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Ask the DMV: Pregnant driver seeks eligibility for handicap placard

By: George Valverde
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Q: I am six months pregnant and have a hard time walking long distances. Am I eligible for a handicap placard? A: You will have to consult with your physician to determine your eligibility, but you may apply for a disabled person placard. The form can be found online on the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ Web site at www.DMV.ca.gov. Once there click on the Forms tab then click Commonly Used Forms beneath the tab. The application for disabled person placard or plates must be filled out completely and correctly by you and your licensed physician to certify that you are eligible for a disabled person placard and mailed to the address on the form. Q: My car was stolen and my parents offered to give me one of their cars that they weren’t using. Do I still have to pay the taxes on the value of the car for a title transfer? A: No, you do not have to pay the taxes on the value of the car for a title transfer. The Statement of Facts form, which can be found at www.DMV.ca.gov by clicking on the Forms tab then clicking Commonly Used Forms, indicates that any family transfers between parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, spouse, domestic partner, or siblings (if both are minors related by blood or adoption) are tax exempt. Remember to save time by making an appointment to transfer your title by visiting www.DMV.ca.gov, and clicking the online services tab. Q: I know that identity theft is a big issue these days and a big part of identity theft involves stolen and fraudulent driver licenses. Does the DMV have any information on identity theft and how I can protect myself? A: Absolutely! Visit the DMV Web site and click the Driver License tab and then the Fraud and Identity Theft Information link. There, the DMV offers a link to the Identity Theft Resource Center and other helpful sites, along with other helpful information on how to protect yourself and what to do if it should happen to you. In addition, DMV offers a fast facts brochure titled “Identity Theft (FFDL 24)” which is available in DMV field offices or online. To access the fast facts online, click the Publications tab and scroll down to the Fast Facts and Brochures link; click on Driver License and scroll down to the Identity Theft fast facts. Q: Can I get a copy of my driving record online? A: Due to identity theft concerns, you cannot obtain a driving record online at this time. The Department of Motor Vehicles has taken a leadership role for the state of California in establishing an online process for securely establishing a person’s identity. Once this process is in place, individuals will be able to access their own records online. For more information on fraud and identity theft, visit www.dmv.ca.gov. Q: I was sitting at a stop light recently when I was rear-ended by another driver. We exchanged insurance information and then went our separate ways. Does the incident need to be reported to the DMV? A: Most likely. California law requires traffic accidents which occur on state streets, highways or private property be reported to the DMV within 10 days if there was an injury, death or property damage. The law requires the driver to file an SR-1 form, regardless of fault, if the damages to property exceed $750. This is in addition to any reports filed by law enforcement. You can find the forms and more information online at www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/sr/sr1.pdf. George Valverde is the director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration or insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California DMV has answers at www.dmv.ca.gov. And now, you can submit any DMV-related questions at askdmv@dmv.ca.gov.