Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 9. CIVIL LIABILITY [17000 - 17714]

  ( Division 9 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 1. Civil Liability of Owners and Operators of Vehicles [17000 - 17463]

  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

ARTICLE 4. Service of Process [17450 - 17463]
  ( Article 4 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

17450.
  

As used in this chapter, “nonresident” means a person who is not a resident of this State at the time the accident or collision occurs.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

17451.
  

The acceptance by a nonresident of the rights and privileges conferred upon him by this code or any operation by himself or agent of a motor vehicle anywhere within this state, or in the event the nonresident is the owner of a motor vehicle then by the operation of the vehicle anywhere within this state by any person with his express or implied permission, is equivalent to an appointment by the nonresident of the director or his successor in office to be his true and lawful attorney upon whom may be served all lawful processes in any action or proceeding against the nonresident operator or nonresident owner growing out of any accident or collision resulting from the operation of any motor vehicle anywhere within this state by himself or agent, which appointment shall also be irrevocable and binding upon his executor or administrator.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 720.)

17452.
  

Where the nonresident has died prior to the commencement of an action brought pursuant to this article, service of process shall be made on the executor or administrator of the nonresident in the same manner and on the same notice as is provided in the case of the nonresident. Where an action has been duly commenced under the provisions of this article by service upon a defendant who dies thereafter, the court shall allow the action to be continued against his executor or administrator upon motion with such notice as the court deems proper.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

17453.
  

The acceptance of rights and privileges under this code or any operation of a motor vehicle anywhere within this state as specified in Section 17451 shall be a signification of the irrevocable agreement of the nonresident, binding as well upon his executor or administrator, that process against him which is served in the manner provided in this article shall be of the same legal force and validity as if served on him personally in this state.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 720.)

17454.
  

Service of process shall be made by leaving one copy of the summons and complaint in the hands of the director or in his office at Sacramento or by mailing either by certified or registered mail, addressee only, return receipt requested, the copy of the summons and complaint to the office of the director in Sacramento. Service shall be effective as of the day the return receipt is received from the director’s office. A fee of two dollars ($2) for each nonresident to be served shall be paid to the director at the time of service of the copy of the summons and complaint and such service shall be a sufficient service on the nonresident subject to compliance with Section 17455.

(Amended by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1313.)

17455.
  

A notice of service and a copy of the summons and complaint shall be forthwith sent by registered mail by the plaintiff or his attorney to the defendant. Personal service of the notice and a copy of the summons and complaint upon the defendant wherever found outside this State shall be the equivalent of service by mail.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

17456.
  

Proof of compliance with Section 17455 shall be made in the event of service by mail by affidavit of the plaintiff or his attorney showing said mailing, together with the return receipt of the United States post office bearing the signature of the defendant. The affidavit and receipt shall be appended to the original summons which shall be filed with the court from out of which the summons issued within such time as the court may allow for the return of the summons.

In the event of personal service outside this State, compliance with Section 17455 may be proved by the return of any duly constituted public officer, qualified to serve like process of and in the state or jurisdiction where the defendant is found, showing such service to have been made. The return shall be appended to the original summons which shall be filed as aforesaid.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

17457.
  

The court in which the action is pending may order such continuances as may be necessary to afford the defendant reasonable opportunity to defend the action.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

17458.
  

The director shall keep a record of all process served upon him under this article which record shall show the day and hour of service.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

17459.
  

The acceptance by a resident of this state of a certificate of ownership or a certificate of registration of any motor vehicle or any renewal thereof, issued under the provisions of this code, shall constitute the consent by the person that service of summons may be made upon him within or without this state, whether or not he is then a resident of this state, in any action brought in the courts of this state upon a cause of action arising in this state out of the ownership or operation of the vehicle.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 622.)

17460.
  

The acceptance or retention by a resident of this state of a driver’s license issued pursuant to the provisions of this code, shall constitute the consent of the person that service of summons may be made upon him within or without this state, whether or not he is then a resident of this state, in any action brought in the courts of this state upon a cause of action arising in this state out of his operation of a motor vehicle anywhere within this state.

(Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 618.)

17461.
  

In the event summons is served outside of this state, pursuant to Sections 17459 and 17460, it may be served and proof of service shall be made, in the manner provided by Sections 17454, 17455, and 17456 for service of summons upon a nonresident, or it may be served pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 413.10) of Title 5 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 622.)

17462.
  

In the event of service outside the State, the person so served shall have 60 days in which to appear in the action in which the summons is issued.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

17463.
  

Notwithstanding any provisions of Section 351 of the Code of Civil Procedure to the contrary, when summons may be personally served upon a person as provided in Sections 17459 and 17460, the time of his absence from this State is part of the time limited for the commencement of the action described in those sections, except when he is out of this State and cannot be located through the exercise of reasonable diligence, except this section in no event shall be applicable in any action or proceeding commenced on or before September 7, 1956.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH4