ASK DMV: Helpful Information for California Drivers

6/18/2015, 11:28 p.m.
  1. My registration was suspended because I didn’t have insurance. I have now paid my $14 reinstatement and registration renewal fees, and my insurance company indicates it has notified the DMV that I have insurance. Do I need to visit a DMV field office to obtain my registration renewal sticker?

No. Simply call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-777-0133 and inform the technician that you have paid your fees and need a registration sticker mailed to you. You will receive a call back to let you know the suspension has been removed. You should receive your registration card and sticker within 7 to10 business days.

  1. How can I ensure that the person selling a vehicle is the actual owner?

Here are some helpful ways to verify that the seller is the owner of the vehicle: Ask for the Certificate of Ownership (title) and the seller’s identification to verify that the names match. Verify that the vehicle identification number matches the number on the title. Verify that you have the seller’s current contact information. When in doubt, set up an appointment at your local DMV for you and the seller to complete the transaction or find out what additional fees, signatures, or documentation are required.

  1. The DMV has started using Touch Screen technology to administer the driver knowledge exam. How is it different from the written version?

Instead of using a paper and pencil to the take the exam, you now simply touch the correct answer on a monitor screen. The Touch Screen system guides you through the testing process and gives you immediate feedback if you answer a question incorrectly. This technology reduces test times, improves field office wait times, minimizes fraud by randomizing test questions and answers, and provides easier maintenance of test questions. Make sure you review the California Driver Handbook. You can find it at www.dmv.ca.gov. Do not forget to make an appointment to take the test. Good luck!

  1. I just turned 70 years old and was required to visit my local DMV office in order to renew by driver license. Is this a common practice?

Yes. When a person turns 70 years old, the DMV requires every driver to visit a DMV office to take written and vision tests. Every senior driver will be required to take those exams every 5 years. The DMV understands the important connection between driving and independence and keeps this in mind during the evaluation. Getting older does not automatically make you a poor driver, but the reality is, that at some point, all of us will face a decline in our physical, visual, or mental abilities which can impair our ability to drive safely.

The DMV offers a Senior Driver Ombudsman Program. For more info visit www.dmv.ca.gov/about/senior/senior_ombudsman.htm.