California Department of Motor Vehicles Announces New Traffic Laws

At, we are committed to helping our clients fight traffic tickets, avoid or minimize penalties, and reduce points on their driving record. With the new year upon us, it is important to be aware of new traffic laws going into effect as of Jan. 1, 2019.

The California DMV recently issued a memorandum reminding drivers of pending changes to the state’s traffic laws. These include:

  • Temporary License Plates (AB 516) — Authorized dealers of new and used vehicles are required to attach temporary paper license plates on every vehicle sold that does not display previously issued DMV plates. The temporary plates are designed to reduce the number of toll violations and improve road safety.
  • Gender Identity (SB 179) — Applicants for a drivers license or identity card have the option to select their own gender, female, male or non-binary. Those who select “nonbinary” will receive a card with an “X” gender category.
  • Driving Under the Influence/Ignition Interlock Device (SB 1046) — Repeat offenders for driving under the influence or first DUI offenders whose violation results in an injury must  install an ignition interlock device for a period of 12 to 48 months. The requirement applies to DUI violations for alcohol use or combined alcohol and drug use, but does not apply to drug only violations.
  • Smog Check Changes and New Abatement Fees (AB 1274) — The smog check exemption for new vehicles is being raised to eight model years from the current exemption of six model years. During the additional two years of exemption, vehicle owners will pay an annual $25 smog abatement fee, but the current annual $20 fee for the first six years  remains the same.
  • Driving Privileges for Minors (AB 2685) Juvenile courts will no longer be able to suspend, restrict, or delay the issuance of a minor’s driver’s license for one year for habitual truancy or for being a ward of the state. Suspensions or delays reported prior to Jan. 1, 2019  remain in effect, however.
  • Motorized Scooters (AB 2989) — Motorized scooter riders who are 18 or older will no longer be required to use a bicycle helmet. In addition, individuals are prohibted from operating a motorized scooter on a highway with a speed limit greater than 25 miles per hour, unless it is on both a Class IV and Class II bikeway.
  • Unsafe/Unsecured Loads on Vehicles (AB 1925) — The DMV must include at least one question in at least 20 percent of knowledge tests (written exams) about the state’s unsecured load code. In sum, all vehicle loads (e.g.  ladders, buckets and other loose items) must be covered or secured.
  • Passing Waste Service Vehicles (AB 2115) — Drivers approaching a waste collection truck with its amber lights flashing must move into an adjacent lane, if possible, and pass at a safe distance, or slow to a safe and reasonable speed if moving is not possible.

Why This Matters

All drivers in California have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe manner and to know and abide by applicable traffic laws. If you receive a traffic ticket in 2019 for an existing or new traffic violation, you should consult We have a well-earned reputation for successfully fighting traffic tickets and protecting our clients’ driving privileges.

When Should You Fight a Traffic Ticket in California?

If you have been issued a traffic ticket, you should consider fighting the ticket, and for good reason. In addition to incurring a fine, you may have points added to your driver’s license and also face the potential of an increase in your car insurance premium. Depending on the violation, your driver’s license may also be suspended, which will make it difficult to get to work, go to school or manage day-to-day activities. With so much at stake, you are well advised to enlist the services of

Continue reading When Should You Fight a Traffic Ticket in California?

Contesting a Speeding Ticket

A speeding ticket can put a real crimp in your day. Unfortunately, it can also put a crimp in your wallet. California fines and penalties for speeding tickets are significantly higher than they once were, and you may find yourself facing increased insurance costs, too. Our speeding ticket attorney can contest a speeding ticket and may be able to help you keep the ticket off your driving record and avoid those costs. Continue reading Contesting a Speeding Ticket

What are Failure to Appear Warrants and DMV Holds?

Failure to appear warrants are a type of arrest warrant that is issued for people who fail to appear in court at the appointed time. These warrants are issued by a judge, and they will remain in effect until the person appears in court. As a result of the failure to appear in Court, the Court will notify the DMV to place a hold on your California driver license. Within a short amount of time, the Driver will receive a notice from the DMV that the driver’s license will be suspended as of a certain date. Continue reading What are Failure to Appear Warrants and DMV Holds?

When is an FTA Warrant Issued?

A Failure to Appear, or FTA, warrant may be issued for those who have received traffic tickets or are otherwise required to appear in court but fail to do so. FTA warrants are issued by judges and will remain in effect until the person involved or their attorney appears in court. If you have received an FTA warrant, our traffic ticket lawyer can help. Continue reading When is an FTA Warrant Issued?

Consequences of FTA Warrants

If you have received a traffic ticket, you may have noticed that you have the option to either plead guilty and pay the ticket or appear in court to contest the ticket. The due date or “appear by” date is generally listed directly on the traffic ticket, and you are required to appear or take action on the ticket before that date. If you Fail to Appear or take other action, a FTA warrant may be issued for your arrest. While a FTA warrant can appear frightening or disconcerting at first glance, most of the time, they can be easily resolved with the right representation. Our traffic ticket failure to appear attorney can help. Continue reading Consequences of FTA Warrants

How to Clear an FTA Warrant

According to California law, if you have failed to appear in court when required or failed to comply with a court order, then a failure to appear, or FTA, warrant may be issued for you. FTA warrants can have serious consequences, including arrest. The DMV will soon suspend your driver’s license for most violations. If you have an FTA warrant, our traffic ticket lawyer can help. Continue reading How to Clear an FTA Warrant

Do FTA Warrants Appears on Your Record?

Failing to appear in court when required can result in a judge issuing a failure to appear, or FTA, warrant for your arrest. According to the California penal code, once an FTA warrant has been issued for your arrest, you may be facing additional civil assessment fees, a suspended license and jail time. If you have had an FTA warrant issued for your arrest, our traffic ticket attorney can help. Continue reading Do FTA Warrants Appears on Your Record?

When is a Bench Warrant Issued?

Did you recently receive a traffic ticket? Traffic tickets are a common but often annoying part of life, which may be one of the reasons why it is so easy for them to get shuffled in with other papers and forgotten. Forgetting or ignoring a traffic ticket can result in serious legal issues, however. If you fail to show up for your court date and do not pay the ticket, a judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If you have received a bench warrant or know that you have unpaid traffic tickets, our traffic ticket attorney can help. Continue reading When is a Bench Warrant Issued?