Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 7. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LAWS [16000 - 16560]

  ( Division 7 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 1. Compulsory Financial Responsibility [16000 - 16078]

  ( Chapter 1 repealed and added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1409. )

ARTICLE 4. Suspensions [16070 - 16078]
  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1409. )

16070.
  

(a) Whenever a driver involved in an accident described in Section 16000 fails to provide evidence of financial responsibility, as required by Section 16020, at the time of the accident, the department shall, pursuant to subdivision (b), suspend the privilege of the driver or owner to drive a motor vehicle, including the driving privilege of a nonresident in this state.

(b) Whenever the department receives an accident report pursuant to this article that alleges that any of the drivers involved in the accident was not in compliance with Section 16020 at the time of the accident, the department shall immediately mail to that driver a notice of intent to suspend the driving privilege of that driver. The department shall suspend the driving privilege 30 days after mailing the notice, unless the driver has, prior to that date, established evidence of financial responsibility at the time of the accident, as specified in Section 16021, with the department. The suspension notice shall notify the driver of the action taken and the right to a hearing under Section 16075.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 739, Sec. 18. Effective January 1, 2002.)

16071.
  

The department shall suspend the driving privilege of any person upon receiving notice from another state that the person’s driving privilege in that state has been suspended for failure to meet the financial responsibility provisions of the law in that state, if the suspension in that state was taken on grounds that would have resulted in a suspension in this state.

(Amended (as amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1126, Sec. 12) by Stats. 1999, Ch. 880, Sec. 17. Effective January 1, 2000.)

16072.
  

(a) The suspension of the driving privilege of a person as provided in Section 16070 shall not be terminated until one year has elapsed from the date of actual commencement of the suspension and until the person files proof of financial responsibility as provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 16430), except that the suspension shall be reinstated if the person fails to maintain proof of financial responsibility for three years. However, in lieu of suspending a person’s driving privilege pursuant to this section, the department, upon application, if the person files and thereafter maintains proof of financial responsibility as provided in this section and pays a penalty fee to the department of two hundred fifty dollars ($250), may restrict the person’s driving privilege to any of the following situations:

(1) Necessary travel to and from that person’s place of employment.

(2) Driving that is required in the person’s course of employment, when driving a motor vehicle is necessary in order to perform the duties of the person’s primary employment.

(3) Necessary travel to transport a minor dependent in that person’s immediate family to and from an institute of primary or secondary instruction, if the chief administrative officer or principal of the educational institution certifies in writing to the department that the minor dependent is enrolled in the educational institution and no form of public transportation or schoolbus is available between the applicant’s place of residence and the educational institution.

The restriction shall remain in effect for the period of suspension required by this section, so long as proof of financial responsibility is maintained.

(b) If a suspension has been imposed under Section 16070 and one year has elapsed from the date the suspension actually commenced, that suspension shall be terminated if the driving privilege is suspended under Section 16370 or 16381 as the result of a judgment arising out of the accident for which proof of financial responsibility was required to be established. The department may reimpose the suspension of the driving privilege of a person under Section 16070 if the suspension under Section 16370 or 16381 is later set aside for a reason other than that the person has satisfied the judgment in full or to the extent provided in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 16250) and has given proof of ability to respond in damages as provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 16430).

(c) Notwithstanding Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 42200) of Division 18, all revenues derived from the penalty fees provided in subdivision (a) shall, after deduction by the department of the costs incurred by the department in administering this section, be deposited in the Financial Responsibility Penalty Account in the General Fund. The balance in this fund on each July 1, which is not subject to appropriation as provided in Section 12980 of the Insurance Code, shall revert to the General Fund.

(d) (1) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a commercial driver’s license holder.

(2) A commercial driver’s license holder whose driving privilege is otherwise suspended under this chapter is not entitled to a restricted license, unless that person surrenders his or her commercial driver’s license and is issued a noncommercial class C or M driver’s license.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 574, Sec. 16. Effective January 1, 2007.)

16073.
  

(a) The privilege of a person employed for the purpose of driving a motor vehicle for compensation whose occupation requires the use of a motor vehicle in the course of his or her employment to drive a motor vehicle not registered in his or her name and in the course of that person’s employment may not be suspended under this chapter even though his or her privilege to drive is otherwise suspended under this chapter.

(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a commercial driver’s licenseholder. A commercial driver’s licenseholder whose driving privilege is otherwise suspended under this chapter may not operate a commercial motor vehicle.

(c) This section shall become operative on September 20, 2005.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 952, Sec. 27. Effective January 1, 2005. Amended version operative September 20, 2005, pursuant to earlier operation of new subdivision (c).)

16074.
  

Whenever the department has taken any action or has failed to take any action under this chapter by reason of having received erroneous information, or by reason of having received no information, it shall take appropriate action to carry out the purposes and effect of this chapter upon receiving correct information.

(Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1409.)

16075.
  

(a) The suspension provisions of this article shall not apply to a driver or owner until 30 days after the department sends to the driver or owner notice of its intent to suspend his or her driving privilege, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 16070, and advises the driver or owner of his or her right to a hearing as provided in this section.

(b) If the driver or owner receiving the notice of intent to suspend wishes to have a hearing, the request for a hearing shall be made in writing to the department within 10 days of the receipt of the notice. Failure to respond to a notice of intent within 10 days of receipt of the notice is a waiver of the person’s right to a hearing.

(c) If the driver or owner makes a timely request for a hearing, the department shall hold the hearing before the effective date of the suspension to determine the applicability of this chapter to the driver or owner, including a determination of whether:

(1) The accident has resulted in property damage in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or bodily injury, or death.

(2) The driver or owner has established evidence of financial responsibility, as provided in Article 3 (commencing with Section 16050), that was in effect at the time of the accident.

(d) A request for a hearing does not stay the suspension of a person’s driving privilege. However, if the department does not conduct a hearing and make a determination pursuant thereto within the time limit provided in subdivision (b) of Section 16070, the department shall stay the effective date of the order of suspension pending a determination.

(e) The hearing provided for by this section shall be held in the county of residence of the person requesting the hearing. The hearing shall be conducted pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 14100) of Chapter 3 of Division 6.

(f) The department shall render its decision within 15 days after conclusion of the hearing.

(g) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2017.

(Repealed (in Sec. 34) and added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 451, Sec. 35. (SB 491) Effective January 1, 2016. Section operative January 1, 2017, by its own provisions.)

16076.
  

(a) The department shall notify every person whose driving privilege is suspended, pursuant to Section 16070, of that person’s right to apply for a restricted driving privilege authorized under Section 16072.

(b) For purposes of subdivision (a), the department shall prepare and publish a printed summary. The printed summary may contain, but is not limited to, the following wording:


“If your driving privilege is suspended due to involvement in an accident while you were uninsured, you may apply for a restricted license at any office of the Department of Motor Vehicles, accompanied with proof of financial responsibility, payment of a penalty fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250), and, unless already paid, payment of a reissuance fee.

The Mello-McAlister Restricted Employment Driving Privilege Act allows you to apply for a driver’s license limiting you to driving to and from work, and during the course of your primary employment, during the one-year mandatory term of suspension. The restricted license will not be issued if any other suspension or revocation action has been taken against your driving privilege.”

(c) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Mello-McAlister Restricted Employment Driving Privilege Act.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 451, Sec. 19. Effective January 1, 2004.)

16077.
  

(a) The department, upon application and payment of a fifty dollar ($50) fee and a penalty fee of two hundred dollars ($200), may issue a restricted license to an applicant with serious health problems, or to an applicant with an immediate family member with serious health problems, when the applicant’s privilege to drive is otherwise suspended under this chapter. The restricted license may be issued to enable the applicant to drive a motor vehicle for the purpose of receiving medical or mental health treatments of a prolonged and repetitive nature for the applicant or the member of the applicant’s immediate family with serious health problems, if the applicant files and maintains proof of financial responsibility on file with the department pursuant to Section 16021 and there is no other suitable means of transportation available.

(b) The application shall set forth the nature of the health problem, the nature of the treatments, the duration and location of the treatments, and the schedule for visits. The applicant shall submit documentation signed by the treating physician and surgeon or licensed psychotherapist, as defined in subdivisions (a), (b), (c), and (e) of Section 1010 of the Evidence Code, as necessary to assist the department in its decision to grant or deny the restricted license. Upon reviewing the application, the department may determine that an investigation as to the person’s fitness to operate a motor vehicle is warranted. If the department makes this determination, the department may conduct an investigation in a manner provided for in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 13800) of Division 6.

(c) In reviewing the application, the department shall give due consideration to the circumstances set forth in the application and shall be guided by principles of fairness and humanity.

(d) Notwithstanding Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 42200) of Division 18, all revenues derived from the penalty fees provided in subdivision (a) shall, after deduction by the department of the costs incurred by the department in administering this section, be deposited in the Financial Responsibility Penalty Account in the General Fund.

(e) (1) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a commercial driver’s license holder.

(2) A commercial driver’s license holder whose driving privilege is otherwise suspended under this chapter is not entitled to a restricted license unless that person surrenders his or her commercial driver’s license and is issued a noncommercial class C or M driver’s license.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 574, Sec. 17. Effective January 1, 2007.)

16078.
  

Any person who has paid the penalty fee prescribed in subdivision (a) of Section 16072, whether or not the person has received the license restriction authorized by that section, may also apply for and receive a restricted license under Section 16077 without paying the fees prescribed in Section 16077. Any person who has paid the fees prescribed in subdivision (a) of Section 16077, whether or not the person has received the restricted license authorized by that section, may also apply for and receive the license restriction prescribed in Section 16072.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1407, Sec. 4.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH4