Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Can you make a right turn on a red arrow?
Judy Carolina Beach, North Carolina CA asks: I am a 66 yr. old retired female who has never had an auto accident or a traffic ticket. My husband and I have a disagreement regarding the red arrow regulations. And, by the way, he has had many traffic tickets! The rule says that a red arrow means top. But it does not say you may then go before the light turns green. My husband treats red arrows as red circular lights and turns right when the way is clear.I believe that we should not turn on a red arrow. Please clarify this rule for us before we have to start taking separate cars. Thank you!
Hello Judy, You are correct, unlike a solid red light, a red arrow light requires that you remain stopped until the light changes. You are not allowed to turn against a red arrow under any circumstance (unless a police officer directs you to do so).
So you may tell your husband, gracefully, that he may be ticketed if an officer observes him turning against a red arrow light.
I wish you both safety and happiness as you continue to drive down the road of life together (hopefully in the same car)!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
How do you parallel park between two cars?
Vanessa from El Camino High in West Hills, CA asks: I can't park between 2 cars on the curb and its frustrating as all get out!! my mom won't practice with me and my dad always yells at me so i refuse to drive with him. but i'm scared cause my driving test is in two weeks and i NEED MY LICENSE SO BAD! Please HELP!!
Hello there Vanessa, take a deep breath and relax, I have some fairly good news for you.
First of all, in California, you are not required to parallel park, or park between two cars along the curb, as you called it. On the CADMV drive test, you will indeed curbside park, but the examiner should give you a nice open curb to park along side so that you can pull straight into the curb with ease. After you curbside park, you will be asked to reverse in a straight line for about 3 car lengths.
With that said, learning to parallel park is definitely a must, especially if you live in Los Angeles County as you do. From what I remember, many students at El Camino HS end up having to park along side busy Valley Circle, so parallel parking becomes all the more important for you.
First of all, if you are really terrible at parking, please consider taking a short refresher driving lesson with a driving school. They have an extra brake and can teach you to park without yelling at you, while being able to keep you from hitting other cars. If that is not an option for you, then maybe try going to an empty parking lot and setting up a couple of orange safety cones (or something you don't mind hitting wit your car). That way you can practice the mechanics of parallel parking with your father and he shouldn't have as much reason to scream at you. It is really the mechanics of parallel parking that confuse most people, getting them down in a safe place like a parking lot is smart so that you can perform with more confidence when parking on a busy street. After you've mastered the parking lot, then move onto a quiet residential street and practice parallel parking behind a single car before trying to squeeze between two cars.
Also, try this parking simulation program: Parking Simulator from Drivers Ed Direct. It is free and actually does a nice job of simulating the movements you need to make when parking in several different situations. With parallel parking, knowing when to start cranking the wheel is key, and this game does a great job of illustrating the different points when you need to turn the wheel.
Hope all that helps Vanessa. At the end of the day, practice is the best medicine. Start in a quiet parking lot, then move onto small residential streets, and lastly onto busier streets when you feel comfortable!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Hi I'm 16 and I just got my permit yesterday and I was wondering if I could start driving immediately?
Korey from California asks: Hi I'm 16 and I just got my permit yesterday and I was wondering if I could start driving immediately? So like if I get my permit today can I drive home with my parent?
Keep in mind that learner permit laws vary from state to state, so please check with yoru local DMV, DPS, or MVD if you are not from California.
For minors in California, BEFORE you can drive with your parent, you must first complete a 2-hour lesson with a licensed driving instructor. After that first lesson is complete, the instructor will sign your learner permit and then you can start practicing with your parents.
Hope that helps! Here's a link to a great page with all the minor driving requirements for CA teens: http://www.driverseddirect.com/content_lg.aspx?tid=621
Until next time Korey, get that first lesson from a licensed driving school and be one step closer to earning your driver license!
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Do I need to purchase insurance for school driving lessons or are driving school cars fully insured?
Sue from Anaheim High School in California asks: I am thinking about signing up for driving lessons with a school. Do I need to purchase insurance or are driving school cars fully insured?
Hello Sue, good for you to care about the safety and well being of your child; there's never a better time to make sure your covered by insurance than when learning to drive!
I can't speak for all driving schools, but if a school is licensed by the DMV, then they have to be insured.
When you talk to a driving school, ask what their DMV license # is and then you should be able to double check them on the CA DMV website at :https://mv.dmv.ca.gov/olinq2/welcome.do
For example, Drivers Ed Direct (a leading California driving institution) is licensed by the DADMV and you will see that their DMV license # is 4141.
Hope that helps,
Until next time Sue, keep up the good work as a concerned parent...I know I don't have to be concerned about you!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Can I drive in California with an out of state driver's license or out of country license?
Roberto from Los Angeles asks: Hi Johnny, i am an international student of music, and i've been in LA for a year and a half, and probably i will stay another 2 years. my question is if i can drive in california with my country's driving license. i know a lot of people have asked you that before, but yet is not clear to me, because everybody asks like if they were visiting as tourists. i want to know if it doesn't matter in which status are you (tourist,student,worker etc.) thanks for your time and i hope i've been clear enough.
Roberto, you polite fellow you,
According to the official CA DMV website, if you are a visitor in California over 18 and have a valid driver license from your home state or country, you may drive in this state without getting a California driver license as long as your home state license remains valid.
If you become a California resident, you must get a California driver license within 10 days. Residency is established by voting in a California election, paying resident tuition, filing for a homeowner’s property tax exemption, or any other privilege or benefit not ordinarily extended to nonresidents.
Here's the link if you would like more info: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500
Hope that helps, thanks Roberto!
Monday, June 28, 2010
For the CA drivers exam, what controls on the vehicle does the examiner want me to know?
Tania from Beverly Hills High: I'm taking my California drivers exam and i wanted to know before the test, what on the vehicle does the examiner want me to know?
Hello Tania, so young and nervous about passing your test. Someday when you're old and gray you'll look back and laugh (or cry if you still haven't earned your license).
Anyhow, if you are taking your in-car DMV drive test (in California), here are the pre-drive questions they will ask you:
Also, make sure all of your car's turn signals, headlights, and braking lights work. Make sure all of your tires are properly inflated.
Hope that helps!
Until next time Tania, know your pre drive test questions, but more importantly, know how to drive safely - it's the harder part of the test!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
What does the code "N84" indicate on a state of New Mexico driving record?
Vic from New Mexico asks: What does the code "N84" indicate on a state of New Mexico driving record? Next to my violation is says "N84" and someone told me that stands for careless or reckless driving but the offense was a logbook offense?
Hi Vic - I'm assuming by logbook, you must be talking about a driver with a CDL (commercial drivers license)?
I thoroughly searched the NM MVD website and could not find the code "N84", so I emailed the MVD and they sent me back a document with all possible violation codes listed, but I still didn't see an "N84" code. Please take a look for yourself, I have posted what they send me as a Word doc here: New Mexico Traffic Violation Codes
If that doesn't help, I would suggest calling them at :
NM Motor Vehicle Division
Michael Sandoval, Director | 827-2852 (SF)
Paul Montoya, Director Field Operations | 827-2771(SF)
Alicia Ortiz, Deputy Director Administration | 827-2269 (SF)
Hope that helps, best of luck to you Vic!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
What will the DMV Test Examiner ask you before leaving the parking lot?
Edward from Downtown Magnets High School in Los Angeles asks: Well im taking the driving test today, in THREE HOURS!!! I was wondering if you can tell me what the DMV instructors ask you before leaving to do the test (about the car)? Kind of nervous, can't wtrite!
Luckily they're not grading you on your spelling! I kid, I kid. Take a deep breath Ed, you'll be just fine (if you know how to drive of course).
Here's what you need to know for what we like to call the pre-drive test administered at the CA DMV for nervous drivers everywhere trying to earn a license:
That should help you with the pre-drive test questions, now you just need to ace the driving part, Good luck Edward! Let us know how you do!
Monday, April 05, 2010
My learner permit expired! What do I have to do to get a new one?
Samantha from Eisenhower High School in CA asks: Irresponsibly, I let my permit expire long ago and I know I'm required to retake the permit test to obtain a new one so I may then actually apply for a CA license; however, am I also required to retake the professional training/education courses? I've gotten the certifications stating I've completed them, and I really do not want to pay for it all again or wait any longer. Please bring me good news :/
Hi Samantha, FINALLY, someone who accepts responsibility for their irresponsibility. If only all people could follow your, this would would be much more tolerable!
The good news is you DON'T have to retake the drivers education or driving lessons again. Some DMV clerks might let you reapply for your permit by just providing your expired permit. Other DMV's will require you to provide new certificates again. Just in case, I recommend getting duplicate certificates for both your drivers ed and drivers training. Most driving schools will charge a 'duplicate certificate fee' of $25-$75.
Finally, you will be required to retake the permit test at the DMV.
Hope that helps!
Until next time Samantha, do your best to keep all things perishable from expiring, including your eggs, milk, and driving permit!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Can I sell a vehicle to a minor who doesn't have a driver's license?
Jimmy from San Fernando, CA asks: Can I (a private owner) sell a vehicle to someone that does not have a drivers license?
Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy,
I admit that is a tough question and I had to do some digging to find you an answer. After making several phone calls, performing 3 DNA tests, and playing a little good cop/bad cop at the CADMV, I still couldn't get a clear answer.
I looked on the California DMV website and could not find anywhere that said you could not sell a vehicle to someone without a driver's license, unless that person is a MINOR:
15500. It is unlawful for any minor who does not possess a valid driver's license issued under this code to order, purchase or lease, attempt to purchase or lease, contract to purchase or lease, accept, or otherwise obtain, any vehicle of a type subject to registration.
As always, I recommend calling the CA DMV at 1-800-777-0133 for the definitive answer in this matter. Just tell 'em Jonny Driving School sent you. On second thought, don't!