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AB-863 Driver’s licenses: instruction permits.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/07/2021 09:00 PM
AB863:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 07, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 863


Introduced by Assembly Members Fong and Seyarto

February 17, 2021


An act to amend Section 12814.6 12509 of the Vehicle Code, relating to driver’s licenses.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 863, as amended, Fong. Driver’s licenses: provisional licenses. instruction permits.
Existing law authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue an instruction permit, as specified. Under existing law, an instruction permit authorizes the permittee to operate a vehicle, as specified, under the immediate supervision of a California-licensed driver who is over the age of 18. Existing law also requires the accompanying licensed driver to occupy a position in the passenger compartment of the vehicle that enables them to provide guidance and assist in controlling the vehicle if necessary.
This bill would prohibit the accompanying licensed driver from being under the influence of alcohol or drugs and would make a violation punishable as an infraction. This bill would clarify that the permittee is not subject to any adverse action for the accompanying licensed driver’s violation of this provision. The bill would also clarify that an accompanying driver who is in actual physical control of the vehicle is subject to laws prohibiting driving under the influence. The bill also would require the accompanying licensed driver to be seated in the front passenger seat. By creating a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Existing law, the Brady-Jared Teen Driver Safety Act of 1997, provides for the issuance of a driver’s license to an applicant who is at least 16 years of age but under 18 years of age pursuant to the provisional licensing program. Existing law requires a person to hold an instruction permit for not less than 6 months prior to applying for a provisional license, and requires the instruction permitholder to be accompanied by, and under the immediate supervision of, a California licensed driver 25 years of age or older whose driving privilege is not on probation. Existing law makes a violation of these requirements punishable as an infraction.

This bill would require the licensed driver who accompanies the permitholder in the vehicle to occupy the front passenger seat, would prohibit the accompanying licensed driver from being under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or a combination thereof, and would make a violation of the prohibition punishable as an infraction. By creating a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 12509 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

12509.
 (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (f) of Section 12514, the department, for good cause, may issue an instruction permit to a physically and mentally qualified person who meets one of the following requirements and who applies to the department for an instruction permit:
(1) Is 15 years and 6 months of age or older, and has successfully completed approved courses in automobile driver education and driver training as provided in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 12814.6.
(2) Is 15 years and 6 months of age or older, and has successfully completed an approved course in automobile driver education and is taking driver training as provided in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 12814.6.
(3) Is 15 years and 6 months of age and enrolled and participating in an integrated automobile driver education and training program as provided in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 12814.6.
(4) Is over 16 years of age and is applying for a restricted driver’s license pursuant to Section 12814.7.
(5) Is over 17 years and 6 months of age.
(b) The applicant shall qualify for, and be issued, an instruction permit within 12 months from the date of the application.
(c) An instruction permit issued pursuant to subdivision (a) shall entitle the applicant to operate a vehicle, subject to the limitations imposed by this section and any other provisions of law, upon the highways for a period not exceeding 24 months from the date of the application.
(d) Except as provided in Section 12814.6, a person, while having in his or her immediate possession of a valid permit issued pursuant to paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (a), may operate a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, motorized scooter, or a motorized bicycle, when accompanied by, and under the immediate supervision of, a California-licensed driver with a valid license of the appropriate class who is 18 years of age or over and whose driving privilege is not subject to probation. An accompanying licensed driver at all times shall occupy a position within the driver’s compartment that would the front passenger seat to enable the accompanying licensed driver to assist the person in controlling the vehicle as may be necessary to avoid a collision and to provide immediate guidance in the safe operation of the vehicle.
(e) A person, while having in his or her immediate possession of a valid permit issued pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), may only operate a government-owned motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, motorized scooter, or a motorized bicycle, when taking driver training instruction administered by the California National Guard.
(f) The department may also issue an instruction permit to a person who has been issued a valid driver’s license to authorize the person to obtain driver training instruction and to practice that instruction in order to obtain another class of driver’s license or an endorsement.
(g) The department may further restrict permits issued under subdivision (a) as it may determine to be appropriate to ensure the safe operation of a motor vehicle by the permittee.
(h) The accompanying licensed driver described in subdivision (d) shall not be under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug.
(i) A violation of subdivision (h) by the accompanying licensed driver is punishable as an infraction and shall not constitute grounds for any adverse action against the permittee. Notwithstanding this subdivision, an accompanying driver who is in actual physical control of the vehicle is subject to Sections 23140, 23152, and 23153.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
SECTION 1.Section 12814.6 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
12814.6.

(a)Except as provided in Section 12814.7, a driver’s license issued to a person at least 16 years of age but under 18 years of age shall be issued pursuant to the provisional licensing program contained in this section. The program shall consist of all of the following components:

(1)Upon application for an original license, the applicant shall be issued an instruction permit pursuant to Section 12509. A person who has in their immediate possession a valid permit issued pursuant to Section 12509 may operate a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle or motorized bicycle, only when the person is either taking the driver training instruction referred to in paragraph (3) or practicing that instruction, provided the person is accompanied by, and is under the immediate supervision of, a California licensed driver 25 years of age or older whose driving privilege is not on probation. The age requirement of this paragraph does not apply if the licensed driver is the parent, spouse, or guardian of the permitholder or is a licensed or certified driving instructor.

(2)The person shall hold an instruction permit for not less than six months prior to applying for a provisional driver’s license.

(3)The person shall have complied with one of the following:

(A)Satisfactory completion of approved courses in automobile driver education and driver training maintained pursuant to provisions of the Education Code in any secondary school of California, or equivalent instruction in a secondary school of another state.

(B)Satisfactory completion of an integrated driver education and training program that is approved by the department and conducted by a driving instructor licensed under Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 11100) of Division 5. The program shall utilize segmented modules, whereby a portion of the educational instruction is provided by, and then reinforced through, specific behind-the-wheel training before moving to the next phase of driver education and training. The program shall contain a minimum of 30 hours of classroom instruction and six hours of behind-the-wheel training.

(C)Satisfactory completion of six hours or more of behind-the-wheel instruction by a driving school or an independent driving instructor licensed under Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 11100) of Division 5 and either an accredited course in automobile driver education in any secondary school of California pursuant to requirements of the Education Code or satisfactory completion of equivalent professional instruction acceptable to the department. To be acceptable to the department, the professional instruction shall meet minimum standards to be prescribed by the department, and the standards shall be at least equal to the requirements for driver education and driver training contained in the rules and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to the Education Code. A person who has complied with this subparagraph shall not be required by the governing board of a school district to comply with subparagraph (A) in order to graduate from high school.

(D)Except as provided under subparagraph (B), a student may not take driver training instruction, unless they have successfully completed driver education.

(4)The person shall complete 50 hours of supervised driving practice prior to the issuance of a provisional license, which is in addition to any other driver training instruction required by law. Not less than 10 of the required practice hours shall include driving during darkness, as defined in Section 280. Upon application for a provisional license, the person shall submit to the department the certification of a parent, spouse, guardian, or licensed or certified driving instructor that the applicant has completed the required amount of driving practice and is prepared to take the department’s driving test. A person without a parent, spouse, or guardian, or who is an emancipated minor, may have a licensed driver 25 years of age or older or a licensed or certified driving instructor complete the certification. This requirement does not apply to motorcycle practice.

(5)The person shall successfully complete an examination required by the department. Before retaking a test, the person shall wait for not less than one week after failure of the written test and for not less than two weeks after failure of the driving test.

(b)Except as provided in Section 12814.7, the provisional driver’s license shall be subject to all of the following restrictions:

(1)Except as specified in paragraph (2), during the first 12 months after issuance of a provisional license the licensee may not do any of the following unless accompanied and supervised by a licensed driver who is the licensee’s parent or guardian, a licensed driver who is 25 years of age or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor:

(A)Drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

(B)Transport passengers who are under 20 years of age.

(2)A licensee may drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. or transport an immediate family member without being accompanied and supervised by a licensed driver who is the licensee’s parent or guardian, a licensed driver who is 25 years of age or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor, in the following circumstances:

(A)Medical necessity of the licensee when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate and operation of a vehicle by a licensee is necessary. The licensee shall keep in their possession a signed statement from a physician familiar with the condition, containing a diagnosis and probable date when sufficient recovery will have been made to terminate the necessity.

(B)Schooling or school-authorized activities of the licensee when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate and operation of a vehicle by a licensee is necessary. The licensee shall keep in their possession a signed statement from the school principal, dean, or school staff member designated by the principal or dean, containing a probable date that the schooling or school-authorized activity will have been completed.

(C)Employment necessity of the licensee when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate and operation of a vehicle by a licensee is necessary. The licensee shall keep in their possession a signed statement from the employer, verifying employment and containing a probable date that the employment will have been completed.

(D)Necessity of the licensee or the licensee’s immediate family member when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate and operation of a vehicle by a minor is necessary to transport the licensee or the licensee’s immediate family member. The licensee shall keep in their possession a signed statement from a parent or legal guardian verifying the reason and containing a probable date that the necessity will have ceased.

(E)The licensee is an emancipated minor.

(c)(1)The accompanying licensed driver, as identified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), shall at all times occupy the front passenger seat and shall not be under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug.

(2)A violation of paragraph (1) by the accompanying licensed driver shall be punishable as an infraction. This requirement does not prevent an accompanying licensed driver who is in actual physical control of a vehicle, and who is therefore a “driver” pursuant to Section 305, from being subject to the requirements of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153. A violation of this requirement by an accompanying driver shall not constitute grounds for any adverse action against the permitholder.

(d)A law enforcement officer shall not stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining whether the driver is in violation of the restrictions imposed under subdivision (b).

(e)A law enforcement officer shall not stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining whether a driver who is subject to the license restrictions in subdivision (b) is in violation of Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 118947) of Chapter 4 of Part 15 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code.

(f)(1)Upon a finding that any licensee has violated paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), the court shall impose one of the following:

(A)Not less than eight hours nor more than 16 hours of community service for a first offense and not less than 16 hours nor more than 24 hours of community service for a second or subsequent offense.

(B)A fine of not more than thirty-five dollars ($35) for a first offense and a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50) for a second or subsequent offense.

(2)If the court orders community service, the court shall retain jurisdiction until the hours of community service have been completed.

(3)If the hours of community service have not been completed within 90 days, the court shall impose a fine of not more than thirty-five dollars ($35) for a first offense and not more than fifty dollars ($50) for a second or subsequent offense.

(g)A conviction of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), when reported to the department, may not be disclosed as otherwise specified in Section 1808 or constitute a violation point count value pursuant to Section 12810.

(h)Any term of restriction or suspension of the driving privilege imposed on a person pursuant to this subdivision shall remain in effect until the end of the term even though the person becomes 18 years of age before the term ends.

(1)The driving privilege shall be suspended when the record of the person shows one or more notifications issued pursuant to Section 40509 or 40509.5. The suspension shall continue until any notification issued pursuant to Section 40509 or 40509.5 has been cleared.

(2)A 30-day restriction shall be imposed when a driver’s record shows a violation point count of two or more points in 12 months, as determined in accordance with Section 12810. The restriction shall require the licensee to be accompanied by a licensed parent, spouse, guardian, or other licensed driver 25 years of age or older, except when operating a class M vehicle, or so licensed, with no passengers aboard.

(3)A six-month suspension of the driving privilege and a one-year term of probation shall be imposed whenever a licensee’s record shows a violation point count of three or more points in 12 months, as determined in accordance with Section 12810. The terms and conditions of probation shall include, but not be limited to, both of the following:

(A)The person shall not violate any law that, if resulting in conviction, is reportable to the department under Section 1803.

(B)The person shall remain free from accident responsibility.

(i)Whenever action by the department under subdivision (h) arises as a result of a motor vehicle accident, the person may, in writing and within 10 days, demand a hearing to present evidence that they were not responsible for the accident upon which the action is based. Whenever action by the department is based upon a conviction reportable to the department under Section 1803, the person has no right to a hearing pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 14100) of Chapter 3.

(j)The department shall require a person whose driving privilege is suspended or revoked pursuant to subdivision (h) to submit proof of financial responsibility as defined in Section 16430. The proof of financial responsibility shall be filed on or before the date of reinstatement following the suspension or revocation. The proof of financial responsibility shall be maintained with the department for three years following the date of reinstatement.

(k)(1)Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, the department may issue a distinctive driver’s license, that displays a distinctive color or a distinctively colored stripe or other distinguishing characteristic, to persons at least 16 years of age and older but under 18 years of age, and to persons 18 years of age and older but under 21 years of age, so that the distinctive license feature is immediately recognizable. The features shall clearly differentiate between driver’s licenses issued to persons at least 16 years of age or older but under 18 years of age and to persons 18 years of age or older but under 21 years of age.

(2)If changes in the format or appearance of driver’s licenses are adopted pursuant to this subdivision, those changes may be implemented under any new contract for the production of driver’s licenses entered into after the adoption of those changes.

(l)The department shall include, on the face of the provisional driver’s license, the original issuance date of the provisional driver’s license in addition to any other issuance date.

(m)This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Brady-Jared Teen Driver Safety Act of 1997.

SEC. 2.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.