California Vehicle Code Section 12505
Legal Research Home >
California Laws > Vehicle Code > California Vehicle Code Section 12505
12505. (a) (1) For purposes of this division only and
notwithstanding Section 516, residency shall be determined as a
person's state of domicile. "State of domicile" means the state where
a person has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home and
principal residence and to which he or she has manifested the
intention of returning whenever he or she is absent.
Prima facie evidence of residency for driver's licensing purposes
includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(A) Address where registered to vote.
(B) Payment of resident tuition at a public institution of higher
(C) Filing a homeowner's property tax exemption.
(D) Other acts, occurrences, or events that indicate presence in
the state is more than temporary or transient.
(2) California residency is required of a person in order to be
issued a commercial driver's license under this code.
(b) The presumption of residency in this state may be rebutted by
satisfactory evidence that the licensee's primary residence is in
(c) Any person entitled to an exemption under Section 12502,
12503, or 12504 may operate a motor vehicle in this state for not to
exceed 10 days from the date he or she establishes residence in this
state, except that he or she shall obtain a license from the
department upon becoming a resident before being employed for
compensation by another for the purpose of driving a motor vehicle on
(d) If the State of California is decertified by the federal
government and prohibited from issuing an initial, renewal, or
upgraded commercial driver's license pursuant to Section 384.405 of
Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the following applies:
(1) An existing commercial driver's license issued pursuant to
this code prior to the date that the state is notified of its
decertification shall remain valid until its expiration date.
(2) A person who is a resident of this state may obtain a
nonresident commercial driver's license from any state that elects to
issue a nonresident commercial driver's license and that complies
with the testing and licensing standards contained in subparts F, G,
and H of Part 383 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(3) For the purposes of this subdivision, a nonresident commercial
driver's license is a commercial driver's license issued by a state
to an individual domiciled in a foreign country or in another state.
(e) Subject to Section 12504, a person over the age of 16 years
who is a resident of a foreign jurisdiction other than a state,
territory, or possession of the United States, the District of
Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or Canada, having a valid
driver's license issued to him or her by any other foreign
jurisdiction having licensing standards deemed by the Department of
Motor Vehicles equivalent to those of this state, may operate a motor
vehicle in this state without obtaining a license from the
department, except that he or she shall obtain a license before being
employed for compensation by another for the purpose of driving a
motor vehicle on the highways.
(f) Any person from a foreign country, except a territory or
possession of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or
Canada, shall obtain a class A or a class B license from the
department before operating on the highways a motor vehicle for which
a class A or class B license is required, as described in Section
12804.9. The medical examination form required for issuance of a
class A or class B driver's license shall be completed by a health
care professional, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of
Section 12804.9, who is licensed, certified, or registered to perform
physical examinations in the United States of America. This
subdivision does not apply to (1) drivers of schoolbuses operated in
California on a trip for educational purposes or (2) drivers of
vehicles used to provide the services of a local public agency.
(g) This section does not authorize the employment of a person in
violation of Section 12515.
(h) This section shall become operative on September 20, 2005.
Speak with a Lawyer in California
Last modified: October 1, 2013