Last updateMon, 23 Oct 2017 3pm

On The Road

How to handle getting pulled over

Q: When being pulled over by law enforcement, what is the correct way to handle this situation?

A: Getting pulled over for the first time can be daunting. However, if you are aware of the procedures and the steps you must take, it will be less stressful for you.

The first thing you should do when you notice that you are being pulled over is acknowledge the police officer by turning on your right turn signal. Next you should move to the right shoulder of the road – never to the center median.

For full details on the correct practice of an enforcement stop, visit apps.DMV.ca.gov/pubs/dl600.pdf and go to page 77 in the Driver Handbook.

Q: I am visiting California on holiday from Europe. Can I use my disabled permit when I park my rental car?

A: If you have a disabled placard or permit that has the international symbol on it, you can use it in California.

For information, visit dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr07.htm#.

Q: I noticed that the number on the license plates I received today does not match the license plate number that is shown on my registration card. What should I do?

A: Good catch. It’s really important to make sure the information on the registration card matches the vehicle description – including the license plate number you were issued. Make an appointment with your local DMV office and take in the set of license plates and registration card so that new plates can be issued.

Q: I would like to go to a DMV investigations office to formally file a complaint on a used-car dealership that sold me a car six months ago and never completed the transfer of registration. Where can I find one of these offices?

A: You can find one of these offices online at DMV.ca.gov. On the homepage, click the “Offices” tab, then “Investigation Offices.” From there, click the nearest city name for the list of office locations and hours of operation. It would be best to call and schedule an appointment.

Note that these offices do not provide basic driver licensing or vehicle registration services. They exist solely for consumer protection matters, including identity theft, complaints against car dealers and problems involving the purchase of a vehicle.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles provides the Ask the DMV column to the Town Crier. 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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The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

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