New California Traffic Laws in effect for 2014

Posted by Chris Morales on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 @ 11:32 AM

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is reminding motorists of some of the new laws that will become effective in the new year. 

The following laws go into effect on January 1, 2014, unless otherwise noted. 

Bicycles: Passing Distance. AB 1371, known as the Three Feet for Safety Act, will require a motor vehicle driver passing a bicylce that is proceeding in the same direction to pass with no less than 3 feet between any part of the vehicle and any part of the bicycle or driver.

When three feet is not possible, the motor vehicle must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed and only pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist. Failing to do so can incur a fine, regardless of a collision or not.

This will take effect Septermber 16, 2014.

Clear Air Vehicle Decals/HOV Stickers. AB 266 and SB 286, together extend sunset dates for low emission, zero emission vehicles to operate in high occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV) without meeting occupancy requirements to January 1, 2019.

Commercial Driver's License. AB 1047 will allow the DMV to conduct the commercial drive test for the holder of an out-of-state commercial learner's permit. The department would eletronically transfer the information to the motor vehicle department in the aplicant's state of residence. AB 1047 also modifies the license class definitions to require a driver operating a bus weighing more than 26,000 pounds to hold a commerical Class B license and a driver operating a bus weighing 26,000 pounds or less to hold a commercial Class C license.

DMV Vehicle Registration Pilot Program

SB 806 authorizes DMV to establish a pilot program to evaluate the use of alternatives to stickers, tabs, license plates and registration cards, subject to certain requirements.

It will also enable the DMV to experiment with electronic license plates, as well as facilitate DMV's ability to explore cost-effective alternatives to California's traditional metal license plate, plastic-coated registration stickers, and paper registration cards.

Registration and Vehicle Transfers Between Family Members. AB 443 prohibits the transfer of ownership of a vehicle to a relative or a revocable living trust until all parking or toll-violations fines and penalties reported to the DMV are paid by the transferee. 

Teen drivers. SB 194 will prohibit a person who is under 18 years of age from using an electronic wireless communication device to write, send or read a text based communication while driving, even if it is equipped with a hands-free device. 

Veterans License Plates. AB 244 Requires the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to sponser a veterans' special interest license plate and requires the DMV to issue the veteran's plate if CalVet meets the current statutory requirements.

This law creates, in addition to the current Honoring Veterans design of the Veteran's Organization Plate, a new program to reissue the Veteran design that was issued the veterans' plate if CalVet meets the current statutory requirements. 

This law creates, in addition to the current Honoring Veterans design of the Veteran's Organization Plate, a new program reissue the Veteran design that was issued prior to January1, 2010. Those plates are available to all vehicle owners.

The Department of Motor Vehicles will begin the process of implementing AB 60 the new law requiring DMV to issue a driver license to an applicant who is unable to submit satisfactory proof that he is legally present in the United States by drafting new regulations and preparing field offices to process new applications. The new law becomes operative by January 1, 2015.

The applicant will require to meet all other driver license qualifications. 

For complete information on chaptered bills enacted in 2013, please refer to the Legislative Counsel website at 

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Tags: California, minors, law, driving, cellphone, traffic laws