the insured. You must also the abdomen and the shoulder strap
wear your seat belt. between the breasts and to the side
NOTE: The driving test will be of the abdomen’s bulge.
postponed if the vehicle does not WARNING: Using seat belts re-
meet the above requirements or duces the chance of being thrown
if you refuse to use your seat belt from your vehicle in case of an ac-
during the driving test. cident. If you don’t install and use a
For more information, refer to the shoulder harness with the seat (lap)
Fast Facts brochure—FFDL 22 belt, serious or fatal injuries may
How to Prepare for Your Driving happen in some crashes. Lap-only
Test (available online or at your belts increase the chance of spinal
local field office). column and abdominal injuries—
especially in children. Shoulder
SEAT BELTS harnesses may be available for
your vehicle, if it is not already
Seat belts, both the lap belt and
equipped with them.
shoulder harness, must be in good
working order. You may not oper- Mistaken Beliefs About Seat
ate your vehicle unless you and all Belts
your passengers 16 years of age or Safety belts can reduce injuries and
over, or who weigh 60 lbs. or more, deaths. Many studies and actual
are wearing seat belts. If seat belts crash tests have proven this. Have
are not worn, you may be given a

-8-
you heard these stories?
• “Seat belts can trap you inside a
car.” It actually takes less than
a second to take off a seat belt.
This scare tactic often describes
a car that caught fire or sank in
deep water. A seat belt may keep
you from being “knocked out.”
Your chance to escape is better
if you are conscious.
• “Seat belts are good on long
trips, but I don’t need them if
I’m driving around town.” Half
of all traffic deaths happen within ing until you hit the dashboard
25 miles of home. Don’t take or windshield. At 30 mph this is
chances with your life or the like hitting the ground from the
lives of your passengers. Buckle top of a three-story building.
up every time you drive. If you were struck from the side,
• “Some people are thrown clear the impact could push you back
in a crash and walk away with and forth across the seat. Belts
hardly a scratch.” Your chances and straps keep you in a better
of surviving an accident are five position to control the car.
times as good if you stay inside
the car. A seat belt can keep you Child Restraint System And
from being thrown into the path Safety Seats
of another car. Any child under the age of six
weighing less than 60 pounds
• “I’m only going to the store. My
little brother or sister doesn’t need must be secured in a federally ap-
a child’s car seat, anyway. It’s too proved child passenger restraint
much hassle.” Car accidents are system and ride in the back seat
the No. 1 preventable cause of of a vehicle.
death for children. Buckle them A child under the age of six weigh-
up in an approved safety seat. It’s ing less than 60 pounds may ride in
worth it, and the law requires that the front seat of a vehicle when:
you do. • There is no rear seat or the rear
The pictures illustrate what can seats are either side-facing jump
happen in an accident. Your car seats or rear-facing seats.
stops, but you keep on going at • The child passenger restraint sys-
the same speed you were travel- tem cannot be installed properly

-9-
in the rear seat. Passengers should also sit at least
• All rear seats are already occu- 10 inches away from the passenger-
pied by children under the age side air bag.
of 12 years. Side-Impact Air Bags
• A medical reason requires the Side-impact air bags can provide
child to ride in the front seat. extra safety benefits to adults in
A child may not ride in the front side-impact crashes. However,
seat of an airbag-equipped vehicle children who are seated next to
if the child: a side air bag may be at risk of
serious or fatal injury. Since there
• Is under one year of age.
are differences in the design and
• Weighs less than 20 pounds. performance of side air bags, you
• Is riding in a rear-facing child should consider the benefits and
passenger restraint system. risks associated with the use of side
air bags if you transport children.
Children ages six and older, but less
Studies have shown that children
than 16, and children under age six
who are leaning against a side air
who weigh more than 60 pounds,
bag when it inflates are at risk
must be properly secured in an ap-
of serious injury. These studies
propriate child passenger restraint
also show that children who are
system or safety belt which meets
traveling in an age and weight-
federal safety standards.
appropriate, and correctly installed
Riding Safely With Air Bags child restraint system, are not at risk
Most people can take steps to elimi- of serious injury. These children are
nate or reduce risk without turning usually not in the path of a side air
off air bags. The biggest risk is be- bag when it inflates.
ing too close to the air bag. An air
Unattended Children In
bag needs about 10 inches of space
to inflate. Ride at least 10 inches Motor Vehicles
(measured from the center of the It is illegal to leave a child six years
steering wheel to your breastbone) of age or younger unattended in a
from the air bag cover if you can do motor vehicle when:
this while maintaining full control • There are conditions that present
of the vehicle. If you cannot safely a significant risk to the child’s
sit 10 inches away from the air health or safety. Example: Leav-
bag, contact your vehicle dealer ing a child in a closed car on a
or manufacturer for advice about very hot day.
additional ways of moving back • The vehicle’s engine is running,
from your air bag. the keys are in the ignition, or
both. Children can start or move

- 10 -
the car causing injuries and/or California are caused by right-of-
deaths to themselves or others. way violations.
Exception: The child may be left Pedestrians
under the supervision of a person Pedestrian safety is a serious is-
12 years of age or older. sue. One in six traffic fatalities is a
The court may fine violators and pedestrian. Drive cautiously when
require the person to attend a pedestrians are near because they
community education program. may cross your path.
Also, the penalties for leaving A pedestrian is a person on foot
an unattended child in a vehicle or who uses a conveyance such
are more severe if the child is as roller skates, skateboards, etc.,
injured, requires emergency other than a bicycle. A pedestrian
medical services, or dies. can also be a person with a disability
on a tricycle or quadricycle or in a
LAWS AND RULES wheelchair.
OF THE ROAD • Respect the right-of-way of
pedestrians. Always stop for any
Right-Of-Way Rules pedestrian crossing at corners
General Information or other crosswalks, even if the
Right-of-way rules together with crosswalk is in the middle of
courtesy and common sense help the block, and at corners with or
to promote traffic safety. It is im- without traffic lights, whether or
portant to respect the right-of-way not the crosswalks are marked by
of others, especially pedestrians, painted lines.
motorcycle riders, and bicycle rid- • Do not pass a car from behind
ers. Never assume other drivers will that has stopped at a crosswalk.
give you the right of way. A pedestrian you can’t see may
Respecting the right-of-way of be crossing.
others is not limited to situations • Do not drive on a sidewalk,
such as yielding to pedestrians in except to cross it at a driveway
crosswalks, or watching carefully or alley. When crossing, yield to
to ensure the right-of-way of bicy- any pedestrian.
clists and motorcyclists. Motorists
• Do not stop in a crosswalk.
must respect the right-of-way of You will place pedestrians in
others by not violating traffic laws danger.
such as failing to stop at a stop sign
or traffic light, speeding, making • Remember—if a pedestrian
unsafe lane changes or illegal makes eye contact with you, he
turns. Statistics show that a high or she is ready to cross the street.
percentage of injury accidents in Yield to the pedestrian.

- 11 -
• Allow older pedestrians more Most often, crosswalks in residen-
time to cross the street. tial areas are not marked.
• Important: Blind pedestrians Some crosswalks have flashing
rely on the sound of your vehicle lights to warn you that pedestri-
to remain aware of their sur- ans may be crossing. Look for
roundings, so it is important that pedestrians and be prepared to
you stop your vehicle within 5 stop, whether or not the lights are
feet of the crosswalk. Drivers of flashing.
hybrid or electric vehicles need to Intersections
remain especially aware of this, An intersection is any place
as the lack of engine noise may where one line of traffic meets
lead a blind pedestrian to assume
another. Intersections include
that there is not a car nearby. Fol-
cross streets, side streets, alleys,
low cues: When a blind person
freeway entrances, and any other
pulls in his/her cane and steps
location where vehicles traveling
away from the intersection, this
on different highways or roads join
gesture usually means for you
each other.
to go. Additional information
regarding pedestrians who are • At intersections without STOP or
blind can be found on page 40. YIELD signs, slow down and be
ready to stop. Yield to vehicles
Crosswalks already in the intersection or just
A crosswalk is that part of the entering it. Also, yield to the car
roadway where the sidewalk lines which arrives first or to the car
would extend across the street and on your right if it reaches the
it is set aside for pedestrian traffic. intersection at the same time as
Every intersection has a pedestrian you do.
crosswalk whether or not there are
• At “T” intersections without
painted lines on the street. Most
STOP or YIELD signs, yield to
crosswalks are at corners but they
vehicles on the through road.
can also be in the middle of the
They have the right-of-way.
block. Before turning a corner,
watch for people about to cross • When you turn left, give the
the street. Pedestrians have the right-of-way to all vehicles
right of way in crosswalks, even approaching you that are close
if the crosswalk is in the middle enough to be dangerous. Also,
of the block. look for motorcyclists, bicy-
clists, and pedestrians. On
Crosswalks are often marked with
divided highways, or highways
white lines. Yellow crosswalk lines
with several lanes, watch for
may be painted at school crossings. vehicles coming in any lane you

- 12 -
must cross. Turn left only when • Slow down as you approach the
it is safe. intersection.
• When there are STOP signs at all • Yield to pedestrians and bicy-
corners, stop first, then follow clists crossing the roadway.
the above rules. • Watch for signs and pavement
• Yield to traffic before entering markings that guide you or pro-
the road again if you have parked hibit certain movements.
off the road or are leaving a park- • Enter the roundabout when there
ing lot, etc. is a big enough gap in traffic.
Safety suggestion: While wait- • Drive in a counter-clockwise
ing to turn left, keep your wheels direction. Do not stop or pass
pointed straight ahead until it is safe other vehicles.
to start your turn. If your wheels
are pointed to the left and a vehicle • Use your turn signals when you
hits you from behind, you could be change lanes or exit the round-
pushed into oncoming traffic. about .

Roundabouts • If you miss your exit, continue


around until you return to your
A roundabout is an intersection
exit.
where traffic travels around a
central island in a counter-clock- For roundabouts with multiple
wise direction. Vehicles entering lanes, choose your entry or exit
or exiting the roundabout must lane based on your destination. For
yield to vehicles, bicyclists, and example, to:
pedestrians. • Turn right at the intersection,
When you approach a round- choose the right-hand lane
about: and exit in the right-hand lane.
(Blue car)
• Go straight through the in-
tersection, choose either
lane, and exit in the lane you
entered. (Red car)
• Turn left, choose the left lane,
and exit. (Yellow car)
On Mountain Roads
When two vehicles meet on a steep
road where neither can pass, the
vehicle facing downhill must yield
Multiple and single lane roundabout the right-of-way by backing up

- 13 -
until the vehicle going uphill can in each area. All speed limits are
pass. The vehicle facing downhill based on ideal driving conditions.
has the greater amount of control Construction zones usually have
when backing. reduced speed zones.
Speed Limits Driving faster than the posted speed
limit, or than is safe for current con-
California has a “Basic Speed
ditions, on any road is dangerous
Law.” This law means you may
and illegal. High speed increases
never drive faster than is safe for
your stopping distance. The faster
current conditions. For example,
you go, the less time you have to
if you are driving 45 mph in a 55
avoid a hazard or accident. The
mph speed zone during a dense fog,
force of a 60 mph crash isn’t just
you could be cited for driving “too
twice as great as a 30 mph crash,
fast for conditions.” You may never
it’s four times as great!
legally drive faster than the posted
speed limit, even if you think it is Reduced Speeds
safe to do so. Heavy traffic or bad weather
Regardless of the posted speed You must drive slower when there
limit, your speed should depend is heavy traffic or bad weather.
on: However, if you block the normal
• The number and speed of other and reasonable movement of traf-
vehicles on the road. fic by driving too slowly, you may
• Whether the road surface is be given a ticket. If you choose
smooth, rough, graveled, wet, to drive slower than other traffic,
dry, wide, or narrow. do not drive in the “No. 1” (fast)
lane. (See page 17.) Always move
• Bicyclists or pedestrians walking to the right when another driver
on the road’s edge. is close behind you and wishes to
• Whether it is raining, foggy, drive faster.
snowing, windy, or dusty. Towing Vehicles, Buses, or
Large Trucks
Maximum Speed Limit When you tow a vehicle or trailer,
The maximum speed limit on most
or drive a bus or three- or more-
California highways is 65 mph. You
axle truck, you must drive in the
may drive 70 mph where posted.
right-hand lane or in a lane specially
Unless otherwise posted, the
marked for slower vehicles. If no
maximum speed limit is 55 mph on
lanes are marked and there are four
two-lane undivided highways and
lanes or more in your direction,
for vehicles towing trailers.
you may only drive in either of the
Other speed limit signs are posted two lanes closest to the right edge
for the type of roads and traffic of the road.
- 14 -
Around children at the top front and back of the
Within 500 feet of a school while bus), you must stop from either
children are outside or crossing the direction until the children are
street, the speed limit is 25 mph, safely across the street and the
unless otherwise posted. Also, if lights stop flashing. The law re-
the school ground has no fence quires you to remain stopped as
and children are outside, never long as the red lights are flashing
drive faster than 25 mph. Always (VC §22454). If you fail to stop,
drive more carefully near schools, you may be fined up to $1000
playgrounds, parks, and residential and your driving privilege could
areas because children may sud- be suspended for one year. If the
denly dart into the street. school bus is on the other side
of a divided or multilane (two
or more lanes in each direction)
highway, you do not need to
stop.
Blind intersections
The speed limit for a blind intersec-
tion is 15 mph. An intersection is
considered “blind” if there are no
stop signs at any corner and you
cannot see for 100 feet in either
All vehicles must stop
direction during the last 100 feet
Near schools, look for: before crossing. Trees, bushes,
• Bicyclists and pedestrians. buildings, or parked cars at inter-
sections can block your view to the
• School safety patrols or school side. If your view is blocked, edge
crossing guards and obey their forward slowly until you can see.
directions. For the crossing
guard’s safety, allow him or her Alleys
to safely get to the side of the The speed limit in any alley is 15
road before driving ahead. mph.
• Stopped school buses and chil- Near railroad tracks
dren crossing the street. Some The speed limit is 15 mph within
school buses flash yellow lights 100 feet of a railroad crossing
when preparing to stop and let where you cannot see the tracks
children off the bus. The yellow for 400 feet in both directions. You
flashing lights warn you to slow may drive faster than 15 mph if the
down and prepare to stop. When crossing is controlled by gates, a
the bus flashes red lights (located warning signal, or a flagman.

- 15 -
a train coming or you hear the
whistle, horn, or bell of an ap-
proaching train.
• Do not go around or under low-
ered crossing gates, even if you
do not see a train. Wait for the
NO gates to rise. If the gates are not
YES
working correctly, call the rail-
road emergency number posted
At railroad or train crossings: near the crossing or notify the
• Look in both directions and listen local police or California High-
for trains. Many crossings have way Patrol.
multiple tracks so be ready to Near light rail vehicle crossings
stop before crossing, if neces- The same rules apply to light rail
sary. Cross railroad tracks only vehicle crossings as to train cross-
at designated crossings and only
ings. Do not proceed across the
when it is safe to do so.
tracks until you can see clearly in
• Expect a train on any track at any both directions and are sure that
time traveling in either direction. no other light rail vehicle or train
If you need to stop after cross- is coming. Do not go around or
ing the tracks, make sure your under any closed gate.
vehicle clears the tracks before NOTE: Light rail vehicles are very
you stop.
quiet and move more quickly than
• Never stop on the railroad tracks. freight trains.
Remember that a train cannot Near streetcars, trolleys, or
stop quickly or swerve out of the buses
way. If you are on the tracks, you The passing speed limit, when safe
risk injury or death. to pass, is no more than 10 mph.
• Watch for vehicles that must This speed limit applies at a safety
stop before crossing train tracks. zone or an intersection where a
These vehicles include buses, streetcar, trolley, or bus is stopped
school buses, and trucks trans- and traffic is controlled by a police
porting hazardous loads. officer or traffic signal. A safety
• Remember that flashing red zone is marked by raised buttons or
lights mean STOP! Stop at least markers on the road and is set aside
15 feet from the nearest track for pedestrians. You will most often
when the crossing devices are see safety zones in areas where
active or a person warns you a street cars or trolleys and vehicles
train is coming. Stop if you see share the roadway.

- 16 -
Business or residence districts • Instructed to drive on the other
The speed limit is 25 mph, unless side of the road because your
otherwise posted. side is closed or blocked.
Near Animals Two sets of solid double yellow
If you see animals or livestock, lines spaced two or more feet
slow down and obey the person in apart are considered a barrier. Do
charge of the animals. If you see not drive on or over this barrier or
a stray animal in your path, slow make a left turn or a U-turn across
down or stop, if safe to do so. it except at designated openings.
(See “B” below.)
Examples of lane markings

(1) Solid yellow line: No passing if Solid white lines mark traffic lanes
solid yellow line is on your side.
(2) Double solid lines: DO NOT pass.
going in the same direction, such
(3) Broken yellow line: May pass if as one-way streets.
movement can be made safely.
Broken white lines separate traffic
lanes on roads with two or more
TRAFFIC LANES lanes in the same direction.

Line Colors Choosing A Lane


Solid yellow lines mark the cen- Traffic lanes are often referred to
ter of a road used for two-way by number. The left or “fast” lane
traffic. is called the “No. 1 Lane.” The
Broken yellow lines mean you lanes to the right of the No. 1 lane
may pass if the broken line is next are called the No. 2 lane, then the
to your driving lane. No. 3 lane. etc.
Two solid yellow lines mean no Example of numbered traffic lanes

passing. Never drive to the left of


these lines unless you are:
• Turning left at an intersection.
• Turning into or out of a private
road or driveway.
• In a carpool lane that has a des-
ignated entrance on the left.

- 17 -
Drive in the lane with the smoothest • Be sure there is enough room for
flow of traffic. If you can choose your vehicle in the next lane.
among three lanes, pick the middle
lane for the smoothest driving. To Bicycle Lanes
drive faster, pass, or turn left, use A bicycle lane is shown by a solid
the left lane. When you choose to white line along either side of the
drive slowly or enter or turn off the street, four or more feet from the
road, use the right lane. curb. The white line will usually
be broken near the corner and the
If there are only two lanes in your
words “BIKE LANE” will be
direction, pick the right lane for the
painted in the lane. When you are
smoothest driving.
making a right turn and are within
Don’t weave in and out of traffic. 200 feet of the corner or other
Stay in one lane as much as pos- driveway entrance, you must enter
sible. Once you start through an the bike lane for the turn. Do not
intersection, keep going. If you start drive in the bike lane at any other
to make a turn, follow through. Last time.
second changes may cause acci-
You may park in a bike lane unless
dents. If you missed a turn, continue
a “No Parking” sign is posted.
to the next intersection and work
your way back to where you want Pedestrians are not allowed in bike
to go. lanes when sidewalks are avail-
able. Drivers of motorized bicycles
Changing Lanes should use bike lanes carefully to
Changing lanes includes: avoid accidents with bicyclists.
• Moving from one lane to an-
other.
Passing Lanes
Before you pass, look ahead for
• Entering the freeway from an road conditions and traffic that
on-ramp. may cause other vehicles to move
• Entering the road from a curb or into your lane.
the shoulder. Never drive off the paved or main-
Before changing lanes, signal, look traveled portion of the road or on
in all your mirrors, and: the shoulder to pass. The edge of
• Check traffic behind and beside the main-traveled portion of the
you. road has a painted white line on
the road’s surface. Passing other
• Glance over your left or right vehicles at crossroads, railroad
shoulder to make sure the lane crossings, and shopping center
you want is clear. entrances is dangerous.
• Look for vehicles or motorcy-
clists in your blind spot.

- 18 -
Pass traffic on the left. You may
pass on the right only when:
• An open highway is clearly
marked for two or more lanes
of travel in your direction.
• The driver ahead of you is turning
left and you do not drive off the
roadway. Never pass on the left Signs at the onramp or along the
if the driver is signaling a left freeway tell you the minimum
turn. number of people required for the
Be patient when passing a bicyclist, carpool and the hours the carpool
pass on the left. Slow down and requirement applies. The pave-
pass only when it is safe. Do not ment in this lane is marked with a
squeeze the bicyclist off the road if diamond symbol ( ) and the words
space permits, allow a safe clear- “Carpool Lane.” These lanes are
ance when passing a bicyclist. also known as high-occupancy
vehicle (HOV) lanes. Do not cross
Right Wrong over double parallel solid lines to
enter or exit any carpool lane except
at designated entry or exit places.
Vehicles towing trailers are typi-
cally not allowed to use carpool
lanes because they must drive more
slowly and are usually restricted to
the right-hand lane.
Center Left Turn Lanes
A center left turn lane is in the
Carpool/HOV Lanes middle of a two-way street and
is marked on both sides by two
A carpool lane is a special freeway
painted lines. The inner line is
lane only for motorcycles, buses,
broken and the outer line is solid.
and/or carpools. You may use a
carpool lane or onramp if your ve-
hicle carries the minimum number
of people required for the carpool
lane or you drive a low-emission
vehicle displaying a special DMV-
LANE
BIKE

LANE
BIKE

issued decal. Motorcycle riders


may use designated carpool lanes,
unless otherwise posted.

- 19 -
If a street has a center left turn End-of-Lane Markings
lane, you must use it when you Freeway lanes (as well as some city
turn left (VC §21460.5[c]) or start street lanes) which are ending, will
a permitted U-turn. You may only usually be marked by large broken
drive for 200 feet in the center left lines painted on the pavement. If
turn lane. This lane is not a regular you are driving in a lane marked
traffic lane or a passing lane. To with these broken lines, be prepared
turn left from this lane, signal and to exit the freeway or for the lane
drive completely inside the center to end. Look for a sign that tells
left turn lane. Do not stop with the you to exit or merge, etc.
back of your vehicle blocking traf-
fic. Make sure the lane is clear in
both directions and then turn only
when it is safe. Look for vehicles
coming toward you in the same
lane to start their left turn.
When turning left from a side street
or driveway, signal and wait until it
is safe. Then you may drive into the
center left turn lane. Enter traffic TURNS
only when it is safe. Left turns. To make a left turn,
drive close to the center divider
You may drive across a center left
line or into the left turn lane. Begin
turn lane.
signaling about 100 feet before the
Turnout Areas and Lanes turn. Look over your left shoulder
Special “turnout” and reduce your speed. Stop behind
areas are sometimes the limit line. Look left, then right,
marked on two-lane then left again and make the turn
roads. Drive into these when it is safe. When you turn left,
areas to allow cars Example of a left turn
behind you to pass.
ER
RN

O
Some two-lane roads have passing TC
CU
OT
DO N
lanes. If you are driving slowly on
a two-lane highway or road where
passing is unsafe, and five or more
Example of a right turn
vehicles are following you, drive
DO NOT
into the turnout areas or lanes to T
UR
N WIDE

let the vehicles pass.

- 20 -
do not turn too soon and “cut the No turn against a red arrow. You
corner” of the lane belonging to the may not turn right or left against a
vehicles coming towards you. red arrow.
Safety suggestion: While wait- Examples of Right and Left
ing to turn left, keep your wheels
pointed straight ahead until it is safe
Turns
to start your turn. If your wheels The numbers on the cars refer to the
are pointed to the left and a vehicle numbered sentences on these pages.
hits you from behind, you could be Always use your turn signals.
pushed into oncoming traffic. 1. Left turn from a two-way street.
Left turn against a red light on Start the turn in the left lane clos-
est to the middle of the street.
a one-way street only. Signal and
Complete the turn in either lane
stop for a red traffic light at the limit
of the cross street (shown by
line or corner. You may turn left
arrows), if safe. Use the center
into a left-moving one-way street
left turn lane if there is one. A
if there is no sign to prohibit the
left turn may be made from the
turn. Yield to pedestrians, bicyclists
other lane, if permitted by signs
or other vehicles moving on their
or arrows.
green light.
Right turns. To make a right turn,
drive close to the right edge of the 1
road. If there is a bike lane, drive
into the bike lane no more than
200 feet before the turn. Watch
for bicyclists or motorcyclists who 1
*2
may get between your vehicle and
the curb. Begin signaling about
100 feet before the turn. Look over
2. Right turn. Begin and end
your right shoulder and reduce your the turn in the lane nearest
speed. Stop behind the limit line. the right-hand curb. Do not
Look both ways and turn when it is swing wide into another lane
safe. Do not turn wide. Complete of traffic. Watch for bicyclists
your turn in the right lane. between your vehicle and the
Right turn against a red light. curb. Sometimes, signs or pave-
Signal and stop for a red traffic light ment markings will let you turn
at the limit line or at the corner. If right from another lane (shown
there is no sign to prohibit the turn, by *).
you may turn right. Yield to pedes-
trians, bicyclists or other vehicles
moving on their green light.

- 21 -
3. Left turn from a two-way street 6. Right turn from a one-way street
into a one-way street. Start the into a one-way street. Start the
turn from the lane closest to the turn in the far right lane. If safe,
middle of the street. Turn into you may end the turn in any
any lane that is safely open, as lane. Sometimes, signs or pave-
shown by the arrows. ment markings will let you turn
right from another lane (shown
by *).
7. Turn at a “T” intersection from
a one-way street into a two-way
street. Through traffic has the
right of way. You may turn either
right or left from the center lane.
Watch for vehicles and bicyclists
inside your turn.
4. Left turn from a one-way street
into a two-way street. Start the
turn from the far left lane. Turn
into either of the lanes that is
safely open, as shown by the
arrows. 7

5. Left turn from a one-way street


into a one-way street. Start the
turn from the far left lane. Watch
for bicyclists between your ve-
hicle and the curb because they Legal U-Turns
can legally use the left turn lane A U-turn is turning around in the
for their left turns. Turn into any street to go back the way you came.
lane that is safely open, as shown To make a U-turn, signal and use the
by the arrows. far left lane or the center left turn
lane. You may make a U-turn:
• Across a double yellow line when
one

it is safe and legal.


wa
y

• In a residential district:
5
- if no vehicle approaching you
is closer than 200 feet.
6
- whenever a traffic sign or
* signal protects you from ap-
proaching vehicles.

- 22 -
• At an intersection on a green SAFE DRIVING
light or green arrow unless a “No
PRACTICES
U-turn” sign is posted.
• On a divided highway only if an Scanning
opening is provided in the center Scanning your surroundings (keep-
divider. ing your eyes moving) includes
keeping a safe distance around
Illegal U-Turns your vehicle. When another driver
Never make a U-turn: makes a mistake, you need time to
• On a divided highway by cross- react. Give yourself this time by
ing a dividing section, curb, strip keeping a “space cushion” on all
of land, or two sets of double sides of your vehicle. This space
yellow lines. cushion will give you room to brake
or maneuver if you need it.
• Where you cannot clearly see 200
feet in each direction because of Know What Is Ahead
a curve, hill, rain, fog, or other To avoid last minute moves, look
reason. down the road 10 to 15 seconds
ahead of your vehicle so you can see
• Where a “No U-Turn” sign is
hazards early. Constantly staring at
posted.
• When other vehicles may hit Where is the green vehicle headed?

you.
• On a one-way street.
• In front of a fire station. Never
use a fire station driveway to turn
around.
• In business districts. Areas with
churches, apartments, multiple
dwelling houses, clubs, and
public buildings (except schools)
are also considered to be busi-
ness districts. Turn only at an
intersection or where openings the road just in front of your car is
are provided for turns.
dangerous. As you scan ahead, be
alert for vehicles around you. Use
your mirrors. Allow enough space
between you and the vehicle ahead
to give yourself an “out.” Mistakes
cause accidents. In the city, 10 to

- 23 -
15 seconds is about one block. On pect merging vehicles at onramps
the highway, 10 to 15 seconds is and interchanges. Be prepared for
about a quarter of a mile. rapid changes in road conditions
Take in the whole scene. If you and traffic flow. Know which lanes
only look at the middle of the road, are clear so you can use them if
you will miss what is happening on you need to.
the side of the road and behind you. Don’t be a tailgater! Many driv-
Scanning helps you to see: ers don’t see as far ahead as they
• Cars and people that may be in should because they follow too
the road by the time you reach closely (tailgate), and the vehicle
them. ahead blocks their view.
• Signs warning of problems The more space you allow between
ahead. your car and the car ahead, the more
time you will have to see a hazard
• Signs giving you directions. and the more time you will have to
Turn your head before changing stop or avoid that hazard.
lanes, because your mirrors have Most rear end accidents are caused
blind spots. These blind spots can by tailgating. To avoid tailgating,
hide a motorcyclist or a bicyclist. use the “three-second rule.” When
Watch for things about to happen, the vehicle ahead of you passes a
like a ball rolling into the street or certain point such as a sign, count
a car door opening. “one-thousand-one, one-thousand-
two, one-thousand-three.” This
takes about three seconds. If you
pass the same point before you
finish counting, you are following
too closely.
You should allow a four-second or
The shaded areas are your blind spots. more cushion when:
• Being crowded by a tailgater.
Watch for hazards. Look beyond
Allow extra room ahead. Then, if
the car ahead of you. Don’t develop
you need to, you can slow down
a “fixed stare.” Keep scanning.
gradually and avoid braking
Check your rear view mirrors every
suddenly—and being hit from
two to five seconds so you know the
behind by the tailgater!
position of vehicles near you.
• Driving on slippery roads.
On the freeway, be ready for
changes in traffic conditions. Watch • Following motorcyclists on wet
for signals from other drivers. Ex- or icy roads, on metal surfaces

- 24 -
(i.e., bridge gratings, railroad At intersections:­
tracks, etc.), and on gravel. Mo- • Look both ways even if other
torcyclists can fall more often on traffic has a red light or a stop
these surfaces. sign:
• The driver behind you wants to - look to the left first, since cars
pass. Allow room in front of your coming from the left are closer
car so the driver will have space to you.
to move into.
- look to the right.
• Towing a trailer or carrying a
heavy load. The extra weight - take one more look to the left
makes it harder to stop. in case there is someone you
didn’t see the first time.
• Following large vehicles that
block your view ahead. The extra • Don’t rely on traffic signals.
space allows you to see around Some drivers do not obey traffic
the vehicle. signals so before you enter an
intersection, look left, right, and
• You see a bus, school bus, or ahead for approaching traffic.
a placarded vehicle at railroad
crossings. These vehicles must To maintain a space cushion on
stop at railroad crossings so slow each side of your vehicle:
down early and allow plenty of • Don’t stay in another driver’s
room. blind spot. The other driver may
not see your car and could change
• Merging on a freeway.
lanes and hit you.
If you follow too closely and an-
• Avoid driving alongside other
other driver “cuts” in front of you,
vehicles on multilane streets
just take your foot off the gas. This
with or without traffic in the op-
gives you space between your car
posite direction. Another driver
and the other driver without having
may crowd your lane or change
to slam on your brakes or swerve
lanes without looking and crash
into another lane. into you. Drive either ahead of
Know What Is At Your Side or behind the other vehicle.
Any time you come to a place where • If possible, make room for ve-
people may cross or enter your path hicles entering freeways even
or one line of traffic meets another, though you have the right-of-
you should look to the left and right way.
sides of your vehicle to make sure
no one is coming. Always look to • At freeway exits, don’t drive
each side at intersections, cross- alongside other cars. A driver
walks, and railroad crossings. may decide to exit suddenly or
swerve back on.

- 25 -
• Keep a space between yourself your vehicle and in full view
and parked cars. Someone may before moving your car.
step out from between them. A - turn and look over your right
car door may open or a car may shoulder while backing. As a
pull out suddenly. safety measure, also look over
• Be careful when riding near bi- your left shoulder before you
cyclists. Always leave plenty of begin backing.
room between your vehicle and - do not depend only on your
any bicyclist. mirrors or only looking out a
Know What Is Behind You side window.
It is very important to check behind - back slowly to avoid acci-
you before: dents.
• Changing lanes. Be sure you are Check traffic behind you often to
not getting in the way of vehicles know if you are being tailgated
in the lane you want to enter. (another driver is following too
• Slowing down quickly. Take a closely). If you are being tailgated,
quick glance in your mirrors. be careful! Brake slowly before
Also check your mirrors when stopping. Tap your brake lightly a
you are preparing to turn into a few times to warn the tailgater you
side road or driveway, and when are slowing down.
you are stopping to pull into a “Lose” the tailgater as soon as you
parking space. can by changing lanes or slowing
• Driving down a long or steep down enough to encourage the tail-
hill. On long, steep downgrades, gater to go around you. If this does
watch for large vehicles. They not work, pull off the road when it
can gather speed very quickly. is safe and let the tailgater pass.
• Backing up. Backing up is al- Clean Windows And Mirrors
ways dangerous because it is Keep your windshield and side
hard to see behind your vehicle. windows clean inside and out.
When you back up or back out Bright sun or headlights on a dirty
of a parking space: window make it hard to see out.
- check in front and behind the Clear ice, frost, or dew from all
car before you get in. windows before you drive.
- if children are nearby, make Make sure you can see and be seen.
sure you can see them before If you drive in rain or snow, you
backing up. may have to stop sometimes to wipe
mud or snow off your windshield,
- know where your kids are.
headlights, and taillights.
Make sure they are away from

- 26 -
Adjust Seat And Mirrors Never drive with just your park-
Adjust your seat before you put on ing or fog lights.
your seat belt. You should sit high Increase your following distance
enough to see the road. If you still and be prepared to stop within the
can’t see, use a seat cushion. space you can see ahead. Avoid
Adjust your rear and side mirrors crossing or passing lanes of traffic
before you start driving. If your unless absolutely necessary. Listen
vehicle has a day/night mirror, learn for traffic you cannot see. Use your
how to use it. The night setting wipers and defroster as necessary
reduces the headlight glare from for best vision.
the cars behind you and helps you If the fog becomes so thick that you
see better. can barely see, pull completely off
How Well Can You Stop? the road. Do not continue driving
If something is in your path, you until you can see better. Turn off
need to see it in time to stop, as- your lights or someone may see
suming you have good tires, good your taillights and drive into you.
brakes, and dry pavement: Driving In Darkness
• At 55 mph, it takes about 400 Drive more slowly at night because
feet to react and bring the car to you cannot see as far ahead and
a complete stop. you have less time to stop for a
• At 35 mph, it takes about 210 hazard. Make sure you can stop
feet to react and bring the car to within the distance lighted by your
a complete stop. ­headlights.
Adjust your driving speed to the Use your low beam headlights at
weather and road conditions (basic night when it rains. Don’t drive
speed law). (See page 14.) Turn on with only your parking lights
your lights during the day if it is on.
hard to see or you can’t see at least Use your high beams whenever
1000 feet ahead. possible as long as it is not illegal
(i.e., in open country or on dark city
Driving In The Fog streets). Do not blind other drivers
The best advice for driving in the with your high beam headlights.
fog is DON’T. You should consider Dim your lights when necessary.
postponing your trip until the fog If another driver does not dim his/
clears. However, if you must drive, her lights:
then drive slowly and use your low
beam headlights. The light from • Don’t look directly into oncom-
high beams will reflect back and ing headlights.
cause glare. • Look toward the right edge of
your lane.

- 27 -
• Watch the oncoming car out of mph. You may have to stop from
the corner of your eye. time to time to wipe mud or snow
• Do not try to “get back” at the off your windshield, headlights,
other driver by keeping your and taillights.
bright lights on. If you do, both If you drive in snowy areas, carry
of you may be blinded. the correct number of chains and be
sure they will fit your drive wheels.
When you drive at night,
Learn how to put the chains on
remember:
before you need to use them.
• Motorcycles are harder to see at
night because most have only one Driving In Hill Country
taillight. You never know what is on the
• More highway construction other side of a steep hill or a sharp
takes place at night. Reduce your curve. When you come to a hill or
speed in highway construction curve, slow down so you can stop
zones. for any hazard. You must be going
slowly enough to stop.
• When you leave a brightly lit
place, drive slowly until your Any time your view is blocked by a
eyes adjust to the darkness. hill or a curve, you should assume
there is another vehicle ahead. Only
• Drive as far to the right as pos- pass if a hill or curve is at least
sible when a vehicle with one one-third of a mile away because
light drives towards you. It could you need at least that much room
be a bicyclist or motorcyclist, but to pass safely.
it could also be a vehicle with a
missing headlight. Do not drive on the left side of the
road when coming to a curve or
Driving In Rain or Snow top of a hill because you can’t see
Many road pavements are the most far enough ahead to know if it is
slippery when it first starts to rain or safe to pass.
snow because oil and dust have not
HORN, HEADLIGHTS, and
yet been washed away. Slow down
at the first sign of rain, drizzle, or EMERGENCY SIGNALS
snow on the road. Turn on your Use Your Horn
windshield wipers, headlights, and • When necessary to avoid ac-
defroster. cidents.
In a heavy rainstorm or snowstorm, • To try to get “eye contact” with
you may not be able to see more other drivers. Tap your horn to
than 100 feet ahead. When you alert another driver who might
can’t see any farther than that, you turn in front of you.
cannot safely drive faster than 30

- 28 -
• On narrow mountain roads, Use Your Emergency Signals
where you cannot see at least If you can see an accident ahead,
200 feet ahead. warn the drivers behind you by
Don’t Use Your Horn turning on your emergency flashers
• If a driver is going slowly, and or tapping your brake pedal quickly
you want him or her to drive three or four times. You can also
faster. The driver may be ill, use the hand signal when slowing
lost, or having problems with and stopping.
the vehicle. Never stop on the road, unless
• If slowing or stopping your car necessary for safety or to obey a
will prevent an accident. It’s safer law. If you need to stop, then start
to use the brakes than honk the braking early as a signal to the cars
horn. behind you. If your car breaks down
on the road, make sure that other
• To show other drivers that they drivers can see it. If you are hav-
made a mistake. Your honking ing car trouble, and need to stop,
may cause them to make more follow these rules:
mistakes.
• Pull off the road away from all
• Because you are angry or up- traffic, if possible.
set.
• If you cannot get completely off
Use Your Headlights the road, stop where people can
• When it is cloudy, raining, see you and your car from behind.
snowing, or foggy. If weather Don’t stop just over a hill or just
conditions require you to use around a curve.
your windshield wipers, you
• Turn on your emergency flashers
must turn on your headlights.
if you are not moving. If your
• On frosty mornings when other car doesn’t have flashers, turn
drivers’ windows may be icy or signals may be used instead.
“fogged.”
• If it is safe, lift the hood to signal
• Any time you have trouble seeing an emergency.
other cars. Other drivers will be
• Give other drivers plenty of
having trouble seeing you, too.
warning. Place emergency flares
• On small country or mountain or triangles 200 to 300 feet be-
roads, even on sunny days. This hind the car. This allows other
helps other drivers see you and drivers time to change lanes, if
may help you avoid a head-on necessary. Be very careful when
crash. using flares. They may cause
• When necessary to get another fires, especially when used near
driver’s attention. flammable liquids.

- 29 -
• If you don’t have emergency Problem Drivers
flares, follow the rules listed Increase your following distance
above and stay in your vehicle and allow a bigger space cushion
until help arrives. Be careful for drivers who may be potentially
for your safety and stay off the dangerous. Persons who present
road. Remember, don’t even try dangers are:
to change a tire if it means you • Drivers who cannot see you
have to stand in a traffic lane. because their view is blocked by
Following Distances buildings, trees, or other cars.
Taking Dangers One At A Time • Drivers backing out of driveways
Suppose there is an oncoming car or parking spaces with windows
to your left and a child on a bicycle covered by snow or ice.
to your right. Instead of driving • Drivers who pass you when
between the car and the child, take there is a curve or oncoming car
one danger at a time. First, slow ahead.
down and let the car pass. Then, • Drivers about to be forced into
move to the left to allow plenty of your lane by a vehicle, a pedes-
room before you pass the child. trian, a bicyclist, an obstruction,
Splitting The Difference or fewer lanes ahead.
Sometimes there will be dangers • Pedestrians with umbrellas in
on both sides of the road at the front of their faces or hats pulled
same time. For example, there down over their eyes.
will be parked cars to the right and
oncoming cars to the left. In this • Distracted people such as:
case, the best thing to do is “split the - delivery persons.
difference.” Steer a middle course - construction workers.
between the oncoming cars and the
- children, who often run into
parked cars.
the street without looking.
If one danger is greater than the
other, give the most room to the - drivers talking on cellular
worst danger. Suppose there are telephones or to their pas-
oncoming cars to the left of you sengers.
and a child on a bike to the right. - drivers taking care of chil-
The child is most likely to make a dren, or looking at maps
sudden move. Therefore, give him while driving.
or her the most room by moving • Confused people such as:
closer to the oncoming cars.
- tourists, often at complicated
intersections.

- 30 -
- drivers who are looking • If you need to cross several free-
for a house number or who way lanes, cross them one at a
slow down for no apparent time. If you wait until all lanes
reason. are clear, you may cause traffic
delays or an accident.
Merging In/Out Of Traffic
Whenever you enter traffic, signal Space To Cross Or Enter
and be sure you have enough room Whenever you cross or enter city
to enter safely. You have to share or highway traffic from a full stop,
space with traffic already on the you will need a large enough gap
road and you must know how much (from cars approaching in either
space you need to merge with traf- direction) to get up to the speed
fic, to cross or enter traffic, and to of other vehicles. You need a gap
exit out of traffic. that is about:
Space To Merge • Half a block on city streets.
Enter the freeway at or near the • A full block on the highway.
speed of traffic. (Remember that If you are crossing lanes or turn-
the maximum speed allowed is ing, make sure there are no cars
65 mph on most freeways.) Do or people blocking the path ahead
not stop before merging with or to the sides. You don’t want to
freeway traffic unless absolutely be caught in an intersection with
necessary. Freeway traffic has the traffic coming at you.
right of way.
Even if you have the green light,
Any time you merge, you need a gap do not start across if there are cars
of at least four seconds. However, blocking your way.
this gives both you and the other
Don’t start a turn just because an
vehicle only a two-second follow-
approaching vehicle has its turn
ing distance.
signal on. The driver may plan to
• Don’t try to squeeze into a gap turn just beyond you. The signal
that is too small. Leave yourself may have been left on from an
a big enough space cushion. earlier turn. This is particularly
• Watch for vehicles around you. true of motorcycles. Their signal
Use your mirrors and turn sig- lights don’t always turn off by
nals. Turn your head to look themselves. Wait until the other
quickly to the side before chang- driver actually starts to turn before
ing lanes. Leave three seconds you continue.
of space between you and the Space To Exit
vehicle ahead. Make sure you When you plan to exit the freeway,
can stop safely if you must. give yourself plenty of time. You

- 31 -
should know the freeway exit you safely. It is hard to judge the speed
want as well as the one that comes of oncoming vehicles one-third of
before it. To exit safely: a mile away.
• Change lanes one at a time until You must judge whether or not
you are in the proper lane to exit you have enough room to pass
the freeway. whenever you approach:
• Signal your intention to exit, • An oncoming car.
approximately five s­ econds. • A hill or a curve.
• Be sure you are at the proper • An intersection.
speed for leaving the traffic
lane—not too fast (so you won’t • A road obstruction.
lose control) and not too slow (so Vehicles don’t seem to be coming
the flow of traffic can still move as fast as they really are. A vehicle
freely). that is far enough away generally
appears to be standing still. In fact,
Passing Other Traffic if you can really see it moving
Space To Pass closer to you, it is probably too
Always signal before passing. close for you to start to pass.
Don’t pull out to pass unless you Space To Return
know you have enough space to
Before you return to your driving
return.
lane, be sure you aren’t danger-
Avoid passing other vehicles, in- ously close to the car you have
cluding motorcycles and bicycles, just passed. One way to do this is
on two-lane roads. It is dangerous. to look for the car in your inside
Every time you pass, you increase rear view mirror. When you can see
your chances of having an accident. both headlights in your rear view
Be patient when passing a bicyclist. mirror, you have enough room to
Slow down and pass only when it is return to your driving lane. Don’t
safe. Do not squeeze the bicyclist count on having enough time to
off the road. pass several cars at once. Also,
At highway speeds of 50 to 55 don’t count on other drivers making
mph, you need a 10 to 12 second room for you.
gap in oncoming traffic to pass
safely. At 55 mph, you will travel SIGNALING
over 800 feet in 10 to 12 seconds.
Always signal to other drivers
So will an oncoming vehicle. That
when you plan to turn left, right,
means you need over 1600 feet (or
slow down, or stop. Signals may be
about one-third of a mile) to pass
given by hand-and-arm positions or

- 32 -
by using the vehicle’s signal lights. Remember to cancel your signal
If bright sunlight makes the signal after turning if it doesn’t turn off
lights hard to see, use hand-and-arm by itself.
signals also.
Motorcyclists often use hand
signals to make themselves more
visible. Bicyclists may give right
turn signals with their right arm LEFT TURN RIGHT TURN
held straight out, pointing right.
Always signal:
• Your left or right turn during the
last 100 feet before reaching the
turning point. Caution­—Even
though you signal, do not auto- SLOW or STOP
matically assume that the space
you wish to occupy is clear.
• Before every lane change. Also,
look over your shoulder and SHARING THE ROAD
check your blind spot before WITH OTHER VEHICLES
changing lanes.
LARGE TRUCKS and RVs
• At least five seconds before To reduce the chance of having an
you change lanes at freeway accident with a large truck or RV,
speeds. you must be familiar with a big
• To let other drivers know your rig’s physical capabilities and how
plans. they maneuver.
• Before pulling next to or away Braking
from the curb. Large trucks take longer to stop
• When you change directions. than a car traveling at the same
speed. The average passenger
• Even when you don’t see other vehicle traveling at 55 mph can
vehicles around. A vehicle you
don’t see might hit you.
If you plan to turn beyond an
intersection, start signaling when
you are in the intersection. If you
signal too early, the other driver
may think you plan to turn into the
intersection and he/she may pull
out in front of you. Shaded areas are the driver’s blind spots.

- 33 -
stop in about 400 feet. However, Maneuverability
a large truck traveling at the same Trucks are designed to transport
speed can take almost 800 feet to products and they are not as ma-
stop. Don’t move in front of a large neuverable as passenger vehicles.
truck and suddenly slow down or Large trucks have longer stopping
stop. The trucker will not be able and starting distances. They take
to stop quickly enough to avoid more space for turns and they weigh
crashing into you. more. On multilane highways and
Turning freeways, large trucks usually stay
When any vehicle makes a turn, the in the center portion of the lane to
rear wheels follow a shorter path help the flow of traffic. This also
than the front wheels. The longer increases the trucker’s options in
the vehicle, the greater the differ- case he or she must change lanes
ence. This is why big rig drivers to avoid a hazard.
must often swing wide to complete Avoid these mistakes when driving
a right turn. When you follow a big around large trucks.
rig, look at its turn signals before • Cutting off a truck in traffic
you start to pass. If you think the or on the highway to reach an
truck is turning left—wait a second exit or turn. Cutting into the
and check the turn signals again. open space in front of a truck is
The driver may actually be turn- dangerous. Trying to beat a truck
ing right. through a single-lane construc-
Trucker’s Blind Spots—The “No tion zone, for example, removes
Zone” the truck driver’s cushion of
Passenger vehicle drivers incor- safety and places you in danger.
rectly assume that a trucker can see Slow down and take your turn
the road better because he or she is entering the construction zone.
higher off the road. While truckers Don’t speed up to pass a truck so
do have a better forward view and you can exit the roadway. Take a
bigger mirrors, they still have seri- moment to slow down and exit
ous blind spots and your vehicle can behind a truck—it will only take
get lost in those blind spots. You you a few extra seconds.
block the trucker’s ability to take • Don’t linger alongside a truck
evasive action to avoid a dangerous when passing. Always pass a
situation if you stay in those blind large truck on the left side and
spots. Generally speaking, if you after you pass the truck, move
can’t see the truck driver in his or ahead of it. Don’t linger, because
her side mirror, he or she can’t see if you do you make it very dif-
you. These blind spots are often ficult, if not impossible, for the
called the “NO ZONE.” trucker to take evasive action if

- 34 -
an obstacle appears in the road tractor-trailer often appears to
ahead. be traveling at a slower speed
• Following too closely or tail- because of its large size. Many
gating. When you follow so passenger vehicle vs. large truck
closely behind a truck that you accidents take place at intersec-
cannot see the truck driver’s side tions because the passenger
view mirrors, the trucker has no vehicle driver did not realize
way of knowing you are there. how close the truck was or how
Tailgating a truck, or any ve- quickly it was traveling.
hicle, is dangerous because you Buses, Streetcars, and
take away your own cushion of
safety. Where will you go when
Trolleys
the vehicle in front of you stops Do not drive through a safety zone,
quickly? which is a space set aside for pedes-
trians and marked by raised buttons
Safety Zones are marked by dotted white lines or markers on a roadway.
When people are boarding or leav-
ing a streetcar or trolley where there
is no safety zone, stop behind the
vehicle’s nearest door or vehicle
platform and wait until the people
have reached a safe place.
When a bus, streetcar, or trolley is
stopped at a safety zone or at an
intersection where traffic is con-
Do not turn in front of light rail vehicles trolled by a police officer or traffic
signal, you may pass, as long as
it is safe to do so, and at no more
than 10 mph.
YES
Do not overtake and pass any light
NO
rail vehicle or streetcar on the left
side, whether it is moving or stand-
ing. Exceptions:
• When you are on a one-way
street.
• When the tracks are so close to
• Never underestimate the size the right side that you cannot
and speed of an approach- pass on the right.
ing tractor-trailer. A large • When a traffic officer directs you
to pass on the left.
- 35 -
Light Rail Vehicles ambulance, or other emergency
Light rail vehicles have the same vehicle using a siren and red lights.
rights and responsibilities on pub- Drive as close to the right edge
lic roadways as other ­vehicles. of the road as possible and stop
Although everyone must follow until the emergency vehicle(s) has
the same ­traffic laws, light rail ve- passed. However, never stop in
hicles, because of their size, require an intersection. If you are in an
exceptional h­ andling ability. intersection when you see an emer-
Safely share the road with light rail gency vehicle, continue through the
vehicles by: intersection and then drive to the
right as soon as you can and stop.
• Being aware of where light rail
Emergency vehicles often use the
vehicles operate. Buildings,
wrong side of the street to continue
trees, etc., cause blind spots for
on their way. They sometimes use
the trolley operator.
a loud speaker to talk to drivers
• Never turning in front of an ap- blocking their path.
proaching light rail vehicle.
You must obey any traffic direc-
• Maintaining a safe distance from tion, order, or signal by a traffic or
the light rail vehicle if it shares police officer or a fire fighter even
a street with vehicular traffic. if it conflicts with existing signs,
• Looking for approaching light signals, or laws.
rail vehicles before you turn It is against the law to follow within
across the tracks. Complete your 300 feet of any emergency vehicle
turn only if a signal (if installed) which is answering an emergency
indicates you may proceed. call.
NOTE: Light rail vehicles can If you drive for sight-seeing
interrupt traffic signals, so do not purposes to the scene of a fire,
proceed until the signal light indi- accident, or other disaster you
cates you may. may be arrested. Casual observers
interfere with the essential services
Emergency Vehicles of police, fire fighter, ambulance
You must yield the right of way crews, or other rescue or emergency
to any police car, fire engine, personnel.
Yield to emergency vehicles.
Slow Moving Vehicles
Some vehicles are not designed to
keep up with the speed of traffic.
Look for these vehicles and ad-
just your speed before you reach
them.

- 36 -
because motorcycles are hard to
see (many motorcycles keep their
headlight on, even during daylight
hours) and they require exceptional
handling ability.
Follow these rules to respect the
A Slow Moving Vehicle right-of-way and safely share the
Farm tractors, animal-drawn carts, road with motorcyclists:
and road maintenance vehicles • When you change lanes or enter
usually travel 25 mph or less. a major thoroughfare, make a vi-
Slow-moving vehicles have an or- sual check for motorcycles. Also
ange triangle on the back. It looks use your mirrors. Motorcycles
like the sign in the picture. are small and they can easily
Also, be aware that large trucks disappear into a vehicle’s blind
and small, underpowered cars lose spots.
speed on long or steep hills and they • Allow a four-second following
take longer to get up to speed when distance. You will need this space
entering traffic. to avoid hitting the motorcyclist
Certain other types of slow-moving if he or she falls.
motorized vehicles (such as wheel- • Allow the motorcycle a full lane
chairs, scooters and golf carts) may width. Although it is not illegal
legally operate on public roads. to share lanes with motorcycles,
Adjust your speed accordingly. it is unsafe.
Animal-Drawn Vehicles • When you make a turn, check
Horse-drawn vehicles and riders of for motorcyclists and know their
horses or other animals are entitled speed before turning.
to share the road with you. It is a • Remember that road conditions
traffic offense to scare horses or which are minor annoyances
stampede livestock. Slow down to you pose major hazards to
or stop, if necessary, or when motorcyclists. Potholes, gravel,
requested to do so by the riders wet or slippery surfaces, pave-
or herders. ment seams, railroad crossings,
and grooved pavement can
Motorcycles cause motorcyclists to change
Motorcyclists have the same rights speed or direction suddenly. If
and responsibilities as automobile you are aware of the effect of
drivers. While everyone must these conditions and drive with
follow the same traffic laws, mo- care and attention, you can help
torcyclists face unusual dangers reduce motorcyclist injuries and
fatalities.
- 37 -
RIDE A STRAIGHT LINE—DON’T TURN IN AND OUT
STOP, LOOK BETWEEN PARKED CARS. LEAVE SPACE TO AVOID
Turns for bicyclists
BEFORE CROSSING SUDDENLY OPENED DOORS.

BICYCLES STOP, LOOK


RIDE A STRAIGHT LINE—DON’T TURN IN AND OUT
BETWEEN PARKED CARS. LEAVE SPACE TO AVOID
BEFORE CROSSING SUDDENLY OPENED DOORS.
Bicyclists on public streets have
the same rights and responsibilities
as automobile drivers. Respect the
right-of-way of bicyclists because
they are entitled to share the road
with other drivers. Here are some
critical points for drivers and cy-
Intersections with special lanes
clists to remember:
• Drivers must:
- look carefully for bicyclists
before opening doors next to
moving traffic or before turn-
ing right.
MERGE LEFT TO PASS
VEHICLE TURNING RIGHT
- safely merge toward the curb
or into the bike lane. MERGE LEFT TO PASS
VEHICLE TURNING RIGHT
a turn, avoid debris, or other
- not overtake a bicyclist just
hazards.
before making a right turn.
Merge first, then turn. - may choose to ride near the
left curb or edge of a one-way
• Bicyclists:
street.
- are lawfully permitted to ride
- may use a left turn lane. If the bi-
on certain sections of freeways.
cyclist is traveling straight ahead,
Be careful when approaching
he or she should use a through
or passing a bicyclist on a
traffic lane rather than ride next to
freeway.
the curb and block traffic making
- must ride in the same direction right turns.
as other traffic, not against it.
- are lawfully permitted to ride on
- must ride in a straight line as certain sections of freeways, in
near to the right curb or edge of some rural areas where there is no
the roadway as practical—not alternate route. Be careful when
on the sidewalk. approaching or passing a bicyclist
- must make left and right turns on a freeway.
in the same way that drivers
PEDESTRIANS WHO ARE BLIND
do, using the same turn lanes.
Pedestrians using guide dogs or white
- may legally move left to canes with or without a red tip must
turn left, to pass a parked or be given the right of way at all times.
moving vehicle, another bi- These pedestrians are partially or
cycle, an animal, or to make totally blind. Be especially careful
- 40 -
when turning corners or backing • Don’t block any sidewalk.
up when these pedestrians are in • Don’t honk your horn at a blind
your vicinity. person. The blind person has no
Here are some suggestions for help- idea who you are honking at and
ing pedestrians who are blind: may be startled by the noise.
• Don’t stop your car more than
five feet from the crosswalk. A
Road Workers &
blind pedestrian uses the sound Work Zones
of your engine as a guide, so drive Pay more attention where road
up to the crosswalk to allow the work is being performed. Signs
person to hear you. Important: and message boards warn you of
Drivers of electric and hybrid workers, slow moving equipment,
vehicles must be extra alert to and closed lanes ahead. Cones and/
blind pedestrians, as they may be or drums will direct you to open
unaware of your presence due to lanes. Merge as soon as possible
the nearly silent nature of these without crossing the cones or
vehicles. drums. Reduce your speed and be
• Don’t give the blind pedestrian prepared to slow down or stop for
verbal directions. The blind highway equipment.
pedestrian listens to all traffic The most common cause of mo-
sounds before deciding to cross torist deaths and injuries in work
the street. zones is rear-end
collisions. For
• Don’t wait too long for the
your own safety
blind pedestrian to cross the
street. If the person takes a step and the safety of
back and pulls in his or her cane, your passengers,
that’s a definite sign that you remember to slow
should go. down, allow extra
following room,
• Don’t turn right on red with- merge early, expect sudden slow-
out looking first. Look for any ing or stopping, watch for drivers
pedestrian or other traffic before changing lanes at the last minute,
starting your turn. and do not use your telephone while
• Stop at all crosswalks where in the “Cone Zone.”
pedestrians are waiting. Keep your eyes
• Don’t stop in the middle of a on the road and
crosswalk. This forces the blind vehicles ahead.
pedestrian to go around your car Do not stop to
and into traffic outside of the watch the road
crosswalk. work.

- 41 -
Obey special signs or instructions Hazardous Loads Placards
from workers.
It’s for your own safety and the
safety of road workers that you
drive carefully through highway
work zones. Remember to “Slow PARKING - 78 -
for the Cone Zone.” Parking On A Hill
Double Fine Zones When you park:
Due to increased accidents, inju- • On a sloping driveway, turn the
ries, and fatalities, certain roads are wheels so the car will not roll
designated as “Safety Enhanced- into the street if the brakes fail.
Double Fine Zones.” Fines are • Headed downhill, turn your front
doubled in these areas and also wheels into the curb or toward the
in highway construction or main- side of the road. Set the parking
tenance zones when workers are brake.
present. (VC §42010)
• Headed uphill, turn your front
Move Over & Slow Down wheels away from the curb and
Drivers are required to move over let your vehicle roll back a few
and slow down when approaching inches. The wheel should gently
a roadside emergency along a state touch the curb. Set the parking
highway or freeway. The law is brake.
designed to reduce the deaths of • Headed either uphill or downhill
police officers, tow truck drivers, and there is no curb, turn the
paramedics, and other emergency wheels so the car will roll away
personnel who are aiding stranded from the center of the road if the
or injured motorists. Use caution if brakes fail.
lane changes are required. Always set your parking brake
Vehicles With Hazardous and leave the vehicle in gear or the
Loads “park” position.
Diamond-shaped signs mean that
the load on the truck is potentially
dangerous (gas, explosives, etc.).
California Highway Patrol (CHP)
or fire department officers know
what to do if the load is accidentally
down hill up hill no curb-up hill
spilled. Vehicles which display or down hill
these signs, are required to stop
before crossing railroad tracks.

- 42 -
Parking At Colored Curbs there. A crosshatched (diagonal
Painted colored curbs have the fol- lines) area adjacent to a designated
lowing special parking rules: disabled parking space is a no
parking area. Qualified persons
White: Stop only long enough to
may apply at any DMV office for
pick up or drop off passengers or
a parking placard or special plates.
mail.
An identification card will be is-
Green: Park for a limited time. sued to holders of disabled person
Look for a sign next to the green or disabled veteran license plates.
zone or for the time painted on
the curb. Example of crosshatched
(diagonal lines) area
Yellow: Stop no longer than the
time posted to load or unload
passengers or freight. Drivers
of noncommercial vehicles are
usually required to stay with the
vehicle.
Red: No stopping, standing, or
parking. (Buses may stop at a red
zone marked for buses.)

NOTE: Placard abuse results in


loss of special parking privileges.
It is also a misdemeanor and is
punishable by a fine of up to $1000,
imprisonment in county jail for up
to six months, or both.
Placard Abuse – Examples:
• Using a placard after it has been
Blue: Parking is permit- reported lost/stolen ( the person
ted only for a disabled finds the placard after reporting
person who displays it and then continues to use it)
a placard or disabled
• Loaning your placard to a friend
person or disabled veteran license
or family member (disabled or
plates. Disabled people with a
not)
placard or special plates may park
in special areas for unlimited pe- • Husband or wife interchanging
riods of time, regardless of time placards ( not realizing the plac-
restrictions. No one else may park ard is assigned to a person)

- 43 -
• Using a placard when the person • “Double parked.” (Parking in
it was issued to is not with you the street when all legal parking
(disabled child, family member, places at the curb are taken.)
deceased person, etc) • On the wrong side of the street.
Illegal Parking • At a red curb.
Never park or leave your vehicle: • On a freeway, except:
• Where a “No Parking” sign is - in an emergency or
posted.
- when an officer or device
• On a marked or unmarked cross- requires a stop or
walk, on a sidewalk or partially
blocking a sidewalk, or in front - where a stop is specifically
of a driveway. permitted. A vehicle (even
if disabled) that is stopped,
• Within three feet of a sidewalk parked, or left standing on
ramp for disabled persons or a freeway for more than
in front of or on a curb which four hours may be removed.
provides wheelchair access to a (VC §22651[f])
sidewalk.
NOTE: If you must stop on a
• In a disabled person parking freeway, park completely off the
space unless you are disabled pavement and stay in your vehicle
and display a placard or special with the doors locked until help
plates. arrives. Leave enough space for
• In the space next to a disabled other vehicles to pass freely. Your
person parking space if it is car should be visible at least 200
painted in a crosshatched (diago- feet in each direction.
nal) pattern. (VC §22507.8)
Special Parking Rules
• In a space designated for parking
• When you park alongside a curb
or fueling zero-emission vehicles
on a level street, the front and
which display an identifying
back wheels must be parallel
decal.
and within 18 inches of the curb.
• In a tunnel or on a bridge, except Park parallel to the street if there
where permitted by signs. is no curb.
• Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant • Never leave your car until you
or a fire station driveway. have stopped the engine and set
• On or within 71/2 feet of a rail- the parking brake.
road track. • Do not open the driver’s side door
• Between a safety zone and the unless it is safe and you do not
curb. interfere with traffic. Look for

- 44 -
passing bicyclists and motorcy- • Don’t cut off other drivers.
clists. Do not leave the door open • Don’t drive slowly in the left
any longer than necessary. (fast) lane.
• Don’t tailgate.
Important Driving
• Don’t make gestures to other
Tips drivers.
Dealing With Traffic • Use your horn for emergencies
Congestion only.
Small changes in your driving Prevent a potentially violent inci-
habits can help relieve chronic dent by:
traffic congestion, according to
• Avoiding eye contact with an
the California Office of Traffic
angry driver.
Safety (OTS).
Avoid these driving behaviors: • Giving an angry driver plenty of
space.
• Rubbernecking—slowing down
to look at accidents or virtu- Cellular Telephones
ally anything else out of the NOTE: Beginning July 1, 2008,
ordinary. with certain exceptions, you may
• Tailgating—following too not use a cellular phone while
closely. driving unless hands-free equip-
ment is used.
• Unnecessary lane changes—
weaving in and out of freeway Cellular phones can be a lifesaver
lanes. in emergency situations. Use your
cellular phone in the following
• Inattention—­eating, grooming,
safe and responsible ways while
talking on a cellular phone,
driving:
text messaging, and reading the
newspaper, etc. • Use hands-free devices.
• Poorly maintained vehicles— • When safe, drive to the side of
vehicles malfunctioning or the road to use your cellular
stalling on freeways or running phone.
out of fuel. • If your cellular phone rings let
the call go to voice mail.
Dealing With Road Rage
Road rage happens when one driver • Don’t use the cellular phone
reacts angrily to another driver. during hazardous conditions.
Some suggestions for avoiding • Don’t engage in distracting con-
road rage situations are: versations.

- 45 -
• Pay attention to the road. Braking on a curve may cause you
• Use your phone to call for help to skid.
in an emergency. Water On The Road
Slow down when there is a lot of
Accident Avoidance water on the road. In a heavy rain
Keep Your Car Visible at about 50 mph, your tires can lose
The driver’s blind spots are shown all contact with the road and then
on page 24. You cannot see vehicles your vehicle will be riding on water
in these blind spots if you only look or “hydroplaning.” A slight change
in your mirrors. Turn your head of direction or a gust of wind could
to see if a car is in one of these throw your vehicle into a skid. If
blind spots. Drive through another your vehicle starts to hydroplane,
driver’s blind spot as quickly as you slow down gradually—don’t apply
can or drop back. the brakes.
What Is The Road Like Slippery Roads
The faster your speed, the less con- Slow down at the first sign of
trol you have of your car. Rather rain. This is when many roads are
than driving at the legal posted the most slippery because oil and
speed limit, consider what else may dust have not been washed away.
affect the safe operation of your car. A slippery road will not give your
For example, should you drive 35 tires the grip they need. Drive
mph (the posted speed limit) on a more slowly than you would on
curve down an icy mountain road? a dry road. Adjust your speed as
Many inexperienced drivers do not follows:
adjust their driving speed for each • Wet road—go five to ten miles
road’s conditions. That is one rea- slower.
son why inexperienced drivers have
more “out-of-control” accidents • Packed snow—reduce your
than experienced drivers. speed by half.
Curves • Ice—slow to a crawl.
On curves, there is a strong outward Some road surfaces are more slip-
pull on your vehicle especially pery than others when wet and
when the road is slippery. Rain, usually have warning signs. Here
mud, snow, or gravel make the are some clues to help you spot
road slippery. If a speed limit is slippery roads:
not posted before a curve, you • On cold, wet days, shade from
must judge how sharp the curve trees or buildings can hide spots
is and change your speed. Slow of ice. These areas freeze first
down before you enter the curve. and dry out last.

- 46 -
• Bridges and overpasses tend risk, but if you are passing one car
to freeze before the rest of the after another, the risks begin to add
road does. They can hide spots up. Studies have shown that speed-
of ice. ing does not save more than a few
• If it starts to rain on a hot day, the minutes in an hour’s driving.
pavement can be very slippery Driving slower than other cars or
for the first several minutes. Heat stopping all of a sudden can be
causes oil in the asphalt to come just as bad as speeding. It tends
to the surface. The oil makes the to make cars bunch up behind
road slippery until it is washed you and it could cause a rear-end
off. crash. If many cars are passing
Driving In Heavy Traffic you, move into the right lane and
Drive slower in heavy traffic so you let them pass.
can stop in the distance you have. Handling Emergencies
As a general rule, drive more Skids On Slippery Surfaces
slowly: A road that is normally safe can
• In shopping centers, parking lots, become dangerous when it’s slip-
and downtown areas. pery. Ice and packed snow on the
• On roads with heavy traffic. road can cause your car to skid,
especially if you are driving too
• When you see brake lights com- fast or going downhill. If you start
ing on several vehicles ahead of to skid:
you.
• ease off the gas pedal,
• Over narrow bridges and through
tunnels. • stop braking, and

• Through toll plazas. • turn the steering wheel in the


direction of the skid.
• Near schools, playgrounds, and
in residential areas. If you can’t control your car on a
slippery surface, try to find some-
Traffic Speeds thing to stop you. Try to get a wheel
Accidents are more likely to hap- on dry pavement or on the shoulder
pen when one driver goes faster of the road. You may have to edge
or slower than other cars on the slowly into a snow bank or some
road. bushes to stop.
If you drive faster than other traf- To prevent skidding on slippery
fic, you will have to keep passing surfaces:
other cars. Each time you pass • Drive more slowly and stay far-
another car, there is more risk of an ther behind the vehicle ahead.
accident. True, it may not be a big

- 47 -
• Slow down as you approach Steering Wheel Locking Device
curves and intersections. Never turn your vehicle’s ignition
• Avoid fast turns. to the “lock” position while it is
still in motion or the steering will
• Avoid quick stops. “Pump” the
lock and you will lose control of
brakes to slow or stop. (Do not
your vehicle.
pump antilock brakes.)
• Shift to low gear before going Accidents
down a steep hill. If you see a vehicle’s hazard lights
ahead, slow down. There may be an
• Avoid especially slippery areas,
such as ice patches, wet leaves, accident or other road emergency
oil, or deep puddles. ahead. Stop and give assistance if
asked, or pass very carefully.
If the brakes get wet, dry them by
Avoid driving near accidents, if you
lightly pressing the gas pedal and
can. Those injured will be helped
brake pedal at the same time so that
faster if other vehicles aren’t block-
the car drives against the pressure
ing the road. If you must drive near
of the brakes. Do this only until
an accident, don’t slow down or
the brakes dry.
stop just to look. You may cause
Acceleration Skids another crash. Drive by carefully,
An acceleration skid usually hap- watching for people in the road.
pens when the drive wheels lose It is against the law to follow closely
traction on the road surface. To behind any fire engine, police car,
maintain control of the vehicle, do ambulance, or other emergency
not apply the brakes. Ease off the vehicle with a siren or flashing
gas pedal and straighten the front lights.
wheels as the vehicle begins to
Never drive to the scene of an
straighten out.
accident, fire, or other disaster to
Locked Wheel Skids look. You may be arrested for do-
This type of skid is usually caused ing this. You may also block the
by braking too hard at a high rate of way for police, fire fighters, and
speed and locking the wheels. The ambulances.
vehicle will skid no matter which
Obey any order from a police
way the steering wheel is turned.
officer or fire fighter even if you
Take your foot off the brake to un-
need to ignore normal traffic laws
lock the wheels. Then straighten the
or signs.
front wheels as the vehicle begins
to straighten out. Slow the vehicle
­gradually until you are at a safe
speed to continue driving.

- 48 -
Causes Of Accidents • You (or your insurance agent,
The most common causes of ac- broker, or legal representative)
cidents are: must make a written report to
• Unsafe speed. DMV within 10 days, if re-
quired.
• Driving on the wrong side of the
road. • Leave a note with your name
and address in the car or securely
• Improper turns. attached to it if you hit a parked
• Violating the right-of-way vehicle or other property. Report
rules. the accident to the city police or,
in unincorporated areas, to the
• Violating stop signals and
CHP.
signs.
• Find the owner and report to
• Driver distractions.
authorities as mentioned above,
Involved In An Accident if your parked vehicle rolls away
If you are involved in an and hits another vehicle.
accident: • Call the nearest humane society
• You must stop. Someone could or call the police or CHP, if you
be injured and need your help. kill or injure an animal. Do not
If you don’t stop, you may be try to move an injured animal or
convicted of “hit and run” and leave an injured animal to die.
could be severely punished.
Reporting The Accident
• Call 9-1-1, if anyone is hurt. When you have an accident, report
• Move your vehicle out of the it to DMV within 10 days if:
traffic lane, if no one is injured • More than $750 in damage was
or killed. done to the property of any
• Show your driver license, person.
registration card, evidence of • Anyone was injured (no matter
financial responsibility, and cur- how slightly) or killed.
rent address to the other driver
Each driver (or the driver’s in-
or persons involved, or to any
peace officer. surance agent, broker, or legal
representative) must make a report
• You (or your insurance agent, to DMV using the Report of Traffic
broker, or legal representative) Accident Occurring in California
must make a written report to the form (SR 1). The CHP or police will
police or CHP within 24 hours of not make this report for you. Call
the accident, if someone is killed 1-800-777-0133 and ask for the
or injured. SR 1 or go online at dmv.ca.gov.

- 49 -
You must make this report: • Do not carry anything in or on
• Whether or not you caused the a passenger vehicle which ex-
accident, and tends beyond the fenders on the
left side or more than six inches
• even if the accident occurred on
beyond the fenders on the right
private property.
side. Cargo extending more than
Your driving privilege will be four feet from the back of the
suspended: vehicle must display a 12-inch
• If you don’t make this report. red or fluorescent orange square
flag or two red lights at night.
• For four years, if you did not
have proper insurance cover- • Do not allow anyone to ride
age. During the last three years on any part of your vehicle not
of the suspension, your license intended for passengers.
can be returned if you provide • Do not allow anyone to ride in the
a California Insurance Proof trunk of your vehicle. Convic-
Certificate (SR 22) and maintain tions will result in penalties for
it during this period. both the driver and the person(s)
riding in the trunk.
ADDITIONAL DRIVING • Do not allow a person to ride in
RULES the back of a pickup or other truck
unless the vehicle is equipped
Things You Must Not Do: with seats and the person uses
• Do not smoke with a minor in both the seat and a safety belt.
the vehicle at any time. You can
• Do not transport animals in the
be fined up to $100.
back of a pickup or other truck
• Do not dump or abandon animals unless the animal is properly
on a highway. This crime is pun- secured.
ishable by a fine of up to $1000,
• Do not tow anyone who is riding
six months in jail, or both.
a bicycle, in a wagon, on roller
• Do not operate a cellular phone skates, on a sled, on skis, or on
without the use of a hands-free a toy vehicle.
device. This law takes effect
• Do not litter the roadside. The
July 1, 2008.
fine is $1000 and you may be
• Do not wear a headset over, or forced to pick up what you threw
earplugs in, both your ears. away. Littering convictions show
• Do not drive a vehicle so loaded, on your driving record.
either with property or people, • Do not wear eyeglasses with
that you cannot control it, see temples wide enough to keep
ahead, or to the sides of your you from seeing clearly to the
vehicle. sides.
- 50 -
• Do not drive a vehicle equipped • Do not block or hinder a funeral
with a video monitor if the moni- procession. Vehicles taking part
tor is visible to the driver and in a funeral procession have the
displays anything other than right of way and if you interfere,
vehicle information or global obstruct, or interrupt the funeral
mapping displays. procession, you are subject to a
• Do not honk your horn unless it citation (VC §2817). The funeral
is a safety warning. procession is led by a traffic offi-
cer and all vehicles taking part in
• Do not throw any cigarette, ci- the procession have windshield
gar, or other flaming or glowing markers to identify them.
substance from your vehicle.
• Do not ride, or allow a child to
• Do not shoot firearms on a high- ride, a “pocket bike” on a public
way or at traffic signs. street or highway. These vehicles
• Do not block your view by put- are not manufactured or designed
ting signs or other objects on the for highway use and they do not
front windshield or the back and meet federal safety standards.
side windows. Do not hang ob-
jects on the mirror. Windshield/ Things you must do:
window stickers, etc., are permit- • You must drive as far to the
ted in these locations only: right as reasonably possible on
narrow mountain roads, and if
- a seven-inch square on either you cannot see at least 200 feet
the passenger’s side wind- ahead, honk your horn.
shield, lower corner; or the
rear window, lower corner. • You must use your headlights
30 minutes after sunset and leave
- a five-inch square on the them on until 30 minutes before
driver’s side, lower corner. sunrise.
- side windows behind the • You must dim your lights to
driver. low beams within 500 feet of a
• Do not drive any motor vehicle vehicle coming toward you or
into a designated wilderness within 300 feet of a vehicle you
area. (VC §38301.5) are following.
• Do not drive with tinted safety • You must turn on your headlights
glass. If you have sun-sensitive if snow, rain, fog, or low-visibil-
skin, you may use removable sun ity (1000 feet or less) require the
screens during daylight travel use of windshield wipers.
if you have a letter from your • You must move your vehicle
physician. out of the traffic lane (unless it

- 51 -
is disabled) when it is safe to Hearing
do so, if you are involved in an Hearing is more important to driv-
accident. Law enforcement may ing than many people realize. The
tow or impound your vehicle if sound of horns, a siren, or screech-
it is left in an unsafe area and ing tires can warn you of danger.
causes safety concerns. Sometimes you can hear a car but
you cannot see it, especially if it is
HEALTH AND SAFETY in your blind spots.
Even people with good hearing
Safety For The Aging Driver cannot hear well if the radio, CD, or
The department has tape deck is blaring. While driving,
published a handbook specifi- do not wear a headset or earplugs
cally for senior drivers. Please call in both ears.
1-800-777-0133 to request a copy
of the Senior Guide for Safe Driving Hearing problems, like bad eye-
or go online at dmv.ca.gov. sight, can come on so slowly that
you do not notice them. Drivers
Good Vision For All Drivers who know they are deaf or hearing-
You need good vision to drive impaired can adjust. They can
safely. If you cannot see clearly, learn to rely more on their seeing
you cannot judge distances or spot habits.
trouble, so you won’t be able to do
something about it. You also need
Alertness
to see peripherally or “out of the When you are tired, you are less
corner of your eye” to spot cars alert. The body naturally wants
coming up beside you while your to sleep at night and most drivers
eyes are on the road ahead. are less alert at night, especially
after midnight. You may not see
You may see clearly and still not be hazards as soon or react as quickly,
able to judge distances. You need so your chances of having a crash
good distance judgment so you are greater. If you are sleepy, the
know how far you are from other only safe cure is to get off the road
cars. Many people who may see and get some sleep.
clearly in the daytime have trouble
at night. Some see poorly in dim To keep from getting tired on a
light. Others may have trouble with long trip:
the glare of headlights. • Get at least a normal night’s sleep
before you start.
Have your eyes checked every
year or two. You may never know • Don’t take any drugs that can
about poor peripheral vision or poor make you drowsy.
distance judgment unless you have
your eyes checked.
- 52 -
• Don’t drive long hours and try prescribed and over-the-counter
not to drive late at night. medications.
• Take regular rest stops, even if Health And Emotions
you are not tired.
Your personality affects the way
• Keep shifting your eyes from one you drive. Don’t let your emotions
part of the road to another. Look interfere with safe driving. Use all
at objects near and far, left and of your good judgment, common
right. sense, and courtesy when you drive
• Try chewing gum or singing along and follow all the recommended
with the radio. safe driving rules.
• Roll your window down and get Discuss poor vision, heart prob-
some fresh air. lems, diabetes, or epilepsy with
your physician and follow his or
If you are tired all the time and fall
her advice. Tell DMV if you have
asleep often during the day, ask
a condition that might affect your
your physician to check for a sleep
ability to drive safely.
disorder.
Conditions Physicians Must
Medications
Remember that all medications,
Report
pre­­­­­­scrip­tion and over-the-counter, Physicians and surgeons are re-
are potentially ­dangerous. Over- quired to report patients at least
the-counter medicines that you take 14 years of age and older who
for colds and allergies can make are diagnosed as having lapses of
you drowsy and affect your driving consciousness, dementia (mental
ability. If you must take medication disorders) conditions, or related
before driving, find out the effects of disorders. (Health & Safety Code
the medication from your physician §103900)
or pharmacist. It is your responsi- Although not required by law, your
bility to know the effects of the physician may report any other
medications you take. medical condition he/she believes
Before you decide to drive, do may affect your ability to drive
not: safely.
• Mix medications unless directed
by your physician. Special Section -
• Take medications prescribed for Minors
someone else. Minors’ Permit Requirements
• Mix alcohol with your medi- A minor is a person under 18 years
cations. This applies to both of age. Minors must have their ap-
plication for a driver license or any
- 53 -
change of license class signed by If you only have a provisional per-
their parents or legal guardians. mit and you plan to drive outside
NOTE: Minors may not work as of California, contact the driver
a driver for pay until they are 18 licensing office in that state or
years old and licensed in California country before you drive.
and they may not drive a school bus NOTE: If (you are at least 171/2,)
containing pupils. you may obtain a permit without
To get a permit, you must: completing DE or DT. However,
to get a license before you are 18
• Be at least 151/2, but under 18 years old, you must provide proof
years of age.
of DE/DT completion.
• Complete the application re-
quirements. Minors’ Permit Restrictions
You must practice with a parent,
• Have your parents’ or guardians’ guardian, spouse, or an adult 25
signatures on the DL 44. years of age or older, who has a
• Pass a traffic laws and road signs valid California driver license. The
test. If you fail the test, you must person must be close enough to take
wait one week before taking it control of the vehicle at any time. A
again. This will give you time provisional permit does not let you
to study. drive alone—not even to a DMV
• If you are between 151/2 and office to take a driving test.
171/2, provide proof that you If you have an M1 or M2 permit,
have met one of the following you cannot carry passengers, you
requirements: must ride during daylight hours
- completed driver education only, and you cannot ride on the
(DE) and driver training (DT). freeway.
(DL 387, DL 388, DL 388A, Minors’ License Requirements
OL 237, or OL 238) You must:
- completed DE and are • Be at least 16 years old.
taking DT. (DL 387, DL 392,
OL 237, or OL 392) • Prove that you have finished both
DE and DT. (DL 387, DL 388,
- enrolled and participating in DL 388A, OL 237, or OL 238)
an approved integrated DE/
DT program. (DL 400) • Have had a California instruction
permit for at least six months.
The provisional permit is not
valid until you start your behind-
the-wheel driver training with an
instructor or reach age 171/2.

- 54 -
• Provide a parent’s signature on Exceptions - Minor License
your instruction permit stating Restrictions
you have completed the 50 hours The law allows the following
of supervised driving practice exceptions when reasonable trans-
(10 hours must be night driv- portation is not available, and it is
ing) outlined in the Parent-Teen necessary for you to drive. A signed
Training Guide. Call 1-800-777- note must be kept in your posses-
0133 to request this booklet or sion for any of these exceptions
go online at dmv.ca.gov. explaining the necessity and the
• Pass the behind-the-wheel driv- date when the driving necessity will
ing test. You have three chances end (except emancipated minors).
to pass the driving test while • Medical necessity when reason-
your permit is valid. If you fail able transportation alternatives
the first driving test, you must are inadequate. The note must be
pay a retest fee for a second or signed by the physician contain-
third attempt and wait two weeks ing the diagnosis & probable date
before you are tested again. of recovery.
Once you have your provisional • Schooling or school-authorized
license, you may drive alone as activity. The note must be signed
long as you do not have accidents by your school principal, dean,
or traffic violations. or his/her designee.
When you become 18 years old, the • Employment necessity and the
“provisional” part of your license need to operate a vehicle as part
ends. You may keep the photo of your employment. The note
license you have or pay a fee for a must be signed by your employer
duplicate license without the word verifying employment.
“provisional.”
• Your necessity or the necessity
During the first 12 months after of an immediate family member.
you are licensed, you cannot drive The note must be signed by your
between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and you parent or legal guardian.
cannot transport passengers under
age 20 unless you are accompa- • If you are an emancipated minor.
No documentation is needed.
nied by your parent or guardian,
However, you must have already
a licensed driver 25 years of age
declared yourself emancipated
or older, or a licensed or certified
and provided DMV with Proof
driving instructor.
of Financial Responsibility
(SR 1P) in lieu of your parent’s
or guarantors’ signatures.

- 55 -
Traffic Violations Keeping Your Provisional License
Increase Accidents DMV will be watching your driving
Nearly half of the drivers between record and will take actions based
ages 15 and 19 are convicted of a upon any accidents or violations
traffic violation in their first year as follows:
of driving. • If you get a traffic ticket and fail
Speeding (which often results in to appear in court, DMV will
loss of vehicle control) is the most suspend your driving privilege
common moving violation for until you appear in court.
teenage drivers. About 50% of all • If you get a traffic ticket and
their traffic convictions are speed fail to pay the fine, DMV will
violations. suspend your driving privilege
until you pay the fine.
When you violate traffic laws, you
increase your chances of having • If you have one “at fault” ac-
an accident. cident or conviction within 12
months, DMV will send you a
Teenage Traffic Deaths
warning letter.
Drivers 15 to 19 years old have very
• If you have a second “at fault”
high traffic accident, injury, and
accident or conviction (or combi-
conviction rates. Traffic accidents
nation of both) within 12 months,
are the leading cause of death for
you cannot drive for 30 days un-
teenagers. If you are under 18 years
less accompanied by your parent
old, your risk of a fatal accident is
or other licensed adult who is at
about 21/2 times that of the “aver-
least 25 years of age.
age” driver. Your risk of an injury
accident is three times higher than • If you have a third “at fault”
the average driver. accident or conviction (or any
combination) within 12 months,
Actions Against you will be suspended for six
The Provisional License months and be placed on proba-
Teenagers as a group average twice tion for one year.
as many accidents as adult drivers, • If you have additional “at fault”
while driving only half as many accidents or point count convic-
miles. This makes the teenage ac- tions while you are on probation,
cident rate per mile four times as you will be suspended again.
great as that of adult drivers. (Traffic law violations resolved
Studies show that the traffic deaths in Juvenile Court are also re-
of new drivers is a deadly combi- ported to DMV.)
nation of their inexperience, their • If you are convicted of using
lack of familiarity with their car, alcohol or a controlled substance
and their need to push themselves and you are between the ages of
and their vehicle to the limit.
- 56 -
13 and 21, the court tells DMV Traffic Lights and
to suspend you for one year. If Signs
you don’t have a driver license
yet, the court tells DMV to make Traffic Signal Lights
you wait a year longer before you Solid Red. A red signal
can apply for a license. You can light means “STOP.”
also be required to go to a DUI You can make a right
program. turn against a red light after you stop
Any restriction, suspension or pro- and yield to pedestrians, bicyclists,
bation will continue past your 18th and vehicles that are close enough
birthday for its full term. to be a hazard. Make the right turn
Other, stronger actions can be taken only when it is safe. Do not turn
if your driving record justifies if a “NO TURN ON RED” sign is
them. Remember, if your driving posted.
privilege has been suspended or Red Arrow. A red arrow
revoked, you may not drive in Cali- means “STOP.” Remain
fornia with any license or permit. stopped until the green
signal or green arrow appears. Do
Habitual Truant—
Persons Age 13 To 18 not turn against a red arrow.
The court will suspend, restrict, Flashing Red. A flashing
delay, or revoke your driving red signal light means
privilege for one year if you are “STOP.” After stopping,
convicted of being a habitual truant you may proceed when it is safe.
from school. Observe the right-of-way rules.
Minors and Cellular Phones Solid Yellow. A yel-
low signal light means
• It is against the law for a minor
“CAUTION.” The red
to use a cellular phone while
signal is about to appear. When
driving. If your cellular phone
you see the yellow light, stop if
rings let the call go to voice mail.
you can do so safely. If you can’t
When it is safe, drive to the side
stop safely, enter the intersection
of the road to use your cellular
phone. cautiously.
Yellow Arrow. A yel-
• Convictions for violations of this
low arrow means the
law are subject to fines
“protected” turning time
• Exceptions of the law is the use period is ending. Be prepared to
of a cellular phone to contact obey the next signal which could
law enforcement, a health care be the green or red light or the red
provider, the fire department or arrow.
another emergency entity in an
emergency situation.
- 57 -
Flashing Yellow. A Pedestrian Signal Lights
flashing yellow signal Pedestrian signals show words or
light warns you to be pictures as follows:
careful. You do not need to stop for
• “Walk” or “Walk-
a flashing yellow light but you must
ing Person” lights
slow down and be especially alert
mean it is legal to
before entering the intersection.
cross the street.
Solid Green. A green
light means “GO” but • “Don’t Walk” or
“Raised Hand”
first give the right of
lights mean you
way to any vehicle, bicyclist, or
may not start across
pedestrian in the intersection. If
the street.
you are turning left, make the turn
only if you have enough space • Flashing “Don’t Walk” or
to complete the turn before any “Raised Hand” lights mean do
oncoming vehicle, bicyclist, or not start across the street. The
pedestrian becomes a hazard. Do traffic signal is about to change.
not enter the intersection if you If the flashing starts after you
cannot get completely across before have already started to cross, fin-
the light turns red. If you block the ish crossing the street as quickly
intersection, you can be cited. as possible.
Green Arrow. A green At many traffic signals, you need
arrow means “GO.” You to push the pedestrian push button
must turn in the direction to activate the “Walk” or “Walk-
the arrow is pointing after you yield ing Person” signal. If there are no
to any vehicle, bicyclist, or pedes- pedestrian signals, obey the traffic
trian still in the intersection. The signal lights.
green arrow allows you to make
Traffic Signs
a “protected” turn. This means
The shape of a sign gives you a clue
oncoming vehicles, bicyclists, and
about the information contained
pedestrians are stopped by a red
on the sign. Here are the common
light as long as the green arrow
shapes used.
is lighted.
Eight-sided red STOP
Traffic Signal Blackout. If a traffic
signs mean you must STOP
signal light is not working, proceed
make a full stop when-
as if the intersection is controlled
ever you see a STOP sign. Stop
by a stop sign in all directions.
before entering a crosswalk or
at a white “limit line” which is
a wide white line painted on the

- 58 -
street. If a crosswalk or limit line Five-sided signs mean
is not painted on the street, stop at you are near a school.
the corner. Stop if children are in
Three-sided red YIELD the crosswalk.
signs mean you must Four-sided diamond-shaped signs
slow down and be ready warn you of specific road condi-
to stop, if necessary, to tions and dangers ahead. Many
let any vehicle, bicyclist, or pedes- warning signs are diamond-shaped.
trian pass before you proceed. Obey all warning signs regardless
Square red and white of their shape.
DO NOT
regulatory signs mean DO NOT White rectangular signs mean you
you must follow the ENTER must obey important rules.
ENTER
sign’s instruction. See the following pages for ad-
WRONG
For example, the “DO WAY
WRONG ditional examples.
NOT ENTER” sign WAY

means do not enter a


road or off ramp where the sign is
posted, usually on a freeway off
ramp. The “WRONG WAY” sign
may or may not be posted with the
“DO NOT ENTER” sign. If you see
one or both of these signs, drive to
the side of the road and stop. You
are going against traffic. When
safe, back out or turn around and
return to the road you were on. At
night if you are going the wrong
way, the road reflectors will shine
red in your headlights.
If a sign has a red circle
with a red line through it,
it always means NO. The
picture inside the circle shows what
you cannot do. The sign may be
shown with or without words.
Circular signs mean you
are approaching a rail-
road crossing.

- 59 -
Red and White Regulatory Signs
Red and White Regulatory Signs

No
No U-turn
U-turn NoNo
LeftLeft
Turn No Right Turn
No Right
No U-turn T u rLeft
No n T u Right
No rn
Turn Turn
White Regulatory Signs
White Regulatory Signs

Highway Construction and Maintenance Signs


Highway Construction and Maintenance Signs

Guide Signs
Guide Signs

Hazardous Loads Placards Slow Moving Vehicle


Hazardous Loads Placards

-- 78
60--
Warning Signs

Slippery Merging Divided


When Wet Traffic Highway

Sharp Two Way Lane


Turn Traffic Ends

End Divided Traffic Pedestrian


Highway Signal Crossing
Ahead

Added Lane Crossroad Stop Ahead

Yield Ahead Curve “T”


Intersection

Directional Reverse Winding


Arrow Turn Road

- -7961- -
MISCELLANEOUS request to DMV, P.O. Box 942890,
LICENSING Sacramento, CA 94290-0001.
Include your name, driver license
INFORMATION number, birth date, California
Renewal By Mail or Internet residence address, and your out-
If you have not already received of-state address.
two consecutive five-year exten- License In Your Possession
sions, you may be eligible to
You must always have your driver
renew by mail, without taking a
license with you when you drive.
law test, if:
Show it to any police officer who
• Your current license expires asks to see it. If you are in an ac-
before age 70. cident, you must show it to the other
• You do not have a probationary driver(s) involved. (See page 49.)
license. (VC §14250)
Address Changes
• You have not violated a written When you move, you must give
promise to appear in court within DMV your new address within
the last two years. 10 days. There is no fee to change
• You are not suspended for driv- your address. You may notify
ing with an illegal blood alcohol DMV of your address change for
content (BAC) level, or for refus- your driver license, identifica-
ing, or for failing to complete, a tion card, and vehicle(s) online at
chemical or preliminary alcohol dmv.ca.gov. You may also down-
screening test within the last two load a Change of Address (DMV
years. 14) and mail it to the address on
• You do not have a total violation the form, or call DMV at 1-800-
point count greater than one. 777-0133 and request a DMV 14
be mailed to you.
NOTE: You may renew by Internet
if your renewal-by-mail notice A new driver license is not issued
includes a Renewal Identification when you change your address. A
Number (RIN). space is provided on the back of
your driver license or identifica-
License Extension tion card to record your address
If you are away from California (up change.
to one year), you may request a free You may also type or write your
one-year extension before your new address on a small piece of
driver license expires. Limited paper, sign and date the paper and
term drivers are not eligible carry it (do not tape or staple) with
for this extension. Mail your your driver license or identifica-
tion card.

- 62 -
If you change your address in a field tact the Donate Life California at
office, the DMV representative www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or
will give you a Change of Address call 1-866-797-2366.
Certificate (DL 43) to complete and
carry with your license.
Unlicensed Drivers
It is against the law to loan your
Reminder:
vehicle to a person who is unli-
The Post Office does not forward censed or whose driving privilege
DMV correspondence. has been suspended. If the person
Medical Information Card is caught driving, your vehicle
may be impounded for 30 days.
Call 1-800-777-0133 and ask for
(VC §14602.6)
a free card (DL 390) to list your
blood type, allergies, name of No person of any age may drive
your physician, and other medical on a highway or in a public park-
information. It can be carried along ing facility unless the person has a
with your DL/ID card. valid driver license or permit. The
law also states that you must not
Organ & Tissue Donation employ, permit, or authorize any
You may sign up to donate your unlicensed person to drive your
organs and tissue for transplanta- vehicle on a public street or high-
tion, after your death. When you way unless the person is licensed
apply for, or renew, your driver to drive that class of vehicle.
license or ID card checking “YES!
I want to be an organ and tissue Diplomatic Driver Licenses
donor” places your name on the Nonresidents who possess a valid
Donate Life California Organ Tis- diplomatic driver license issued by
sue Donor Registry. You may also the U.S. Department of State are
make a financial contribution at this exempt from California’s driver
time or by visiting the Donate Life licensing r­ equirement.
California website below. Driving Schools
If you are older than 13 and under When learning to drive, you should
18, you may still register with seek qualified instruction either in
Donate Life California, but your bona fide public or private high
parents or guardian must make the schools or in state licensed profes-
final decision regarding the dona- sional driving schools.
tion for any minor.
Professional schools and instruc-
For more information about the tors in California are licensed
donor registry, adding restrictions by the DMV after meeting rigid
to your gift, and the donation qualifying standards. Schools must
process, visit dmv.ca.gov or con- carry liability insurance, be bonded,

- 63 -
and maintain complete records Note: Governmental or non-
for DMV inspection. ­Vehicles profit organizations determine
are subject to annual inspection. whether an individual meets the
Instructors must pass a qualifying requirements for a reduced-fee
written examination every three ID.
years, or show proof of continuing If you are age 62 or over, you may
education in the traffic safety field. obtain a free Senior Citizen ID
If you use the services of a profes- card good for 10 years.
sional driving school, ask to see the
See page 62 to change your
instructor’s identification card.
address.
Free ID Cards For P&M Mature Driver Program
Conditions The Mature Driver Program is an
Drivers with physical or medical eight-hour course for drivers aged
(P&M) conditions may need to be 55 and older. The course covers a
reexamined from time to time by variety of topics of special interest
a physician or be retested more to the mature driver and is available
often than every five years (limited from course providers approved
term license status) by a DMV by DMV.
examiner.
Your insurance company may offer
Drivers who are no longer able discounts for those who complete
to drive safely because of a P&M the class and receive a comple-
condition may exchange their valid tion certificate­. The certificate is
driver license for an ID card for no valid for three years and can be
fee, if certain guidelines are met. renewed by completing a four-hour
Call 1-800-777-0133 for additional course.
information.
Pedestrian Responsibilities*
Identification (ID) Card Yield the right-of-way to vehicles
DMV issues ID cards to persons when you:
of any age. To obtain an original
ID card, you must present a birth • Cross or walk where intersec-
tions or crosswalks are not
date/legal presence verification
marked.
document and provide your social
security number. (See page 5.) • “Jaywalk” across a street be-
The ID card is good until the sixth tween intersections, where no
birthday after it is issued. The fee pedestrian crosswalks are pro-
for an ID may be reduced if you vided.
meet certain income requirements *Joggers must obey pedestrian rules.
for specific public assistance
programs.

- 64 -
Remember: Making eye contact If the signal begins blinking or
with the driver does not mean that changes to “DON’T WALK,” or
the driver will see you or yield the to an upraised hand after you have
right-of-way. gone part way across a divided
Do not suddenly leave a curb or street, you may continue across
other safe place and walk or run into the street.
the path of a vehicle close enough Do not stop or delay traffic unneces-
to be a danger to you. This is true sarily while crossing a street.
even though you are in a crosswalk. Pedestrians are not permitted on
The law states that drivers must any toll bridge or highway cross-
take care for the safety of any ing unless there is a sidewalk and
pedestrian—but if the driver can’t signs stating pedestrian traffic is
stop in time to avoid hitting you, permitted.
the law won’t help you.
If there is no sidewalk, walk fac-
Always obey traffic signals. ing the oncoming traffic (see the
Whether the intersection has picture). Don’t walk or jog on any
pedestrian signals or the usual freeway where signs tell you that
traffic lights, you must obey the pedestrians are not allowed.
pedestrian rules. (See page 58.)
At an intersection where traffic is At night, make yourself more
not controlled by signals, drivers visible by wearing white clothing
are required to yield the right of and retro-reflective materials, or
way to you within any crosswalk, carrying a flashlight.
marked or unmarked. Record Confidentiality
When a signal first changes to Most information in your driver
green or “WALK” for you, look license file is available to the
left, right, and then left again, and public. Your residence address
yield the right of way to any vehicle may only be viewed by authorized
in the intersection before the signal agencies. Your mailing address, if
changed. different from your residence, is
less restricted.
Records on the physical or mental
condition of a driver, however,
remain confidential­.
You may obtain a copy of your
driving record at any DMV office
for a fee and by providing valid
identification.

- 65 -
Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips title or credit cards in the
If you follow the suggestions vehicle.
below, you can minimize your • Always:
chances of becoming the victim of - roll up your windows and
vehicle theft. In the United States, lock your vehicle, even if
a vehicle is stolen an average of it’s parked in front of your
every 21 minutes. Vehicle theft house.
costs the victim time and money
and it costs society by increasing - park in high-traffic, well-light-
ed areas, whenever possible.
insurance premiums. Also, vehicle
thieves often use the stolen vehicles - report a stolen vehicle imme-
to commit other crimes. diately to the police.
Vehicle thefts seem to occur more • Suggestions:
often where large groups of cars - install a mechanical device
are parked for extended periods that locks the steering wheel,
of time, such as shopping centers, column, or brakes.
colleges, sporting events, movie
complexes, and large apartment - investigate the purchase of a
complexes. Vehicle thefts can occur vehicle theft tracking/security
system, especially if you own
anytime­—at random, on different
one of the frequently-stolen
days of the week and various times
model vehicles.
of the day.
Here are some tips you can use to - when you must leave your
avoid being the victim of vehicle key with a valet, attendant,
theft: or mechanic, only leave the
ignition key.
• Never leave:
- copy your license plate and
- your vehicle running and un- vehicle information on a card
attended, even to dash into a and keep that information with
store. you. The police will need this
- the keys in the ignition or in information, if your vehicle is
the vehicle. Don’t leave them stolen.
inside a locked garage or in
hide-a-key boxes. Traffic Breaks
Traffic breaks are used by law en-
- valuables in plain view, even
forcement for several reasons:
if your vehicle is locked. Place
them out of sight. - to slow or stop traffic to remove
hazards from the roadway.
- personal identification docu-
ments such as the ownership - conducting emergency opera-
tions.

- 66 -
- prevent traffic accidents in Move your vehicle to the right
heavy fog or unusually heavy shoulder of the road. The officer
traffic. will guide you utilizing his/her
During a traffic break, the officer patrol vehicle. Do not move onto
turns on the rear emergency lights, the center median. Too often driv-
slows the vehicle and drives across ers yield to the left and stop in the
the lanes of traffic in a serpentine center median of a freeway or on the
manner. To assist the officer in opposite side of a two lane roadway.
conducting a traffic break, follow This places both the driver and the
these rules: officer in danger of being hit by
oncoming traffic.
- activate your emergency flash-
ers to warn other drivers there On a freeway, move completely
is a hazard ahead. onto the right shoulder even if
you’re in the carpool lane. Stop
- slowly begin to decrease your in well lit areas when possible. Pull
speed. Do not slow abruptly your vehicle as far off the roadway
unless it is necessary to avoid
as possible. When it is dark, look
a collision. Slow to the same
for locations that have more light
speed while keeping a safe
(i.e., areas with street or freeway
distance from the patrol car
lights, near restaurants, service
ahead of you.
stations).
- do not attempt to drive past the Hang up your cell phone and turn
patrol vehicle. Do not acceler- off your radio. The officer needs
ate until the patrol vehicle has your full attention to communicate
turned off its emergency lights
with you and complete the enforce-
and traffic conditions ahead
ment stop in the least amount of
allow the return to normal
time needed. Turn off your radio
speeds.
and refrain from phone conversa-
What A Driver Should Do tion during the traffic stop.
During An Enforcement Stop Remain inside your vehicle unless
Acknowledge the officer’s pres- otherwise directed by the officer.
ence by turning on your right Never step out of your vehicle un-
turn signal. An officer may less an officer directs you to do so.
become alarmed if you fail to rec- During an enforcement stop, the
ognize him/her and might perceive officer’s priorities are your safety,
that you have a reason to avoid the safety of your passengers, and
yielding or that you might be im- the officer’s own personal safety. In
paired. Activating your signal lets most situations, the safest place for
the officer know that you recognize you and your passengers is inside
his/her presence.

- 67 -
If you see a drunk driver
on the road, call 911.

Provide law enforcement with the:

exact location
vehicle make & model
license plate

One call could save a life.

- 68 -
IF YOU DRINK AND DRIVE, THE COST OF A DUI
ARREST CAN TOTAL $8,240*
*If you use an attorney, the cost is even greater.

ALCOHOL IMPAIRMENT CHART


DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUGS IS ILLEGAL*
There is no safe way to drive while under the influence. Even one drink can make you an unsafe driver.
Drinking alcohol affects your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). change if you are drinking ale, malt liquors, fortified wines, port, brandy,
It is illegal to drive with a BAC that is .08% or more (.04% or more if different proof liquor, or if you are drinking on an empty stomach, are
you drive commercial vehicles; .01% or more if under 21). However, tired, sick, upset, or have taken medicines or drugs.
a BAC below .08% does not mean that it is safe or legal to drive. The How to use these charts: Find your weight chart. Then, look for the
charts below show the BAC zones for various numbers of drinks and total number of drinks you have had and compare that to the time shown.
time periods. Remember: “One drink” is a 1 1/2-ounce shot of 80-proof If your BAC level is in the grey zone, your chances of having an accident
liquor (even if mixed with non-alcoholic drinks), a 5-ounce glass of 12% are 5 times higher than if you had no drinks, and 25 times higher if your
wine, or a 12-ounce glass of 5% beer. These “one drink” equivalents BAC level falls in the black zone.

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BAC Zones: 90 to 109 lbs. 110 to 129 lbs. 130 to 149 lbs. 150 to 169 lbs. 170 to 189 lbs. 190 to 209 lbs. 210 lbs. & Up
TIME TOTAL DRINKS TOTAL DRINKS TOTAL DRINKS TOTAL DRINKS TOTAL DRINKS TOTAL DRINKS TOTAL DRINKS
FROM 1st
DRINK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 hr
2 hrs
3 hrs
4 hrs
Technical note: These charts are not legal evidence of actual BAC. Although it is possible for anyone to exceed the designated limits, the charts have been constructed so that fewer than
5 persons in 100 will exceed these limits when drinking the stated amounts on an empty stomach. Actual values can vary by body type, sex, health status, and other factors.
Legend: (.01%–.04%) Possible DUI—Definitely unlawful if under 21 years old (.05%–.07%) Likely DUI—Definitely unlawful if under 21 years old (.08% Up) Definitely DUI
* VC §§23152, 23153, 23136, 23140 DUI=Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs. DL 606MO (REV. 10/2004)
your vehicle. Exiting your vehicle • A surety bond for $35,000 ob-
without first being directed to by an tained from a company licensed
officer can increase the risk of being to do business in California.
struck by a passing vehicle. • A DMV issued self-insurance
Place your hands in clear view, certificate.
including all passengers (i.e., on You must carry written evidence of
steering wheel, on top of lap, etc.). financial responsibility whenever
During an enforcement stop, an you drive and you must show it
officer’s inability to see the hands to a peace officer after a citation
of the driver and all occupants in the stop or accident. You may have
vehicle increases the officer’s level to pay a fine or have your vehicle
of threat. Most violent criminal acts impounded if you don’t.
against a law enforcement officer
occur through the use of a person’s Insurance
hands (i.e., use of a firearm, use of Insurance Requirements
a sharp object). If your windows are The law states you must be
tinted, it is recommended that you financially responsible for your
roll down your windows after you actions whenever you drive and
have stopped your vehicle on the for all motor vehicles you own.
right shoulder of the roadway, and Most drivers choose to have a
before the officer makes contact liability insurance policy as proof
with you. of financial responsibility. If you
have an accident not covered by
ACTIONS THAT RESULT your insurance or you have no
IN LOSS OF LICENSE insurance, your driver license will
be suspended. If the driver is not
Financial Responsibility identified, the owner of the motor
California’s Compulsory Financial vehicle involved will have his or
Responsibility Law requires every her driver license suspended.
driver and every owner of a mo- The minimum amount your in-
tor vehicle to maintain financial surance* must cover per accident
responsibility (liability coverage) is:
at all times. There are four forms
• $15,000 for a single death or
of financial responsibility:
injury.
• A motor vehicle liability insur-
ance policy.
• A deposit of $35,000 with * Low cost automobile policies are available in
Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Imperial, Kern,
DMV. Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San
Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin,
San Mateo, Santa Clara and Stanislauis counties.
Please contact your insurance agent.

- 70 -
• $30,000 for death or injury to • Law enforcement shows on your
more than one person. driving record unless the report-
• $5,000 for property damage. ing officer says another person
was at fault.
Call 1-800-927-HELP before you
purchase insurance to make sure • You, or another party in the
your agent/broker and insurer are accident, shows on your record
licensed by the California Depart- if any one person has over $750
ment of Insurance. in damage or if anyone is injured
or dies.
If you are visiting California, or
have just moved here, be aware It does not matter who caused the
that many out-of-state insurance accident, DMV must keep this
companies are not authorized to record.
do business in California. Before Accidents, Insurance, and
you drive here, ask your insurance Minors
company if you are covered in case If you are under 18 years of age,
of an accident. If you have an ac- your parents sign your license
cident in California, all three of application and assume financial
the following conditions must be responsibility for your driving un-
met to avoid suspension of your less they ask DMV to cancel your
driving privilege: license. When you reach age 18,
1. Your liability policy must pro- your parents’ liability automati-
vide bodily injury and property cally ends.
damage coverage which equals If you are involved in an accident
or exceeds the limits stated you may be liable for civil damages
above; and you may also be fined.
2. Your insurance company must Drinking While Driving
file a power of attorney, allowing
Drinking And Driving Is
the DMV to act as its agent for Dangerous
legal service in California; and
You lose your judgment when
3. You must have insured the you drink alcohol or use drugs. It
vehicle before you came to is often the first thing about you
California. You cannot renew that changes. Loss of judgment,
the out-of-state policy once or good sense, affects how you
the vehicle is registered in react to sounds, what you see, and
California. the speed of other vehicles around
Accidents On Your Record you. It takes about an hour for the
Every accident reported to DMV body to get rid of each “drink.” If a
by: person has had more than one drink
an hour, one hour of “sobering up”

- 71 -
time should be allowed for each • Pep pills, “uppers,” and diet pills
extra drink. Better still, someone can make a driver more alert for
who has not been drinking should a short time. Later, however,
drive. (See page 76.) they can cause a person to be
Drugs And Driving nervous, dizzy, and not able to
Much of what has been said about concentrate. They can also affect
alcohol also applies to drugs. vision.
California’s drunk driving law is Any drug that “may cause drowsi-
also a drug driving law. It refers ness or dizziness” is one you should
to “driving under the influence not take before driving. Make sure
of alcohol and/or drugs.” If an you read the label and know the
officer suspects that you are under effects of any drug you use.
the influence of drugs, the officer Carrying Alcohol In A Vehicle
can require you to take a blood or The law is very strict about carry-
urine test. Drivers who refuse these ing alcohol or drugs in a vehicle
tests are subject to longer license whether the vehicle is on or off the
suspensions and revocations. highway. You must not drink any
Anyone convicted of possessing, amount of alcohol in any vehicle.
selling, or manufacturing illegal
drugs is subject to a six-month A container of liquor, beer, or wine
­suspension. carried inside the vehicle must
be full, sealed, and unopened.
The use of any drug (and the law Otherwise, it must be in the trunk
does not distinguish between or in a place where passengers don’t
prescription, over-the-counter, or sit. Keeping an opened alcoholic
illegal drugs) which impairs your drink in the glove compartment is
ability to drive safely is illegal. specifically against the law.
Check with your physician or
pharmacist and read the warning In a bus, taxi, camper, or motor
label if you are not sure you should home, the law does not apply to
drive after taking any medication. non-driving passengers.
Here are some facts: Refer to page 76 for the Designated
• Most drugs taken for colds, hay Driver Program.
fever, allergy, or to calm nerves Drivers Under 21 (Possession of
or muscles can make a person Alcohol)
drowsy. If you are under 21 years of age:
• Medicines taken together, or used • You may not have beer, wine or
with alcohol can be dangerous. liquor in your vehicle unless ac-
Many drugs have unexpected companied by a parent or other
side effects when taken with person specified by law. Excep-
alcohol. tion: You may carry alcoholic

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beverages while working for BAC Limits
someone with an off-site liquor It is illegal for any person to
sales license. operate:
• You may not have an alcoholic • A motor vehicle with a BAC of
beverage in your possession in .08% or higher.
your vehicle. If you are caught • Any vehicle requiring a com-
with an alcoholic beverage mercial driver license (with or
in your vehicle, it may be without a CDL issued to the
impounded for up to 30 days. driver), with a BAC of .04% or
The court may fine you up to higher.
$1,000 and either suspend your
driving privilege for one year • A motor vehicle with a BAC of
or require DMV to delay the .01% or higher, if the person is
issuance of your first license under age 21.
for up to one year, if you are not • A motor vehicle with any mea-
already licensed. surable BAC, if the person is
• Your driving privilege will be under age 18.
revoked for one year, if you are DMV can take an administrative ac-
convicted of either driving with tion against your driving privilege
a blood alcohol concentration after you are arrested and the court
(BAC) of .01% or higher or may take a separate action (sus-
driving while under the influ- pend, revoke or delay the license)
ence of an alcoholic beverage. for the same offense. DMV’s ac-
On the first offense you will tion is related only to your driving
be required to complete the privilege. The court’s action may
educational portion of a licensed involve payment of a fine, jail time,
driving-under-the-influence suspension, or revocation of your
(DUI) program. A subsequent driving privilege, and completion
offense may require a longer DUI of a DUI program.
program and you will not have
Similar provisions apply when
a restricted license to attend the
you operate any vessel, aquaplane,
DUI program.
water skis, or similar devices.
Drivers of All Ages (Harbors and Navigation Code)
It is illegal to drive after consum- These convictions are placed on
ing excessive alcohol in any form your driving record and will be used
(including medications such as by the court to determine “prior
cough syrup), or taking any drug convictions” for motor vehicle DUI
(including prescription medica- sentencing. These convictions are
tions), or using any combination also used when determining the
of alcohol or drugs. length of a suspension or revocation

- 73 -
action or the reinstatement require- lawyer before selecting or complet-
ments because of a violation you ing a test.
committed while driving a motor If a subsequent test reveals a BAC
vehicle. of .05% or higher, the officer will
ADMIN PER SE issue you an order of suspension,
arrest you for DUI (VC §23140),
When you drive in California,
and detain you until you can be
you consent to take a test of your
turned over to your parents or
breath or blood or, under certain
juvenile authorities. If your BAC
circumstances, your urine if you
is .08% or higher, the peace officer
are arrested for driving under the
may arrest you. (VC §§23152 or
influence of alcohol, drugs or a
23153)
combination of both.
If the officer reasonably believes
Under 21 – Zero Tolerance for
you are under the combined influ-
Alcohol Use. If you are under 21
ence of alcohol and drugs and you
you must submit to a preliminary
have already submitted to a PAS
alcohol screening (PAS) or one of
and/or a breath test, you may still
the other chemical tests if you have
be required to submit to a blood
been detained and a peace officer
or urine test because the breath
has reason to believe you were
test does not detect the presence
drinking alcohol. If your BAC mea-
of drugs.
sures .01% or higher on the PAS,
the officer may take your license, If you refuse to submit to any of
issue you a temporary license the tests, your driving privilege
for 30 days, give you an order of may be suspended for the refusal.
suspension for one year, and then Even if you change your mind later
determine whether to release you, and agree to a test, your driving
turn you over to juvenile authori- privilege may be suspended for
ties, or to contact your parents. You both reasons, although both actions
may request a DMV administrative will run concurrently.
hearing within 10 days. Court DUI Convictions
If your PAS showed a BAC of If you are convicted of driving with
.05%, the officer may require you excessive BAC or while under the
to submit to either a breath or blood influence of either alcohol or drugs
test. Some PAS devices provide a or both (DUI), you may be sen-
record which may be submitted tenced to serve up to six months in
in court as evidence. Other PAS jail and to pay a fine between $390
devices do not provide a record, and $1000 (plus about three times
so the officer may ask for a breath the fine in penalty assessments) the
or blood test after the PAS. You do first time you are convicted. Your
not have a right to consult with a
- 74 -
vehicle may be impounded and is impairment by alcohol at levels
subject to storage fees. lower than the legal limit. The
On the first conviction the court impairment you exhibit at the time
will suspend your driving privilege you are stopped may be enough
for six months and require you to to convict you of driving under
complete a DUI program before the influence even without a BAC
you can be reinstated. The length measurement.
of the program may vary. If your Drivers 21 and Older­—DUI
BAC was .15% or higher and you Programs and Restricted
already had a record of violations Licenses
for other reasons or you refused Completion of a DUI program is
to submit to a chemical test, the required for all DUI convictions.
court may order you to complete Generally, if you are over 21 and
a nine-month or longer program. enroll in a DUI program, file a Cali-
If your BAC was .20% or higher fornia Insurance Proof Certificate
and the court refers you to an en- (SR 22), pay the restriction and
hanced DUI treatment program, reissue fees, DMV will issue you
your license will be suspended for a restricted driver license which al-
10 months. lows you to drive to/from work and
You could also be required to install during the course of employment
an ignition interlock device (IID) (unless you hold a commercial
on your vehicle. An IID prevents driver license) and to/from a DUI
you from starting your vehicle program. However, if you would
if you have any alcohol on your be considered a “traffic safety” or
breath. If anyone was injured as a “public safety risk” if permitted to
result of your driving, the suspen- drive, the court may order DMV
sion period is one year. not to grant you a restricted driver
license. Other actions against you
In cases involving serious injury or
may also prohibit the issuance of
death, you may be punished under
a restricted license.
California’s Three Strikes Law.
You also could face a civil lawsuit. Second and subsequent DUI
All DUI convictions will remain convictions result in increased
on DMV’s records for ten years penalties, including a two-year
and the courts and the DMV may suspension or a revocation of up
impose more stringent penalties to four years. After you complete
for subsequent violations during a prescribed period of your suspen-
that period. sion/revocation and either enroll
in, or complete a portion of, a
A BAC below legal limits does
DUI program, you may obtain a
not mean that you are safe to
restricted license to drive anywhere
drive. Almost all drivers show
necessary if you:
- 75 -
• Install an IID on your vehicle. Getting a Ticket
• Agree not to drive any vehicle- If you are stopped by a police
without an IID. officer and cited for a traffic law
• Agree to complete the prescribed violation, you sign a promise to
DUI program. appear in traffic court. When you
go to court, you may plead guilty
• File an SR 22. or not guilty, or you may forfeit
• Pay the reissue and restriction (pay) bail. Paying bail is the same
fees. as a guilty plea.

Designated Driver Program If you ignore the traffic ticket and


don’t keep your promise to appear
The Designated Driver Program
in court, the failure to appear (FTA)
is an anti-DUI effort that works.
goes on your driver record. If you
The program encourages one indi-
fail to pay a fine (FTP), the court
vidual to abstain from consuming
will notify DMV and this will also
alcoholic beverages for an outing
show on your driver record. Even
so that he or she can be responsible
one FTA or FTP can cause the de-
for transporting the other members
partment to suspend your license.
of the group safely.
Ending the suspension will cost
To participate as a designated you a reissue fee of $55.
driver, an­­individual:
Each time you are convicted of
• Should be at least 21 years of age a moving traffic law violation,
and must possess a valid driver the court notifies the DMV and
license. the conviction is placed on your
• Must be part of a group of two driver license record. Convictions
or more persons and verbally reported by other states are also
identify himself or herself as the added to your driver record.
designated driver to the server.
Evading a Peace Officer
• Must abstain from consuming Any person who willfully flees or
alcoholic beverages for the dura- attempts to evade a peace officer
tion of the outing. performing his/her duties is guilty
• Must not be an otherwise im- of a misdemeanor punishable
paired driver. by imprisonment in a county
• Must understand that manage- jail for not more than one year.
ment reserves the right to refuse (VC §2800.1)
service to anyone at anytime. If a person is convicted of caus-
ing serious bodily injury during
the course of a police pursuit

- 76 -
(VC §2800.3[a]), he/she is subject • Reckless driving or hit-and-run
to: driving
• Imprisonment in a state prison • Driving under the influence of
for three, five, or seven years or alcohol/drugs
in a county jail for not more than
• Driving while suspended or
one year
revoked
• A fine of not less than $2,000 nor
If you get too many “points,” you
more than $10,000
will lose your driver license. A
• Both a fine and imprisonment violation received in a commercial
If a person is convicted of killing vehicle carries one and one-half
anyone during the course of a police times the point count normally
pursuit (VC §2800.3[b]), he/she is assessed.
subject to imprisonment in a state
prison for four, six, or ten years.
Vandalism/Graffiti—
All Ages
Points on The Driver Record California law allows the courts
DMV keeps a public record of to suspend the driver license for
all your traffic convictions and two years of a person convicted of
accidents. Each occurrence stays engaging in vandalism, including
on your record for 36 months or graffiti. If you are convicted and do
longer, depending on the type of not have a license, the courts can
conviction. delay the issuance of a license for
You may be considered a negligent up to three years from the date you
operator when your driving record are legally eligible to drive.
shows any one of the following Speed Contests/Reckless
“point count” totals regardless of
your license class:
Driving
A person convicted of driving
• 4 points in 12 months recklessly or engaging in a speed
• 6 points in 24 months contest which causes bodily injury
• 8 points in 36 months to another person is subject to:
Some examples of one point • imprisonment in a county jail or
violations: state prison for a minimum of 30
days to six months,
• A traffic conviction.
• a fine ranging from $220 to
• An at-fault accident. $1000 or,
Some examples of two point vio- • both fine and imprisonment.
lations:
(VC §23105 and VC
§23109.1)

- 77 -
Possessing Firearms vocation period, you may apply for
The court will: a new license and you must show
• Suspend or revoke the driving proof of financial responsibility.
privilege of any minor convicted DMV will revoke your license if
of possessing a concealable you are convicted of hit-and-run
weapon or live ammunition or driving or reckless driving which
results in injury.
• Impose driver license sanctions
for minors convicted of misde- Suspension By Judge
meanors involving firearms. A judge may suspend a per-
Traffic Violator School son’s license if convicted of the
following:
Dismissals
• Breaking speed laws or reckless
When a driver is cited for a traffic
driving.
violation, the judge may offer the
driver the opportunity to attend a • Driving under the influence of
Traffic Violator School. Drivers alcohol or drugs.
who do not have a commercial • Hit-and-run driving.
license may participate once in any
• Engaging in lewd conduct and
18-month period to have a citation
prostitution in a vehicle within
dismissed from their driving record
1000 feet of a residence.
this way.
NOTE: If you have a commercial • Assaulting a driver, passenger,
bicyclist, or pedestrian when
license and attend traffic school the
the offense occurs on a highway
citation will still appear on your
(road rage).
driving record regardless of the
type of vehicle you were driving • Failure to stop as required at a
when cited. railway grade crossing.

Suspension or Revocation • Felony or misdemeanor offense


of recklessly fleeing a law en-
By DMV forcement officer.
If you get too many negligent
driver points, DMV will place you Regardless of point count, many
on probation for one year (which serious offenses in which a vehicle
includes a six-month suspension) is used are punishable by heavy
or revoke your driving privilege. penalties such as fines and/or
(See page 77.) Your suspension or imprisonment.
revocation order informs you of
your right to a hearing.
At the end of the suspension or re-

- 78 -
vehicle registration requirements
This is a brief summary of California’s vehicle registration require-
ments. Visit the Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) web site for
detailed information.
California Vehicles
When you purchase a new or used vehicle from a licensed California
dealer, the dealer collects use tax and fees to register and title the
vehicle.
The dealer submits the fees and documents to DMV and gives you
temporary operating authority. Usually within six to eight weeks after
your purchase date, you will receive a registration card, license plates,
stickers, and a Certificate of Title, if appropriate.
If you obtain or purchase a vehicle from a private party, you must
transfer the ownership within 10 days. Submit the following to
DMV:
• A properly endorsed and completed Certificate of Title or Applica-
tion for Duplicate Title (REG 227).
• Smog certification provided by the seller, if required.
• Use tax payment, if required.
• Odometer Mileage Disclosure statement, if applicable.
• Appropriate DMV fees.
When you sell or transfer a vehicle, report it to DMV within 5 days.
You can complete the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability form
(REG 138) online, download the form and mail it, or call DMV if you
need a form to be mailed to you.

- 79 -
Out-of-State Vehicles
Vehicles registered in another state or foreign country must be regis-
tered in California within 20 days after you become a resident or get
a job. (See page 1.)
Nonresident military personnel and their spouses may operate their
vehicles in California with valid home state license plates or until
the plates issued from their last duty station expire. They may renew
the registration in their home state before it expires or register the
vehicle in California.
The items needed to register any out-of-state vehicle are:
• Completed and signed Application for Title or Registration
(REG 343).
• Verification of the vehicle completed by DMV or an auto club
employee.
• Out-of-state title and/or last issued out-of-state registration card, if
the title is not submitted.
• Smog certification (1976 and newer motor vehicles only).
• Weight certificate for commercial vehicles only.
• Appropriate DMV fees and use tax, if applicable.
• Completed Odometer Mileage Disclosure statement, if appli-
cable.

- 80 -
Related Fast Facts and Other Publications (available online):
• FFDL 05 Birth Date and Legal Presence Requirements
• FFDL 08 Social Security Number Requirements for a Driver License or
Identification Card
• FFDL 10 Potentially Unsafe Driver
• FFDL 14 Vision Requirements For Driving Class C Vehicles
• FFDL 15 Retention of Driver Record Information
• FFDL 16 Accidents, What To Do
• FFDL 19 Provisional Licensing Changes
• FFDL 22 How to Prepare for Your Driving Test
• FFDL 24 Identity Theft
• FFDL 26 A Guide to the Driver Safety Administrative Hearing Process
• FFDL 27 DMV’s Reexamination Process
• FFDL 28 Driver Distractions
• FFDL 29 Federal Hazardous Materials Requirements - USA Patriot Act
of 2001
• FFDL 31 Ignition Interlock Devices
• FFDL 32 Limited Term for Legal Presence - Driver License and Identi-
fication Card Applications
• FFDL 33 Selecting a Driving School
• FFDL 34 Organ and Tissue Donation
• FFDL 35 Driving Under the Influence - Immediate Driver License Sus-
pension: Drivers age 21 and Older
• FFDL 36 Driving Under the Influence - Immediate Driver License Sus-
pension: Drivers Under Age 21 With a 0.01% BAC
• Senior Guide for Safe Driving (DL 625)
• Parent-Teen Training Guide (DL 603)
• Driving Test Criteria (DL 955)*

*Available upon Request.

- 81 -
Next time you need the DMV, just visit us
online at www.dmv.ca.gov to:
Schedule an appointment
Complete a change of address
Order personalized license plates
Renew your driver license, vehicle, vessel, or
mobile home registration
File a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability
Estimate your vehicle registration fees
Check the status of an occupational licensee
Apply for a simple refund
Register to vote
Pay your traffic citations

- 82 -
SAMPLE TEST #1
1. When you drive through a construction zone, you should:
a. Slow down to watch the workers
b. Decrease your following distance
c. Pass the construction zone carefully and not “rubberneck”
2. To make a right turn at the corner, you:
a. May not enter the bicycle lane
b. Should only merge into the bicycle lane if you stop before turning
c. Must merge into the bicycle lane before turning
3. If a traffic signal light is not working, you must:
a. Stop, then proceed when safe
b. Stop before entering the intersection and let all other traffic go
first
c. Slow down or stop, only if necessary
4. A pedestrian is crossing your lane but there is no crosswalk. You
should:
a. Make sure the pedestrian sees you, but continue driving
b. Carefully drive around the pedestrian
c. Stop and let the pedestrian cross the street
5. Always use your seat belt:
a. Unless the vehicle was built before 1978
b. Unless you are in a limousine
c. When the vehicle is equipped with seat belts
6. The extra space in front of a large truck is needed for:
a. Other drivers when merging onto a freeway
b. The truck driver to stop the vehicle
c. Other drivers when they want to slow down
7. Roads are slippery after it first starts to rain. When the road is slippery
you should:
a. Avoid making fast turns and fast stops
b. Test your tires’ traction while going uphill
c. Decrease the distance you look ahead of your vehicle
8. Accidents can happen more often when:
a. All vehicles are traveling about the same speed
b. One lane of traffic is traveling faster than the other lanes
c. One vehicle is traveling faster or slower than the flow of traffic
GO ONLINE AT DMV.CA.GOV FOR MORE SAMPLE TESTS
ANSWERS: 1c, 2c, 3a, 4c, 5c, 6b, 7a, 8c

- 85 -
Sample Test #2
1. When you enter traffic from a stop (away from the curb), you:
a. Should drive slower than other traffic for 200 feet.
b. Need a large enough gap to get up to the speed of traffic.
c. Should wait for the first two vehicles to pass, than drive into the lane.
2. When passing another vehicle, it is safe to return to your lane if you:
a. Cannot see the vehicle directly to your right.
b. See the vehicle’s headlights in your rearview mirror.
c. Have passed the other vehicle’s front bumper.
3. Dim your lights for oncoming vehicles or when you are within 300 feet
of a vehicle:
a. You are approaching from behind.
b. Approaching you from behind.
c. You have already passed.
4. If you see orange construction signs and cones on a freeway, you must:
a. Slow down because the lane ends ahead.
b. Be prepared for workers and equipment ahead.
c. Change lanes and maintain your current speed.
5. U-turns in residential districts are legal:
a. On a one-way street on a green arrow.
b. When there are no vehicles approaching nearby.
c. Across two sets of solid double, yellow lines.
6. You consent to take a blood test for the alcohol content of your blood,
breath, or urine:
a. Only if you have been drinking alcohol.
b. Whenever you drive in California.
c. Only if you have an accident.
7. On a green arrow, you must:
a. Yield to any vehicle, bicycle, or pedestrian in the intersection.
b. Yield to pedestrians only in the intersection.
c. Wait four seconds before proceeding.
8. When driving at night on a dimly lit street, you should:
a. Drive slowly enough so you can stop within the area lighted by your
headlights.
b. Turn on your high beam headlights to better see the vehicles ahead of
you.
c. Keep the instrument panel lights bright to be more visible to other
drivers.
GO ONLINE AT DMV.CA.GOV FOR MORE SAMPLE TESTS
ANSWERS: 1b; 2b; 3a; 4b; 5b; 6b; 7a; 8a

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Address:

City, State, ZIP Code:

DL-600  ENGLISH  (REV. 6/2008)