New Laws Affecting Motorists

New and changed laws that took effect January 1 will affect drivers in California. The following information was issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Temporary License Plate Program (AB 516, Mullin): Designed to reduce toll evasion

Licensed California dealers, of new and used vehicles must attach temporary paper license plates on a vehicle at the point of sale before it may be driven off the dealership lot, if that vehicle does not display license plates previously issued by the DMV.

Gender Identity Female, Male, or Nonbinary (SB 179, Atkins):

Applicants for a California driver license or identification card may now self-certify their chosen gender category of male, female or nonbinary in the application. Applicants who select nonbinary will receive a card with an “X” in the gender category.

Driving Under the Influence

Ignition Interlock Device (SB 1046, Hill): (Effective from January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2026)-Expands the IID pilot program that was in effect in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties

Repeat offenders for driving under the influence (DUI) and first DUI offenders whose violations resulted in injury, must install an ignition interlock device (IID) for a period ranging from 12 to 48 months.

Drivers who receive a suspension under the Administrative Per Se law for driving under the influence of alcohol.or drugs and alcohol may obtain an IID-restricted driving privilege, and receive credit toward their required IID restriction period if they are later convicted of a DUI.

Court will have the discretion to order a non-injury first DUI offender to install an IID for a period of up to 6 months. A non-injury first offender may also apply for a driver license for IID restrictions or restrictions that allow them to drive to, from, and during their employment and to and from a DUI treatment program for 12 months.

Smog Check Changes and New Abatement Fees (AB 1274, O’Donnell):

This law expands the existing smog check exemption to vehicles that are up to eight model years old, up from the current exemption of six model years. Vehicles will pay an annual $25 smog abatement fee during the two years of exemption. The current annual $20 smog abatement fee for the first six years of exemption remains unchanged.

Driving Privilege for Minors (AB 2685, Lackey):

A juvenile court no longer has the authority to suspend, restrict or delay the issuance of a driver license of a habitual truant or ward of the state for up to one year. Suspensions reported prior to January 1, 2019, remain in effect.

Motorized Scooters, (AB 2989, Flora):

Bicycle helmets are no longer required for riders of motorized scooters who are age 18 or older. Motorized scooters may not be driven on a highway with a speed limit greater than 25 miles per hour, unless it is within a Class IV bikeway as well as a Class II bikeway. Local authorities may authorize the operation of motorized scooters on roads with speed limits up to 35 miles per hour outside of a Class II or Class IV bikeway.

Unsafe, unsecured loads on vehicles (AB 1925, Choi):

The DMV must include at least one question addressing laws pertaining to driving with an unsafe, unsecured load in at least 20 percent of the driver license written tests. Unsecured loads present a danger to motorist and all vehicle loads must be covered or secured.

High-Occupancy Vehicle Lanes (AB 544, Bloom):

Low-emission vehicles and transitional zero-emission vehicles will have access to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes for an approximate four-year period, regardless of the vehicle occupancy level. The DMV will issue light purple decals in 2019 that will grant access to HOV lanes until January 1, 2023. Decals are available to applicants who have not applied for or received a consumer rebate pursuant to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, unless they meet annual income requirements.

Consult with knowledgeable San Francisco DMV defense professionals at Uthman Law Office right away. Attorney David Uthman has over 20 years of experience as a litigation attorney and almost a decade of experience as a police officer. We know the law, we know the process and we know what it takes for you to get the results you need. Call us today at (415) 556-9200 to schedule your FREE initial consultation.