Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Resolutions? Nope, but there are new vehicles laws this year.

It's a new year, and along with the new year resolutions to better ourselves, there have are vehicle regulations and laws going into effect this year.  (Note this will apply for California residents)  So what are some of the new laws?

Gimme a boost!
The first law (SB 949) we will discuss is the regulation concerning child safety "booster" seats.  The new law states that children under the age of 8 years must be restrained in a booster seat in the backseat of a vehicle.  The only exception is if the child is taller than 4 feet 9 inches in height. 

If an officer suspects any child not restrained to be under the age of 8, you may present a certified birth certificate or other suitable form of identification to prove the child's age.  Please be aware that this still may not prevent the officer from issuing you a citation.  The fine for violators of the new law is $100 for the first time and $250 for a second offense. 

Dude, where's my car?
AB 353 will prevent drivers from having their vehicles impounded at a sobriety check point if the only offense is not having a valid driver license in the driver's possession. 

A half a percent is almost 50%?
Vehicle license fee (VLF) has been reduced by 0.5% to 0.65% of a vehicle's accessed value, which is nearly 50% of the old 1.15%.  Please bear in mind the fee does not take into account the current condition of your car, so whether your car is a pristine, showroom condition car or a rusty winter beater of the same model, it will not matter.  You pay the same as the Joneses do. 

One goes down the other goes up.
You think that we might be getting breaks from fees since the VLF was reduced right?  Wrong!  SB 89 has increased the registration fee for vehicles from the previous $31 to $43.  This law goes into effect on July 1, 2012. 

That new car sm... err fee, yeah that's it.

Also beginning on July 1st, AB 1215 will require dealerships to register new car sales electronically with the Department of Motor Vehicles.  This means that buyers of new cars can be charged up to $80 for the processing fee. 

Used car dealerships will be required to have available to prospective buyers a history report of the vehicle from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information Service.  Dealers are prohibited from selling the vehicle without first obtaining the report. 

These are a few of the laws going into effect this year.  We will keep our eyes out and inform you of any other new changes that are significant for motor vehicle drivers.  Happy motoring and keep on driving!

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