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California Insurance license – driving without a license California

California insurance license How do I find out if my license is suspended in California? how long can you drive with expired tags in California? how much is the fine for no insurance? how much is the fine for driving without insurance? how to get a restricted license in ca?  If you want a holistic guide on everything about driver’s licenses in California, read on! Various aspects such as how to get a driver’s license, how to find out if your license is suspended, information about expired tags, driving fines, and car insurance in the state of California will be discussed. Furthermore, the restricted license law and the compulsory financial responsibility law will also be dealt with!

How do I get a driving license in California? 

Before you do anything else, perhaps the first thing to know and understand is how you can get a driving license in the state of California. It is not a tremendously difficult process but requires a fair bit of planning and research. The more familiar you are with the process, the more likely you are to be approved, and within a shorter period. Here are the steps that you need to take to apply for a driver’s license in California.

  • First and foremost, you will have to go to the nearest DMV or department of motor vehicles office in California and submit a completed Form of DL44 – which is the driver’s license application. Ensure that you read through the application form carefully and properly before making the application, taking special care to ensure that all the details that you have filled in are not just correct, but up to date as well.
  • Provide identification proof. You may be required to submit details such as your Social Security Number, or other documents that indicate your full name and identification such as a marriage document, a birth certificate, or a passport of the United States. You may also be additionally required to submit proof that indicates that you are a resident of the state of California. For this, you may submit any proof of your address such as a mortgage payment or a copy of your lease agreement.
  • Once you have submitted the proof of identity required, you will be required to pay the fee to obtain the license. Enquire as to what the current fee is, as it is bound to change.
  • Finally, you will be required to pass a written test as well as a practical test, where you will be required to demonstrate that you are a competent driver. Once you have completed the above-mentioned steps, you will first be issued a temporary license until your permanent license is mailed to your registered address. Ensure that you are adequately prepared both for the written as well as the practical test and that you have enough ability to drive effectively.

Now that you have understood how you can apply for a license in California, the next section of this article discusses how one can understand if their license has been suspended. If you already have a license and are confused as to whether or not it is currently valid, you will probably wonder various aspects of its validity, including how do I find out if my license is suspended in California? 

How Do You Find Out If Your License Has Been Suspended in California
How Do You Find Out If Your License Has Been Suspended in California

How do I find out if my license is suspended in California?

If you are concerned as to whether your license has been suspended, it is ideal that you rely on an authentic source to find out about the status of your license. It is not legal to drive without a license, and therefore it is necessary and prudent to ensure that your license is, in fact, valid before driving. However, it can happen that your license might have been suspended without your knowledge, in which case you may wonder as to how you can make certain as to whether or not it is currently suspended. One of the things that the residents of California can be peaceful about is the fact that the FTP law which mandated the suspension of licenses due to failure to pay fees has since been revoked. If you have pending tickets, and other driving fees that you are yet to pay, while you are still obligated to pay them, your license will no longer be revoked due to the failure of payment. Driving without a license is not permitted in the state of California, and therefore most people are concerned as to what the status of their license is.

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Here are some of the methods by which you can ascertain as to whether or not your license is valid, or has been suspended.

  1. First and foremost, the most ideal and perhaps an incredibly easy method to check as to whether or not your license has been suspended is to head over to the DMV website, or the California Department of Motor Vehicles website which you can access at To check the status of your license, you may be required to pay an extremely small fee, but the fee is usually negligible. All you have to do is visit the website and access the personal services section, and you can check whether or not your license has been suspended.
  2. You can also request information about your license through a Request for License Identification Card, or the Vehicle Registration Information Record form. This is also incredibly easy to do but has a slightly larger fee than applying online. However, keep in mind that this fee is also negligible.
  3. Finally, you can visit the nearest DMV office and request information about your license, its status, and whether or not it is currently valid by submitting your fee.

How long can you drive with expired tags in California?

Now that you are aware as to how to ascertain as to whether or not your license has been suspended, you should also make yourself aware of how long you can drive with expired tags in California. 

First and foremost, before understanding what the consequences are of driving with expired tags, it will do good to understand what expired tags are and under what law penalties are charged. Expired tags refer to any vehicle that drives without the requisite registration plates or tags that are mandated by law. The penalties for driving with expired tags are charged under the California Vehicle Code VC 5204(a).

Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in
Penalty & Fines for Driving Without Insurance in California

Here are the consequences that you may have to face if you drive with expired tags in California.

  • First and foremost, if you have been issued a citation for driving with expired tags you will be required to pay a fine, and may also be liable to pay a penalty assessment. Usually, the value of the fine is $25. A penalty assessment refers to a tax on the initial fine amount, which can vary but is usually about four or five times the basic fine that is charged. This can depend on a variety of factors, including what fine the judge decides to impose on you, and how he determines the sentencing on your penalty assessment.
  • Unfortunately, until you get valid tags, the law enforcement officers are free to cite you for every time you drive your car without the updated registration tags. Therefore, even if you have already applied to update your tags which may have since expired if your car is seen in public with the expired tags or without them, the officer can cite you again and impose a penalty even if you have already been written one. Therefore, you can accrue multiple penalties for expired tags in the state of California. Hence, it is strongly advised to exercise haste and diligence and ensure that you update your tags and install them as fast as possible to ensure that you do not end up being penalized over and over again.
  • One of the most unfortunate and scary things that you can happen if you drive with expired tags after several citations are the possibility of having your car impounded as under Vehicle Code 22651(0)(1). Fortunately, from the date of your first citation, you are granted 6 months to update your expired tags, so ensure that you do so before risking having your car impounded. Also Read about Car Insurance Spare Parts – Things You must Know about your Insurance Policy

Driving on Expired Tags in California with a Failure to Appear

Failure to appear refers to a failure to appear before the court or intimate them adequately as to the fact that you have updated your expired tax and fixed the problem. If you have been issued a penalty for an expired tag, you have to make an appearance for which you are summoned by the court, on the specific date of the summons. Failure to do so will increase your fine exponentially, almost up to a sum of $800. In some cases, the risk of your vehicle getting impounded due to lack of appearing is also much higher, and your license may also face the risk of suspension. Therefore, if you are summoned to the court for a penalty for expired tags, ensure that you attend such summons.

What is the new California driving laws 2020 fines? 

Here are some of the fines and their charging statue that you can use as a ready reckoner to understand what fines and penalties you may be liable to pay in the state of California.

  • Under the charging statute of VC S.42001, if you have committed the offense for the first time, depending on the nature of the offense, usually, you are penalized up to $100. If you repeat a driving violation or an offense within one year from your previous offense, then you are chargeable up to $200. The third offense within one year from your previous offense can have you shelling out up to $250.
  • An important factor to remember is that the above-mentioned fines and punishment figures merely indicate the base value. This combined with additional fees and state taxes may result in you in paying almost a value that is a 4 or a 5 time multiple of the base value indicated above.

Now that you have understood how the fee/penalty structure is, the next important aspect to understand is how insurance plays a role in driving and what the consequences are of not having a California insurance license.

Driving Without Insurance License in California

One of the most important aspects while driving is to ensure that your vehicle is insured. Insurance ensures that if you ever meet with an accident, you are covered monetarily to be able to pay for the consequences of that accident, whether it be in terms of damage to material property, or to any person who has been hurt in the accident. Not just California, but most jurisdictions in the world have a mandatory requirement of insurance for drivers. There are multiple types of driving insurance that one can purchase, but usually, at least a minimum coverage policy is mandated by the state to ensure that the liability is met effectively.

driving without a license California
driving without a license California

How much is the fine for driving without insurance?

One might wonder why do I have to have a valid insurance policy and why does it make so much of a difference – it is to ensure that in the case of the accident if the persons involved in the accident are not able to make good the loss caused to the injured party as a consequence of an accident, the insurance company can then pay for the injury caused, and take over the liability of payment. It is for this reason that insurance has been mandated compulsorily. You may be wondering as to how much is the fine for no insurance, and under what law you will be charged for not having a valid insurance cover. Read on to understand this further!

Under what law will I be penalised in the state of California if I do not have valid insurance? 

Before understanding how much is the fine for driving without insurance, it will be prudent to understand under which part of the Vehicle Code you will be charged. The penalty for not having valid insurance is charged under S.16029 of the California Vehicle Code.

How much is the fine for no insurance? 

Like it has been stated earlier, it is illegal to drive in the state of California without a valid insurance policy or without a type of financial responsibility, which is not solely restricted to insurance. Some of the other accepted aspects include self-insurance, proof of cash deposit with the DMV (usually of a specific sum), surety bonds from a licensed business, etc. The main purpose of this, as has been explained earlier is to ensure that in case of an unfortunate accident, someone can foot the bills that arise from it. It is your responsibility to ensure that proof of such insurance or responsibility is with you in your vehicle each time you are driving it, and it must be carried everywhere with your license. In case it is ever demanded on the road, you should be able to produce it easily and demonstrate that you do have an active insurance cover or some other form of fiscal cover in case any liability arises, for your vehicle.

Now that you have understood why insurance is necessary and what sort of financial covers are accepted, the next obvious consideration is as to what the fines are.

  • Under VC 16029, you will have to pay a base fine of $100. Just like any other fine that has been discussed above, it must be remembered that this is just the base value and that post fees and taxes and other levies, this amount usually quadruples to a value of over $400. Just like in the case of any other traffic offense, the more number of times you repeat this offense and that you are caught without a valid insurance cover, with each additional offense, the value of the penalty that is levied as punishment also exponentially increases.
  • Furthermore, if you fail to get a valid insurance cover even after the penalties have been levied on you, there is a risk of having your car impounded, and risk of civil liability as well, in the unfortunate situation that you are involved in an accident. Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure that you have a valid insurance cover.
  • In case you have lost your license due to the lack of a valid insurance cover, get an SR-22 form as a proof of insurance from your insurance provider to get your license back. You may also like to read about Car without a down payment

How to get a restricted license in ca?

One of the other most commonly asked questions is as to how one can get a restricted license in California. A restricted license is one that is issued to you after your original license has been suspended, usually as a consequence of a DUI arrest. You can find information about how to apply for a restricted license on the page of the Motor Vehicle department of California itself, which sets out quite clearly as to what all you need and how to apply for a restricted driver’s license and what financial responsibility obligations you will have to fulfill to apply for one. You can get a license that is restricted, as the name suggests, that will allow you to use and drive your car for some basic purposes, but that will not be a full and unencumbered license like your original license. The things that you can use a restricted license are for:

  • Driving to and from work: The state recognizes that for many people, their cars are their only source of commute to work, especially in areas where public transport connectivity is not great. Therefore, to ensure that your employment is not affected, restricted licenses allow you to travel to and from work.
  • Driving for medical purposes, whether it be for yourself or your family members: Medical emergencies or other routine medical check-ups are required for the physical and mental well-being of the individual. In recognition of this importance of medical treatment, you can use your restricted license to commute to avail of medical services.
  • To transport your children or other minor dependents to their place of education in the absence of alternative means of transport.

It is important to remember that restricted licenses are only issued in case of suspension of original licenses, and not instead of, or for temporary licenses. If you so wish, you can always wait for your suspension period to end and apply for a complete license.

The procedure and the requirements to apply for a restricted license

To apply for a restricted license, you will be required to comply with a few simple steps. First and foremost, you will be required to submit proof of financial responsibility or file Form SR22 with the Department of Motor Vehicles of California. Then, you will be required to pay the reissue fee, and finally, also be required to pay a $250 fee that is a financial responsibility penalty fee.

Driving on Expired Tags California
Driving on Expired Tags California

What is the California compulsory financial responsibility law?

To ensure that there is someone to take on the financial liability in case of an accident or any other such similar situation, there is mandatory auto insurance that is required before driving a vehicle in the state of California. This includes the mandatory minimum amount that drivers are required to pay in case of negligence or case of an accident. The section that deals with the question of Financial Responsibility in the state of California are VC 16078. As stated earlier, it is mandatory to either have a surety bond, insurance, or a lump sum cash deposit of $35000 with the Motor Vehicle Department of California. Furthermore, proof of such financial responsibility must be carried with the driver at all times, and in case it is requested by the police, or during times of vehicle registration, or in case of an accident, must be readily produced.

Therefore, if you are wondering about various fines and penalties about driving and other vehicle-related offenses in the state of California, it makes sense to understand not just how much fines and penalties that you may be required to pay, but also to understand under which law and code you are charged those fines. Furthermore, the timelines by which you should pay and how to alter the situation in case you have been issued a citation for a traffic violation are also aspects that you must consider and take into account. Remember, that if you are a responsible driver and pay all your fees and penalties on time, not only can you ensure a good driving record, but also save considerably!

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