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Resolve to be Safe Responsible Drivers

It’s time to make a New Year Resolution! As 2013 comes to a close take a minute to reflect on all that was accomplished. For 2014 strive to be the best and create new attainable resolutions. Let’s face it drivers develop bad habits, so set a resolution to break these bad habits. A little dedication and hard work can keep the roadways safer for 2014.

Let’s resolve to be responsible and safe drivers:

  1. Never drink and drive, or drive buzzed
  2. End distracted driving, and drive phone-free
  3. Wear seat belts, every trip, every time
  4. Share the Road with motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians

DMV would like to wish you a Safe and Happy New Year!


DMV would like to wish you a Safe and Happy Holiday!


Holidays are about spending time with family and friends.  Whether you are driving to celebrate with family or picking up last minute presents, be sure to safely bring the best gift of all…YOU! Get an early start and allow plenty of time to reach the destination. Be more observant, visibility is often limited by winter weather conditions.

  • Millions of drivers will be on the roadway this holiday season so here are a few driving tips to help you navigate safely:
  • Make sure your tires, brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater and exhaust system are in top condition.
  • Keep the windshield and windows clear on the vehicle. Use the defroster and keep a clean cloth handy to maintain fog free windows.
  • Carry an emergency kit. You can build your own with tips found at http://www.ots.ca.gov/roadsideemergencykit.asp.
  • Turn off the phone when you get behind the wheel.

If you are planning to drink, always designate a sober driver before the celebration begins.

Don’t forget to secure the best gift with a ribbon. It will only take you two seconds to put your seat belt on.


A Safe and Spooktacular Night


It’s that time of the year when ghouls and goblins take over the night and haunt the streets.  An array of superheroes, villains, and princesses will parade from house to house filling their buckets with goodies. Halloween is a fun-filled night for children, parents, and partygoers alike. The scary parts of Halloween are not the haunted houses but the distracted and alcohol impaired drivers. 

To keep children safe this Halloween, here are safety tips for the Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Plan a safe route on well-lit streets and always walk on sidewalks or paths. Remind children not to take shortcuts through backyards, alleys, or playing fields.
  • Cross the street at crosswalks and never assume that vehicles will stop.
  • If there are no sidewalks, always walk facing traffic.
  • Visibility:
    • Decorate costumes with reflective tape. 
    • Use a flashlight.
    • Glow sticks as necklaces or bracelets are also fun choices.

 A reminder for motorists during haunting season:

  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Slow Down!
    • Use caution and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.
    • Enter/exit driveways and alleys carefully.
  • Turn on headlights to increase visibility – even in daylight.
  • Eliminate distractions and concentrate on the road/surroundings.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.

 For more information visit DMV’s Pedestrian Safety page and have a Happy Halloween!  

Big Fun with DMV this Summer!!!


Looking for something to do with the family this summer?  Stop by the California State Fair! There will be fun packed events for everyone in the family.  When it gets too hot; cool off at the DMV booth inside Building C.  Here DMV staff can answer driver license or vehicle registration related questions while your kids color a DMV Dan or Danielle.

Skip the lines and learn how to schedule an appointment or pay for your vehicle registration online. Learn about these and the many other DMV services available online.  Thinking about getting a driver’s license? Make your way over to the booth and receive the 2013 California Driver Handbook.  DMV staff are available to provide assistance. 

“Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and upload the memories of your kids and their colorful DMV Dan or Danielle onto our page showing us the adventures you had at the State Fair.

Learn about California’s diverse industries and agriculture, enjoy your favorite fair food and take advantage of a great opportunity to speak to one of our amazing DMV staff members.

See you at the Fair!!!

Vehicle Registration Due? Let DMV Remind You!

With our lives as hectic as ever these days, it’s easy to forget when our vehicle registration is up for renewal. It’s even easier to misplace the paper renewal notice we receive prior to when our vehicle registration is due.

Worry no more! DMV online now gives you the option to sign up for a Vehicle Registration E-mail Reminders (VRER), which lets you know when your vehicle is up for renewal. Upon signing up, you will receive an email reminder 30 days prior to your registration expiring and another email 7 days prior to expiration.

Opting in to the online program is easy, since all you have to do is add your vehicle and let DMV do the rest. The image below provides a glimpse of what you will see if you add a vehicle to your online profile. If you sell your vehicle or it is no longer in your possession, opting out of the program is just as quick! Can it get any simpler?


So let DMV make your life a little easier and remind you about your registration. Nearly 200,000 people have already opted in to receive renewal reminders via email. Still not sure if you want to sign up? Read our commonly asked VRER questions to learn more!

Does My Mustang Need to be Smogged?

ImageBuddy the Mustang. and yes, he’s FAST!

Not the REAL kind, but then those do require some hay and a few carrots.  However, if you own a Ford Mustang in California (or any other kind of car, for that matter) chances are you need to get a smog certificate every other year.

Once you receive the friendly reminder in the mail (yes, DMV tries to be nice about it) that you need a smog certificate, start that task immediately.  Don’t wait! Try not to put it off until the last minute like you did with your homework! (Well, some of us did, anyway).

Go down to your local smog check station first thing to get your car smogged,  and get your smog certificate.  Then,  go online to DMV.ca.gov and pay your registration fee.  The smog check station will electronically send your certificate to the DMV and you will receive your tags and registration card in the mail in a few weeks.  If you don’t, give us a call as soon as you can at 800.777.0133.

Yikes, I’m Late!

We know, life happens and that renewal notice that’s been buried under your other bills suddenly pops into your head and to your horror, you realize it’s due TODAY and you didn’t get your car smogged!  Get online and pay your fee right now to avoid penalties.  Stop reading this and go pay it!  What are you doing still reading this? We’ll wait…Go!

Avoid the Aspirin

So, the moral of this story is to start working on getting your smog certificate the minute you get your renewal notice, which is sent to you 60 days in advance.  That’s  plenty of time to get things worked out, just in case the unspeakable happens and your car fails the smog test.   Handling it immediately will also give you plenty of time if you have to make any repairs before you’re registration is due, too.  If your car fails the smog test, and your tags have expired, and you didn’t get your car fixed in time, you can bring in the failed smog test report and pay $50 for a 60-day Temporary Operating Permit.  Just bring in proof that you failed your smog test (it can’t be more than 30 days old).

After reading this, you may opt for the actual mustang as your mode of transportation, but you’ll have to leave for work a lot earlier!

Doing Business with the DMV When Systems Are Down

DMV is committed to customer satisfaction. However, when our systems are down either for maintenance or technical difficulties, there are a few tips to fast-track your communication with us:

  • In the event your registration is due on a weekend or State holiday, and if a system failure occurs, no penalties are assessed if the renewal is postmarked by the next work date.
  • Our Telephone Service Center can assist with general DMV information at 1-800-777-0133.
  •  DMV’s Interactive Voice Response System at 1-800-777-0133 is also available for registration renewals.
  • Vehicle registration transactions can be completed by using DMV’s Self Service Terminals at select field offices and retail locations.
  • If our system is down for 24 hours or more, to avoid paying penalties on your vehicle registration you can prepare a Statement of Facts (REG 256) form or letter explaining why you were late and request that the penalty be waived. Mail the registration renewal notice, payment, and REG 256 or letter in the envelope provided.