DMV reminds motorists of new 2019 laws

Updated December 26, 2018
DMV reminds motorists of new 2019 laws

It’s 2019, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles would like all motorists to be aware of some new laws as well as changes in some existing laws.  Here is a summary on some of them.  (A complete list of changes can be found here.)

  • Motorized Scooters:  Helmets are no longer required for adults 18 years of age or older who ride motorized scooters.  Also, scooters are prohibited on a highway with a speed limit over 25 mph unless it is within a Class IV bikeway as well as a Class II bikeway, or authorized by local authorities.
  • Driving Privilege for Minors: This law repeals a juvenile court’s authority to suspend, restrict or delay the issuance of a driver’s license of a habitual truant or ward of the state for up to one year. The law clarifies that any suspensions or delays reported prior to January 1, 2019, remain in effect.
  • Smog Check Changes and New Abatement Fees: 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. During the additional two years of exemption, these vehicles will pay an annual $25 smog abatement fee. The current annual $20 smog abatement fee for the first six years of exemption remains unchanged.
  • Temporary License Plate Program:  New and used car dealers are now required to attach a temporary paper license plate onKeys and drink glass a vehicle when it is sold, unless it already has a previously-issued plate.  No car is allowed to drive off the dealership lot without one.
  • Driving Under the Influence:  Ignition Interlock Device: From January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2026, this law mandates repeat offenders for driving under the influence (DUI) and first DUI offenders whose violations resulted in injury, to install an ignition interlock device (IID) for a period ranging from 12 to 48 months. (see DMV website for the complete law)

Reminder: Vehicles with green and white decals will no longer be able to use “High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes” (HOV Lanes) effective January 1, 2019.  However, vehicles issued a green or white decal between January 1, 2017 and March 1, 2018 are eligible to apply for a red decal which will allow them access to HOV lanes until January 1, 2022.  Light purple decals will be issued in 2019 and will grant access to HOV lanes until January 1, 2023. (See DMV website for additional details to this law)