Last updateWed, 20 Sep 2017 9am

On The Road

Reviewing DMV policy on releasing license photos

Q: I have noticed photographs that appear to be taken from California DMV driver licenses on TV news programs. Does the DMV release driver license photos to the media or other parties? If so, under what circumstances are the photos released?

A: The department’s policy is not to release DMV photographs unless the person is deceased and notification of next of kin has been verified. In those events, photos are released only to law enforcement – not to the public.

Q: Is the California Driver Handbook available in other languages?

A: Yes. The driver handbook is available in 10 additional languages – Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese. You can pick up a copy of the California Driver Handbook at any DMV office. Check the complete list of translated publications online at dmv.ca.gov/pubs/pubs.htm.

Q: I tried visiting my local DMV, but it was temporarily closed. Where can I find out about office closures or service interruptions?

A: We apologize for that. DMV service interruptions and office closure information is posted online at apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/fotoc.htm. Return to that page for future field office closure information. You may also use your browser to bookmark the page. Use the regional maps to locate a field office by region.

Q: I’m not sure how much I’ll have to pay for my vehicle registration, and I’m trying to budget for it. Is there a way to find out how much I will owe this year?

A: Yes. Simply visit dmv.ca.gov/FeeCalculatorWeb/index.jsp. You will find a vehicle registration fee calculator that enables you to calculate an estimate of your vehicle registration fees and determine Vehicle License Fees for tax purposes.

Q: I just bought a boat. How do I know if it needs to be registered?

A: In California, every sail-powered vessel (boat) more than 8 feet in length and every motor-driven vessel – regardless of length – that is not documented by the U.S. Coast Guard and is used or on the waters of California are subject to be registered by the DMV. The vessel must be located in California. For more information on registering a vessel, visit dmv.ca.gov/boatsinfo/boatreg.htm.

Q. Can I just show up at a DMV field office and take a driving test, or do I need to have an appointment?

A: DMV field offices require an appointment for a driving test. Make an appointment online at dmv.ca.gov or by calling (800) 777-0133. Be sure to bring your permit, vehicle registration and auto insurance information. For information on driving test requirements, check the California Driver Handbook or visit the DMV’s website.

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