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Expert Answers to Common DMV Questions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – 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 by Going Online,” at www.dmv.ca.gov.

Q:  I almost got in a car crash when I was on a mountain road because I wasn’t sure what to do and neither was the other driver.  Who has the right of way?

A: When two vehicles meet on a steep road where neither can pass, the vehicle facing downhill must yield the right-of-way by backing up until the vehicle going uphill can pass.  The vehicle facing downhill has the best control of the vehicle when backing up.  More rules of the road can be found in the California Driver Handbook online at www.DMV.ca.gov.

Q:  I own a local construction firm and all of my employees have cell phones with the push-to-talk feature.  Is using that feature allowed now that the new cell phone laws are in effect?

A: No.  There is only an exception to use the push-to-talk feature for those operating commercial motor trucks or truck tractors (excluding pickups), implements of husbandry, farm vehicles and tow trucks.  Also, operators of an authorized emergency vehicle and motorists operating a vehicle on private property are exempt.  However, if a hands-free ear piece or other hands-free device is attached to the push-to-talk feature, it is acceptable.  To get all of your questions answered about cell phone related driving laws, please visit: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/cellularphonelaws/index.htm.


Q: I am a car dealer and I always like to know when there are any new laws or updates that may affect my customers and the way I do business.  Is there an easy way to stay in touch with DMV happenings?

A: Yes.  You can now subscribe to receive DMV e-mail alerts. These notify you immediately when we have a new publication or an update posted on the department’s Web site that may affect your customers or business.  Just follow this link, http://www.emailalert.dmv.ca.gov/subscriptions.asp, where you can enter your e-mail address and choose the types of alerts you would like to receive.  This is a great tool for any business and can easily be updated or canceled at any time.  You can also visit the DMV Web site any time by logging on to www.dmv.ca.gov.  There you can find a plethora of information about all things DMV.  Save Time.  Go Online!

Q:  I just got a mo-ped to save gas and I’ve heard a lot of different information regarding where I can ride it.  I’ve been told that you cannot ride a mo-ped in a bicycle lane, is this true?

A: You may ride a mo-ped in a bicycle lane at a reasonable speed but must be careful of bicyclists using the lane.  To find more information about mo-peds go to the California Motorcycle Handbook on the DMV Web site in the Publications section or click on http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl655/dl665mcycle.pdf.

Q: Is there a course available for my grandmother to improve her driving skills where she can participate with other people her age?

A: Definitely.  Your grandmother can attend a Mature Driver Improvement Course, which is tailored to the needs of older drivers.  In this course, topics such as defensive driving, California vehicle laws, the effects of medication on a person’s safe driving ability and more will be discussed.  The course is six hours and costs $330 which includes a DMV certificate.  If your grandmother presents this certificate to her insurer, she may be eligible for a reduction on her vehicle insurance premium.  A list of approved programs can be found on the DMV Web site at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/about/senior/senior_top.htm by clicking on Mature Driver Improvement Programs.

[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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