2007 California Vehicle Code Article 1. Vehicles Subject To Registration
CA Codes (veh:4000-4023)
4000. (a) (1) No person shall drive, move, or leave standing upon a
highway, or in an offstreet public parking facility, any motor
vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole or pipe dolly, or logging dolly,
unless it is registered and the appropriate fees have been paid under
this code or registered under the permanent trailer identification
program, except that an off-highway motor vehicle which displays an
identification plate or device issued by the department pursuant to
Section 38010 may be driven, moved, or left standing in an offstreet
public parking facility without being registered or paying
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, "offstreet public parking
facility" means either of the following:
(A) Any publicly owned parking facility.
(B) Any privately owned parking facility for which no fee for the
privilege to park is charged and which is held open for the common
public use of retail customers.
(3) This subdivision does not apply to any motor vehicle stored in
a privately owned offstreet parking facility by, or with the express
permission of, the owner of the privately owned offstreet parking
(b) No person shall drive, move, or leave standing upon a highway
any motor vehicle, as defined in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section
39010) of Part 1 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code, which
has been registered in violation of Part 5 (commencing with Section
43000) of that Division 26.
(c) Subdivisions (a) and (b) do not apply to off-highway motor
vehicles operated pursuant to Sections 38025 and 38026.5.
(d) This section does not apply, following payment of fees due for
registration, during the time that registration and transfer is
being withheld by the department pending the investigation of any use
tax due under the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(e) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a vehicle that is towed by a
tow truck on the order of a sheriff, marshal, or other official
acting pursuant to a court order or on the order of a peace officer
acting pursuant to this code.
(f) Subdivision (a) applies to a vehicle that is towed from a
highway or offstreet parking facility under the direction of a
highway service organization when that organization is providing
emergency roadside assistance to that vehicle. However, the operator
of a tow truck providing that assistance to that vehicle is not
responsible for the violation of subdivision (a) with respect to that
vehicle. The owner of an unregistered vehicle that is disabled and
located on private property, shall obtain a permit from the
department pursuant to Section 4003 prior to having the vehicle towed
on the highway.
(g) For purposes of this section, possession of a California
driver's license by the registered owner of a vehicle shall give rise
to a rebuttable presumption that the owner is a resident of
4000.1. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), (c),
or (d) of this section, or subdivision (b) of Section 43654 of the
Health and Safety Code, the department shall require upon initial
registration, and upon transfer of ownership and registration, of any
motor vehicle subject to Part 5 (commencing with Section 43000) of
Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code, a valid certificate of
compliance or a certificate of noncompliance, as appropriate, issued
in accordance with Section 44015 of the Health and Safety Code.
(b) With respect to new motor vehicles certified pursuant to
Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 43100) of Part 5 of Division 26 of
the Health and Safety Code, the department shall accept a statement
completed pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 24007 in lieu of the
certificate of compliance.
(c) For purposes of determining the validity of a certificate of
compliance or noncompliance submitted in compliance with the
requirements of this section, the definitions of new and used motor
vehicle contained in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 39010) of
Part 1 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code shall control.
(d) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a transfer of ownership and
registration under any of the following circumstances:
(1) The initial application for transfer is submitted within the
90-day validity period of a smog certificate as specified in Section
44015 of the Health and Safety Code.
(2) The transferor is the parent, grandparent, sibling, child,
grandchild, or spouse of the transferee.
(3) A motor vehicle registered to a sole proprietorship is
transferred to the proprietor as owner.
(4) The transfer is between companies the principal business of
which is leasing motor vehicles, if there is no change in the lessee
or operator of the motor vehicle or between the lessor and the person
who has been, for at least one year, the lessee's operator of the
(5) The transfer is between the lessor and lessee of the motor
vehicle, if there is no change in the lessee or operator of the motor
(6) The motor vehicle was manufactured prior to the 1976
(7) Beginning January 1, 2005, the transfer is for a motor vehicle
that is four or less model-years old. The department shall impose a
fee of eight dollars () on the transferee of a motor vehicle that
is four or less model-years old. Revenues generated from the
imposition of that fee shall be deposited into the Vehicle Inspection
and Repair Fund.
(e) The State Air Resources Board, under Part 5 (commencing with
Section 43000) of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code, may
exempt designated classifications of motor vehicles from subdivision
(a) as it deems necessary, and shall notify the department of that
(f) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a motor vehicle when an
additional individual is added as a registered owner of the motor
(g) For purposes of subdivision (a), any collector motor vehicle,
as defined in Section 259, is exempt from those portions of the test
required by subdivision (f) of Section 44012 of the Health and Safety
Code, if the collector motor vehicle meets all of the following
(1) Submission of proof that the motor vehicle is insured as a
collector motor vehicle, as shall be required by regulation of the
(2) The motor vehicle is at least 35 model-years old.
(3) The motor vehicle complies with the exhaust emissions
standards for that motor vehicle's class and model year as prescribed
by the department, and the motor vehicle passes a functional
inspection of the fuel cap and a visual inspection for liquid fuel
4000.2. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b) of
Section 43654 of the Health and Safety Code, and, commencing on April
1, 2005, except for model-years exempted from biennial inspection
pursuant to Section 44011 of the Health and Safety Code, the
department shall require upon registration of a motor vehicle subject
to Part 5 (commencing with Section 43000) of Division 26 of the
Health and Safety Code, previously registered outside this state, a
valid certificate of compliance or a certificate of noncompliance, as
appropriate, issued in accordance with Section 44015 of the Health
and Safety Code.
(b) For the purposes of determining the validity of a certificate
of compliance or noncompliance submitted in compliance with the
requirements of this section, the definitions of new and used motor
vehicle contained in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 39010) of
Part 1 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code shall control.
4000.3. (a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 44011 of the
Health and Safety Code, the department shall require biennially, upon
renewal of registration of any motor vehicle subject to Part 5
(commencing with Section 43000) of Division 26 of the Health and
Safety Code, a valid certificate of compliance issued in accordance
with Section 44015 of the Health and Safety Code. The department, in
consultation with the Department of Consumer Affairs, shall develop
a schedule under which vehicles shall be required biennially to
obtain certificates of compliance.
(b) The Department of Consumer Affairs shall provide the
department with information on vehicle classes that are subject to
the motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program.
(c) The department shall include any information pamphlet provided
by the Department of Consumer Affairs with notification of the
inspection requirement and with its renewal notices. The information
pamphlet in the renewal notice shall also notify the owner of the
motor vehicle of the right to have the vehicle pretested pursuant to
Section 44011.3 of the Health and Safety Code.
4000.37. (a) Upon application for renewal of registration of a
motor vehicle, the department shall require that the applicant submit
either a form approved by the department, but issued by the insurer,
as specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3), or any of the items
specified in paragraph (4), as evidence that the applicant is in
compliance with the financial responsibility laws of this state.
(1) For vehicles covered by private passenger automobile liability
policies and having coverage as described in subdivisions (a) and
(b) of Section 660 of the Insurance Code, or policies and coverages
for private passenger automobile policies as described in
subdivisions (a) and (b) of that section and issued by an automobile
assigned risk plan, the form shall include all of the following:
(A) The primary name of the insured covered by the policy or the
vehicle owner, or both.
(B) The year, make, and vehicle identification number of the
(C) The name, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
(NAIC) number, and the address of the insurance company or surety
company providing a policy or bond for the vehicle.
(D) The policy or bond number, and the effective date and
expiration date of that policy or bond.
(E) A statement from the insurance company or surety company that
the policy or bond meets the requirements of Section 16056 or
16500.5. For the purposes of this section, policies described in
Section 11629.71 of the Insurance Code are deemed to meet the
requirements of Section 16056.
(2) For vehicles covered by commercial or fleet policies, and not
private passenger automobile liability policies, as described in
paragraph (1), the form shall include all of the following:
(A) The name and address of the vehicle owner or fleet operator.
(B) The name, the NAIC number, and the address of the insurance
company or surety company providing a policy or bond for the vehicle.
(C) The policy or bond number, and the effective date and
expiration date of the policy or bond.
(D) A statement from the insurance company or surety company that
the policy or bond meets the requirements of Section 16056 or 16500.5
and is a commercial or fleet policy. For vehicles registered
pursuant to Article 9.5 (commencing with Section 5301) or Article 4
(commencing with Section 8050) of Chapter 4, one form may be
submitted per fleet as specified by the department.
(3) (A) The director may authorize an insurer to issue a form that
does not conform to paragraph (1) or (2) if the director does all of
(i) Determines that the entity issuing the alternate form is or
will begin reporting the insurance information required under
paragraph (1) or (2) to the department through electronic
(ii) Determines that use of the alternate form furthers the
interests of the state by enhancing the enforcement of the state's
financial responsibility laws.
(iii) Approves the contents of the alternate form as providing an
adequate means for persons to prove compliance with the financial
(B) The director may authorize the use of the alternate form in
lieu of the forms otherwise required under paragraph (1) or (2) for a
period of four years or less and may renew that authority for
additional periods of four years or less.
(4) In lieu of evidence of insurance as described in paragraphs
(1), (2), and (3), one of the following documents as evidence of
coverage under an alternative form of financial responsibility may be
provided by the applicant:
(A) An evidence form, as specified by the department, that
indicates either a certificate of self-insurance or an assignment of
deposit letter has been issued by the department pursuant to Sections
16053 or 16054.2.
(B) An insurance covering note or binder pursuant to Section 382
or 382.5 of the Insurance Code.
(C) An evidence form that indicates coverage is provided by a
charitable risk pool operating under Section 5005.1 of the
Corporations Code, if the registered owner of the vehicle is a
nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under paragraph
(3) of subsection (c) of Section 501 of the United States Internal
Revenue Code. The evidence form shall include:
(i) The name and address of the vehicle owner or fleet operator.
(ii) The name and address of the charitable risk pool providing
the policy for the vehicle.
(iii) The policy number, and the effective date and expiration
date of the policy.
(iv) A statement from the charitable risk pool that the policy
meets the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 16054.2.
(b) This section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) A vehicle for which a certification has been filed pursuant to
Section 4604, until the vehicle is registered for operation upon the
(2) A vehicle that is owned or leased by, or under the direction
of, the United States or any public entity that is included in
Section 811.2 of the Government Code.
(3) A vehicle registration renewal application where there is a
change of registered owner.
(4) A vehicle for which evidence of liability insurance
information has been electronically filed with the department.
4000.38. (a) The department shall suspend, cancel, or revoke the
registration of a vehicle when it determines that any of the
following circumstances has occurred:
(1) The registration was obtained by providing false evidence of
financial responsibility to the department.
(2) Upon notification by an insurance company that the required
coverage has been canceled and a sufficient period of time has
elapsed since the cancellation notification, as determined by the
department, for replacement coverage to be processed and received by
(3) Evidence of financial responsibility has not been submitted to
the department within 30 days of the issuance of a registration
certificate for the original registration or transfer of registration
of a vehicle.
(b) (1) Prior to suspending, canceling, or revoking the
registration of a vehicle, the department shall notify the vehicle
owner of its intent to suspend, cancel, or revoke the registration,
and shall provide the vehicle owner a reasonable time, not less than
45 days in cases under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), to provide
evidence of financial responsibility or to establish that the vehicle
is not being operated.
(2) For the low-cost automobile insurance program established
under Section 11629.7 of the Insurance Code, the department shall
provide residents with information on the notification document, in
plain, bold type not less than 12 point in size, and in both English
and Spanish, stating the following:
"A program offering affordable automobile insurance to low-income
households has been established. To determine if you are eligible for
this insurance, call (insert toll-free phone number for the
California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan or its successor). This call
is free to you and may be made during normal business hours, Monday
through Friday, except holidays."
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, before a
registration is reinstated after suspension, cancellation, or
revocation, there shall be paid to the department, in addition to any
other fees required by this code, a fee sufficient to pay the cost
of the reissuance as determined by the department.
(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2006.
4000.4. (a) Except as provided in Sections 6700, 6702, and 6703,
any vehicle which is registered to a nonresident owner, and which is
based in California or primarily used on California highways, shall
be registered in California.
(b) For purposes of this section, a vehicle is deemed to be
primarily or regularly used on the highways of this state if the
vehicle is located or operated in this state for a greater amount of
time than it is located or operated in any other individual state
during the registration period in question.
4000.5. (a) The department shall register an autoette, as defined
in Section 175, as a motor vehicle.
(b) The owner of an autoette shall remove the license plates from
the vehicle and return them to the department when the autoette is
removed from a natural island, as described in Section 175.
4000.6. A commercial motor vehicle, singly or in combination, that
operates with a declared gross or combined gross vehicle weight that
exceeds 10,000 pounds shall be registered pursuant to Section 9400.1.
(a) A person submitting an application for registration of a
commercial motor vehicle operated in combination with a semitrailer,
trailer, or any combination thereof, shall include the declared
combined gross weight of all units when applying for registration
with the department, except as exempted under subdivision (a) of
(b) This section does not apply to pickups nor to any commercial
motor vehicle or combination that does not exceed 10,000 pounds gross
(c) A peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with
Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, having reason to
believe that a commercial motor vehicle is being operated, either
singly or in combination, in excess of its registered declared gross
or combined gross vehicle weight, may require the driver to stop and
submit to an inspection or weighing of the vehicle or vehicles and an
inspection of registration documents.
(d) A person shall not operate a commercial motor vehicle, either
singly or in combination, in excess of its registered declared gross
or combined gross vehicle weight.
(e) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a
fine in an amount equal to the amount specified in Section 42030.1.
4001. All vehicles exempt from the payment of registration fees
shall be registered as otherwise required by this code by the person
having custody thereof, and he shall display upon the vehicle a
license plate bearing distinguishing marks or symbols, which shall be
furnished by the department free of charge.
4002. When moved or operated under a permit issued by the
department, registration is not required of:
(a) A vehicle not previously registered while being moved or
operated from a dealer's, distributor's, or manufacturer's place of
business to a place where essential parts of the vehicle are to be
altered or supplied.
(b) A vehicle while being moved from a place of storage to another
place of storage.
(c) A vehicle while being moved to or from a garage or repair shop
for the purpose of repairs or alteration.
(d) A vehicle while being moved or operated for the purpose of
dismantling or wrecking the same and permanently removing it from the
(e) A vehicle, while being moved from one place to another for the
purpose of inspection by the department, assignment of a vehicle
identification number, inspection of pollution control devices, or
weighing the vehicle.
(f) A vehicle, the construction of which has not been completed,
until such time as the construction thereof is completed and final
weights and costs can be determined for registration purposes.
4003. A permit, as described in Section 9258, may be issued by the
department for operating any of the following vehicles, except a
(a) A vehicle while being moved or operated unladen for one
continuous trip from a place within this state to another place
either within or without this state or from a place without this
state to a place within this state.
(b) A vehicle while being moved or operated for one round trip to
be completed within 60 days from one place to another for the purpose
of participating as a vehicular float or display in a lawful parade
or exhibition, provided that the total round trip does not exceed 100
The department may issue a quantity of permits under this
subsection in booklet form upon payment of the proper fee for each
permit contained in such booklet. Each permit shall be valid for
only one vehicle and for only one continuous trip. Such permit shall
be posted upon the windshield or other prominent place upon a
vehicle and shall identify the vehicle to which it is affixed. When
so affixed, such permit shall serve in lieu of California
4003.5. (a) Upon payment of the fee specified in Section 9258.5,
the department shall issue to a manufacturer or dealer a one-trip
permit authorizing a new trailer, semitrailer, or auxiliary dolly
which has never been registered in any state, or a used trailer,
semitrailer, or auxiliary dolly which is not currently registered to
be moved or operated laden within, entering, or leaving this state
for not more than five days as part of one continuous trip from the
place of manufacture for a new vehicle, or from the place of dispatch
or entry into this state for a used vehicle, to a place where the
vehicle will be offered for sale.
(b) Any permit issued pursuant to this section authorizes the
operation of a single trailer, semitrailer, or auxiliary dolly, and
the permit shall identify the trailer, semitrailer, or auxiliary
dolly authorized by make, model, and vehicle identification number.
The permit shall include the name and license number of the
manufacturer from whom the new vehicle is sent, or the name and
license number of the dealer from whom the used vehicle is sent, the
name and address of the person or business receiving the load, a
description of the load being carried, and the name and license
number of the dealer who will be offering the trailer, semitrailer,
or auxiliary dolly for sale. Each permit shall be completed prior to
operation of the trailer or semitrailer or auxiliary dolly on a
highway. The permit shall be carried on the trailer, semitrailer, or
auxiliary dolly to which it applies in an appropriate receptacle
inaccessible from the inside of the cab and shall be readily
available for inspection by a peace officer. Each permit is valid at
the time of inspection by a peace officer only if it has been
completed as required by the department and has been placed in the
appropriate receptacle as required by this section. The manufacturer
or dealer issued the permit may allow a third party to move or
operate the vehicle.
(c) The privilege of securing and displaying a permit authorized
pursuant to this section shall not be extended to a manufacturer,
carrier, or dealer located in a jurisdiction with which the state
does not have vehicle licensing reciprocity.
(d) The privilege of securing and displaying a permit authorized
pursuant to this section shall not be granted more than once without
the sale and registration of the trailer, semitrailer, or auxiliary
4004. (a) (1) Commercial motor vehicles meeting the registration
requirements of a foreign jurisdiction, and subject to registration
but not entitled to exemption from registration or licensing under
any of the provisions of this code or any agreements, arrangements,
or declarations made under Article 3 (commencing with Section 8000)
of Chapter 4, may, as an alternate to registration, secure a
temporary registration to operate in this state for a period of not
to exceed 90 days, or a trip permit to operate in this state for a
period of four consecutive days.
(2) Each trip permit shall authorize the operation of a single
commercial motor vehicle for a period of not more than four
consecutive days, commencing with the day of first use and three
consecutive days thereafter. Every permit shall identify, as the
department may require, the commercial motor vehicle for which it is
issued. Each trip permit shall be completed prior to operation of
the commercial motor vehicle on any highway in this state and shall
be carried in the commercial motor vehicle to which it applies and
shall be readily available for inspection by a peace officer. Each
permit shall be valid at the time of inspection by a peace officer
only if it has been completed as required by the department and has
been placed in the appropriate receptacle as required by this
section. It is unlawful for any person to fail to comply with the
provisions of this section.
(b) The privilege of securing and using a trip permit or a
temporary registration not to exceed 90 days shall not extend to the
(1) Any vehicle which is based within this state and which is
operated by a person having an established place of business within
this state. For purposes of this paragraph, a commercial motor
vehicle shall be considered to be based in this state if it is
primarily operated or dispatched from or principally garaged or
serviced or maintained at a site with an address within this state.
(2) Vehicles registered in any jurisdiction with which the State
of California does not have vehicle licensing reciprocity, unless the
Reciprocity Commission extends the privilege, by rule, after
(c) Any trailer or semitrailer identified in paragraph (1) of
subdivision (a) of Section 5014.1 that enters the state without a
currently valid license plate issued by California or another
jurisdiction shall be immediately subject to full identification fees
as specified in subdivision (e) of Section 5014.1.
4004.5. The owner of any motor vehicle subject to the registration
provisions of this chapter, or exempted therefrom, may file with the
department, at the time he registers or renews the registration of
such motor vehicle, a signed statement that he resides in more than
one county for a period of more than 30 days, or uses such vehicle in
a county other than the county of his legal residence for business
purposes. Such statement shall specify the address at which the
owner resides in any county for more than 30 days, if any, or the
length of time during which such owner uses the motor vehicle for
business purposes in any county.
The department shall provide forms for the filing of such
statements and shall take into consideration the length of time
during which owners reside or use motor vehicles in counties, in
accordance with the statements filed with the department, to
determine the total number of vehicles registered or exempted from
registration in any particular county.
4004.7. (a) If the apportioned registration issued under Article 4
(commencing with Section 8050) of Chapter 4 for a commercial vehicle
or vehicle combination that was last registered by a California
resident has expired or has been terminated, the department, upon
receipt of a completed application, a fee of thirty dollars (),
and proof of financial responsibility for the vehicle, may issue an
unladen operation permit to authorize the unladen operation of that
vehicle or vehicle combination for a period of not more than 15
(b) This section does not apply to any vehicle or vehicle
combination for which any vehicle registration fees, other than those
for the current year, vehicle license fees, or penalties, or any
combination of those are due.
(c) Operation of a laden vehicle or vehicle combination under an
unladen operation permit issued pursuant to this section is an
4005. Any vehicle subject to registration may be operated within a
disaster area or region for the purpose of assisting in disaster
relief work, under a special permit to be issued by the department
for such purpose, without the registration of such vehicle.
Said permit shall be issued only if the Department of
Transportation or the responsible local authority has determined that
the vehicle is necessary for such purpose, and shall be valid only
during a period of a state of emergency as proclaimed by the Governor
under the provisions of the California Emergency Services Act.
4006. A vehicle which is driven or moved upon a highway only for
the purpose of crossing the highway from one property to another in
accordance with a permit issued by the Department of Transportation
is exempt from registration.
4007. The department, the Public Utilities Commission, and the
State Board of Equalization shall enter into an interagency agreement
to establish a coordinated system for the issuance of temporary
operating authority to carriers of passengers for compensation by
motor vehicles which are operating under the laws of another state or
country. The agreement shall designate a lead agency from among the
parties to the agreement to which the carrier may make a single
application for the temporary operating authority required under the
laws of this state. The lead agency shall coordinate and expedite
all matters relating to issuance of the temporary operating authority
and the collection and distribution of fees therefor with every
other state agency having jurisdiction, so as to promptly prepare and
issue the required operating authority.
4009. A vehicle transported upon a highway, no part of which is in
contact with the highway, is exempt from registration.
4010. Special construction equipment and special mobile equipment
are exempt from registration.
4012. Any vehicle, implement, or equipment specifically designed or
altered for and used exclusively in the maintenance or operation of
cemetery grounds, which is only incidentally operated or moved on a
highway is exempt from registration.
4013. Any forklift truck which is designed primarily for loading
and unloading and for stacking materials and is operated upon a
highway only for the purpose of transporting products or material
across a highway in the loading, unloading or stacking process, and
is in no event operated along a highway for a greater distance than
one-quarter mile is exempt from registration.
4014. Any portable or collapsible dolly carried in a tow truck or
in a truck used by an automobile dismantler and used upon a highway
exclusively for towing disabled vehicles is exempt from registration.
4015. Any privately owned vehicle designed or capable of being used
for firefighting purposes when operated upon a highway only in
responding to, and returning from, emergency fire calls is exempt
4016. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4000, unregistered
vehicles may be left standing upon a highway adjacent to a vehicle
dealer's place of business when done so in connection with the
loading and unloading of vehicles to be used in the dealer's
business, unless otherwise prohibited by law.
4017. The provisions of Section 4000 shall not apply to the moving
or operating of a vehicle during the period of time in which
application may be made for registration of the vehicle without
penalty as provided in Section 4152.5.
4018. Any logging vehicle is exempt from registration.
4019. A golf cart operated pursuant to Section 21115 is exempt from
4020. A motorized bicycle operated upon a highway is exempt from
4021. Any vehicle that is designed or altered for, and used
exclusively for, the refueling of aircraft at a public airport is
exempt from registration, if the vehicle is operated upon a highway
under the control of a local authority for a continuous distance not
exceeding one-half mile each way to and from a bulk fuel storage
4022. A vehicle repossessed pursuant to the terms of a security
agreement is exempt from registration solely for the purpose of
transporting the vehicle from the point of repossession to the
storage facilities of the repossessor, and from the storage
facilities to the legal owner or a licensed motor vehicle auction,
provided that the repossessor transports with the vehicle the
appropriate documents authorizing the repossession and makes them
available to a law enforcement officer on request.
4023. A low-speed vehicle operated pursuant to Section 21115 or
21115.1 is exempt from registration.
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