Whether you live in California or you’re just planning to visit, you should be aware of our new driving laws (and changes to existing laws) that took effect on January 1, 2018:

Cannabis Use in Vehicles (SB 65, Hill): Is 4/20 your favorite holiday? We’re not judging, but this law prohibits smoking or ingesting marijuana or marijuana products while driving or riding as a passenger in a vehicle.

Parking Violations for Registration or Driver License Renewal (AB 503, Lackey): This law makes changes to a requirement under which vehicle registration renewal and driver license issuance/renewal is not granted if you have unpaid parking penalties and fees. The new law creates a process for low-income Californians with outstanding parking violations to repay their fines and penalties prior to the parking violation being reported to the DMV. It also allows the registered owner of a vehicle to file for Planned Non-Operation status when unpaid parking penalties are on the vehicle’s record. Finally, the law also allows for someone with outstanding parking penalties and fees to obtain or renew a driver license.

Disabled Person Parking Placards and Plates (SB 611, Hill): This law makes changes to the administration of the Disabled Person Parking Placard and Disabled Person License Plate Program, including requiring applicants to provide proof of true full name and birth date. The law will also limit the number of replacement disabled person parking placards an applicant can request without obtaining a medical certification to four in two years. It also requires the DMV to establish a renewal process that requires applicants to return a renewal notice by mail every six years. Currently, all permanent disabled placards expire in June 2019 and they are automatically renewed every two years. The placards expiring in June 2023 will be the first batch of placards subject to renewal. Applicants will not be required to obtain a medical certification as part of the renewal process. For more information about the new law effecting Disabled Person Placard and Plates, visit the DMV website.

Motorcycle Training Courses (AB 1027, Acosta): This law authorizes the DMV to accept a certificate of satisfactory completion of any motorcyclist-training program approved by the California Highway Patrol in lieu of the required motorcycle skills test. Applicants for an original motorcycle license or motorcycle endorsement under 21 years of age continue to be required to complete a novice motorcyclist-training program.

Firefighter License Plate Program for Surviving Family Member (AB 1338, Low): This law allows a surviving spouse, domestic partner, or child of a deceased firefighter or deceased retired firefighter to independently apply for and receive a California Firefighter Special License Plate for their vehicle.

Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program (SB 1, Beall): The DMV is now required to collect the Transportation Improvement Fee (TIF) ranging from $25 – $175, based on the vehicle’s current value, at the time of registration or renewal. The law also requires the department, beginning July 1, 2020, to collect a Road Improvement Fee for zero-emission vehicles with a model year of 2020 or later. The TIF is based on the vehicle’s current market value. Customers with a vehicle renewal notice due on January 1, 2018 and later will include the TIF.

Vehicles with Market Value Range Transportation Improvement Fee
Between $0 and $4,999 $25
Between $5,000 and $24,999 $50
Between $25,000 and $34,999 $100
Between $35,000 and $59,999 $150
$60,000 and higher $175

DUI – Passenger for Hire (AB 2687, Achadjian): Are you an Uber or Lyft driver? Beginning July 1, 2018, this law makes it unlawful for a person to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more when a passenger for hire is in the vehicle at the time of the offense. This will mean that drivers of passenger for hire, in their personal vehicles, will be held to a higher standard of safety while transporting people.

Buses and Seatbelts (SB 20, Hill): Beginning July 1, 2018, this law requires a passenger on a bus equipped with seat belts to be properly restrained by a safety belt. This law also prohibits a parent, legal guardian, or chartering party to transport on a bus, or permit to be transported on a bus, a child who is at least 8 years of age but under 16 years of age, unless they are properly restrained by a safety belt or an appropriate child passenger restraint system that meets federal safety standards.

Now that you’re up to speed, drive safe out there… and we’ll hope to see you at the Pomona Swap Meet soon!