Santa Paula Times

“Ask the DMV”

March 22, 2013
Expert Answers to Common DMV Questions

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: Is it true that minors are never allowed to use cell phones when driving, even with a hands-free device?

A: That is correct. It is against the law for a minor to use a cell phone while driving. They are only to use cell phones when the vehicle is safely stopped or parked. If a minor violates this law, he or she will be subject to fines. The only exceptions to this law are in the event that a minor must use a cell phone in an emergency situation to contact law enforcement, a health care provider, the fire department or another emergency entity.

Q: I have a commercial driver license and want to apply for a Hazardous Materials endorsement for which I need a background check.  Where do I start first, with the DMV or with the Federal Transportation Security Administration?

A: When applying for a Hazardous Materials (HazMat) endorsement, it is highly recommended that you start the procedure by submitting all required documentation and fees to the DMV.  This will help expedite the procedure and ensure that the process runs smoothly.  For more information, visit or visit your local field office and you will be provided with a brochure specifically outlining the requirements for obtaining this endorsement.

Q: When being pulled over by law enforcement, what is the correct way to handle this situation?

A: Getting pulled over for your first time can be very daunting. However, if you are aware of what the procedure will be and what steps you need to take, it will be less stressful for you. The first thing you should do when you notice you are being pulled over is to acknowledge the police officer by turning on your right turn signal. Next you should move to the right shoulder of the road, never to the center median. For full details on the correct practice of an enforcement stop, please visit and go to page 77 in the Driver Handbook.