As the New Year approaches, so do some new policies at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Some changes, like the legacy and veteran’s license plates, are fun ways to personalize your car. Others have important effects on safety, like new standards for testing drivers suspected of driving under the influence. Read on for a summary of the new rules of the road.
California drivers should take note of the recently approve Assembly Bill 2020. This is the legislation that removes the option of a urine test to judge the impairment of the driver. Instead, drivers under suspicion of impaired driving will be subject to a blood test with certain exceptions. The blood test is a more accurate method of determining the exact type of drugs and the amount present in the driver’s system at the time they are pulled over.
Commercial drivers now have the chance to attend traffic school for violations in a non-commercial vehicle. Before Assembly Bill 1888, the issue could mar the professional record of the driver. This way, commercial vehicle operators can maintain a clean record if they have a violation in their personal vehicle unless it’s a serious offense.
Some of the most exciting change comes in regard to autonomous vehicles. Self-driving cars are now officially legal in the state of California thanks to legislation taking effect this year. Auto manufacturers can now drive the autonomous cars on public roads after first applying with the DMV with certifications of safety and other standards. The DMV also has the power to create requirements or limits to autonomous vehicles as needed while the technology progresses.
Most of California’s drivers won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of a self-driving car just yet, but they can apply for new license plates. The legacy license plates are modeled after classic license plates designs from past decades in California. Nostalgic drivers can choose a yellow and black, black and yellow, or blue and yellow background and lettering respectively. Veterans and support of veteran’s license plates will now benefit the County Veteran’s Service Officers Fund, in addition to offering more designs.