The Ultimate Guide to California's New Driving Laws for 2019: What You Need to Know

On January 1st, 2019, several important new DMV laws came into effect in California. If you don't yet have your Real ID yet, have a hybrid or electric car or are thinking of buying one, or have ever ridden a Bird or Lime scooter, you'll definitely want to read on!

1. No more helmets required for scooters

If you're over 18, you don't need a bicycle helmet to use a motorized scooter anymore. Not that anyone ever knew about that law, or followed it. With the explosion of electric scooter companies, like Bird and Lime, the state decided a change was needed. This is part of the effort to figure out ways of embracing new mobility options, and we think it's a good start!

2. California now requires two pieces of proof of residency to get your Real ID.

Guess what? It turns out that the California DMV has been issuing the new Real IDs incorrectly, and the federal government recently took notice and cracked down. Everyone in California will need to get a Real ID to comply with Federal TSA Standards by October 2020 (and if you don't upgrade, you'll need to bring your passport to the airport). The good news? If you already got your Real ID in California, it will be honored by the federal government, so you won't have to go back to the DMV with additional documentation -- phew! If you don't have your Real ID yet and want to know what's required, we can help you understand everything you need to know to get your Real ID in California.

3. Green and white carpool decals have expired

If you are one of the 250,000 Californians that have been enjoying carpool access with a green or white HOV sticker, your time in the fast lane is unfortunately over. These decals have expired as of January 1st, 2019. Now, getting a red decal is the only way to extend your HOV privileges, and there are tight restrictions on the cars that are eligible that are eligible.

4. Now there's a third gender option on driver's licenses

Starting January 1st, 2019, people who apply for a driver's license or identity card in California will now have an option to select male, female, or non-binary as their gender.


6 California DMV Changes for 2019


5. No more DMV suspension for skipping school

Courts in California used to be able to suspend, restrict, or delay issuing a driver's license to a minor because of skipping school or being under guardianship of the state. That law is gone. As of January 1st, 2019, minors will no longer have driver's license privileges affected for issues related to school attendance or guardianship.

6. Abandoning animals on the highway is now a criminal offense

The State of California is cracking down on people who dump or abandon animals on the side of the road. As of January 1st, this is now a criminal offense. To ensure California drivers know this new law, the DMV will be asking about this rule on 20% of all written permit tests. So, if you're getting your permit or license, you'll need to know this new law!

In Summary

Let us know in the comments if the list above was helpful, or if there's anything important we missed! Or if you really want to make us happy, check out our services! We LOVE helping people with government services. Seriously. If you need a DMV appointment in a hurry, check out our DMV appointment options. We've got tons of other amazing services and we cannot wait to help you as the #1 government services marketplace in the country.

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