Pet protocol in vehicle

"Ask George" Expert answers to common DMV questions
By: George Valverde ? Director, California Department of Motor Vehicles
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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: What is the best way to go about getting a motorcycle license? A: The process to apply for and acquire a motorcycle license requires riders to pass a knowledge test and an on-cycle skill test. Both tests are based upon the California DMV Motorcycle handbook, and this process is intimidating for some novice riders. The California DMV encourages new or returning motorcycle riders to enroll in a Basic Rider Course after passing the DMV motorcycle written test and receiving a motorcycle permit. This course, offered by the California Motorcyclist Safety Program, provides hands-on motorcycle skill training and has trained thousands of riders over the years. This is the best way to learn about motorcycles and the skills required to operate them. Riders less than 21 years of age are required by law to complete the course prior to being licensed to operate a motorcycle. Additionally, if you complete the Basic Rider Course and present your course completion certificate, your DMV on-cycle skill test requirement will be waived. To contact the CMSP, call 1-877-RIDE-411 or visit for more information. Q: How do I find a smog check station that I know I can trust? A: This is certainly a common question, especially for people whose vehicles are relatively recent models. You can easily locate a smog check station if you go to the DMV Web site, On the home page, you?ll notice a heading that says ?How Do I?? Simply click on the drop down menu below and select ?locate a smog check station.? Once you click on that, you?ll be redirected to an online form at the Bureau of Automotive Repairs website. Just fill in the relevant information based upon your needs and where you live, and you?ll be provided with a list of local smog check centers. Q: I really enjoy spending the weekends at the beach walking my dog. While driving there, what is the proper protocol for having an animal in my car? A: This is a great question! Many people treat their pets like members of their family so it is natural to wonder about their safety while in the car. In general, your pet should be in inside your car or in the cab of your truck. If you do have a truck and wish to put your pet in the back, you must make sure they are properly secured. It is never safe to put a pet in the trunk of your car or have them loose in the bed of your truck. Also, pets can be distracting for drivers so it is best to have either a passenger hold the pet or put the animal in a pet specific seatbelt or carrying case. For more information on driving with an animal in the car please visit On the homepage click on the Publications tab, click Driver Handbook, and go to page 57 of the California Driver Handbook. 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