Dominating the west coast of the United States, California holds the beaches, national forests and Hollywood stardom that continue to make it one of the most visited states in the U.S. Driving the length of California can take a full 17 hours, and the famous Route 1’s beaches and ocean-front cliffs make the hours fly by. Because California is home to several of the nation’s most populated cities, driving in urban California can be stressful and hazardous, and it’s important to carry auto insurance coverage. This list of useful information for drivers has been compiled by CheapCarInsurance.net to help drivers find cheap car insurance in California and enjoy their driving experience in the 49ers state — a name that draws credit from the famous Gold Rush of 1849 that brought thousands of people to the territory, all of them hoping to strike it rich but very few succeeding.
These are different ranges of costs you can expect to pay in CA for an auto insurance premium based on your location and the type of vehicle you are looking to insure.
Costs by County:
Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in California
$15,000 for an accident involving the death or injury of a single person.
$30,000 for an accident involving the death or injury of multiple people.
$5,000 for an accident involving property damage.
Failure to provide proof of insurance can result in vehicle impoundment, suspension of registration and/or suspension of drivers license, so it’s in your best interest to carry car insurance in California — plus auto insurance coverage is extremely helpful to have in an accident.
New Driver’s License Requirements
All drivers, and all residents who have lived in California for more than 10 days, are required to have a valid drivers license. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) outlines three tests that must be passed to obtain a regular California drivers license.
Vision Test. To pass the vision test, an applicant must be determined to have a vision acuity of 20/40 or greater. If the applicant fails, certain circumstances allow a referral to an eye specialist to be prescribed corrective lenses.
Written Test. The written test consists of 30 questions pertaining to traffic signs and laws. The California DMV provides a practice test which can be accessed at www.dmv.ca.gov. Upon successful completion of the written and vision tests, the DMV will issue the applicant a permit to allow him/her to practice driving. While driving with the permit, the applicant must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 18 years or older.
Road Test. To successfully be admitted to the road test, the applicant’s vehicle must be in proper driving order and meet the necessary requirements listed on the California DMV’s website. The test administrator will evaluate the driver in the following areas:
Safely starting the vehicle
Pay a License Fee. A $30 fee is assessed for a new driver and a renewal application.
Drivers Under the Age of 18. Applicants between the ages of 15 1/2 years and under 18 can obtain a provisional permit. The California DMV requires a parent or guardian signature on the application. To take the road test, the applicant must not only have passed the vision and written tests, they must have held their permit for 6 months, have completed a driver education course, have completed 6 hours of professional driving training and completed 50 hours of driving training with a licensed driver 25 years of age or older. This must include 10 hours of night driving.
DUI – DWI Laws
BAC limit: .08 California DUI convictions remain on a driver’s record for 10 years, and each offense results in a suspension of the driver’s license effective 30 days after the initial violation.
License suspension of 1 year on the first offense and each subsequent offense is a deterrent to drunk driving. In addition to the reinstatement fees, California law enforces severe penalties that vary according to the seriousness of the offense.
California’s Zero Tolerance Law targets drivers under 21 years of age. Under this law, the first offense will result in a 1 year license revocation, completion of DUI school and multiple fines.
There is a drivers license reissue fee for all drivers involved in DUI. For a list of the fees visit the California DMV’s fees page on their website.