Below Follows a List of Laws Passed in 2009 that Still Have a Great Impact in 2015

In 2009 a number of laws were passed which affect smog check and Department of Motor Vehicles services. AB 2241, restricts the issuance of short-term operating authorizations to those individuals whose cars have yet to pass a smog check. The law calls for a $50 charge for one 60-day temporary operating license only if the automobile has been tested at a smog station and failed. Department of Motor Vehicles Director George Valverde is quoted, "This new law ensures that cars on our freeways are appropriately registered and managed,". "We likewise support efforts to lower emissions that help keep Californians healthy.". In the past, owners were able to secure a short-term operating permit for 60 days or more if, after paying their renewal charges on time, they were not able to get a smog certificate for any reason. The continued operation of cars that have not satisfied California's smog test requirements is approximated to be producing one to 2 tons daily of hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen. Another law that will take effect in 2009 is SB 28, which accompanies the cell phone law of 2007 and restricts text messaging with a mobile phone or other text-based communications while driving an automobile. In all, 1,187 bills were passed and 772 were signed into law-- including over 80 modifications to the Vehicle Code during the 2008 legislative year. A few of the other changes consist of fee boosts to improve air quality, DUI charges, and a new unique interest license plate come into force on Jan. 1, 2009. Following is a shortened summary of the new laws that will take effect Jan. 1, 2009, unless suggested otherwise. A more comprehensive list appears on the DMV Web site at www.dmv.ca.gov.

CONSUMER PROTECTION.

Unlicensed Car Dealers (AB 2042/Fuentes)

This brand-new law allows law enforcement officers to seize automobiles that are being sold by unlicensed dealers. * Counterfeit Clean Air Stickers (SB 1720/Lowenthal) This new law will make it a crime to forge, fake, or falsify a Clean Air Sticker. These stickers are currently released by DMV to particular low emission cars and allow cars with these sticker labels to be driven in the HOV lane. 2) TRAFFIC SAFETY. * Text Messaging (SB 28/Simitian) This brand-new law makes it an offense to compose, send out, or check out text-based interaction on an electronic cordless communication device, such as a cell phone, while driving.

DUI Probation License Suspension (AB 1165 Maze)

A modification in the driving under the influence (DUI) law produces a new authority for DMV to administratively suspend the motorist's license for one year under a zero tolerance requirement. The brand-new law authorizes police to issue a notification of suspension and take the car of a person who is driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.01 percent or greater while on court-ordered post-DUI probation.

AIR QUALITY.

Temporary Operating Permits (AB2241/Saldana)

This law restricts DMV from releasing short-term operating permits to enable more time to acquire a smog certification as part of the registration renewal process. Under the law, extensions will cost $50 and are mainly enabled if the vehicle has actually been checked at a smog station and failed. The extension can be for no more than 60 days from the date registration is due. The $50 fee will certainly be waived for vehicle owners accepted into the Bureau of Automotive Repair Consumer (BAR) Assistance Program (CAP).

* San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Fee (AB 2522/Arambula) In an effort to fund programs to minimize car emissions, car owners who register their cars in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, and Tulare Counties and Valley parts of Kern County will be charged an air quality fee of $6. 4)

MISCELLANEOUS VEHICLE CODE LAWS

New Special Interest Plate (SB 1455/Cogdill)

A brand-new "Gold Star Family" special interest license is be offered to member of the family of individuals killed in the line of duty while serving in the Armed Forces throughout wartime or military operations.

Motorcycle Definition (AB 2272/Fuentes)

This brand-new law alters the meaning of a motorcycle, deleting the existing weight restriction of 1500 pounds. It likewise removes a separate meaning for electrically-powered vehicles. This modification in law will also enable motorists of fully-enclosed 3-wheeled automobile to make use of the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. To easily access the California Vehicle Code for additional details, go to to the DMV website at www.dmv.ca.gov and click the "Publications" button in the upper left hand corner of the home page. The DMV motorist handbook is also on the web at the same place. The 2009 variation of the handbook will certainly be published for distribution to all 169 DMV field officers soon after the first of the year.