In a news release issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), California drivers received legal information about new traffic laws changes and the addition of several new laws to take effect in the State.
Most of these changes and enactments have already taken place since January 1, 2018.
These new California driving laws address a variety of issues including seatbelt laws and driving under the influence of marijuana in the state.
If you plan on driving in California in 2018, here are new California Driving Laws Changes of which you should be aware.
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The Prohibition of Cannabis Use in Motor Vehicles
This law makes it illegal to smoke or ingest marijuana and marijuana-related products while operating a motor vehicle or while a passenger.
The offense will include negligent operator points to the driver’s licenses of those involved.
Collection of Transportation Improvement Fees (TIFs)
Taking effect on January 1, 2018, the DMV will begin collecting a Transportation Improvement Fee (TIF) at time of registration or renewals in California.
This TIF will range from $25 to $175 depending on your vehicle’s value and will impact your registration and renewal fees.
Vehicle Values and TIFs are as follows:
- Between $0 and $4,999 – TIF Payment: $25
- Between $5,000 and $24,999 – TIF Payment $50
- Between $25,000 and $34,999 – TIF Payment $100
- Between $35,000 and $59,999 – TIF Payment $150
- Vehicles valued at $60,000 and higher – TIF Payment $175
Lower DUI Threshold for Drivers of “Passenger for Hire” Vehicles
The popularity of ride-sharing programs has led to the DMV lowering the blood alcohol content for drivers of vehicles with passengers for hire to just .04. This holds these drivers to a higher standard of safety.
If convicted, a driver’s license could be suspended. This regulation will take effect on July 1, 2018.
Acceptance of a Motorcycle Training Course vs a Road Test
This law allows the DMV to accept a certificate of completion of any state-approved motorcyclist training program instead of the previously required motorcycle road and skills test.
Residents applying for an original motorcycle license or endorsement, who are under 21 years old, will continue to be required to successfully complete novice motorcyclist training.
Changes to Buses and Seatbelt Regulations
From July 1, 2018, passengers on buses equipped with seatbelts will be required to use them.
In addition, the law prohibits a parent or legal guardian to transport a child who is between 8 and 16 years of age on a bus, unless they are properly restrained by an appropriate child passenger restraint system.
This restraint system must meet federal safety standards. Violation of these regulations could be punishable by a fine.
Drivers License and Registration Renewal Prohibitions for Unpaid Traffic Tickets
This law creates a system in which low-income drivers in the state with outstanding parking violations can pay fines and penalties before the parking violation is reported to the DMV.
It also provides for a vehicle owner to apply for a “Planned Non-Operation” status if unpaid parking fees are associated with the vehicle.
It also provides for a person with outstanding parking fees to renew a drivers license.
HOV Lane Decals for Low Emission Vehicles
Starting on January 1, 2019, qualifying low-emission vehicles will be allowed access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes, regardless of vehicle occupancy.
Access to HOV lanes for vehicles with green and white decals expire January 1, 2019.
Those issued a green or white sticker in 2017 or 2018 will be eligible to reapply in 2019, granting them access to HOV toll lanes until January 1, 2022.
A new year brings new laws, changing regulations, and more fees. Stay on top of these changes and be a better-prepared driver in California.