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  • Vehicle Code in New Hampshire

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    New Hampshire's Administrative Rules

    In New Hampshire, the Vehicle Code is also known as the Administrative Rules. When researching a special topic such as developing a defense to a traffic ticket, applying for a registration, or transferring a title, reading the Administrative Rules will give you a big picture perspective on the laws behind the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) procedures.

    Rule Numbers

    The Administrative Rules are organized by rule numbers. For example, the rule on Driver Privacy is Saf-C 5600. There are rules for all topics and procedures the DMV oversees. Some of the rules also refer to a Revised Statute, or an RSA.

    The rules also include the date any updates were done so you can be sure you are reading the most recent information.

    Cross-referencing the Administrative Rules with the Revised Statutes will give you a current and complete picture of the laws enforced by the DMV.

    Interpreting the Administrative Rules

    Most likely you will turn to the Administrative Rules when you have an unusual or special topic to research. So you read the code and the statutes, now how do you make sense of what it means? How do you actually use the Administrative Rules?

    If you are researching the rules on minimum inspection requirements for a custom-built car, you will want to check Rule Saf-c 3200 in the Administrative Rules to learn about the required steering wheel diameter. If you read the rule carefully you'll see a reference to RSA 266 where ground clearance for your vehicle is explained.

    Once you have the original source, the Administrative Rules, you can check with a DMV substation, town clerk, or DMV Headquarters regarding your specific situation. What you learn from the DMV will help you to make sense of the Administrative Rules.

    An attorney can also help you to understand the Administrative Rules; if you have been arrested or convicted of a traffic violation you may consult with an attorney. Another resource is any Official Inspection Station or automobile dealership because both are licensed by the state and are familiar with the Administrative Rules.

    Changes to the Administrative Rules

    The Administrative Rules are updated all the time because motor vehicle equipment, driver violations, driver education, registration, plates, and placards are dynamic and responsive to a changing population.

    For example, a 1994 rule was modified to include drivers who change their gender. Under Saf-c 1010 if you have a sex-change operation you must submit paperwork to the DMV so they can issue you a replacement license; your new gender is printed along with the other customary identification information.

    A good place to keep up with changes to the Administrative Rules is through the Driver's Manual. The comprehensive document is updated whenever possible by the DMV.

    Of course, the most detailed, current, and accurate information is found in the Administrative Rules themselves. You will become very informed by learning to understand and use the Administrative Rules.

    Check Your Driver's License Status

    Whenever you need or want to check the status of your 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 license have been revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what’s on record at the DMV. This report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.

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