Santa Paula Times

“Ask George”

June 06, 2012
Expert Answers to Common DMV Questions

 By George Valverde - Director, 

California Department of Motor Vehicles

Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration and insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California Department of Motor Vehicles has answers. Save Time. Go Online at    

Q: How often may a driver attend traffic violator school in order to keep violations confidential (masked) and not part of the public record?

A:  A driver who is referred by a court to traffic violator school may have only the first violation masked in an 18-month period. Subsequent violations during the 18-month period will not be masked.

Q: I paid my registration fees online and entered my checking account information.  I received a dishonored check notice.  How is this possible?

A:  Make sure to correctly enter your bank account and routing number when making an online payment. On the DMV website,, there is an example of where to locate the bank routing numbers, so please take a look before entering your check information. 

When entering payment from an existing checking account, be sure to verify that the numbers are correct before entering the final payment.  This will ensure that we are able to locate your account and deduct the payment.

Q: What is the DMV’s policy for headgear when the license photo is taken?

A:  The department prefers the removal of headgear, unless it is part of your normal identification, or is worn because of religious beliefs. In those instances, headgear is permissible as long as the individual’s face is visible. Generally, headgear such as a baseball hat can obstruct the eyes, nose, mouth or cause dark shadows. This can result in unacceptable photographs and unnecessary return trips to our field offices.

The DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Acting Undersecretary Traci Stevens. The DMV licenses drivers, maintains driving records, registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels, investigates auto and identity-related fraud, and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools. For more information about the DMV, visit