1. Q. My friend told me that it's illegal to carry alcohol in the car, is that correct?
A. It is illegal for an owner or driver to keep an open container of alcohol in a vehicle except in the trunk or other area out of the immediate control of the occupants. It is also unlawful for passengers to possess an open container of alcohol. You must not drink any amount of alcohol in any vehicle. A container of liquor, beer, or wine carried inside the vehicle must be full, sealed, and unopened. Otherwise, it must be kept in the trunk of the vehicle or in a place where passengers do not sit.
2. Q. What can I do if I have an emergency on the road?
A. The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) is joining with the California Highway Patrol, CalTrans, DMV and the Office of Traffic Safety to urge motorists to take simple steps during National Preparedness Month. If you're involved in a roadside emergency, you should always take extra safety precautions including:
- Try to pull over to the right of the shoulder to reduce danger from other traffic.
- Turn on your hazard lights or emergency flashers.
- Use your cell phone or a call box for roadside assistance. If you're concerned for your safety or your vehicle is a traffic hazard, call 9-1-1.
- If you get out of your vehicle, stay as far away as possible from oncoming traffic
In addition, The Governor's Office of Emergency Services has useful information to help Californians be better prepared, including how to maintain emergency kits for homes, businesses and vehicles. For more information visit: http://www.calema.ca.gov/NewsandMedia/Pages/Preparedness-Month.aspx.
3. Q. I lived in Japan for several years and I'm moving to California. In Japan, rear or reverse parking is part of the driving test. Do you test rear parking skills in California?
A. No. The California DMV requires the applicant to operate the vehicle safely at all times and this incudes parking upon completion of the test; however, we do not specifically score for any parking maneuver. Applicants are tested on his/her ability to back up in a straight line for 3 car lengths. Page 39 of the California Driver Handbook 2013 describes the necessary parking skills required to obtain a California driver license. An applicant is advised to know how to parallel park but it is no longer part of the driving examination process. http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/parking.htm. Good luck with your move and remember, Save Time, Go Online. To schedule an appointment and to learn about other DMV services, visit us online at www.dmv.ca.gov or call 1-800-777-0133.
4. Q. I live in a rural community. On one of our main roads someone has 2 semi-trucks parked about 50 feet from the road and about 10 feet from the neighbor's house. The trucks are now overgrown with blackberries and the dry grass goes from the road to the trucks. If a grass fire started from the road, it could be disastrous. Can DMV do anything about making the owner remove them?
A. Contact your local city or county code enforcement office. The DMV does not handle a local code enforcement related matter. Typically, code enforcement agencies investigate violations of housing, zoning and vehicle abatement laws.
5. Q. My California driver license has my middle name "Jacob" written on it. My registration card/car title only has the letter "J" for my middle name. Getting my middle name Jacob added to my registration card/car title – is this considered a name correction or name change?
A. It's a name correction, but in any case, the title must be surrendered to add the full middle name. There is no fee for the change. , Save Time, Go Online. To schedule an appointment and to learn about other DMV services, visit us online at www.dmv.ca.gov or call 1-800-777-0133.
6. Q. How can I request a copy of my driving record?
A. The Department has three ways in which you can request a copy of your driving record. You can visit us online at www.dmv.ca.gov and pay a $2.00 fee for an unofficial copy of your driving record. If you want to request an official copy of your driving record, please fill out form INF1125 which is available online at www.dmv.ca.gov and mail the form to the DMV Headquarters address indicated on the form along with a $5.00 check or money order. You can also request an official copy of your driving record by visiting your local DMV field office and paying a $5.00 fee. When visiting a DMV field office you will need to complete an INF 1125 and provide your driver license or identification card. For more information on this and other DMV services, visit us online at www.dmv.ca.gov or call 1-800-777-0133. Always remember you can save time by making an appointment to get a copy of your DMV record or for any other transaction at a DMV office.
Don't Stand In Line, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Website including online advance appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions. Customers can also effect transactions by calling DMV customer service at 1-800-777-0133. DMV is a department under the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).