DMV announces new laws that will take effect in 2011

SACRAMENTO – A required motorcycle safety course for under-21 motorcycle permit applicants, new oversight of online traffic violator schools, and extensions of HOV lane stickers are among several new laws of interest to California motorists that will take effect Jan. 2, 2011, the Department of Motor Vehicles announced today.

Following are capsule summaries of the new laws:

Motorcycle Instruction Permit (AB 1952/Niello): This new law requires a person under 21 years of age to complete an approved motorcycle safety course before being issued an instruction permit with which to practice operating a motorcycle, and requires the permit to be held for six months before being issued a class M motorcycle driver license. There are currently more than 6,000 drivers 19 years and younger who are licensed to ride a motorcycle in California.

Traffic Violator School Program (AB 2499/Portantino): Prior to this new law which starts January 1, the DMV only licensed and regulated “brick and mortar” classroom traffic violator schools. This new law will bring court-approved courses, such as online and home study traffic schools into the DMV Traffic Violator School licensing program and implements a number of recommendations included in a DMV study of traffic violator school issues. This law will have a 3-year implementation process.

High-Occupancy Vehicle Lanes (SB 535/Yee): Prior law that permitted certain fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles to display stickers allowing them to be operated in HOV lanes with a single occupant was to expire on January 1, 2011. The new law extends the “sunset” date for the yellow stickers for hybrid vehicles until July 1, 2011; the white stickers issued to fully-electric and compressed natural gas vehicles until January 1, 2015; and creates a third sticker, for plug-in hybrid vehicles, to be issued and valid from January 1, 2012 until January 1, 2015.

New Firefighter Endorsement (AB 1648/Jeffries): In an effort to simplify the proper licensing of firefighters while continuing to ensure public safety, this law exempts operators of firefighting vehicles from the Commercial Driver License program and creates a new license endorsement process.

New laws starting July 1, 2011 and beyond

Organ Donation (SB 1395/Alquist): Starting July 1, 2011, the language on the DMV’s application for a driver license will include a “no” option relative to an applicant’s willingness to register as a prospective organ donor to increase the number of enrollees in the organ donor program. This change will now require the organ donor registration field of the application to be answered with either a yes or no response.

Local Traffic Ordinances (SB 949/Oropeza): On July 1, in an effort of ensuring that traffic convictions are recorded by the Department of Motor Vehicles, local authorities may not enact or enforce a local ordinance on any matter covered by the California Vehicle Code.

Driving Under the Influence (AB 1601/Hill): Effective January 1, 2012, this bill authorizes a court to order a 10-year revocation of the driver license of a person convicted of a third or subsequent DUI violation, with possible reinstatement after five years if specified conditions are met.

7 Responses to "DMV announces new laws that will take effect in 2011"

  1. Vet   December 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    AB 1601/ Hill is effective January 1, 2012 for all "legal" residence. For those that are here Illegal, it is called, catch and release, the same old game.

    As one Democratic Rep in Sacramento stated, "if we pass this law, it will help undocumented aliens get licenses quicker. Because the people will hate that the legal citizens are going to be the only ones that are paying for this law".

    Whatever, if your a business, small or large, and higher the criminals, you too, should pay the fine, fee, sentence, for the people you replace Veterans with.

    Happy Holidays.

  2. Ray (the real one)   December 15, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Vet: A MEN! The No Si Habla policy.

  3. Ray (the real one)   December 15, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Vet: A MEN! The No Si Habla policy.

  4. Ray (the real one)   December 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    On December 14, 2010. I was rear ended by a motorist, a young kid from Northern California. Well after checking his license, registration and proof of insurance, NONE, No Si Habla, I called the SDSO who did nothing but let "it" go. Catch and release, now my rates increased, Thank you California for not having the "nads" of Arizona and deal with the problem. No damage to my vehicle besides a "tiny" dent, otherwise I would have deported him myself.

  5. Miguel Jose Rodriguez Diaz III   December 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm


    I love your country man! This place is great. Me and my homey brothers get all of the benefits of being a citizen and none of disadvantages. Better yet, if anyones complains, they get labeled as racist!

    God Bless America!

  6. Getalife   December 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Jeez, guys, is there anything in the world that doesn’t make you think about immigration? Really, get a new shtick.

  7. HMahon   January 2, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Sounds to me that Your insurance company is wrong!!! Any rear end collision that effects your car can not be held against the one that was rearended. Sooo..?


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