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Ask the DMV: No cell phones for minors behind the wheel

By: George Valverde
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Q: Is it true that minors are never allowed to use cell phones when driving, even with a hands-free device?

A: That is correct. It is against the law for a minor to use a cell phone while driving.

They are only to use cell phones when the vehicle is safely stopped or parked.
If a minor violates this law, he or she will be subject to fines. The only exceptions to this law are in the event that a minor must use a cell phone in an emergency situation to contact law enforcement, a health care provider, the fire department or another emergency entity.

Q: I have a commercial driver license and want to apply for a Hazardous Materials endorsement for which I need a background check. Where do I start first, with the DMV or with the Federal Transportation Security Administration?

A: When applying for a Hazardous Materials (HazMat) endorsement, it is highly recommended that you start the procedure by submitting all required documentation and fees to the DMV.

This will help expedite the procedure and ensure that the process runs smoothly.

For more information, visit dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl29.htm or visit your local field office and you will be provided with a brochure specifically outlining the requirements for obtaining this endorsement.

Q: When being pulled over by law enforcement, what is the correct way to handle this situation?

A: Getting pulled over for your first time can be very daunting. However, if you are aware of what the procedure will be and what steps you need to take, it will be less stressful for you.

The first thing you should do when you notice you are being pulled over is to acknowledge the police officer by turning on your right turn signal.

Next, you should move to the right shoulder of the road, never to the center median. For full details on the correct practice of an enforcement stop, visit dmv.ca.gov. On the homepage click the Publications tab, next click Driver Handbook, and finally click the link for the California Driver Handbook and go to page 66.

Of course I must recommend that in order to avoid this situation altogether, you always should follow the rules of the road and drive safely.

Q: How do I obtain a DMV-issued Identification Card?

A: This one is simple.To obtain a state-issued ID card you must visit your local DMV field office.

Once there you will need to fill out application form DL 44, give your thumb print, get your picture taken, and verify your personal information.
For complete details about getting an ID card visit dmv.ca.gov. On the homepage click on the Driver License tab, next click Identification Cards, and then click Identification Cards again.

Don’t forget, you can also schedule your DMV field office appointment online at dmv.ca.gov.

George Valverde is the director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration or insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California DMV has answers at www.dmv.ca.gov. And now, you can submit any DMV-related questions at askdmv@dmv.ca.gov.