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DMV Offers Saturday Hours Twice Each Month

In an effort to ease customer wait times, the DMV will open 43 select field offices on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Forty of the offices will be open on June 16 and 23.  Starting July 7, 43 offices will open the first and third Saturday of each month.  No behind-the-wheel tests will be given on weekends, but all others services are available. Appointments are always recommended, but not required for Saturday service.   Check out the Saturday service webpage for a list of locations.

During the past few weeks, field offices across the state have experienced longer than normal wait times due to the implementation of REAL ID, a new queuing system and the addition of the electronic driver license and ID card application.  The DMV is addressing the backlog by hiring more staff and will add 715 employees by fiscal year 2019/2020 in preparation for the influx of customers who are expected to apply for a REAL ID in the months before the federal enforcement date takes effect on October 1, 2020. At that time, a REAL ID or another federally approved document (passport, military ID, etc.) will be required to board a domestic flight or enter military bases and other secure federal facilities.

Customers wanting to apply for a REAL ID driver license or identification card can take advantage of a handy interactive checklist to make sure they have the necessary documents before visiting a DMV field office.

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Ready for a Taste of Fair Fun

How sweet it is to have the DMV sponsor a booth at the San Diego County Fair! Stop by the Exhibit Hall between June 1 and July 4 and visit with DMV representatives who can answer your driving-related questions.

If you need to renew your vehicle registration, bring your renewal notice or current registration card to the fair and find out how quick and easy it is to get your registration and sticker instantly! Simply use the DMV Now Self-Service Terminal available at the DMV booth. Not sure how to use it? Friendly DMV representatives will walk you through the process!

Come visit us in Exhibit Hall to find out how sweet it can be!

Bicycle Safety

There is no better way to get fresh air, exercise, save money on gas and reduce your carbon footprint than by biking. With clearer skies and warmer weather, more bicyclists are sure to be out on the road.

Safety must be a priority. Biking, like driving a car or riding a motorcycle, comes with responsibility. Unexpected dangers may arise, so it is crucial that bicyclists pay close attention to traffic signs, signals and follow all rules to reduce the risk of being involved in a collision.

May is Bike Month, but bicycle safety is not limited to just one month. Here are some safety tips for when you’re riding your bicycle:

  • Wear a properly-fitted helmet. By law, bicycle riders under 18 years old must wear a helmet when biking on a public road.
  • Ensure your bicycle is the right size and fit for you. Properly adjusted and fitted bikes can be more comfortable and easier to control.
  • Inspect your bicycle regularly. Make sure your brakes are functioning and tires are properly inflated before every ride.
  • Use hand signals before making turns or changing lanes. Reduce the risk of collision by informing traffic around you about your intentions.BikeHandSignal.PNG
  • Wear bright-colored, reflective clothing. When riding at night, reflective clothing can help others on the road spot you.
  • Ride in a safe lane position. Ride in the same direction as traffic and be predictable. Ride in a straight line.
  • Stay alert at all times. Always ride sober and avoid using electronic devices. If using earbuds, only keep one in your ear—it is illegal to wear headphones or both earbuds while biking. Watch for road hazards such as glass, potholes, gravel and other unsafe road conditions that can make you lose control of your bicycle.

Lastly, always share the road! Safety is everyone’s responsibility, regardless of how we get around.

A Car’s Dashboard Is No Resting Place

Sitting back, putting your feet up and getting a little too comfy in the car? It might sound like a relaxing way to spend a road trip, but it is extremely dangerous.

A dashboard typically houses airbags, right where passengers tend to rest their feet or legs. During a collision, airbags inflate in less than 1/20th of a second—at a speed of up to 200 miles per hour! Even if you have quick reflexes, collisions often leave you little to no time to react or reposition your legs. Can you imagine your feet, knees or legs flying at full force toward your face by a rapidly inflating airbag? Yikes!

Put your feet down. And keep them there! Just because there are no laws prohibiting the placement of feet or legs on a dashboard, doesn’t mean you should do it. There are too many horror stories about serious injuries happening to people who had their feet or legs on the dashboard during a collision. We strongly urge you to break the habit before it’s too late.

To avoid airbag-related injuries, make sure you are properly seated and always wear a seat belt, and try to sit at least 10 inches away from the airbag cover.

Boy's feet on dash of moving car.

5 Safety Tips for Senior Drivers

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Mobility is a quality of life issue and driving is a key part of seniors staying mobile, independent and socially active. It is important for drivers of all ages to drive safely from the time they earn their driver license to the time they retire it. Safe driving involves good vision, quick reflexes, joint flexibility and muscle strength. All these components are important to ensure drivers can judge distances, quickly spot troubles and react appropriately.

Here are 5 safety tips we’ve come up with for senior drivers:

  1. Make sure your car is the right fit for you. That means being able to see over the steering wheel, reach the brake and accelerator comfortably, and get in and out of your vehicle with ease. If your vehicle isn’t the proper fit for you, don’t worry. You can install adaptive features and devices to help make your car more comfortable and safe for you to drive.
  2. Get a restricted driver license. Restrictions to your driving privilege are not punitive; they are intended to help you drive safer and longer. Restrictions are based on conditions, not age. Restrictions may include limiting when and where you may drive, such as staying off the freeway, not driving during rush hour traffic and only driving during daylight hours.
  3. Keep up your health! Have your vision and hearing checked by your physician, and exercise regularly. You need to see clearly, judge distances and hear horns and sirens when you drive. Staying active ensures you maintain muscle strength and flexibility, which can help with turning the steering wheel or looking over your shoulder.
  4. Plan your trip out before you head out the door. Find the safest, smoothest routes before leaving to your destination, so you don’t find yourself stressed or lost while driving.
  5. Enroll in a driving course to update and refresh your driving skills and knowledge of the “rules of the road”. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to stop driving! Improve your defensive driving techniques at a Mature Driver Improvement Course.

In addition to these tips, all drivers of any age should avoid distractions while driving, always wear their seat belt and never drive after drinking alcohol or taking prescription and over the counter medications that can impair their driving.

If you are worried that someone you know may no longer be driving safely, submit a Request for Driver Reexamination (PDF). The form is confidential.

For more tips on safe driving for older adults, read our Senior Guide for Safe Driving handbook.

For additional resources, questions or for assistance contact your local Senior Driver Ombudsmen.

Is Your Child in the Right Seat?

Buckle Up Baby.jpgWe know seat belts save lives and the same is true for child safety seats. A child who is properly restrained in a certified booster seat has a much greater chance of surviving a crash.

According to a 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, 35 percent of children under the age of 13, who were not restrained in car booster seats were killed in car crashes. But simply putting your child in a booster seat is not enough. If it’s not properly buckled to the car seat, it can break loose during an accident. What’s alarming is that the study found that 59 percent of children sit in one of these improperly fastened booster seats.

So how do I know if your child should be sitting in a forward-facing or rear-facing booster seat? When it comes to a booster seat, it is not a one-size-fits-all device. Out of the four car seat types, there are many options available. The most important thing to remember is that you will want to make sure your car seat fits your child’s current size and age, and that it properly fits into your vehicle. This process may seem quite overwhelming at first, but when it comes to the safety of your child, it’s worth it.

According to NHTSA, once you have chosen a car seat, you can get assistance with installing it you can get help at a car seat inspection station. Certified technicians will inspect your car seat free of charge!

There are many ways you can protect your children from harm. Choosing and correctly using the right car seat every time your child is in the car is one of them. Visit NHTSA’s page on the process of finding the right car seat for your child.

Learn more about the importance of booster seats at http://www.boosterseats4safety.org/

 

 

Get Cleared for Take Off with REAL ID

Do you use your driver license or identification (DL/ID) card to get through airport security? Then you’ll probably want a REAL ID. Beginning October 1, 2020, the federal government will require a REAL ID or other federally approved document to board a domestic flight.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has your ticket to get through security by offering a REAL ID – a new federal compliant option for driver licenses and identification cards. A REAL ID card is marked with a bear and star in the upper right corner of the card.

Avoid being delayed at the airport! To apply for a REAL ID, you must visit a DMV field office. Don’t forget to make an appointment to reduce your wait. Remember, you must bring at least three documents that include: proof of identity, social security number and California residency. No photocopies will be accepted for the proof of identity or social security documents. Be aware that if you have changed your name, a legal document, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree, also might be required.

Renewing your DL/ID online or by mail? You will receive a Federal Non-Compliant DL/ID card. This card is marked “Federal Limits Apply” and it cannot be used to board domestic flights or enter secure federal facilities starting October 1, 2020.


Don’t fret! These requirements do not go into effect until October 1, 2020, so you can still use a valid California DL/ID card at airports until then. If your current DL/ID card expires between now and October 1, 2020, the best time to apply for a REAL ID would be when you are due for a renewal. If you don’t want to apply for a REAL ID, you can use a U.S. passport, military ID or other TSA-approved identification document to get you through airport security.

Visit REALID.dmv.ca.gov for more information on REAL ID.