California DMV

If you have to visit a local California DMV office, make an appointment. Even though you will still have to pick a number and wait in line, the line for people with appointments will likely be shorter than the line for people without appointments. However, the DMV calendaring system is a bit non-intuitive. Ideally, the DMV will let you select a date and it will offer available times. However, that’s not the way the DMV works. You have to pick a date and time, and the DMV will let you know whether that date and time is open. Feels like playing Battleship. Just guessing different dates and times and looking for a hit.

Not sure why the DMV calls its employees technicians. If it was the person inspecting a vehicle, I will understand. But, the guy handing out wait tickets?

After you get your bingo ticket, you take a seat and wait for the announcer to call out your winning combination. If you owe money, be prepared. Unlike the rest of the world, the DMV does not accept credit cards! Cash, check or debit cards.

Legal Research

Using a Cell Phone While Driving in California

Just over three months ago, California started prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving. However, the law allowed drivers 18 and over to use a cell phone provided that they also used a hands-free device. So, I was quite surprised to see other drivers talking on cell phones these past few days. You can’t miss the unmistakeable sign: right hand glued to the right ear while driving. This morning, Palo Alto Online reported that the CHP had cited over 20,000 drivers for talking on a cell phone. Although the base fine is $20, the DMV states that “[w]ith the addition of penalty assessments, the fine can be more than triple the base fine amount.” In these times of financial crisis, we can thank our fellow drivers for chipping in an extra $400,000 – $1,200,000 to help out the state.