No! The use of credit is common in most states, but not in California, Massachusetts and or Hawaii. In the Golden State, your car insurance rate is primarily determined by your driving record and annual mileage (there may be other factors, such as the number of years licensed). Your location can come into play in other states but Proposition 103, passed by California voters in 1988, eliminated rating factors such as race and zip code (among other things).
Props again to Prop 103 for creating good-driver discount laws! This proposition has saved California’s households $8,625 per family since it was passed, thanks to the 20% premium roll-back for qualifying policyholders. To qualify, the US or Canadian drivers now living in California who have been driving for at least three years must not have: been “at fault” in an accident, received more than one point on his/her driving record, attended traffic school more than once for a traffic violation.
Yes! Thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown and law Assembly Bill 170, getting pulled over in California is slightly less panicky since you don’t have to locate the hard copy of your insurance card for the officer. BUT, be mindful of unlocking your phone to access your digital insurance card before the officer has determined whether you were cell-phoning and driving!
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs. It is optional coverage.
Unlike most states, in California, you will not incur a price penalty on your insurance premiums once covered again, but liability insurance is a minimum requirement in your state (and most others).
It is illegal for an individual to operate a motor vehicle in California with the following BAC percentages:
- .08%+ @ 21 years old or older
- .04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
- .01%+ @ < 21 years old
According to California’s implied consent law, you are only required to take a breath or blood test upon being arrested. However, if you are not arrested and refuse the test, the officer may identify additional probable causes for driving under the influence and arrest you, thus forcing you into taking the test.
Younger than 21 years old vs. 21 years or older:
- First Offense: Suspended for 1 year vs. the same penalty
- Second Offense: Revoked for 2 years vs. revoked for 2 years
- Third Offense: Revoked for 3 years vs. revoked for 3 years
For more information on California’s implied consent law, refer to California Vehicle Code Section 23612.
If convicted of a DUI, say goodbye to being financially savvy, and quite possibly, to your freedom. If arrested, you’ll face varying degrees of jail time, fines, driver’s license suspensions, community service, DUI school, and reinstatement requirements. The financial obligations extend beyond the DUI ticket to court costs, attorney fees, higher insurance rates, SR-22 filing and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) to serve as a breathalyzer test each time you start your vehicle.
According to Proposition 184 (California’s Three Strikes Law), “the law requires that a person who is convicted of a felony and who previously has been convicted of one or more violent or serious felonies be sentenced to state prison.” If convicted upon a “third strike,” the sentence is a life term with the possibility of parole after 25 years. We know you’ll concur, there is no text message, sandwich or other distraction worth the life of another person, and your own freedom.
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs. It is an optional coverage!