“Ask George” Expert Answers to Common DMV Questions

December 31, 2008
By George Valverde - Director, California Department of Motor Vehicles Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration or insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California Department of Motor Vehicles has answers. “Save Time, Go Online,” at www.dmv.ca.gov. Now, readers can submit any DMV-related questions to askdmv@dmv.ca.gov!Q: How do I change my last name on my car registration? Can I do this online or does it have to be done through the mail?A: You can do both! To change or correct your name on your vehicle/vessel’s DMV record you must: Submit your Certificate of Title with your correct name printed or typed in the “New Registered Owner” section. Complete the Name Statement on a Statement of Facts form (REG 256) indicating the reason for the change and sign the bottom. You can save time by filling out and printing the Statement of Facts form online at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg256.pdf. Once you have properly filled out the form, take it to your nearest DMV office in person, or mail it to: Department of Motor Vehicles, P.O. Box 942869 Sacramento, CA 94269-0001. For more information on changing your name on your registration, please visit http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/howto/htvr17.htm.Q: How do I reassign a license plate to another vehicle?A: To reassign a license plate to another vehicle, complete a Special Interest License Plate Application online (REG 17) indicating that you want to reassign the plates to another vehicle. Once you have filled out the form, enclose the appropriate fees and either take them to your nearest DMV field office or mail them to: DMV, P.O. Box 932345, Sacramento, CA 94232-3450. To fill out and print out the REG 17 form online, please visit http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg17.pdf.Q: When is it legal to make a U-turn?A: You may make a legal U-turn:. Across a double yellow line when it is safe and legal.. In a residential district: if no vehicle approaching you is closer than 200 feet.. Whenever a traffic sign or signal protects you from approaching vehicles.. At an intersection on a green light or green arrow unless a “No U-turn” sign is posted.. On a divided highway only if an opening is provided in the center divider.For more information on legal U-turns, log on to www.dmv.ca.gov.
Q: I heard the DMV has a MySpace page, is this true? Where can I find it?A: Yes! The DMV MySpace.com ® page is located at http://www.myspace.com/californiadmv. The DMV’s MySpace.com(r) page offers useful information including additional “Ask George” questions and links to specific areas of the DMV’s Web site to help you conduct your DMV business faster and easier! This is also a fun and easy way to ask any DMV-related questions you may have - just send us a message! To visit the DMV Web site directly, log on to www.dmv.ca.gov. Save Time. Go Online. It’s safe, secure and convenient!Q: Are the written or audio driver license examinations offered in other languages besides English?A: Yes! Besides English, the basic Class C written driver license exam is also available in the following languages: Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Persian/Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, and Vietnamese.Besides English, the basic Class C audio driver license exam is also available in the following languages: Armenian, Chinese/Mandarin, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.Please note: In order to allow sufficient time for testing, the DMV does not administer written or audio exams after 4:30 p.m. For more information, please visit www.dmv.ca.gov.Q: Is there a fee for using an e-check on the DMV Web site?A: No. The DMV does not charge a fee for using an e-check (an electronic version of a paper check used to conduct transactions over the internet) or any other type of online payment on the DMV Web site at www.dmv.ca.gov. When using an e-check, the funds will be deducted within 24 hours of completing the transaction, excluding weekends and holidays. However, keep in mind that just like a paper check, your e-check can bounce if you do not have sufficient funds in your account to cover the amount of the check. For more information on DMV’s preferred payment methods, please visit http://www.dmv.ca.gov/faq/genfaq.htm.“Save Time by Going Online” with the DMV at www.dmv.ca.gov. The DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Secretary Dale E. Bonner. The DMV licenses drivers, maintains driving records, registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels, investigates auto and identity-related fraud, and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools. For more information about the DMV, visit www.dmv.ca.gov.

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