Last updateTue, 17 Oct 2017 5pm

On The Road

Don't take light-rail vehicles lightly

Q: I live in an area with light-rail (public transit) vehicles, which is new to me. What steps should I take to share the road safely with the light rail?

A: Light-rail vehicles have the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles on the road, but they are much larger. To ensure that you give them the space they need and share the road properly, take the following precautions.

• Be aware of where the vehicles operate and take note of what could be a blind spot for the operator.

• Do not turn in front of a light-rail vehicle as it approaches.

• Leave plenty of space between you and the light-rail vehicle, particularly if it’s sharing the road with vehicular traffic.

• Approach tracks carefully, crossing over them only when indicated by a signal or when you are sure there is no approaching light-rail vehicle.

For more information, visit the DMV website at www.dmv.ca.gov.

Q: Sometimes while I am driving on the weekends or late at night, I see drivers operating their vehicles recklessly. I am concerned that they may be drunken drivers. How can I report them?

A: In partnership with the Office of Traffic Safety and the California Highway Patrol, the DMV urges you to report drunken drivers when you see them. Call 911 and help the CHP identify drunken drivers before they harm themselves or anyone else. Your call absolutely makes a difference and can help keep the roads safe.

Q: I recently moved and need to submit new information for the DMV’s records. Can I do this online?

A: Yes. You can download a “Change of Address” form from the DMV website and submit it to your local field office. In addition to submitting a form, you can also change your address online at www.dmv.ca.gov. Once you’ve logged on, click “Change of Address” under the “Online Services” tab at the top of the page. From there, follow the directions.

Please note the restrictions on the page to be sure you are eligible for this particular online transaction.

Q: I am applying to become a commercial truck driver. What documents do I need to bring with me to the DMV?

A: The following link contains all the required documents, forms and prerequisites toward obtaining a commercial driver license: dmv.ca.gov/commercial/commercial.htm. Remember to bring a valid Social Security card to the DMV when you apply – it is one of the most commonly forgotten items.

Q: My daughter is 16 and just received her driver’s license last week. She wants to drive her best friend, who is also 16, to school. Is it OK if she receives a letter of approval from her friend’s parents?

A: No. Even with permission from a parent, your daughter may not drive with anyone under the age of 20 unless a licensed driver over 25 is in the vehicle. She also may not drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. without a licensed driver over 25. These restrictions are in place for the first 12 months your daughter is licensed. The DMV website has a section dedicated to new drivers and their parents with more details on new-driver restrictions.

To view the page, visit www.DMV.ca.gov, and under the “Home” tab, click “Teens.”

George Valverde has served as California Department of Motor Vehicles director since 2006. He has been in public service for more than 30 years, focusing on operations and budget issues. Prior to his DMV appointment, Valverde served as undersecretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency and deputy secretary for fiscal operations.

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