Vehicle Code in California
Registering a car?
It's a good time to check car insurance rates
Find the lowest rate among top providers.Page Overview
The California Vehicle Code is a rulebook containing all traffic laws. The California Department of Motor Vehicles sells it, but you can get this nearly 1000-page reference for free online.
The California Vehicle Code covers everything to do with the rules of the roads and driving, including:
- Registration and titling of vehicles.
- Anti-theft laws.
- Driver's license procedures and processes.
- Financial responsibility and car insurance.
- Rules of the road.
- Towing and loading rules and regulations.
- Transporting hazardous materials.
- Off-highway/off-road vehicles.
- Bicycle laws and rules.
- Safety regulations.
All of the laws, including those just recently passed, are included and described in the California motor vehicle code.
The California Vehicle Code also contains all the laws about motor vehicles themselves, including boats and motorcycles. You'll find information about equipment/mechanical regulations, licensing/age requirements, and registration/titling procedures.
You'll also find the laws covering automotive dealers, farm vehicles, lemon laws, odometer reporting rules, required equipment, and more. If you are thinking about buying a new vehicle or have bought a new vehicle that has turned out defective, reading the California vehicle codes can help you better understand your rights and protections, and the CA lemon law and other related legislation.
You might need to read the exact wording of a law if you're trying to settle with a car insurance company over a minor traffic accident, or if you have been ticketed and plan to fight it in court.
Seeing the laws spelled out helps make more sense of a traffic violation, even if you are planning to pay the fine. If you need to read the laws regarding a specific infraction, just look it up according to the code numbers referenced on your ticket.
Reading the exact phrasing of the motor vehicle code can help you understand the specific circumstances of your traffic violations and how you may avoiding committing the same infraction in the future.
If you need help fighting your ticket or legal advice, you should consider contacting a lawyer.
Whenever you need or want to check the status of your California driver’s license, you can order a driving record report. This record will spell out if your driver’s license is currently valid. Should your CA driver's license be revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what’s on record at the California DMV. This report will also show points held against your driver's license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.
It's important to remember that accumulating too many minor traffic violations and committing certain major violations can lead to points on your driving record. Too many points can result in a driver's license suspension, California DMV fees, court fines/penalties, and driver improvement requirements.
For more information on topics related to the California motor vehicle code, traffic violations, license suspensions, and traffic school, please visit our pages on:Other Topics in This Section