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California Right Of Way Laws In 2021

California Right Of Way Laws In 2021

This guide will cover the California right of way laws in 2021.

General Information About Right Of Way In California

Right-of-way rules, together with courtesy and common sense, help to promote traffic safety. It is important to respect the right-of-way of others, especially pedestrians, motorcycle riders, and bicycle riders. Never assume other drivers will give you the right-of-way. Yield your right-of-way when it helps to prevent collisions.

Respecting the right-of-way of others is not limited to situations such as yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, or watching carefully to ensure the right-of-way of bicyclists and motorcyclists. Motorists must respect the right-of-way of others by not violating traffic laws, such as failing to stop at a stop sign or traffic light, speeding, making unsafe lane changes, or illegal turns. Statistics show that right-of-way violations cause a high percentage of injury collisions in California.

California Right Of Way For Pedestrians

Pedestrian safety is a serious issue. A pedestrian is a person on foot or who uses a conveyance such as roller skates, skateboard, etc., other than a bicycle. A pedestrian can also be a person with a disability using a tricycle, quadricycle, or wheelchair for transportation.

In California, pedestrian deaths occur in approximately 22 percent of all traffic fatalities. Drive cautiously when pedestrians are near because they may suddenly cross your path.

Pedestrians may be at risk walking near hybrid and electric vehicles because these vehicles are virtually silent while operating. Use extra caution when driving near pedestrians.

  • Respect the right-of-way of pedestrians. Always stop for any pedestrian crossing at corners or other crosswalks, even if the crosswalk is in the middle of the block, at corners with or without traffic lights, whether or not the crosswalks are marked by painted lines.
  • Do not pass a vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk. A pedestrian you cannot see may be crossing the street. Stop, then proceed when all pedestrians have crossed the street.
  • Do not drive on a sidewalk, except to cross it to enter or exit a driveway or alley. When crossing, yield to all pedestrians.
  • Do not stop in a crosswalk. You will place pedestrians in danger.
  • Remember, if a pedestrian makes eye contact with you, he or she is ready to cross the street. Yield to the pedestrian.
  • Allow older pedestrians, disabled pedestrians and pedestrians with young children sufficient time to cross the street.

Important: Blind pedestrians rely on the sound of your vehicle to become aware of your vehicle’s presence; so, it is important that you stop your vehicle within 5 feet of the crosswalk. Drivers of hybrid or electric vehicles must remain especially aware that the lack of engine noise may cause a blind pedestrian to assume there is not a vehicle nearby. Follow this cue:

California Laws Regarding Right Of Way In Crosswalks

A crosswalk is the part of the roadway set aside for pedestrian traffic. Most intersections have a pedestrian crosswalk whether or not lines are painted on the street. Most crosswalks are located at corners, but they can also be located in the middle of the block. Before turning a corner, watch for people about to cross the street. Pedestrians have the right-of-way in marked or unmarked crosswalks.

Crosswalks are often marked with white lines. Yellow crosswalk lines may be painted at school crossings. Most often, crosswalks in residential areas are not marked.

Some crosswalks have flashing lights to warn you that pedestrians may be crossing. Look for pedestrians and be prepared to stop, whether or not the lights are flashing.

Laws & Regulations For Right Of Way For Intersections In California

An intersection is any place where one line of roadway meets another roadway. Intersections include cross streets, side streets, alleys, freeway entrances, and any other location where vehicles traveling on different highways or roads join each other.

Driving through an intersection is one of the most complex traffic situations motorists encounter. Intersection collisions account for more than 45 percent of all reported crashes and 21 percent of fatalities according to the Federal Highway Administration.

  • At intersections without “STOP” or “YIELD” signs, slow down and be ready to stop. Yield to traffic and pedestrians already in the intersection or just entering the intersection. Also, yield to the vehicle or bicycle that arrives first, or to the vehicle or bicycle on your right if it reaches the intersection at the same time as you.
  • At “T” intersections without “STOP” or “YIELD” signs, yield to traffic and pedestrians on the through road. They have the right-of-way.
  • When you turn left, give the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching that are close enough to be dangerous. Also, look for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

    Safety suggestion: While waiting to turn left, keep your wheels pointed straight ahead until it is safe to start your turn. If your wheels are pointed to the left, and a vehicle hits you from behind, you could be pushed into oncoming traffic.

  • When you turn right, be sure to check for pedestrians crossing the street and bicyclists coming up behind you on the right.
  • On divided highways or highways with several lanes, watch for vehicles coming in any lane you cross. Turn either left or right only when it is safe.
  • When there are “STOP” signs at all corners, stop first then follow the rules listed above.
  • If you have parked off the road or are leaving a parking lot, etc., yield to traffic before reentering the road.

Right Of Way For Roundabouts In California

A roundabout is an intersection where traffic travels around a central island in a counter-clockwise direction. Vehicles entering or exiting the roundabout must yield to all traffic including pedestrians.

When you approach a roundabout:

  • Slow down as you approach the roundabout.
  • Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the roadway.
  • Watch for signs and/or pavement markings that guide you or prohibit certain movements.
  • Enter the roundabout when there is a big enough gap in traffic.
  • Drive in a counter-clockwise direction. Do not stop or pass other vehicles.
  • Use your turn signals when you change lanes or exit the roundabout.
  • If you miss your exit, continue around until you return to your exit.

Multiple and single-lane roundabout

Roundabout

For roundabouts with multiple lanes, choose your entry or exit lane based on your destination as shown in the graphic. For example, to:

  • Turn right at the intersection (blue car), choose the right-hand lane and exit in the right-hand lane.
  • Go straight through the intersection (red car), choose either lane, and exit in the lane you entered.
  • Turn left (yellow car), choose the left lane, and exit.

Right Of Way Rules On Mountain Roads In California

When two vehicles meet on a steep road where neither vehicle 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 greater amount of control when backing up the hill.

California Traffic Control Light Laws & Rules

California Traffic Light Laws

This guide will go over the laws and rules regarding California traffic control lights.

Traffic Signal Lights In California

Solid Red– A red signal light means “STOP.” You can make a right turn against a red light after you stop then yield to pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles close enough to be a hazard. Make the right turn only when it is safe. Do not turn if a “NO TURN ON RED” sign is posted.

Red Arrow– A red arrow means “STOP.” Remain stopped until the green signal or green arrow appears. Do not turn against a red arrow.

Flashing Red– A flashing red signal light means “STOP.” After stopping, you may proceed when it is safe. Observe the right-of-way rules.

Solid Yellow– A yellow signal light means “CAUTION.” The red signal is about to appear. When you see the yellow light, stop if you can do so safely. If you cannot stop safely, cross the intersection cautiously.

Yellow Arrow– A yellow arrow means the “protected” turning time period is ending. Be prepared to obey the next signal, which could be the green or red light or the red arrow.

Flashing Yellow– A flashing yellow signal light warns you to “PROCEED WITH CAUTION.” You do not need to stop for a flashing yellow light, but you must slow down and be especially alert before entering the intersection.

Flashing Yellow Arrow– This signal means turns are permitted (unprotected), but you must first yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians and then proceed with caution.

Solid Green–Give the right-of-way to any vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian in the intersection. A green light means “GO.” If you are turning left, make the turn only if you have enough space to complete the turn before creating a hazard for any oncoming vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian. Do not enter the intersection if you cannot get completely across before the light turns red. If you block the intersection, you can be cited.

Green Arrow–A green arrow means “GO.” You must turn in the direction the arrow is pointing after you yield to any vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian still in the intersection. The green arrow allows you to make a “protected” turn. Oncoming vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians are stopped by a red light as long as the green arrow is lighted.

Traffic Signal Blackout– The traffic signal light is not working. Proceed cautiously as if the intersection is controlled by “STOP” signs in all directions.

California Driving Laws For Occupants

California Driving Laws For Occupants And Passengers 2021

Did you know that some driving laws in California apply to occupants and passengers? If you are a passenger in a vehicle within the state of California, here are the rules you need to follow.

Passenger Seat Belt Laws In California

Seat belts, both the lap belt and shoulder harness, must be in good working order. You may not operate your vehicle on public roads and on private property, such as public parking lots, unless you and all of your passengers eight years of age or older, or children who are 4 feet 9 inches tall or taller are wearing seat belts; and children younger than eight years old or who are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall are seated in a federally-approved child passenger restraint system. You and all passengers must wear a seat belt or, you and/or your passenger(s) may be cited. If the passenger is under 16 years of age, you may be cited if he or she is not wearing his or her seat belt.

Always use your seat belts (including the shoulder harness) even if the vehicle is equipped with air bags. You can have shoulder harnesses or seat belts installed in older vehicles. Even if you wear only a lap belt when driving, your chances of living through a collision are twice as high as someone who does not wear a lap belt. If you wear a lap and shoulder belt, your chances are three to four times higher to live through a collision.

Pregnant women should wear the lap belt as low as possible under the abdomen, and the shoulder strap should be placed between the breasts and to the side of the abdomen’s bulge.

WARNING: Using seat belts reduces the risk of being thrown from your vehicle in a collision. If you do not install and use a shoulder harness with the seat (lap) belt, serious or fatal injuries may happen in some collisions. Lap-only belts increase the chance of spinal column and abdominal injuries—especially in children. Shoulder harnesses may be available for your vehicle, if it is not already equipped with them.

Mistaken Beliefs About Seat Belts

Many studies and actual crash tests have proven safety belts can reduce injuries and deaths. Have you heard these myths?

MYTH: “Seat belts can trap you inside a vehicle.” Research shows it actually takes less than a second to take off a seat belt. This myth often describes a vehicle that caught fire or sank in deep water. A seat belt may keep you from being “knocked out.” Therefore, your chances to escape are better if you are conscious

MYTH: “Seat belts are good on long trips, but I don’t need them if I’m driving around town.” More than half of all traffic deaths happen within 25 miles of home. Do not take chances with your life or the lives of your passengers. Buckle up every time you drive regardless of travel distance.

MYTH: “Some people are thrown from a vehicle in a crash and walk away with hardly a scratch.” Research shows your chances of surviving a collision are five times better if, upon impact, you are not thrown from the vehicle. A seat belt can keep you from being thrown into the path of another vehicle.

MYTH: “I’m only going to the store. My little brother or sister doesn’t need to be secured in a safety seat.” Research shows car collisions are the number one preventable cause of death for children. The law requires that children under eight years of age who are 4 feet 9 inches tall or taller to be properly secured with an appropriate safety belt or be buckled into a federally-approved child passenger restraint system if under eight years of age and less than 4 feet 9 inches tall.

The following graphic illustrates what can happen in a collision. If you are struck from the side, the impact could push you back and forth across the seat. Seat belts and shoulder harnesses keep you in a better position to control the vehicle and may minimize serious injuries.

When you collide, your vehicle stops, but you keep going at the same speed you were traveling, until you hit the dashboard or windshield. At 30 miles per hour (mph) this motion is equivalent to hitting the ground from the top of a three-story building.

Occupant Impact

California Laws Regarding Child Restraint System and Safety Seats

Any child who is under eight (8) years old must be secured in a federally-approved child passenger restraint system and ride in the back seat of a vehicle.

EXCEPTION: A child who is under eight (8) years old and who is at least 4 feet 9 inches tall may instead use a properly secured seatbelt.

A child who is under eight (8) years old may ride in the front seat of a vehicle in the following instances:

  • There is no rear seat or the rear seats are either side-facing jump seats or rear-facing seats.
  • The child passenger restraint system cannot be properly installed in the rear seat.
  • All rear seats are already occupied by children under the age of seven (7) years.
  • A medical reason requires the child to ride in the front seat.

A child may not ride in the front seat of an airbag-equipped vehicle if the child:

  • Is less than one (1) year of age.
  • Weighs less than 20 lbs.
  • Is riding in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system.

Children eight (8) years of age and older, but under 16 years old must be properly secured with an appropriate seatbelt.

Proper child passenger restraint system installation can be checked by contacting local law enforcement agencies or fire departments that may provide this service or refer you to a child passenger safety technician in your area. As your child grows, check with these agencies to confirm that the car seat is the correct size for your child.

California Air Bag Regulations

Most people can take steps to eliminate or reduce air bag risk without turning off air bags. The biggest risk is being too close to the air bag. An air bag needs about 10 inches of space to inflate. Ride at least 10 inches (measured from the center of the steering wheel to your breastbone) from the air bag cover, if you can do this while maintaining full control of the vehicle. If you cannot safely sit 10 inches away from the air bag, contact your vehicle dealer or manufacturer for advice about additional ways of moving back from your air bag.

Passengers should also sit at least 10 inches away from the passengerside air bag.

Side-Impact Air Bags

Side-impact air bags can provide extra safety benefits to adults in side-impact crashes. However, children who are seated next to a side air bag may be at risk of serious or fatal injury. Since side air bags are different in design and performance, you should consider the benefits and risks associated with the use of side air bags if you transport children. Studies have shown that children who are leaning against a side air bag when it inflates are at risk of serious injury. These studies also show that children who are traveling in a correctly installed child restraint system appropriate to age and weight are not at risk of serious injury. These children are usually not in the path of a side air bag when it inflates.

California Laws Regarding Unattended Children In Motor Vehicles

It is never a good idea to leave a child unattended in a vehicle.

It is illegal to leave a child six years or younger unattended in a motor vehicle.

The court may fine a violator and require him or her to attend a community education program. Also, DMV and court penalties for leaving an unattended child in a vehicle are more severe if the child is injured, requires emergency medical services, or dies.

NOTE: The child may be left under the supervision of a person 12 years of age or older.

Hot Weather Risks

As stated in the “Unattended Children in Motor Vehicles” section above, it is against the law to leave unattended minor children in a vehicle (CVC §5620). Additionally, and equally important, it is dangerous and deadly to leave children and/or animals in a hot vehicle. After sitting in the sun, even if a window is slightly opened, the temperature can rise rapidly inside a parked vehicle. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise approximately 40-50 degrees higher than the outside temperature.

Dehydration, heat stroke, and death can result from overexposure to the heat. Remember if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for children and pets.

How To Change Information On Your California Driver’s License

How To Change Information On Your California Driver's License

While a bit inconvenient, it is possible to change information on your California driver’s license. In this guide, you’ll learn about the changes you can make and how to make them.

To Replace A Lost/Stolen Or Damaged Driver License

If your driver’s license is lost, stolen, or damaged, you must go to a DMV office, complete the Driver License or Identification Card Application (DL 44) form, and pay a fee for the replacement. You should also present photo identification. If the DMV cannot confirm your identity, you will not be issued a temporary driver’s license.

If you are a minor, your parent(s) or guardian(s) must sign the (DL 44) form. If both parents/guardians have joint custody, both must sign.

Once a replacement driver’s license is issued, the previous driver’s license is no longer valid. Destroy the old driver’s license if you find it later.

How To Make Name Changes On A California Driver’s License

When you legally change your name because of marriage or other reasons, be sure to change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) before coming into the DMV.

Bring your driver’s license to the DMV in person, along with your marriage certificate or other acceptable verification of your “true full name” (refer to Obtaining a Driver License section). You must complete the Driver License or Identification Card Application (DL 44) form and pay the applicable fee. The DMV will electronically verify your name, birth date, and social security number (SSN) with the SSA.

A new picture, fingerprint, and signature will be taken. Your old photo DL/ID card will be invalidated and returned to you.

California Driver’s License Renewals

The DMV sends a renewal notice to your address of record about two months before your driver’s license expires. Follow the instructions on the renewal notice. If you do not receive a renewal notice, go online or call to make an appointment to renew your driver’s license (refer to the DMV Information page for details on appointments).

Qualified drivers may be eligible to renew their driver license online at DMV’s website at the www.dmv.ca.gov or by mail.

The DMV may issue a driver license for five years. The driver license expires on your birthday in the year shown on the driver license, unless otherwise indicated. It is against the law to drive with an expired driver license.

A driving test may be required as part of any driver license transaction. Driving tests are not required simply because of age.

If the DMV cannot confirm your identity, you will not be issued a temporary driver license.

For other types of driver, licenses refer to the California Commercial Driver Handbook (PDF), Recreational Vehicles and Trailers Handbook, or California Motorcycle Handbook.

California Driver’s License Renewal By Mail, Internet, Or Telephone

If you have not received two consecutive five-year driver license extensions, you may be eligible to renew by mail, Internet, or telephone without taking a law test, if:

  • Your current driver license expires before age 70.
  • You do not have a probationary driver license (CVC §14250).
  • You have not violated a written promise to appear in court or to pay a fine within the last two years.
  • You are not suspended for driving with an illegal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level, or refusing or failing to complete a chemical or preliminary alcohol screening test within the last two years.
  • You do not have a total violation point count greater than one point.

NOTE: If you renew by telephone, you must have the Renewal Identification Number (RIN) available when you call. This can be found on your renewal notice.

California Driver’s License Extension

If you are away from California (up to one year), you may request a free one-year extension before your driver license expires. Mail your request to DMV, PO Box 942890, Sacramento, CA 94290-0001. Include your name, driver license number, birth date, California residence address, and out-of-state address. Limited term drivers are not eligible for this extension.

When Must You Have A Driver’s License In Your Possession?

You must always have your driver’s license with you when you drive. Show it to any police officer who asks to see it. If you are in a collision, you must show it to the other driver(s) involved (refer to the “Involved in a Collision” section).

Making Address Changes On Your California Driver’s License

When you move, you must give the DMV your new address within 10 days. There is no fee to change your address. You may notify the DMV of your address change for your driver license, identification card, and vehicle(s) online at www.dmv.ca.gov. You may also download a Change of Address (DMV 14) form and mail it to the address on the form, or call the DMV at 1-800-777-0133, and request a DMV 14 form be mailed to you.

A new driver license or identification card is not issued when you change your address.

You may type or write your new address on a small piece of paper, sign, and date the paper and carry it (do not use tape or staples) with your driver license or identification card.

If you change your address at a field office, the DMV representative will give you a Change of Address Card (DL 43) to complete and carry with your driver license or identification card.

Reminder: The U.S. Postal Service forwards some DMV correspondence; however, it is your responsibility to ensure the DMV has your correct mailing address on record.

California DMV Vision Examinations

DMV screens all drivers to measure vision with or without corrective lenses. If you do not meet DMV’s vision standard (20/40), you will be required to visit a vision specialist. The DMV representative will give you a Report of Vision Examination (DL 62) form to have completed by the vision specialist. If your vision is not worse than 20/70, DMV may issue you a 30-day temporary driver license to allow you time to have your vision checked.

California Medical Information Card

Call 1-800-777-0133 to obtain a Medical Information Card (DL 390) to list your blood type, allergies, name of physician, and other medical information. It can be carried with your DL/ID card.

Making Organ and Tissue Donation Changes In California

You may sign up to donate your organs and tissue for transplantation after your death. When you apply for or renew your driver license or ID card, check the “YES! Add my name to the donor registry.” box on the renewal form to place your name on the Donate Life California Organ Tissue Donor Registry. If you need additional information, check the “I do not wish to register at this time.” box and call Donate Life California where Donate Life California representatives can answer any questions you may have about organ and tissue donation. You may also use the renewal form to financially contribute to the registry by checking the “$2 voluntary contribution to support and promote organ and tissue donation.” box.

If you are older than 13, and under 18 years of age, you may register with Donate Life California, provided your parent(s) or guardian(s) authorize the donation.

For more information about the donor registry, adding restrictions to your gift, and the donation process, visit the Donate Life California website at donateLIFEcalifornia.org, or call 1-866-797-2366. You may consent to the organ and tissue donation on their website; however, a new driver license or identification card with a pink dot will not be issued until you check “YES! Add my name to the donor registry.” box on a driver license or identification application form and DMV processes the new transaction (replacement, renewal, change of name, etc.).

California Veteran Benefit Changes

Have you ever served in the United States Military? The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet), CalVet Connect program, would like you to receive information regarding benefits, such as employment, housing, education, and health care services, for which you may be entitled. Check the “I have served in the United States Military and I want to receive veteran benefits information.” box on the Driver License or Identification Card Application (DL 44) form. The DMV will transmit your name and mailing address to the CalVet for them to forward you benefits information.

To locate a CalVet office near you, refer to your local government listing in your telephone book, or visit the CalVet’s website at www.CalVet.ca.gov or the DMV’s website at www.dmv.ca.gov.

Unlicensed Drivers In California

It is against the law to loan your vehicle to a person who is unlicensed or whose driving privilege has been suspended. If an unlicensed person is caught driving your vehicle, it may be impounded for 30 days (CVC §14607.6).

No person of any age may drive on a highway or in a public parking facility unless he or she has a valid driver license or permit. The law also states that you must not employ, permit, or authorize any person to drive your vehicle on a public street or highway, unless he or she is licensed to drive that class of vehicle.

A person must be at least 21 years old to drive most commercial vehicles for hire in interstate commerce and to transport hazardous materials or wastes.

Diplomatic Driver Licenses In California

Nonresidents who possess a valid diplomatic driver license issued by the U.S. Department of State are exempt from California driver licensing requirements.

California Identification (ID) Cards

The DMV issues ID cards to eligible persons of any age. To obtain an original ID card, you must present a birth date/legal presence verification document and provide your social security number refer to the “Obtaining a Driver License” section). The ID card is valid until the sixth birthday after the issue date. The fee for an ID card may be reduced, if you meet certain income requirements for specific public assistance programs refer to the FFDL 6 Requirements for a California Identification Card brochure for additional information..

Note: Governmental or non-profit organizations determine whether an individual meets the requirements for a reduced-fee ID card.

If you are age 62 or older, you may obtain a free senior citizen ID card that is good for 10 years.

Free ID Cards For Physical And Mental (P&M) Conditions In California

Drivers with physical or mental (P&M) conditions may need to be reexamined from time to time by a physician or be retested more often than every five years by a DMV examiner to obtain a limited-term driver license.

Drivers who are no longer able to drive safely because of a P&M condition may be eligible to exchange their valid driver license for a no-fee ID card, if certain guidelines are met. Go online at www.dmv.ca.gov or call 1-800-777-0133 for additional information.

Identification (ID) Card Renewal by Mail or Internet

Customers who are eligible to renew their ID cards by mail or Internet will receive a Renewal by Mail or Internet Notice approximately 60 days before the expiration of their current ID card. Reduced-fee ID cards cannot be renewed by mail or Internet.

There is a fee for regular ID cards (customers under 62 years of age); there is no charge for senior citizen ID cards (customers 62 years of age or older), if applying for a senior citizen ID card.

Finding Driving Schools In California

When learning to drive, you should seek qualified instruction, either with a public or private high school or a state licensed professional driving school.

The DMV licenses professional schools and instructors in California that meet rigid qualifying standards. Schools must carry liability insurance, hold a bond, and maintain complete records for the DMV inspection. Vehicles are subject to an annual inspection. Instructors must pass a written examination every three years or show proof of continuing education in the traffic safety field. If you use the services of a professional driving school, ask to see the instructor’s identification card. Go online at www.dmv.ca.gov or refer to the Selecting a Driving School (FFDL 33) Fast Facts brochure for additional information.

The 4 Best Online Driver’s Ed Courses In California

Mature Driver Programs In California

The Mature Driver Program is an eight-hour course for drivers 55 and older. This course covers a variety of topics of special interest to the mature driver and is available from the DMV-approved course providers.

Your insurance company may offer discounts for those who complete the class and receive a completion certificate­. The certificate is valid for three years and can be renewed by completing a four-hour course.

The 4 Best California Online Traffic Schools

Pedestrian Responsibilities In California

Pedestrians (including joggers) should be aware of traffic conditions. Watch out for drivers before assuming that you have the right-of-way when crossing a street.

Be aware that hybrid and electric vehicles are virtually silent when running on electric power and you may not hear them approaching an intersection.

Yield the right-of-way to vehicles when you cross a street between intersections and in areas with no pedestrian crosswalks or signals.

Remember: Making eye contact with a driver does not mean the driver will yield the right-of-way.

Do not suddenly leave a curb or other safe place, and walk or run into the path of a vehicle close enough to be a danger to you. This is true even though you are in a crosswalk. The law states that drivers must always yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian, but if the driver cannot stop in time to avoid hitting you, the law will not prevent you from being hit.

Avoid distractions as a pedestrian. Do not use your mobile phone or electronic device while moving. To avoid becoming a hazard to vehicles and other pedestrians, you should be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Always obey traffic signals. Whether the intersection has pedestrian signals or traffic lights, you must obey the pedestrian rules. At an intersection where traffic is not controlled by signals, drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within any crosswalk, marked or unmarked.

When a signal first changes to green or “WALK,” look left, right, and then left again, and yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection before the traffic signal changes.

If the signal begins blinking or changes to “DON’T WALK,” or to an upraised hand after you have gone part way across a divided street, you may continue across the street.

Do not stop or delay traffic unnecessarily while crossing a street.

Pedestrians are not permitted on any toll bridge or highway crossing, unless there is a sidewalk and signs stating pedestrian traffic is permitted.

If there are no sidewalks, walk facing oncoming traffic (see graphic). Do not walk or jog on any freeway where signs tell you that pedestrians are not allowed. Do not walk or jog in a bike lane unless there is no sidewalk.

Pedestriams waking along a roadway.

At night, make yourself more visible by:

  • Wearing white, light, or reflective material clothing.
  • Carrying a flashlight.

California Minors Driving Permit Requirements For 2021

California Minors Driving Permit Requirements 2021

Before an individual under the age of 18 can obtain a driver’s license in California, they must take a California state-approved driver’s ed course, obtain a driving permit and complete 50 hours of driving practice.

The requirements to obtain a permit in California are pretty straightforward, but let’s get into the exact details.

The 4 Best Online Driver’s Ed Courses In California

Eligibility To Get A California Driving Permit

A minor is a person under 18 years of age. Minors must have their applications (for a driver’s license or any change of driver’s license class), signed by their parent(s) or legal guardian(s). If both parents/guardians have joint custody, both must sign.

NOTE: Minors may not work as a driver for pay and they may not drive a school bus containing pupils.

To get a permit you must:

  • Be at least 15½ years of age, but under 18 years of age.
  • Complete the Driver License or Identification Card Application (DL 44) form.
  • Have your parent(s) or guardian(s) sign the DL 44 form.
  • Pass the traffic laws and road signs test. If you fail the test, you must wait one week before retaking the test.
  • If you are 15½ –17½ years of age, you will need to provide proof that you:
    • Completed driver education (Certificate of Completion of Driver Education) OR
    • Are enrolled and participating in an approved integrated driver education/driver training program (Certificate of Enrollment in an Integrated [Classroom] Driver Education and Driver Training Program). For more information, refer to the Provisional Licensing (FFDL 19) Fast Facts brochure at www.dmv.ca.gov.

The provisional permit is not valid until you start your behind-the-wheel driver training with an instructor or reach age 17½.

If you have a permit and plan to drive outside of California, check licensing requirements in that state or country.

NOTE: If you are at least 17½ years of age, you may obtain a permit without completing driver education or driver training. However, you cannot get a driver license before you are 18 years old.

Restrictions To Driving Permits For Minors

Your permit is not valid until you begin driver training; your instructor will sign the permit to validate it. You must practice with a licensed California driver: parent, guardian, driving instructor, spouse, or an adult 25 years of age or older. The person must sit close enough to you to take control of the vehicle at any time. A provisional permit does not allow you to drive alone – not even to a DMV office to take a driving test.

Driver’s License Requirements For Anyone Under 18 Years Old

You must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Prove that you have finished both driver education and driver training.
  • Have had a California instruction permit or an instruction permit from another state for at least six months.
  • Provide parent(s) or guardian(s) signature(s) on your instruction permit stating that you have completed 50 hours of supervised driving practice (10 hours must be night driving) as outlined in the California Parent-Teen Training Guide (DL 603). Visit the Teen website at www.dmv.ca.gov/teenweb/ or call 1-800-777-0133 to request this booklet.
  • Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test. You have three chances to pass the driving test while your permit is valid. If you fail the behind-the-wheel driving test, you must pay a retest fee for a second or subsequent test and wait two weeks before you are retested.

Once you have your provisional driver license, you may drive alone, as long as you do not have any collisions or traffic violations.

When you become 18 years old, the “provisional” part of your driver license ends. You may keep your provisional photo license or pay a fee for a duplicate driver license without the word “provisional.”

During the first 12 months after you are licensed, you cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and you cannot transport passengers under 20 years of age unless you are accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian, a licensed driver 25 years of age or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor.

Driver’s License Restrictions For Minors

The law allows the following exceptions when reasonable transportation is not available and it is necessary for you to drive. A signed note explaining the necessity to drive and the date when this driving necessity will end must be kept in your possession for the following exceptions (emancipated minors are excluded from this requirement):

  • Medical necessity to drive when reasonable transportation alternatives are inadequate. The note must be signed by a physician with the diagnosis and probable date of recovery.
  • Schooling or school-authorized activity. The note must be signed by the school principal, dean, or designee.
  • Employment necessity and the need to operate a vehicle as part of your employment. The note must be signed by the employer verifying employment.
  • The necessity to drive an immediate family member. A note signed by your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) is required, stating the reason and probable end date of the necessity to drive the immediate family member.

EXCEPTION: These requirements do not apply to an emancipated minor. You must have declared yourself emancipated and provided the DMV with proof of financial responsibility (SR 1P) in lieu of your parent(s) or guarantor(s) signature(s).

Driving Permit Requirements For Out-Of-State Minors

All out-of-state minor applicants in California must comply with the application requirements outlined in the “Application Requirements for a Basic Class C Driver License” section on page 4 and must have parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) signature on the Driver License or Identification Card Application (DL 44) form.

Out-of-state minor’s permit applicants must meet the requirements listed in the “Minor’s Permit Requirements” section on page 10. In addition, if your driver education and driver training courses were taken in a state other than California, DMV may accept a To Secondary Schools Other Than California Schools (DL 33) form completed by the out-of-state secondary school. You may obtain a DL 33 form at your local DMV office or by calling the DMV at 1-800-777-0133. Send the DL 33 form to your out-of-state secondary school and ask them to complete and return to you.

Out-Of-State Minor’s Driver License Requirements

You will be asked to present your out-of-state driver’s license and pass a knowledge exam as part of the application process. The behind-the-wheel driving test for holders of out-of-state driver licenses is normally waived. However, DMV may require a behind-the-wheel driving test for any type of driver’s license application.

NOTE: Out-of-state minor applicants are subject to provisional restrictions per California law.

VIDEO: How To Get A Driver’s License In California

What Is The California DMV Driver’s License Examination Process In 2021

California Drivers License Examination

The California DMV driver’s license examination process is very straightforward. In this quick and simple guide, you’ll understand what the examination process is like.

How To Get Your First Driver’s License In California As A New Driver

If you have never had a driver’s license before and you live in the state of California, there is a pretty simple process depending on how old you are. If you are under 18, the requirements are different and a bit more strict.

Process To Obtain A California Driver’s License Under The Age Of 18

If you are under the age of 18 and want to get your first driver’s license in California, you will need to complete a few steps. The first step is to sign up for and complete several hours of “classroom” driver’s ed training. This classroom time can actually be completed by enrolling in an online driver’s ed course in California.

Once you have completed your driver’s ed course, you can obtain a driving permit. From there, you’ll need to complete 50 hours of driving instruction with a licensed California driver aged 25 or older.

After that, you’re ready to head to the DMV so you can take your vision exam, written test, and driving exam. Once you pass those, you get a provisional driver’s license and can drive on your own!

Listed below are a few of the better online driver’s ed courses to consider.

The 4 Best Online Driver’s Ed Courses In California

The California DMV Driver’s License Examination Process For New Drivers 18 And Over

If you are a California resident over the age of 18 and you have never had a driver’s license before, the examination process to get your California driver’s license is very easy. There are no driver’s ed courses required and you do not need to have any behind-the-wheel training time.

All you need to do is schedule a time to go to the DMV, take your vision test, written exam, and pass a quick driving test. Once you’ve done that, you get a full fledged California driver’s license!

California DMV Driver’s License Examination Process For New California Residents

If you just moved to California, you’ll need to apply for a California driver’s license within 10 days of establishing residence.

The examination process is simple. Schedule an appointment at the DMV so that you can bring proof of residency. You’ll also need to take a vision exam and a written exam. As long as you had a valid driver’s license from another U.S. state, you’ll be able to get your California driver’s license without ever having to take a behind-the-wheel driving exam.

VIDEO: How To Get A Driver’s License In California

Where To Take The California DMV Driver’s License Tests

You may take the knowledge, vision, and behind-the-wheel driving tests at any DMV field office that provides driver license services.

To save time, make an appointment online at: www.dmv.ca.gov or call 1-800-777-0133 during normal business hours.

NOTE: The DMV will not administer written or audio exams after 4:30 p.m. to ensure you have sufficient time for testing.

Knowledge and vision tests are required when you apply for an original driver’s license or upgrade to a different class of driver’s license.

Cheating On Your Driver’s License Exam Is A VERY Serious Offense

The use of testing aids is strictly prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to: The California Driver Handbook, cheat sheets, or electronic communication devices such as a cell phone, hand-held computer, etc.

If any testing aid is used during the written test, the written test will be marked as a “failure.” An action may also be taken by the DMV against your driving privilege or the driving privilege of anyone else who assists you in the examination process.

Types Of California DMV Driver’s License Examinations In 2021

California driver’s license examinations include:

  • A vision test. (Bring your eyeglasses or contact lenses to the exam.)
  • A test of traffic laws and road signs.
  • A behind-the-wheel driving test, if required. You must have an appointment to take the behind-the-wheel driving test. For the driving test, bring:— Your old driver’s license or instruction permit, if you have one.
    — A licensed driver age 18 years or older with a valid driver’s license.
    — Proof that the vehicle is properly insured.

IMPORTANT: If you use a rental vehicle, the driving test applicant must be listed on the rental contract. The contract must not exclude driving tests.

— A vehicle that is safe to drive, and has valid registration. The vehicle’s brake lights, horn, parking brake, and turn signals must work properly. The vehicle cannot have bald tires, which would have less than 1/32 inch tread depth in any two adjacent grooves. The driver’s side window must roll down. The windshield must allow a full unobstructed field of vision for you and the examiner. There must be at least two rearview mirrors (one must be on the left outside of the vehicle). You will be asked to locate the controls for the vehicle’s headlights, windshield wipers, defroster, and emergency flashers. You must demonstrate how to use the parking brake.

NOTE: The behind-the-wheel driving test will be rescheduled if the vehicle does not meet the above requirements or if you refuse to use your seat belt during the driving test.

For more information, refer to the DMV’s Driving Test (FFDL 22) Fast Facts brochure, DMV videos, and sample tests available online at www.dmv.ca.gov.

VIDEO: What The California DMV Driving Test Is Like

What Is A Class C California Driver’s License?

What Is A Class C California Drivers License

A California Class C driver’s license is the most popular type of driver’s license issued in the state. Here are the things you are legally allowed to do with a Class C driver’s license in California.

You may drive a…

  • 2-axle vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,000 lbs. or less.
  • 3-axle vehicle weighing 6,000 lbs. or less gross.
  • Housecar 40 feet or less.
  • 3-wheel motorcycle with two wheels located in the front or back.
  • Vanpool vehicle designed to carry more than 10 persons, but no more than 15 persons including the driver.

NOTE: A driver of a vanpool may operate with a Class C license but shall possess evidence of a medical examination required for a Class B license when operating vanpool vehicles. The driver must keep in the vanpool vehicle a statement signed under penalty of perjury, that he or she has not been convicted of reckless driving, drunk driving, or hit-and-run in the last five years (CVC §12804.9(j)).

You may tow a:

  • Single vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or less, including a tow dolly, if used.
  • With a vehicle weighing 4,000 lbs. or more unladen, you may tow a:
  • Trailer coach or 5th-wheel travel trailer under 10,000 lbs. GVWR when towing is not for compensation.
  • 5th-wheel travel trailer exceeding 10,000 lbs. but under 15,000 lbs. GVWR, when towing is not for compensation, and with endorsement.
  • A farmer or employee of a farmer may drive:
  • Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs. or less, if used exclusively in agricultural operations and it is not for hire or compensation.

NOTE: Class C licensees may not tow more than one vehicle. A passenger vehicle, regardless of weight, may not tow more than one vehicle. A motor vehicle under 4,000 lbs. unladen weight may not tow any vehicle weighing 6,000 lbs. or more gross. (CVC §21715)

Other classes of driver licenses/endorsements

  • Noncommercial Class A
  • Noncommercial Class B
  • Commercial Class A
  • Commercial Class B
  • Commercial Class C
  • Motorcycle Class M1
  • Motorcycle Class M2

Commercial endorsements:

  • Doubles/Triples
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Passenger Transportation
  • Tank Vehicle
  • Ambulance Driver Certificate
  • School Bus Endorsement
  • Tow Truck Driver Certificate
  • Verification of Transit Training Certificate
  • Firefighter Endorsement

NOTE: Commercially licensed firefighters must submit a Medical Examination Report (DL 51) every 2 years. Noncommercially licensed firefighters can submit a self-certifying Health Questionnaire (DL 546).

Detailed information on other driver license types and endorsements can be found in the California Commercial Driver Handbook, Recreational Vehicles and Trailers Handbook, Ambulance Drivers Handbook, California Parent-Teen Training Guide, and California Motorcycle Handbook. Please refer to these handbooks for additional information.

Who Must Obtain A California Driver’s License In 2021

Obtain A California Driver’s License In 2021

Do I need a California driver’s license?

This is a very basic and seemingly obvious question, but sometimes it’s hard to know if you actually need a California driver’s license. For example, here are some situations where it might get confusing…

  • You are a temporary resident of California with a valid out of state driver’s license
  • You recently moved to California
  • You have been driving on a learner’s permit
  • You are stationed in California as a member of the United States military
  • You are a sub-contractor living in employer housing

These are just a few areas where things can get confusing.

Obtaining a driver’s license in California is a relatively simple process, but as a part of obtaining your driver’s license, you must understand some of the basic requirements and also figure out if you actually need to obtain a driver’s license in California.

So, let’s get right to it…

Who Must Obtain A California Driver License?

Here is a basic list of people required to obtain a driver’s license in California.

California Residents

California residents who drive on public highways or use public parking facilities must have a valid California driver license, unless they are:

  • An officer or employee of the U. S. government operating a vehicle owned or controlled by the U.S. government on federal business, except when operating a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Driving or operating implements of husbandry not operated or moved over a highway.
  • Driving or operating an off-highway vehicle across a highway.

California Resident Military Personnel (U.S. Armed Forces)

If you are out-of-state on active military duty and have a valid California driver license, your and your spouse’s California driver license will be valid for the full time you are absent from California and for 30 days following your discharge date, if you are honorably discharged outside of California. Carry both, your driver license and discharge or separation documents, during those 30 days (CVC § 12817).

Call 1-800-777-0133 to obtain an Extension of License for Person in Armed Forces (DL 236) card which extends your California driver’s license.

NOTE: Your driver’s license is not valid if it has been suspended, canceled or revoked.

Nonresident Military Personnel Stationed in California

If you are 18 years of age or older, refer to the “California Residents” and “Adults Visiting California” sections on this page for additional information. Licensees eligible for military extensions should carry documentation from their home state to verify their status to law enforcement.

New California Residents

When you become a California resident and you want to drive in California, you must apply for a California driver’s license within 10 days. Residency is established in a variety of ways, including the following:

  • Being registered to vote in California elections.
  • Paying resident tuition at a California college or university.
  • Filing for a home owner’s property tax exemption.
  • Receiving any other privilege or benefit not ordinarily extended to nonresidents.

Adults Visiting California

Visitors over 18 years old with a valid driver’s license from their home state or country may drive in California without getting a California driver’s license as long as their home state driver’s license is valid.

Minors Visiting California

Visitors between 16 – 18 years old may drive with their home state driver license for only 10 days after arriving in California. After 10 days, they must have a:

  • Current California driver license, or
  • Nonresident Minor’s Certificate (which is issued by DMV) to a minor with proof of financial responsibility.

How To Obtain A Driver’s License In California

For more information about the requirements to obtain a California driver’s license, check out this easy guide.

However, obtaining a driver’s license in California isn’t a complicated process. Here is a video explaining how to do it whether you are an adult or teen just obtaining a driver’s license for the first time.

PRO TIP: For those of you new to the state of California, anytime you need to go to the DMV, make sure you schedule an appointment! In many states, you can just show up at the DMV with no problem, but in California, this could cost you a lot of unnecessary time. Always schedule an appointment online first.

Requirements For Obtaining A California Driver’s License In 2021

Requirements For Obtaining A California Driver’s License In 2021

When you apply for an original California Driver’s License, you must present acceptable document(s) establishing your identity, residency (if applicable), birthdate, and provide your social security number (SSN), if eligible. The document(s) provided:

  • Must be a certified copy, or an original document.
  • May contain an impressed seal or original stamped impression.
  • Must not be a photocopy.
  • Must not be laminated.

If you present a legal presence document your DL/ID card may expire on the same date as your legal presence document. If the name on your document is different from the name on your DL/ID card application, you must also bring an acceptable true full name document. Your fingerprint, signature, and picture will also be taken (refer to the “Application Requirements for a Basic Class C Driver License” section on page 4). For any other DL/ID card transaction, you must present photo identification.

Examples of acceptable documents include: U.S. Birth Certificate, U.S. Passport, U.S. Armed Forces ID Cards, Certificate of Naturalization, Permanent Resident Card, or a foreign passport with a valid I-94. The I-94 expiration date must be more than two (2) months from the DL/ID card application date.

Examples of true full name verification documents include: Adoption documents containing your legal name as a result of the adoption, name change documents containing your legal name both before and after, a marriage certificate, a certificate or registration document verifying the information of a domestic partnership, or a dissolution of marriage document containing your legal name as a result of the court order.

A complete list of accepted documents is available online at www.dmv.ca.gov.

Application Requirements For A Basic Class C Driver License

To apply for a Class C driver license, you must:

Submit a completed and signed Driver License or Identification Card Application (DL 44) form. Signing this form means you agree to submit to a chemical test to determine the alcohol or drug content of your blood when requested by a peace officer. If you refuse to sign this statement, the DMV will not issue a permit or driver license.

  • Present an acceptable document(s) establishing your identity, residency (if applicable), and birthdate.
  • Provide your true full name.
  • Provide your SSN, if eligible, which will be electronically verified with the Social Security Administration.
  • Pay a non-refundable application fee. The fee is good for 12 months and allows you to take the appropriate law test(s) three times. If you fail the law test and/or driving test three times, your application will be void and a new application and fee are required. This fee pays for both the instruction permit and driver’s license if you qualify for both documents within the 12-month period. If the application expires, you must resubmit documents, repay the application fee, and retake the required tests.
  • Pass a vision test. You must be able to pass a vision test, with or without corrective lenses, with visual acuity better than 20/200 in at least one eye without the use of a bioptic telescopic lens or similar bioptic device to meet the minimum vision acuity standard (CVC §12805(b)).
  • Have your picture taken.
  • Give a fingerprint scan.
  • Sign your name.

How To Get A Driver’s License As A New Driver Under The Age Of 18

If you have never had a driver’s license in California and you are under the age of 18, you’ll first need to apply to get a provisional driving permit. Fill out this form and have your parents sign it to get the process started.

Next, you’ll need to take a driver’s ed course. Most people these days are using an online driver’s ed course to fulfill this requirement. This course is very fast and can be completed in just a day or two. Listed below are the top 4 online driver’s ed courses in California for 2021.

The 4 Best Online Driver’s Ed Courses In California

Once you’ve completed your California online driver’s ed course, it’s time to get your permit so you can start getting some actual driving experience.

You will need to get at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving time and a minimum of 10 of those hours must be nighttime driving experience. You must get this driving time in with a licensed California driver who is 25 years of age or older.

When you are finished with all of your required driving practice, you can go to the DMV, pass a written and driving exam, then get your shiny new driver’s license!

How To Get A Driver’s License As A New Driver Over The Age Of 18

If you’re a new driver over the age of 18, you can skip the driver’s ed and even the required driving practice.

All you need to do is complete the application, then make an appointment at the DMV. Once at the DMV, you’ll provide them with all your required documents, get fingerprinted, have your photo taken, pay a fee of $37, complete a vision exam, pass a written exam & driving exam, at which point you get your license. No classrooms, no driving instructors, and no permits. Easy-peasy.

How To Get A Driver’s License As A New Resident Of California In 2021

In the state of California, you are required to apply for a driver’s license 10 days after establishing residency. Obtaining a license if pretty easy if you already have one from another state.

Go to the DMV with your proper documents, take a vision exam, and in some cases, you may need to pass a written exam. Other than that, you’re good to go. Just make sure you schedule an appointment at the DMV instead of walking in without one.

Alabama Organ Donation Facts & Myths

Alabama Organ Donation

Alabama organ donation is something all Alabama drivers can sign up for, but it is a very personal decision. When you obtain your driver license, you will be asked, “Do you wish to be an organ donor?” If you say “yes”, what does that mean?

  • “Yes” means that you want to give someone a very special gift… a second chance at life. It means that you have decided to give organs or tissues after your death to people who urgently need a transplant. The title “organ donor” with a red heart will appear on your license.
  • The number of people waiting nationally. Someone is added to the list every ten minutes, and approximately 18 people will die each day while waiting for an organ. Your choice to become an organ donor can make a life-saving difference for these critically ill people.
  • The decision to donate is a personal one, but one which should be shared with your family. If you have questions, call \ the Alabama Organ Center at 1-800-252-3677.

Common Myths about Donation


Myth: Becoming a donor will affect my medical care if I am in an accident.
Fact: If you are admitted to a hospital, the number one priority is to save your life.


Myth: Organ donation disfigures the body.
Fact: Organs and tissues are removed in an operation performed by specially trained medical professionals. Your body is treated with respect and an open casket funeral is possible after donation.


Myth: If you agree to donate your family will be charged.
Fact: There is no financial cost to the donor’s family or estate for organ or tissue donation. Funeral costs and the costs incurred in saving your life remain the responsibility of the family.


Myth: Having “organ donor” on your driver’s license or carrying a donor card is all you have to do to become a donor.
Fact: While donation can legally occur with these documents, it is important to discuss your decision with your family to ensure they understand your wishes. All people who indicate their donation wishes on their driver’s license will have their name added to the Legacy Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.


For more information or to add your name to the registry, call 1-800-252-3677 or visit www.alabamaorgancenter.org

MAKE THE CHOICE NOW TO HELP SAVE LIVES LATER.