What Are The Different Types Of Driver’s Licenses
Since 1915, when California first began to issue licenses, driving has been held to be a privilege granted and revocable by the state. DMV has been granted the authority to deal with these procedures by the legislature.
Division 6, CVC sections 12500 – 12804, (Requirements for licensing). Stated briefly, it is unlawful to drive on any public roads or property unless licensed, and the license must be correct for the class of vehicle driven (certain exemptions apply).
- You must apply upon entry into California as a resident.
- You have 10 days to submit a change of address.
- You must now provide your Social Security number when applying for or renewing a license or registration.
You are required to have a valid and current driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance in order to operate a vehicle. All of these items must be valid and current at the time that you operate your vehicle. Even if your vehicle meets all the requirements to drive safely on the road, if any of these are expired or invalid in any way, then you cannot and should not drive. In addition to keeping these items up-to-date, you must always maintain proof of their validation in the vehicle when operating it. If you are pulled over by an officer while not having one or all three, then you can expect to be fined for it. It’s best not to drive until you can ensure that you have valid and current proof of all these items. NOTE: Under the Safe Streets Act of 1994, any driver who is unlicensed or has had their privilege suspended or revoked may have their vehicle impounded and sold. If a license is suspended or revoked, it must be returned to DMV within 15 days of the effective date. A fee will be charged if it is not returned.
The following are the types of licenses available in California
A – Any vehicle (motorcycle must have M endorsement).
B – Bus, farm labor vehicle, single vehicles w/ 3+ axles.
C – You may drive a:
– 2-axle vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,000 lbs. or less.
– 3-axle vehicle weighing 6,000 lbs. or less gross.
– House car 40 feet or less.
– 3-wheel motorcycle.
– Vanpool vehicle designed to carry more than 10 persons, but no more than 15 persons including the driver. (NOTE: The driver must have a valid medical certification on file with DMV and carry a valid medical card. The driver must keep in the vanpool vehicle a statement signed under penalty of perjury, that he or she has not been convicted or reckless driving, drunk driving, or hit-and-run in the last five years (CVC 12804.9(j)).
You may tow a:
– Single vehicle with a GVWR or 10,000 lbs. or less, including a tow dolly, if used.
– With a vehicle weighing 4,000 lbs. or more, unladen, you may tow a:
– Trailer coach or 5th-wheel travel trailer under 10,000 lbs. GVWR when towing is not for compensation.
– 5th-wheel travel trailer exceeding 10,000 lbs. but under 15,000 lbs. GVWR, when towing is not for compensation, and with endorsement.
– A farmer or employee of a farmer may drive:
– Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs. or less, if used exclusively in agriculture operations and it is not for hire or compensation.
Note: *Class C licensees may not tow more than one vehicle.
- A passenger vehicle, regardless of weight, may not tow more than one vehicle.
- No motor vehicle under 4,000 lbs. unladen weight may tow any vehicle weighting 6,000 lbs. or more gross. (CVC 21715)
M – 2 wheeled motorcycle only.
Remember, DRIVING IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT! It is important to be aware of reasons why you would get your license restricted:
- A person with a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse can be refused a license. A person with a substance abuse problem is a hazard to himself and others. He or she should not be permitted to drive a motor vehicle. If the DMV becomes aware of such a problem, it will legally refuse to issue a driver’s license.
- Any person who has used his or her license illegally could have it revoked and be denied another license.
- False information on a driver’s license application is grounds for refusal to issue a license.
- Failure to demonstrate a minimal level of driving skill is grounds for refusal.
- The DMV has a legal right to refuse to grant a license to people whose medical condition makes them a driving hazard.
- A driver’s license issued to a person at least 16 years of age but under 18 years of age shall be issued pursuant to the provisional licensing program .
- During the first 12 months after issuance of a provisional license the licensee may not do any of the following unless accompanied and supervised by a licensed driver who is the licensee’s parent or guardian, a licensed driver who is 25 years of age or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor:
- (A) Drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- (B) Transport passengers who are under 20 years of age.
- (2) A licensee may drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. or transport an immediate family member without being accompanied and supervised by a licensed driver who is the licensee’s parent or guardian, a licensed driver who is 25 years of age or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor, in the following circumstances:
- (A) Medical necessity of the licensee when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate and operation of a vehicle by a minor is necessary. The licensee shall keep in his or her possession a signed statement from a physician familiar with the condition, containing a diagnosis and probable date when sufficient recovery will have been made to terminate the necessity.
- (B) Schooling or school-authorized activities of the licensee when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate and operation of a vehicle by a minor is necessary. The licensee shall keep in his or her possession a signed statement from the school principal, dean, or school staff member designated by the principal or dean, containing a probable date that the schooling or school-authorized activity will have been completed.
- (C) Employment necessity of the licensee when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate and operation of a vehicle by a minor is necessary. The licensee shall keep in his or her possession a signed statement from the employer, verifying employment and containing a probable date that the employment will have been completed.
- (D) Necessity of the licensee or the licensee’s immediate family member when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate and operation of a vehicle by a minor is necessary to transport the licensee or the licensee’s immediate family member. The licensee shall keep in his or her possession a signed statement from a parent or legal guardian verifying the reason and containing a probable date that the necessity will have ceased.
At any time the DMV has the right to restrict your license. If you fail to comply with your driving restriction, several penalties may be placed on you.
- Your vehicle may be impounded and subjected to storage fees, or worse, sold.
- You may be fined.
- You may even go to jail.
- You may be penalized with one or all of the above penalties.
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