Every week, Street Smarts gets a newsletter from the DMV with interesting information that result from frequently asked questions. Here are a few of the topics featured in “Ask the DMV”:
- Individuals age 62 and older can apply for a senior identification card at no charge. The card is valid for 10 years. Learn more at http://www.DMV.ca.gov/about/senior/senior_top.htm.
- People of any age can apply for an identification card, which is valid for six years. To apply, make an appointment online at http://www.DMV.ca.gov/foa/welcome.do?localeName=en before going down to the DMV and fill out form DL44. Provide your thumb print and social security number, have your picture taken, verify your date of birth and legal residency, and pay the application fee. For more information about acceptable birth date and residency documents, see http://www.DMV.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#BDLP.
- If your vehicle registration card is damaged, lost or stolen, you can get a new one. Simply complete an Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents (REG 156) (PDF). Make sure to include the vehicle license plate number, your true full name, current address, your driver license number, and signature. If the damaged registration card is still in your possession, attach it to the application and submit it in person by making an appointment at http://www.DMV.ca.gov/foa/welcome.do?localeName=en or by mailing it, plus the fee, to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 942869 Mail Station C-271
Sacramento, California 94269-0001
- The DMV has a website, called “Let’s Get It Started,” that caters to teen drivers and their families. Located at http://www.DMV.ca.gov/coi/teen/teen.htm, it features safe driving tips and suggestions, practice tests, videos and resources.
- If your car is hit by another vehicle while parked and the damages appear to be more than $750, you are not required to fill out a Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California, SR 1. This is because parked vehicles are exempt from the filing requirement. However, the DMV suggests you or your insurance agent, broker or legal representative complete the form anyway. Doing so allows the agency to verify insurance information of the other party and update the accident to that person’s driving record. Learn more at http://apps.DMV.ca.gov/forms/sr/sr104.pdf or call the DMV’s Financial Responsibility Unit at (916) 657-6677.
- In heavy rain or hail, it is illegal to drive with your hazard lights on. Drivers should use their headlights while traveling as safe speeds during such storms. Using hazard lights while driving in a storm could result in a traffic ticket. Review safe driving tips from the California Driver Handbook available at http://www.DMV.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/scanning.htm.
- If the dealership you are making car payments to goes out of business, contact the DMV’s Occupational Licensing Unit to verify the dealer’s business license and owner information. You also may file a complaint through the unit against the dealer. The complaints will be kept on file and action will be taken if the dealer applies for a new business license. For information about continuing making payments to obtain your vehicle’s title, contact the unit at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/vehindustry/ol/olbranch_top.htm or (916) 229-3126.
- Drivers cited for DUI while driving a friend’s vehicle and ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device but do not own a vehicle can seek an exemption from the DMV. Complete and return form DL 4055B, for Exemption for Ignition Interlock Device, within 30 days of receiving the notice from DMV. Learn more at http://DMV.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl31.htm.