16 Jun 19
Redlands Daily Facts
Q: To save money and time, Corona resident John Bice suggested that the California Department of Motor Vehicles could issue licenses for 10 years or more, with exceptions perhaps for first-time and/or elderly drivers.
“The state knows who is getting tickets and what kind of ticket, and can deal with those drivers. Arizona issues licenses good to age 65, with a new picture every 12 years. Imagine how the crowds at the DMV would shrink,” said Bice, who also noted that revenue to the state would decline if the driver’s license term were to be longer.
Is such an extension possible in California?
A: The length for the California driver’s license term isn’t something the DMV decides, as extending the term for California drivers would require action by the state Legislature, DMV spokesman Marty Greenstein said.
“I know there have been proposed bills in the past but nothing that has been enacted,” Greenstein said, noting that the term for a license changed from four years to five effective in 1997.
California Vehicle Code Section 12816(a) says that most California driver licenses are good for five years and expire on the driver’s birthday. There are instances in which a license can expire in a shorter time period, however.
It states, “Every original driver’s license expires on the fifth birthday of the applicant following the date of the application for the license. (b) Renewal of a driver’s license shall be made for a term which expires on the fifth birthday of the applicant following the expiration of the license renewed, if application for renewal is made within six months prior to the expiration of the license to be renewed, or within 90 days after expiration of the license.”
There is no grace period for driving on an expired license. You can’t drive on an expired license pending your scheduled DMV appointment.
Our reader could write his local state Senate or Assembly member and ask them to sponsor a bill seeking to extend the driver’s license term.
How long a driver’s license is valid until a renewal is required varies from state to state. As our reader noted, a license issued by Arizona is good until age 65 – this is unique – and then a renewal is required every five years. Many states have terms equal or similar to California’s, while several other states have license terms longer than California’s for most drivers.
These include some that offer a license for eight years (in most cases): Florida, Hawaii, Arkansas, Delaware, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia and Wisconsin. Some states have shorter terms for new or older drivers. Visit the AAA Digest of Motor Laws website —https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/drivers-license-renewal/ — to see the full list.
Protecting registration tags
We’d like to share a tip from reader Benjamin Adams in response to our recent discussion about how to protect your vehicle registration tags from thieves.
As we noted, stealing registration tags from another vehicle is happening quite a bit in California these days. The DMV lets drivers cut score marks into the tags to make it harder for them to be stolen. Adams noted that some people just apply their new registration tag on top of a pile of old, expired tags. He advised that it’s best to first remove the raised pile of old tags.
“It is a bit of a chore, but a thief can cut a couple layers back and preserve the top layer and even a scored tag will come off unscathed,” Adams said.
Finally, do you think lots of Americans are interested in electric vehicles? You get great mileage and you never have to get gas again, right?
Well … wrong, at least sort of.
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The Automobile Club of Southern California recently released the results of its study asking why Americans are not as interested in the vehicles as some assumed they would be. The survey showed that despite a fair amount of interest in them, only four in 10 respondents said they think most vehicles would be electric by 2029.
“AAA believes that like other emerging technologies, a lack of knowledge and experience may be contributing to the slow adoption of electric vehicles despite Americans’ desire to go green,” the Auto Club concluded.
More than 200,000 electric vehicles are on the nation’s roads today, according to Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. AAA found that 40 million Americans are at least open to considering getting a electric vehicle the next time they buy a car, with millennials being most open to the idea.
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