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New California Driving Laws in 2023

The DMV wants California residents to be aware of new laws that will take effect in 2023. The laws are listed below, and they take effect on January 1.

Changes to California Driving Laws in 2023

•Ending December 31- No Online Driver's License Renewals for Residents 70 and Older (AB 174, Committee on Budget)

One of the laws that take effect on January 1 requires older drivers in California to renew their licenses in person at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Seniors 70 years old or older have until December 31 to take advantage of a temporary rule allowing them to renew their IDs or licenses online or by mail.

In October 2020, Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, waived the law requiring older drivers to visit a DMV field office to renew their licenses. In September 2021, he signed AB 174, which allowed people to renew their licenses online or by mail. During the COVID-19 outbreak, this option helped keep people from visiting the DMV's field offices.

•New Rules for Renewals of Permanent Disabled Parking Placards (SB 611, Hill, 2017)

In response to the new law, the DMV sends letters to California residents who have had their disabled parking permits for at least six years to confirm that they still need one. The agency will not renew the permits for people who do not provide proof of their needs. This requirement is part of a law enacted in 2017 to prevent fraud and abuse of disabled parking permits.

Making Communities and Roads Safer (SB 1398, Gonzalez)

•Semiautonomous Vehicles Receiving Consumer Notices (SB 1398, Gonzalez)

Manufacturers and dealers of new passenger vehicles with partial driving automation systems must provide clear descriptions of the system's capabilities and limitations. They are also prohibited from deceiving customers.

•Better Safeguards for Riders of Bicycles (AB 1909, Friedman)

In response to the new law requiring drivers to yield to cyclists, they must move into another lane when possible. Also, Class 3 e-bikes are now allowed to use certain bike paths and lanes. On January 1, 2024, the law will allow cyclists to cross intersections when walk signs are in place.

•Parking Facility Sideshows Banned (AB 2000, Gabriel)

In response to the new law prohibiting street racing and sideshows in public areas, parking lots are now included in the list of places where these activities are prohibited. A law enacted in 2021 also allows courts to suspend the licenses of individuals who violate this ban.

•Crackdown on Thefts of Catalytic Converters (SB 1087, Gonzalez, and AB 1740, Muratsuchi)

These laws require catalytic converters' recyclers to keep records of their products and the people they work with to sell them. These laws are aimed at reducing the number of catalytic converter thefts and keeping California's cars safer.

Honoring Veterans

•Veteran Designations Free for Licenses (SB 837, Umberg)

Previously, people who wanted to add a military "VETERAN" designation to their driver's license or ID card had to pay a $5 fee. Now, there will be no fee to have the designation added.

•Veteran Toll Exemptions (AB 2949, Lee)

A new law enacted in 2017 exempted vehicles with special license plates for disabled veterans from paying tolls at toll facilities. This exemption applies only to those whose plates feature the special license number of a prisoner of war, a disabled veteran, or a person who received the Congressional Medal or Purple Heart.

Advancing Technology

•Remote Renewals and Digital Notices Offered for Certain Transactions (SB 1193, Newman)

Previously, customers who wanted to receive certain Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) notices by mail had to opt-in to receive them. This new law also eliminates the requirement for vehicle salespeople to visit a field office to renew their licenses. This will help the agency establish a program allowing remote license holders to renew their licenses multiple times. The law should help reduce paper and save time.

•New Options for Conventional Registration Cards, Stickers, Tabs, and License Plates (AB 984, Wilson)

Through a new ongoing program, the DMV will allow businesses and organizations to provide various electronic vehicle registration cards, license plates, and wraps. Since 2015, more than 19,000 people have enrolled in the pilot program for digital license plates, while more than 5,000 people have been issued vinyl license plates. The agency will then develop regulations to implement the program's requirements.

Promoting Equity

•Changes to License Suspension Laws (AB 2746, Friedman)

In California, courts will no longer send out notices to the DMV for the failure to appear of license holders. Instead, they will require the agency to stop suspending the licenses of those who fail to appear starting January 1, 2027. This will allow time for changes to be made to the computer programming.

Traffic Laws

Submitted by Robert James on Tue, 01/10/2023 - 08:46