Expert Answers to Common DMV Questions
Published: November 02, 2012
By George Valverde - Director, California Department of Motor Vehicles
Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration and 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.
Q: What is the proper way to handle an aggressive driver on the roadway?
A: Aggressive driving happens when crowded roads, rush_ing, and impatience cause one driver to react angrily to another driver. When you are confronted with an aggressive driver make every attempt to get out of their way but if that is not possible here are some suggestions to keep you safe: Wear your seat belt. Avoid eye contact. Eye contact can sometime enrage an aggressive driver. Put your pride aside. Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane. Ignore gestures and refuse to return them. You or a passenger may call the police and report aggressive driving. But, if you use a cell phone, and it’s not hands-free, you must first pull over to a safe location.
Q: If I lost my Driver License Renewal-by-Mail (RBM) Notice containing my Internet Renewal Identification Number (RIN), can I call and have another RIN sent to me?
A: No, DMV cannot issue you another RIN. If you lose your RBM Notice you can go to http://apps.DMV.ca.gov/forms/dl/dl410.pdfand print a copy of the RBM Notice Form (DL 410 FO) and renew your driver license by mail.
Q: What is the New Vehicle Lemon Law?
A:Under California’s Lemon Law, a new vehicle which is leased or sold with a manufacturer’s written warranty may be returned to the manufacturer for a refund or a replacement if it cannot be repaired.
Consumers can receive a copy of “Lemon-Aid for New Car Buyers” in English or Spanish by calling (916) 323-7239 or the toll-free number at 1-800-952-5210, or writing to the Department of Consumer Affairs at: DCA Publications, 401 S Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Q: How often may a driver attend traffic violator school in order to keep violations confidential (masked) and not part of the public record?
A: A driver who is referred by a court to traffic violator school may have only the first violation masked in an 18-month period. Subsequent violations during the 18-month period will not be masked.
Q: I paid my registration fees online and entered my checking account information. I received a dishonored check notice. How is this possible?
A: Make sure to correctly enter your bank account and routing numbers when making an online payment. On the DMV website, there is an example of where to locate the bank routing numbers, so please take a look before entering your check information.
When entering payment from an existing checking account, be sure to verify that the numbers are correct before entering the final payment. This will ensure that we are able to locate your account and deduct the payment.
Q: I was involved in a collision for the first time last week and had no idea what I was supposed to do. What steps should I take?
A: Being involved in a traffic collision can be very traumatic, especially your first one, so it is normal to feel overwhelmed. After any type of vehicle collision, no matter how minor, you must stop. Otherwise you may be convicted of “hit and run” and could be severely punished.
At the scene of a crash, it is important to show the following information to the other driver or persons involved, or to any peace officer.
· Your driver license
· Registration card
· Evidence of insurance
· Your current address
If you hit a parked vehicle or other property, try to find the owner. If you can’t find the owner, leave a note with your name and address and securely attach it to the vehicle. Report the collision without delay to the city police or, in unincorporated areas, to the Highway Patrol.
Following a crash, you or your insurance agent, broker, or legal representative must do the following:
· Move your vehicle off the street or highway. If you do not move your vehicle or have it removed from the street or highway, any peace officer or authorized personnel may have your vehicle removed and impounded.
· If someone is killed or injured, report the collision to the police or Highway Patrol within 24 hours.
· If there was more than $750 in damage to the property of any person, or anyone is injured or killed, report the collision to the DMV within 10 days.
The DMV has a brochure on what to do in the case of a collision. You can find it online at www.DMV.ca.gov.
Q: If you rear end someone, does the law always consider the collision to be your fault?
A: Though it is often the case, there is no law that determines which driver will be at fault in all cases. Still, it is very important that you know how to be a good defensive driver. To avoid a rear end collision, remember to:
· Plan ahead. Look down the road 10 to 15 seconds ahead of your vehicle so you can see hazards early
· Scan. Look beyond the car ahead of you. Look at the movement of cars around you. Don’t develop a “fixed stare”
· Don’t tailgate. Many drivers don’t see as far ahead as they should because they follow too closely and as a result, the vehicle immediately ahead blocks their view. Tailgating also gives you insufficient time to brake quickly
· Adjust your speed. Slow down in poor weather. Rain and snow can cause vehicles to slip on the roadway. It also impairs your vision, affecting your ability to drive safely
For more information on safe driving practices, visithttp://www.DMV.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/scanning.htm.
Q: Recently I took my behind the wheel driving test and failed. I immediately understood my error and asked if I could take the test again the same day. The examiner said that I couldn’t and that I would need to schedule another appointment. I am over 18, so whycouldn’t I take another driving test on the same day?
A: Driving test are scheduled by appointment only so offices can effectively manage their workload and resources. Additionally, this gives you more time to practice until your next appointment. Good luck on your next test!
Q: Although the registration fees are current, I am not operating my vehicle and I have canceled my insurance, now I am getting notices of “intent to suspend.” What should do?
A:When your registration fees are current and you are not operating your vehicle, you must submit an “Affidavit of Non-Use,” REG. 5090 form. This notification will stop the insurance suspension action.
If your vehicle is still not being operated when you receive a billing notice for your next renewal period, be sure to file a “Planned Non-Operational” status on the vehicle and pay the appropriate fee. For more information about vehicle registration insurance requirements, please visit our website at http://www.DMV.ca.gov/vr/insurance.htm
The DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Acting Undersecretary Traci Stevens. 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.