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Expert answers to common DMV questions

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POSTED October 17, 2012 7:18 p.m.

SACRAMENTO – Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration and insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California Department of Motor Vehicles has answers. Save Time. Go Online at


Q: How often may a driver attend traffic violator school in order to keep violations confidential (masked) and not part of the public record?


A: A driver who is referred by a court to traffic violator school may have only the first violation masked in an 18-month period. Subsequent violations during the 18-month period will not be masked.

Q: I paid my registration fees online and entered my checking account information. I received a dishonored check notice. How is this possible?


A: Make sure to correctly enter your bank account and routing numbers when making an online payment. On the DMV website, there is an example of where to locate the bank routing numbers, so please take a look before entering your check information.


When entering payment from an existing checking account, be sure to verify that the numbers are correct before entering the final payment. This will ensure that we are able to locate your account and deduct the payment.

Q: I was involved in a collision for the first time last week and had no idea what I was

supposed to do. What steps should I take?


A: Being involved in a traffic collision can be very traumatic, especially your first one, so it is normal to feel overwhelmed. After any type of vehicle collision, no matter how minor, you must stop. Otherwise you may be convicted of “hit and run” and could be severely punished.

At the scene of a crash, it is important to show the following information to the other driver or persons involved, or to any peace officer.


•Your driver license


•Registration card


•Evidence of insurance


•Your current address


If you hit a parked vehicle or other property, try to find the owner. If you can’t find the owner, leave a note with your name and address and securely attach it to the vehicle. Report the collision without delay to the city police or, in unincorporated areas, to the Highway Patrol.

Following a crash, you or your insurance agent, broker, or legal representative must do the following:

•Move your vehicle off the street or highway. If you do not move your vehicle or have it removed from the street or highway, any peace officer or authorized personnel may have your vehicle removed and impounded.

•If someone is killed or injured, report the collision to the police or Highway Patrol within 24 hours.

•If there was more than $750 in damage to the property of any person, or anyone is injured or killed, report the collision to the DMV within 10 days.

The DMV has a brochure on what to do in the case of a collision. You can find it online at

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