January 31, 2019 By Matthew Wallin

Each year, new laws that impact California drivers go into effect. Let’s take a look at the most important new California driving laws that went into effect on January 1, 2019.

1.Temporary Plates (AB 516)

Under a variety of new Vehicle Code sections, car dealers are required to attach a temporary paper license plate to every new or used vehicle sold if it does not have a previous DMV-issued plate. Temporary plates will have a unique number and expiration date.

2. Low Emission Vehicle Decals (AB 544)

Some low emission vehicles are allowed to use the HOV lane in California under VC 5205.5 and VC 21655.9. Previously, drivers of these vehicles would need to obtain a green and white decal in order to use the carpool lane. As of January 1, 2019, those decals are no longer valid.

If you have a red decal, you can access carpool lanes until January 1, 2022. Purple decals will be issued by the DMV in 2019 and will allow access to carpool lanes through January 1, 2023.

3.Changes to Smog Checks (AB 1274)

Current California law exempts some vehicles less than six years old from biennial smog test requirements for registration with the DMV. Assembly Bill 1274, which amends certain sections in the California Health and Safety Code, will extend this to eight years.

4.Unsafe and Unsecured Loads (AB 1925)

Under VC 1666.7, the DMV is required to include at least one question about state laws regarding driving with unsafe and unsecured loads in at least 20 percent of its driver’s license written tests.

5.Driving Privileges for Minors (AB 2685)

Assembly Bill 2685 repeals VC 13202.7 so that courts can no longer suspend, restrict or delay a minor from receiving their driver’s license for truancy or for being under the guardianship of the state. This sometimes occurred as part of a punishment for a crime.

Any suspensions or delays reported to the DMV before January 1, 2019 will remain in effect.

6.Motorized Scooters and Helmet Restrictions (AB 2989)

Drivers over the age of 18 are no longer required to wear a helmet on motorized scooters under Assembly Bill 2989.

However, persons under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets while operating a scooter, skateboard or skates. Minors who violate this law are subject to a fine, which can be corrected within 120 days if the minor can show a law enforcement agency that he or she has completed a bicycle safety course and owns a helmet that meets safety standards.

7.Breathalyzer Ignition Installation (SB 1046)

Starting January 1, 2019, repeat DUI offenders or first-time DUI causing injury offenders are required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle and keep it installed for up to four years. Courts can order a first-time DUI offender who didn’t cause injury to install an IID for up to six months. This law will remain in effect until January 1, 2026.

Contact the DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or someone you know has been accused of a DUI or serious moving violation, you should contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer at Wallin & Klarich immediately. Our skilled DUI lawyers have been successfully defending clients facing charges for moving violations for more than 35 years. Let us help you now.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich DUI defense attorney available near you no matter where you are located.

Call our office today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

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