It’s a new year, and with the change in calendars comes an update in laws. The California DMV has issued an announcement about several new laws affecting drivers in the state.

New DUI Consequence

If you get convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, get ready to have an alcohol detector installed in your car.

Under a new law, more people convicted of a DUI will need to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.

  • People with multiple DUI offences will need to have a device installed for 12 to 48 months.
  • First-time DUI offenders will also need to maintain a device for 12 to 48 months.
  • If there were no injuries, first-time offenders may be ordered to install a device for up to six months, at the discretion of the court.

This applies only to DUIs involved alcohol or a combination of alcohol and drugs.

New Gender Option

When applying for a California driver’s license or identification card, individuals will be able to select male, female or nonbinary as their gender. The new law also allows individuals to self-certify their correct gender, rather than requiring them to provide documents supporting a transition.

License Plates Required

Have you ever driven home in a new car with a dealer decal instead of a license plate? As of 2019, that’s no longer allowed. In order to improve safety and reduce toll violations, new cars will need to display temporary license plates that include a unique number and expiration date.

More Smog Check Exemptions and Fees

Previously, cars that were up to six model years old could be exempted from smog checks for a fee of $20. Now, cars can be exempted for an additional two years, up to eight model years total, by paying a fee of $25 during the two additional years.

Motorized Scooter Rules Change

Adults aged 18 and older riding motorized scooters will no longer be required to wear a helmet. They can no longer ride on highways with a speed of 25 miles per hour or higher unless there’s a Class IV and Class II bikeway, but local authorities can permit them to ride on roads with speeds up to 35 miles per hour.

(Warning! As electric scooters have risen in popularity, accidents have also experienced a surge. CNET reports accident rates of up to 1,000 a month. Riders, be careful. Drivers, look out for scooters.)

Other Changes

In other changes, questions about unsafe and unsecured loads will appear on knowledge tests given to driver’s license applicants, and courts will no longer have the authority to restrict the issuance of a driver’s license to a habitual truant or ward of the state.

The DMV also wants to remind drivers that green and white clean air vehicle decals have expired as of January 1, 2019, so these can no longer be used to access high-occupancy vehicle lanes.

Remember that Pronto Insurance offices offer many DMV services. Avoid the lines and come to Pronto Insurance instead!