“Ask the DMV”

November 14, 2012

By George Valverde

Expert Answers to Common DMV Questions

Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration and insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California Department of Motor Vehicles has answers. Save Time. Go Online at www.DMV.ca.gov.   _

Q: I was involved in a collision for the first time last week and had no idea what I was

supposed to do. What steps should I take?

A: Being involved in a traffic collision can be very traumatic, especially your first one, so it is normal to feel overwhelmed. After any type of vehicle collision, no matter how minor, you must stop. Otherwise you may be convicted of “hit and run” and could be severely punished.

 At the scene of a crash, it is important to show the following information to the other driver or persons involved, or to any peace officer.

·Your driver license

· Registration card

·Evidence of insurance

·Your current address

If you hit a parked vehicle or other property, try to find the owner. If you can’t find the owner, leave a note with your name and address (and the name and address of the owner of the vehicle you are driving, if different) and securely attach it to the vehicle. Report the collision without delay to the city police or, in unincorporated areas, to the Highway Patrol.

Following a crash, you or your insurance agent, broker, or legal representative must do_the following:

·Move your vehicle off the street or highway. If you do not move your vehicle or have it removed from the street or highway, any peace officer or authorized personnel may have your vehicle removed and impounded

·If someone is killed or injured, report the collision to the police or Highway Patrol within 24 hours

·If there was more than $750 in damage to the property of any person, or anyone was injured or killed, report the collision to the DMV within 10 days

 The DMV has a brochure on what to do in the case of a collision. You can find it online at www.DMV.ca.gov.

 Q: I am moving out of state. I know I need to re-register my vehicle. Should I notify California DMV that my car will no longer be in the state?

 A: As with any time you move, you should report this change of address to the DMV using a Change of Address form. Save time by going online! This can be accomplished at http://www.DMV.ca.gov/online/coa/welcome.htm!

 Please also notify DMV, in writing, to report that the vehicle was removed from California and will be registered in another state or country. Your letter must include the following information:

·California License plate number, and/or,

·Vehicle identification number, and

·Date vehicle left California (MM/DD/CCYY), and mail to:


PO Box 942869, MS C271

Sacramento, CA94269-0001

 A status will be added to the vehicle record to prevent billing notices from being mailed.

Q: Is it possible to “remove” points from your driving record?

A: Points are not something you want on your driving record, and they can be assigned as a result of collisions or traffic tickets. Generally, collisions where you are at fault are one point and tickets are between one and two points.

The only way to remove points from a driving record is to wait. Most points stay on your record for three years. Depending on severity, points may stay on your record for up to 10 years.

To avoid accruing points, always follow the traffic laws and avoid reckless behavior. Be certain that you are driving defensively and never distracted while on the road. Keep this advice in mind, and you will be able to keep points off of your driving record!

For more information on points on your driving record, visit http://www.DMV.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/actions_aps_court.htm

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