Last updateTue, 19 Sep 2017 5pm

On The Road

DMV offers refunds online with proper documentation


Q:Can I get refunds from the DMV online? If so, what types of refunds are issued?

A: Yes, getting simple refunds is fast and easy online. Visit dmv.ca.gov/isr/welcome.do to use the DMV On-Line Refund Program.

You can request refunds for vehicle/vessel license late-payment fees because you know that the payment was made on time, fees for a vehicle/vessel that left California before the registration expired and was registered in another state and for reissue fees that have been dismissed.

If you do not meet the criteria above but believe you are entitled to a refund from the DMV, go to the same link and print the “Application for Refund” form. Include the required documentation – a photocopy (front and back) of the canceled check showing proof of payment, receipts issued by the DMV, vehicle registration card/stickers or a photocopy of your insurance showing the date of loss – when you mail the form to your local DMV.

Q: We purchased a car for our son’s 16th birthday, and we want to register the vehicle under his name. Can we do this even though he doesn’t have his driver license yet?

A: Although you do not need to be a licensed driver to have a vehicle registered in your name, because your son is a minor and does not possess a valid driver license, he cannot order, purchase, lease, accept or otherwise obtain any vehicle subject to registration (Vehicle Code §15500). Therefore you may want to register the vehicle under your or your spouse’s name, then transfer ownership when your son earns his driver license. Because you cannot register a vehicle in your name online, visit www.dmv.ca.gov to make an appointment at one of our field offices.

Q: I just moved to a small town from a large, pedestrian-friendly city. What exactly are the rules when it comes to pedestrians?

A: It’s very important that all drivers respect pedestrians both for pedestrians’ safety and their own. When sharing the road with pedestrians, you should always stop for any pedestrian crossing at corners or other crosswalks, even if the crosswalk is in the middle of the block. Also stop at corners with or without traffic lights, whether or not the crosswalks are marked with painted lines. Just remember, pedestrians always have the right of way. For more rules on pedestrian safety and right-of-way information, visit www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/right_of_way.htm.

Q: I rear-ended another vehicle last week when the driver made a sudden stop at an intersection and I wasn’t able to brake quickly enough. Do I have to file a report with the DMV?

A: Yes. California law requires traffic collisions to be reported when property damage exceeds $750 or when someone is injured (no matter how minor) or killed. Each driver must make a report to the DMV within 10 days, whether you caused the crash or not. To complete DMV Traffic Accident Report form SR1, visit www.dmv.ca.gov and click the “Forms” tab. Once completed, send the form to: Department of Motor Vehicles, Financial Responsibility, Mail Station J-237, P.O. Box 942884, Sacramento, CA 94284-0884.

George Valverde has been in public service for more than 30 years, focusing on operations and budget issues. Prior to his DMV appointment, he served as undersecretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency (2004-2005) and deputy secretary for fiscal operations (1995-2003).

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