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California DMV -

       The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the state agency that is responsible for registration of all 33 million motor vehicles and boats as well as the issuance and regulation of all 28 million driver's licenses.

The Services

       Many services that were traditionally handled at the local DMV offices can now be handled online by going to the DMV web site: www.dmv.ca.gov These services include vehicle registration renewal, scheduling appointments, completing change of address, filing Notice of Transfer, and driver license renewal.

Identification (ID) Cards

       Some people might not be able to have a driver's license and they will often need to get an Identification (ID) card. The DMV will issue ID cards to persons of any age. It appears similar to a driver's license but it says it is an Identification card only. It is generally valid for six years. A senior citizen ID card is valid for 10 years, but you must be 62 or older.

Provisional Permits

       If you are at least 15 ½ but under 18 years of age, you can apply for a provisional permit. You will need to have completed driver education or be currently taking driver training if you are 17 ½ or younger. If you are over 17 ½ but under 18, you do not need the driver education course. The provisional license requires that you have a licensed parent or other licensed driver 25 years or older when you transport passengers under 20 years of age or when you drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.. This restriction lasts for the first 12 months of the provisional license. There are certain limited restrictions that may apply such as medical necessity, schooling activities, employment requirements or be an emancipated minor.

       If you are new to California, the web site will help you apply for a driver license in this state. Generally, you must apply for a California issued driver license within ten days of establishing a permanent residence in California. California will honor the International Driving Permit as long as you also have your valid license from the resident country.


       For motorcycles, there are two classes of licenses, Class M1 and M2. M1 allows a person to use any two-wheeled motorcycle. The M2 license limits a person to operating only a motorized bicycle or moped or similar bicycle with an attached motor. A motorized bicycle (moped) is defined as a two- or three-wheeled device, capable of no more than 30 mph and has an electric motor.

- Written by , Attorney at Law





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