2009 California Vehicle Code - Section 4000-4023 :: Article 1. Vehicles Subject To RegistrationVEHICLE CODE
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 registration fees. (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 facility. (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 California. 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 motor vehicle. (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 vehicle. (6) The motor vehicle was manufactured prior to the 1976 model-year. (7) Except for diesel-powered vehicles, the transfer is for a motor vehicle that is four or less model-years old. The department shall impose a fee of eight dollars ($8) 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 action. (f) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a motor vehicle when an additional individual is added as a registered owner of the motor vehicle. (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 criteria: (1) Submission of proof that the motor vehicle is insured as a collector motor vehicle, as shall be required by regulation of the bureau. (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 leaks. 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 vehicle. (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 the following: (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 transmission. (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 responsibility laws. (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 highway. (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 the department. (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) (1) 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. (2) Commencing on January 1, 2011, the reissuance fee imposed by paragraph (1) shall not apply to a member of the California National Guard or the United States Armed Forces who was on active duty, serving outside of this state in a military conflict during a time of war, as defined in Section 18 of the Military and Veterans Code, at the time of the suspension, cancellation, or revocation of his or her vehicle registration. The person shall submit a copy of his or her official military orders upon requesting the registration reinstatement. 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 Section 9400.1. (b) This section does not apply to pickups nor to any commercial motor vehicle or combination that does not exceed 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. (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 highways. (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 crane: (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 miles. 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 registration. 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 dolly. 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 following: (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 hearing. (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 ($30), 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 continuous days. (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 infraction. 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 from registration. 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 registration. 4020. A motorized bicycle operated upon a highway is exempt from registration. 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 facility. 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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