Mon07282014

On The Road

There’s no quick fix for removing points from driving record

Q: Is it possible to remove points from your DMV driving record?

A: Points assigned as a result of collisions or traffic tickets are not something you want on your driving record. Generally, the DMV assigns one point for collisions where you are at fault and one or two points for tickets.

The only way to remove points from a driving record is to wait. Most points stay on your record for three years. Depending on severity, points may stay on your record for up to 10 years. If you receive a traffic citation, some courts will allow you to attend traffic school to keep a point from being added to your record.

To avoid accruing points, follow the traffic laws and don’t engage in reckless behavior. Drive defensively and avoid distractions while on the road. Keep this advice in mind, and you will be able to keep points off of your driving record.

For more information on points on your driving record, visit www.DMV.ca.gov.

Q: I recently took my behind-the-wheel driving test and failed. I immediately realized my error and asked if I could take the test again that day. The examiner said that I couldn’t and that I would need to schedule another appointment. I am over 18, so why couldn’t I take another test the same day?

A: Driving tests are scheduled by appointment only so that offices can effectively manage their workload and resources. Additionally, this gives you more time to practice until your next appointment.

Q: I’m not operating my vehicle, though the registration fees are current and I’ve canceled the insurance. Now I am getting notices of “Intent to Suspend.” What should I do?

A: When your registration fees are current and you are not operating your vehicle, you must submit an “Affidavit of Non-Use,” REG. 5090 form. This notification will stop the insurance suspension action. If your vehicle is still not being operated when you receive a billing notice for your next renewal period, file a “Planned Non-Operational” status on the vehicle and pay the appropriate fee.

For more information on vehicle registration insurance requirements, visit www.DMV.ca.gov/vr/insurance.htm.

Q: What is the proper way to handle an aggressive driver on the road?

A: When confronted with aggressive drivers, make every attempt to get out of their way. If that is impossible, here are some suggestions to keep you safe: Wear your seatbelt; avoid eye contact with the aggressor; put your pride aside and do not challenge the aggressor by speeding up or attempting to hold your own in your travel lane; ignore gestures and refuse to return them. You or a passenger can call the police and report aggressive driving. But if you use a cellphone and it’s not hands-free, first pull over to a safe location.

Q: I’m in the process of purchasing a used vehicle and I want to ensure that the seller is the legal owner. I’m having trouble finding this information – does the DMV have tools to aid my search?

A: The most effective way to determine that the seller is the owner of record is to review the Ownership Certificate and be careful about purchasing a vehicle from a private party if he or she does not have the Ownership Certificate or is not the registered owner. If you purchase a vehicle and the seller cannot provide releases from the registered or legal owner of record, you will need to locate the owner yourself to obtain releases. This can be difficult, especially with finance companies that have been sold or no longer exist. Because privacy concerns prevent you from easily obtaining vehicle history information from the DMV, you may want to request that the seller meet you at a DMV field office to transfer the vehicle into your name.

George Valverde was appointed California Department of Motor Vehicles Director in 2006 and has worked in public service for more than 30 years.

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