Santa Paula Times

“Ask George” - Expert Answers to Common DMV Questions

May 23, 2008
Santa Paula News

Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration or insurance?

By George Valverde - Director, California Department of Motor VehiclesDo you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration or insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California Department of Motor Vehicles has answers. “Save Time, Go Online,” at Now, readers can submit any DMV-related questions to!Q: If I lost my Driver License Renewal-by-Mail (RBM) Notice containing my Internet Renewal Identification Number (RIN), can I call and have another RIN sent to me?A: No, DMV cannot issue you another RIN. If you lose your RBM Notice you can go to and print a copy of the RBM Notice Form (DL 410 FO) and renew your driver license by mail.Q: I have a traffic ticket that I need to pay but I just got a new job and am nervous about taking time off of work. Is there a way I can pay my fine online? A: Yes! Go to and click the Online Services tab. You will find a link that reads Online Traffic Payment that will lead you to choose the county where the ticket was issued. From here you will be able to pay your ticket online, but remember to have your citation number handy. Q: I am an Owner/Operator of an auto dealership in California and want to see the status of my occupational license, issued through the DMV, to verify that it is up to date. Do I have to go into a field office to do this or is there an easier way? A: Go to, and click the Online Services tab, and then the link that reads Occupational License Status Information. There, you’ll be able to check the current license status of businesses licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, such as transporters, traffic violator schools, and dismantlers.
Q: I just sold one of my vehicles this morning, but the buyer was a newly licensed teenager. I filled out and sent the Transfer of Ownership papers to the DMV right away, but what can I do to make sure that I am released of liability for this vehicle as soon as possible? A: The DMV now offers an online resource to give the DMV notice of transfer and release of liability. This can be accessed by visiting and clicking the Online Services tab and then Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability. When this form is properly completed using the vehicle’s license plate and VIN numbers, the new owner’s name and address are entered, and the information is recorded by the DMV; liability for parking and/or traffic violations and civil litigation resulting from operation after the date of sale becomes the responsibility of the new buyer. Please note: Reporting the sale or transfer of a vehicle or boat to the department does not constitute a transfer of ownership. The record is not permanently transferred out of your name until the department receives a completed application for transfer of ownership and payment of appropriate fees from the new owner. Q: I requested an administrative hearing with the DMV recently and was notified that I need to go to a DMV Driver Safety Office location. What are these and where can I find one? A: You can find a DMV Driver Safety Office Location online at There are currently 12 DMV Driver Safety Offices located throughout the state for those drivers requesting administrative hearings or scheduled for departmental re-examinations. In most circumstances when DMV orders a discretionary action against a person’s driving privilege, that person has the right to an administrative hearing before the department to contest the action and review the evidence supporting it. Following the administrative hearing, the Driver Safety Hearing Officer will make a decision to uphold (sustain), modify, or rescind (set aside) the DMV action. To locate the nearest Driver Safety Office, visit and click the Offices tab, then click Driver Safety Locations for the list of offices and hours of operation. For more information on administrative hearings, click the Driver License tab, then Driver Safety Information, and Driver Safety Administrative Hearings. Q: I would like to go to a DMV investigations office to formally file a complaint on a used car dealership that sold me a car six months ago and never completed the transfer of registration. Where can I find one of these offices? A: You can find one of these offices online at On the home page, click the Offices tab, and then click Investigation Offices. Click the nearest city name for the list of office locations and hours of operation. It would be best to call and schedule an appointment first and, please note, these offices do not provide basic driver licensing or vehicle registration services and exist solely for consumer protection issues including complaints against car dealer, victims of identity theft, or other consumer protection issues involving the purchase of a vehicle or identity theft.