Tue07222014

On The Road

Rules for passing school buses differ from city buses

Q: I know I cannot pass a school bus when it is stopped to load or unload passengers. Does the same rule apply to city buses?

A: While it is true that you must stop behind school buses when they have lights flashing and children are present, this rule does not apply to city buses. According to the California Driver Handbook, when a bus stops ahead of you, you should reduce your speed to 10 mph and pass only if it appears safe to do so. If you can’t safely change lanes and pass a bus with adequate space between your vehicle and the bus, simply wait behind it until it begins moving again.

Q: I know talking or texting on my cellphone is illegal while driving. What about selecting songs on my MP3 player? Or what about browsing the Internet on my smartphone?

A: The DMV strongly discourages these types of activities, as they are distracting and extremely dangerous. However, the cellphone law applies exclusively to text or Web-based messages and phone calls. Also keep in mind that a law-enforcement officer may cite any driver who is driving unsafely. Although the law does not prohibit MP3 or Internet use, allowing yourself to become so distracted that you are driving recklessly could be grounds for a traffic citation.

For more information on the cellphone law, visit www.DMV.ca.gov/cellularphonelaws.

Q: My daughter registered my car in another state. However, I recently received a renewal notice and notice of delinquent registration. How do I notify the DMV that the vehicle is registered in another state?

A: You may return the renewal notice to the DMV with a letter stating that the vehicle is now registered in another state. Be sure to indicate when the vehicle left California and the state where the vehicle is now registered. The fees remain due if the vehicle was registered elsewhere after the registration expiration date. If the vehicle’s ownership was also changed, you may want to file a Notice of Release of Liability online at www.DMV.ca.gov to ensure that the DMV is aware of the new information. The DMV will update its records and stop further attempts to collect past-due registration.

Q: I recently paid my registration renewal fees, and then sold the vehicle. Do I qualify for a refund of my registration fees?

A: Unfortunately, you do not qualify for a refund. Vehicle registration is inherited with the sale. If you purchase a vehicle with expired registration, you are subject to the registration and late fees. If you purchase a vehicle with current registration, you are not subject to the registration fees as they have already been paid. For more information, visit www.DMV.ca.gov/online/refund/refundprograms.htm.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles provides the Ask the DMV column to the Town Crier on a monthly basis. To submit a question, email Jillianne Luong at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,

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