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Recall Alert! Are Your Air Bags Safe?

air bag expandingThis week, millions of Americans have been asking themselves “are my air bags safe?” after the Department of Transportation announced the largest motor vehicle recall in the nation’s history. This recall is meant to address severe defects in several types of air bags manufactured by Takata, the fourth largest air bag maker in the world. Already, these faulty frontal air bags have been tied to at least six deaths and over 100 injuries globally.

There’s a good chance that your car will be recalled too, as the recall applies to 33.8 million cars and trucks in the United States alone—that’s one in every seven vehicles in the country! While you’re most likely to be affected if you drive a Honda model from 2001 to 2008, drivers of BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota vehicles built between 2001 and 2011 all face a potential recall.

If you feel like this isn’t the first time you’re hearing about an air-bag-related recall, you’re not mistaken. Just last year, in fact, over 16 million cars were recalled for defective Takata air bags. For years, various groups have called the safety of Takata’s air bags into question, but until now, the company has refused to fully accept responsibility for the problem.

In fact, Takata continued to use the same defective technology to replace some of the faulty air bags covered by earlier recalls. This means that even if your car was affected by a previous recall and you’ve already had your air bags replaced, you may need to get them fixed again!

The Reason for the Recall

When a vehicle gets into a collision, a sophisticated system of sensors and computers sends a signal to an inflator in each air bag. This ignites a propellant in the inflator, generating nitrogen gas and causing the air bag to expand and deflate in a fraction of a second. Altogether, the whole process takes about half as long as it takes you to blink.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. In the recalled Takata air bags, the propellant is based on ammonia nitrate, a common compound used in fertilizer. Over time, this propellant can degrade, especially if it’s exposed to moisture or fluctuating temperatures. (Indeed, the problem seems to be worst in places with high humidity.)

As the propellant degrades, the chances grow that it will ignite too rapidly in a collision, rupturing the inflator and shooting metal shrapnel through the fabric of the bag as rapidly as it expands. This CNN segment from last year shows what happens when the inflator explodes:

When you consider that air bags inflate at a rate of up to 200 mph, it’s easy to see why this situation can be so frightening—and so dangerous. Can you imagine getting into a minor crash only to lose an eye, or worse, crashing because the air bag exploded in your face? It’s already happened to dozens of drivers, and if your car is recalled and you ignore it, it could happen to you, too.

How to Make Your Air Bags Safe Again

mechanic fixing carIf your car has been recalled due to an air bag defect (or for any other reason!), you should receive notice from the manufacturer that will let you know what to do. However, if you’ve moved, bought your car used, or just want to be safe, you can also use your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to find out if your car has been recalled. (Your car’s VIN number can be found on your registration documents and on the dashboard near the windshield wipers.)

Given the number of vehicles affected by the recall, it may take several weeks for manufacturers to notify all owners and for all vehicles to be added to the recall database, so be patient and remember to recheck your VIN number in a few weeks if you think you might be affected. You can also check the manufacturer’s website or call your dealer (or another dealership that sells your model) to get the latest information about the recall status of your car.

So, if your car is recalled, what does that mean for you? Are you going to have to replace your car? Fortunately, it’s a lot easier than that. In general, all you’ll have to do is bring your car into a dealership and they’ll replace the defective air bag parts—for free—even if your car is no longer under warranty. Some manufacturers are even giving drivers a car to borrow while theirs is under repair.

The bad news is that you may need to wait a while before you can get your air bags replaced. After all, to fix 34 million defective air bags, you need to have 34 million replacements, and it’s going to take time to make them all. And though Takata is boosting production on replacement parts, it’s still likely to be a couple of years before every recalled vehicle can be fixed. Priority is likely to be given to more affected vehicle models and drivers in humid regions, so be sure to check with your dealer first to find out when you can bring your car in for repairs.

A Reminder: Air Bags Save Lives

With such a large recall, some people may be wondering if they can have the air bags in their car turned off, or even if air bags are worth the risks in the first place. So it’s important to remember that air bags play a crucial role in protecting you in a crash.

As tragic and pointless as it is to lose any lives to a manufacturing flaw, air bags are nevertheless estimated to save over 2,000 people every year and to have saved over 40,000 lives since 1975. Even in recalled cars, you’re still more likely to be saved than to be injured by an air bag if you get into a crash.

So if your car is recalled, you probably don’t need to stop driving it until you can get the air bags replaced. That said, there are always certain things you should do to minimize the risk of an air bag injury—whether they’re defective or not:

  • air bags safe distance from wheelMaintain at least ten inches between your chest and the steering wheel
  • Grip the lower half of the wheel with your knuckles on the outside
  • If you have tilt steering, direct the steering wheel at your chest, not your face
  • Always wear your seat belt

Keep in mind that the closer you are to the steering wheel, the more likely you are to be injured. For that reason, shorter drivers who need to sit close to the dashboard to reach the control pedals are more at risk. These drivers should contact the manufacturer if their car’s been recalled to see if their repairs can be prioritized.

If you’re still worried about driving a recalled car, you may also consider using another form of transportation, such as a bus, bike, rental car, or carpool, so you can minimize your driving until your vehicle can be fixed. And of course, the best thing to do is drive safely! If you don’t get into a collision, you won’t really need to worry about whether your air bags are safe in the first place.

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You’re Talking—and DriversEd.com Is Listening!

If you’ve taken one of our courses, you know that there’s no shortage of ways to get in touch with us. We love your feedback, so we try to make it easy for you to give it to us: we have live chat and phone operators standing by 24/7, we read every email we get, we take feedback from inside our course player, and when a student completes our course, we ask them how it went, and we ask them to rate us from 1 to 5 stars.

The vast majority of comments we receive are positive, which is actually very helpful. When we see which lessons and teaching strategies get the most positive feedback, we learn about what’s most interesting and understandable to our students. When students are engaged with material that makes sense to them, real learning happens! That means more safe drivers—something we’re truly committed to at DriversEd.com.

On the other side of the coin, we do receive some negative feedback. Case in point: two of our employees recently noticed that our Texas 32-Hour Drivers Ed course was receiving a significant number of 1-star reviews, so we decided to look into it. After deep-diving into feedback from inside the course player and from the end-of-course survey, reading over 10,000 comments along the way, we were able to pin down the primary sources of the problem: course length and test question difficulty.

Word cloud for Texas 32-Hour Drivers Ed user feedback

 

When it comes to the length of our Texas Teen Drivers Ed course, unfortunately, our hands are tied. State regulations require our online course to be no less than 32 hours long—and that’s still a far cry from the 56 hours required if you take the course in a classroom!.

A snail on a plant stem

However, after carrying out a thorough review of the test questions used in the course, and in particular the course’s movie quiz questions, we came to agree with our students: some of our movie quiz questions were too challenging! Many students commented that, after paying close attention to the safe driving tips in a movie, they were baffled when the movie quiz asked something like: “Which of the characters in the video was wearing sunglasses?”

Although state regulations require us to ask questions the student would not be able to answer without watching the movie, we found that we could work within the rules to bring our test questions closer into alignment with our students’ expectations. So we wrote more than 50 new questions for over 20 movies used in the course, obtained the required regulatory approval for the changes, and today, we rolled them out in an update to our course!

Time—and copious amounts of helpful user feedback—will tell whether we’ve found the right solution to our Texas 32-Hour Teen Drivers Ed students’ movie quiz question woes. We’ll keep our ears to the ground to see how our students respond to these changes in the coming months. Rest assured, at DriversEd.com, we don’t just listen to your comments—we act on them!

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Beat the Heat: Dehydrated Driving is Dangerous Driving

dry desert roadYou know those movies where someone’s lost in the desert, desperate for anything that could slake their thirst? It’s a situation that always seems to reduce people to the same desperate condition: staggering, clumsy, unable to think clearly, even seeing things that aren’t there. Now, instead of alone on some sandy dune, picture this same parched person behind the wheel. If you were on the road, would you want to be anywhere near them?

Even though, like all movies, these scenes are exaggerated, they’re not as far from reality as you might think. In fact, even typical levels of dehydration can impair your mental clarity, focus and concentration, and reaction time. Being dehydrated can also give you headaches, impair your muscle function, make it harder to think, and put you in a bad mood.

If these symptoms sound familiar, they should: after all, they’re many of the same harmful effects of alcohol that make it so dangerous to drive drunk. So it should come as no surprise that dehydrated driving can be dangerous, too. In fact, new research has revealed that dehydration can impair a driver’s performance as much as having a BAC of 0.08%—the legal limit for drinking and driving.

The Facts About Dehydrated Driving

To determine the effects of dehydration on drivers, researchers at Loughborough University in Britain used a driving test that simulated two hours of monotonous driving with bends, hard shoulders, rumble strips, and slow-moving vehicles that the driver needed to pass. Participants in the study were tested twice. On the first day, the drivers were provided with about a cup of water every hour, while on the second they were given only a few sips per hour.

wrong turn driver errorWhat the researchers found was that, when properly hydrated, the test group collectively committed 47 driving errors (such as drifting, late braking, and crossing the rumble strip or lane line). But in the dehydrated driving test, these same drivers committed 101 errors—more than twice as many as they did before! According to Professor Ron Maughan, who led the study, these results suggest that “drivers who are not properly hydrated make the same number of errors as people who are over the [legal BAC] limit.

Keep in mind that these numbers only reflect the effects of mild dehydration, as participants did get a small amount of water to drink during the second test. Going a long time without drinking anything at all is likely to compromise your driving much more severely.

Give Yourself a Break

Before you leave on a long drive, do you use the bathroom and try to avoid drinking much water so you won’t have to stop on the way? While this might save you a little time, the truth is that you’ll have a safer and more pleasant trip if you take a break every hour or so. Taking a short break occasionally can help you:

  • teen girl drinkingAvoid dehydrated driving: If you know you’ll be taking regular breaks, you’ll have no reason not to drink enough water before you go. And a break is a perfect opportunity to rehydrate yourself so you feel rejuvenated when you get back on the road.
  • Avoid drowsy driving: The monotony of long trips can lull drivers into a drowsy trance. By giving yourself a chance to stretch, walk around, and rest your eyes every once in a while, you can stay more physically and mentally alert.
  • Avoid distracted driving: While it’s a good idea to keep your energy up with water and snacks when you’re on a long trip, you should already know that eating and drinking are dangerous distractions when you’re behind the wheel. Instead, find a rest stop or gas station where you can stop and take it easy for a few minutes. After all, your car may be in need of refueling, too!

Summer Safety

juice for altitude sicknessWith summer approaching, it’s especially important to stay hydrated. On a 70 degree day, the inside temperature of a parked car can reach over 100 degrees in half an hour. Extreme heat can intensify dehydration and cause discomfort, light-headedness, and even heat stroke. On hot days, be especially sure you drink plenty of water or other hydrating liquids.

Keep in mind that not all beverages are equally effective at preventing dehydrated driving. Water, juice, and sports drinks are all good hydrators, while coffee, soft drinks, and other caffeinated beverages are more likely to dry you out. And of course alcohol will dehydrate you and amplify the effects of dehydration, severely impairing your driving ability!

This summer, make sure every drive is a safe and pleasant drive. Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, and always drink enough water before you get behind the wheel.

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DriversEd.com is joining the Bay Area Bike Challenge!

Bay Area Bike Challenge logoThe 2015 Bay Area Bike Challenge officially starts today, and DriversEd.com is excited to throw our helmets in the ring!

Why We’re Participating

Even though our specialty is driving, we’re not just drivers—we’re bicyclists too! We’re participating in the Bay Area Bike Challenge this year to recognize and celebrate another wonderful way to travel.

As a drivers education company, we’re committed to making the road a safer place for everyone, including bicyclists and pedestrians. A lot of us here at DriversEd.com commute to work by bicycle, motorcycle, public transit, or foot.

Why We Like to Ride

Bicycles are awesome, and the benefits to riding are endless. Here are just a few reasons we sometimes choose two wheels over four, and why we’re excited about the Bay Area Bike Challenge.

  1. Exercise
    Biking is a fun and easy way to exercise. An average American weighing 195.5 pounds will burn 177 calories for every 30 minutes of easy bicycling. Other health benefits include decreased stress, improved fitness and coordination, and much more.
  1. Fun
    Even babies on tricycles know that pedaling around is fun. There’s nothing quite like rolling down the road on a bike, powered only by your own two legs, and feeling the wind in your face.
  1. Reducing greenhouse gases
    An average car produces 7 to 10 tons of greenhouse gases every year. In comparison, a bicycle only requires fossil fuels for the manufacturing of parts and the bicycle itself.
  1. Jumpstarting the day
    Biking helps us start the day with more energy—both physically and mentally. We’re always awake, energetic, and ready to work after a brisk bicycle commute
  1. Being better drivers
    Every good driver knows how to share the road. Our experiences as pedestrians and bicyclists teach us to be more aware and careful of other road users when we get behind the wheel.

Our Bay Area Bike Challenge Goals

DriversEd.com's unofficial Bay Area Bike Challenge stats from our practice run

DriversEd.com’s unofficial stats from our practice run

How many miles can we ride in 31 days? So far, three of us have signed up. During our practice run, we biked over 30 miles and burned 1,400 calories! Whew! But practice is only practice. Now that the Bike Challenge has officially started, the competition is getting serious.

Not counting Memorial Day, there are 20 workdays in May. If we all ride our bikes to work every day, we’ll cover 232 miles during just our daily commutes!

Here’s the math:

  • Raúl’s daily round-trip commute is 2.6 miles.
  • Flink’s daily round-trip commute is 4 miles.
  • Angela’s daily round-trip commute is 5 miles.
  • Our combined daily commute is 11.6 miles.
  • Estimated total commute in May: 11.6 miles x 20 days = 232 miles

Now, let’s say we each bike an extra 10 miles during the week for running errands, meeting up with friends, or just plain fun. There are 4 full weeks in May, so that adds up to another 120 miles on weekdays. And with the excellent weather and Memorial Day holiday, I bet we’ll each cover about 10 miles over 5 weekends for an extra 150 miles.

Add everything up, and that’s a grand total of about 500 miles for DriversEd.com in the Bay Area Bike Challenge!

But if we literally go the extra mile, and if we can convince more colleagues join the challenge, maybe we can make our stretch goal of 600 miles. That means my personal goal is to bike at least 200 miles this month!

Think we can do it? Place your bets in the comments, and check back in June to find out!

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Como obtener tú licencia a través de la revisión secundaria AB 60

El Proyecto de Ley 60 (AB 60) es una nueva ley estatal que permite a los indocumentados de California solicitar una licencia de conducir AB 60. ¡Desde que la ley entró en vigor el 1 de enero, más de 210,000 personas han recibido licencias! Pero de acuerdo al DMV de California, cerca de 17,000 solicitantes siguen esperando pasar por el proceso de revisión secundaria AB 60.

¿Qué es el proceso de revisión secundaria AB 60?

Si estás solicitando una licencia de conducir AB 60, necesitas tener comprobante de tu identidad y comprobante de residencia en California. Revisa la página 1 de la lista de documentos aceptables del DMV para ver lo que podrías utilizar como prueba de identidad.

Si no tienes ninguno de estos documentos aceptables, podrás pasar por el proceso de revisión secundaria AB 60. Esto significa que podrás entregar todos los documentos como sean posibles para comprobar tu identidad.

El DMV también podrá referirte al proceso de revisión secundaria si encuentra en tu solicitud de licencia de conducir información que entra en conflicto con tus récords. Si el DMV te refiere a la revisión secundaria, se te enviara un Aviso de Remisión para la segunda revisión (DL 209 A) que se parece a esto.

Cómo funciona el proceso de revisión secundaria

Para el proceso de revisión secundaria AB 60, necesitarás reunir tantos documentos como sea posible para comprobar tu identidad. Esto incluye documentos escolares, acta de matrimonio, devolución de impuestos de U.S. y más. Revisa la página 2 de la lista de documentos del DMV para ver todos los documentos que deberías de usar para la revisión secundaria.

Una vez que hayas entregado tu aplicación para el proceso de revisión secundaria AB 60, la División de Investigaciones del DMV (INV) revisará tus documentos. Ellos pueden programar una entrevista contigo. El DMV ha dicho que el proceso de revisión secundaria podrá tomar hasta 90 días, y para algunos solicitantes ha tomado más tiempo, así que ten paciencia.

Información para poseedores de licencias previas.

El DMV guarda la información de todas las solicitudes de licencias de conducir del pasado. Si anteriormente tuviste una licencia de conducir de California, el DMV todavía tiene registros de la información que utilizaste para aplicar en el pasado.

Si utilizaste información falsa (como un nombre falso o número de Seguro Social) para solicitar tu licencia anterior, la solicitud de una licencia AB 60 puede ser riesgosa. Antes de aplicar deberías de hablar con un abogado. El DMV podría iniciar un procedimiento legal por fraude si creen que has intentado cometer fraude o robo de identidad.

Cuándo consultar a un abogado

El DMV proporcionara tu información si se solicita por las agencias de ley, como Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE), el departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS), o cualquier otra organización gubernamental. Si ICE o la agencia de ley te está buscando, la solicitud de una licencia de AB 60 puede ser riesgosa.

Si no estás seguro de solicitar una licencia AB 60, deberías obtener asesoramiento de un abogado con licencia y de confianza.

Es posible que desees hablar con un abogado si alguna de las siguientes situaciones aplica a ti:

  • Si has utilizado información falsa al solicitar una licencia de conducir de California en el pasado.
  • Si tu nombre o número de Seguro Social está vinculado con actividad criminal.
  • Si tienes una orden de deportación pendiente o anterior de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE)
  • Si tienes alguna duda o no estás seguro acerca de la solicitud.
  • Si tienes algún caso legal en procedimiento.

Maneja California es una coalición de defensores de los derechos de inmigrantes, organizaciones basadas en la comunidad, proveedores de servicio, organizaciones basadas en la fe y defensores de los derechos de los trabajadores. Es posible que puedas obtener ayuda legal y asesoramiento de alguno de estos grupos o de la Coalición por los Derechos Humanos de los Inmigrantes de Los Angeles (CHIRLA) para la revisión secundaria AB 60.

Consejos:

  • Se paciente. El proceso de revisión secundaria AB 60 puede tomar hasta 90 días o más.
  • Los documentos extranjeros deben ser traducidos en Inglés por un profesional y notariado. Actas de nacimiento necesitan ser traducidas y tener una Apostilla auténtica.
  • Si no tienes un número de Seguro Social, deja esa sección de tu solicitud en blanco. No utilices información falsa en tu solicitud.
  • Ten cuidado con el fraude. El costo de una licencia de conducir de California es de $33. No pagues a nadie, excepto al DMV para tu licencia de conducir.

Si tienes cualquier otra pregunta sobre el proceso de revisión secundaria AB 60 o de como solicitar una licencia AB 60, DriversEd.com ofrece recursos gratuitos en Español y en Inglés. Consulta nuestras Preguntas Frecuentes o mándanos un mensaje en Facebook y haremos nuestro mejor esfuerzo para responderte tus preguntas o guiarte en la dirección correcta.

AB 60 Informacion

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Unpaid Tickets? You Could Lose Your License!

driver looking in rearview mirrorIt’s been a long day. You’re tired and cranky and just want to pick up a quick bite and get home as soon as you can. But when you get to your favorite take-out spot: Disaster! There’s no place for you to park!

But wait! Is that—? There’s enough room, but…Drat! It’s in a red zone! Still…you’ve already called in your order, and you’re only going to be a minute anyway, so there’s hardly any risk. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?

It’s Worse Than You Think

If you think that a cheap ticket you can afford to ignore is the biggest risk you face when you park in an illegal spot, drive with a broken taillight, or commit any other minor violation to save yourself a bit of time or inconvenience, think again! According to a pair of recent studies in California and Missouri, more and more local governments are raising funds by tacking hundreds of dollars in fees on top of the basic costs of a traffic ticket.

scale of justiceWhat’s worse, in many cases, the penalty for unpaid tickets is a license suspension. In California, for instance, if you’re issued a $100 parking ticket for parking in that red zone, with fees you’ll end up owing $490. Then, if you fail to meet the initial deadline to pay the ticket or appear in court, the amount you owe will rise to $815 and your license will be immediately suspended. And when your license is suspended for unpaid fines, you’ll have to pay the entire amount you owe to get your license back—or even just to get a hearing!

That’s right: even if the ticket was issued mistakenly, drivers in California and many other states typically cannot have their case heard in court until they’ve already paid the full amount of their fine. In practice, this means that if you can’t afford to pay the ticket, you also won’t be able to afford to have the court review your case. And in Missouri, where in many communities citations are issued at a rate of more than one per person each year, drivers who fail to appear in court to resolve a ticket can end up behind bars!

The True Costs of Unpaid Tickets

Historically, traffic tickets and license suspensions have been tools to discourage people from engaging in unsafe driving practices. But in recent years, governments have begun tacking ever-increasing fees on the cost of tickets to make up for lost revenues and fund basic government services, then using license suspensions as a tool to make people pay up. For instance, in California, approximately 40% of the fees added to the cost of a ticket are used to fund the very courts that oversee traffic violations, and in Missouri, attorneys who prosecute traffic violations in one jurisdiction often serve as judges in others. Talk about conflicts of interest!

hands holding moneyRegardless of the intention, these policies can seriously impact a driver’s life, especially if he or she is someone who’s already struggling to make ends meet. After all, it’s one thing to have to scrape together $100, but it’s simply unrealistic to expect that the majority of drivers can cover a fine of almost $500 just like that. And when you can’t pay, you’ll be fined even more and your license will be taken away until you can—but of course, if you can’t drive, it’s going to be much harder to earn the money you need to get your license back!

Although they were intended to help keep the government running, these policies are taking a serious toll on the state’s economy: in California, 4.3 million drivers licenses were suspended between 2006 and 2013 but only 70,000 of those licenses were reinstated! Currently, one in six drivers in California has a suspended license, and collectively these drivers are carrying over $10 billion in court-ordered debt that they simply can’t pay.

These numbers look bad enough as it is, but when you realize that following a license suspension, 42% of people lose their jobs as a result, you can start to understand just how costly unpaid tickets can be! Also keep in mind that, of those who lose their jobs, 45% cannot find another, and of those who can find another, 88% make less than they did before.

How to Avoid a License Suspension

woman with car stuck in sandAs these facts should make clear, there’s no such thing as a cheap ticket. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to avoid unpaid tickets, an unnecessary license suspension, and possibly even imprisonment:

  • Drive well: It should go without saying, but the best way to avoid tickets and collisions is to drive defensively and apply the safe driving practices you learned in your drivers ed course. By following the law and interacting courteously with others on the road, you’ll avoid giving the police a reason to issue you a ticket in the first place.
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks: Even if you’re just speeding 5 mph over the limit or making a turn from the wrong lane on a clear roadway, you’re breaking the law and could be cited. Sure, that spot in the red zone may look tempting, but finding another parking space will be a lot easier than the hassle of dealing with a ticket.
  • Act fast: If you are issued a ticket, deal with it as quickly as you can. If you can’t afford the cost but know someone who can loan you money, ask them if they can help. If you wait too long you’ll lose your license, making it much harder to fix the problem.
  • Learn your options: Make sure you read your ticket and any other correspondence you receive carefully. In general, you will receive further information about discharging your ticket in the mail, but even if you don’t, you must resolve the issue in a timely manner. If you’re required to attend traffic school, enroll in a class immediately. Consult a lawyer if possible.

Don’t let a minor inconvenience turn into a major headache! If you want to keep your license, avoid taking shortcuts on the road, deal with maintenance problems promptly, always park safely and legally, and take care of any unpaid tickets as soon as possible.

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How to get your license through AB 60 secondary review

Assembly Bill 60 (AB 60) is a new state law that lets undocumented Californians apply for an AB 60 drivers license. Since the law went into effect on January 1, over 210,000 people have received licenses! But according to the California DMV, about 17,000 applicants are still waiting to go through the AB 60 secondary review process.

What is AB 60 secondary review?

If you’re applying for an AB 60 license, you need to have proof of your identity and proof of California residency. Check page 1 of the DMV’s list of acceptable documents to see what you can use for proof of identity.

If you don’t have any of these acceptable documents, you can go through the AB 60 secondary review process instead. That means you submit as many other documents as possible to prove your identity.

The DMV may also refer you to the secondary review process if it finds information on your drivers license application that conflicts with its records. If the DMV refers you to secondary review, they will send you a Secondary Review Referral Notice (DL 209A) that looks like this.

How the secondary review process works

For the AB 60 secondary review process, you’ll need to gather as many documents as possible to prove your identity. This includes your school documents, marriage license, U.S. income tax returns, foreign passport, and more. Check page 2 of the DMV’s documents list to see all the documents you should use for secondary review.

Once you’ve submitted your application for the AB 60 secondary review process, the DMV Investigations Division (INV) will review your documents. They may schedule an interview with you. The DMV has said that secondary review can take up to 90 days, and for some applicants it has taken even longer, so be patient.

Information for previous license holders

The DMV saves information from all past drivers license applications. If you previously had a California drivers license, the DMV still has records of the information you used to apply in the past.

If you used false information (such as a false name or Social Security number) to apply for your previous license, applying for an AB 60 license can be risky. You should talk to a lawyer before you apply. The DMV may pursue a case for fraud if they believe that you attempted to commit fraud or identity theft.

When to consult a lawyer

The DMV will provide your information if requested by law enforcement agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or any other government organization. If ICE or law enforcement is looking for you, applying for an AB 60 license can be risky.

If you’re not sure if you should apply for an AB 60 license, you should get advice from a licensed and trusted attorney.

You may want to talk to a lawyer if any of the following situations apply to you:

  • If you used false information to apply for a California drivers license in the past.
  • If your name or Social Security Number is linked to criminal activity.
  • If you have an outstanding or previous deportation order from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • If you have any concerns or are unsure about applying.
  • If you have any on-going legal cases.

Drive California is a coalition of immigrants’ rights advocates, community-based organizations, service providers, faith-based organizations and workers’ rights advocates. You may be able to get legal help and advice about AB 60 secondary review from one of these groups or from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA).

Tips:

  • Be patient. The AB 60 secondary review process can take up to 90 days or longer.
  • Foreign documents need to be translated into English by professional and notarized. Foreign birth certificates need to be translated and have an Apostille authentication.
  • If you don’t have a Social Security number, leave that section of your application blank. Do not use false information on your application.
  • Beware of fraud. The cost of a California drivers license is $33. Do not pay anyone except the DMV for your drivers license.

If you have any other questions about AB 60 secondary review or how to apply for an AB 60 license, DriversEd.com offers free resources in both English and Spanish. Check our FAQ or message us on Facebook and we’ll do our best to answer your questions or point you in the right direction.

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Looking for a California AB 60 Drivers License? We Can Help!

California AB 60 Facebook GroupA new California law, called AB 60, now allows the DMV to issue drivers licenses to California residents who can not provide documentation of their immigration status. The response has been tremendous, with the DMV administering nearly half a million—that’s million—new exams since January 2!

However, just 57,000 California AB 60 drivers licenses have been issued so far, in part due to a pass rate for Spanish-language tests of only 36%.

That’s why we’ve introduced our California AB 60 Centro de Información! We want this to be the definitive source of information and help for anybody and everybody who seeks an AB 60 drivers license. It’s a Spanish-language page, with the following helpful resources:

  • California AB 60 Drivers License Factsheet: A one-page guide to getting an AB 60 license.
  • Free Practice Tests: Prepare to take the DMV’s written exam with these practice tests. The questions are real questions asked by the DMV, so there’s no better way to prepare for the test.
  • Useful Links: There are many good resources out there, but some of what’s out there isn’t so good. We’ve collected a few of the very best items to help California residents earn an AB 60 license.

Best of all, we’ve set up a facebook community for people to ask questions, talk about their experiences, and connect with other people who are seeking their AB 60 drivers license.

At DriversEd.com, we’ve been the leader in online driver education since we launched our California driver education course way back in 2002. We take enormous pride in helping people of any age learn how to drive safely, and we strive to help people work through the process of earning their first license. it is generally a complicated process, and we are dedicated to helping drivers get through it safely and successfully.

As the leaders in online driver education, and as a proud California company, we are committed to preparing all kinds of drivers in our community to be the best, safest drivers they can be. We are providing these AB 60 resources as a 100% free service to ensure that as many people as possible have access to them. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to us in the comments, on facebook, or by email, at AB60DriversEd.com.

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Share Your #FreeToDrive Moment!

You’ve been waiting basically forever for this awesome moment: the moment when you finally get your drivers license. When you have finally passed your drivers education course, finished all your driving lessons, and aced your test. When you can finally go off campus for lunch, drive to the mall without your mom, or start planning your very first road trip. When you are finally #FreeToDrive.

Now that you’ve earned your license, it’s time to celebrate! Post a photo or video of your #FreeToDrive moment so everyone can celebrate with you.

We’ll feature your submission in our gallery and you might even get featured on the DriversEd.com or I Drive Safely website (with your permission, of course)!

Celebrate your #FreeToDrive moment#FreeToDrive PDF link

  1. Snap a photo or make a 15-second video that shows what it’s like to be free to drive!
  2. Post it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Don’t forget the #FreeToDrive hashtag.
  3. Check out the gallery below and share with your friends!

Some rules are meant to be broken, but not these:

  • Use the #FreeToDrive banner in your photo or video so everyone knows what it’s all about.
  • Your privacy is important! Don’t use your drivers license or any personal identification information in your photo or video or it will be removed.
  • Check out the full terms and conditions before you share your photo or video. We reserve the right to delete submissions from the gallery.
  • If you see something in the gallery that violates the terms and conditions, report it to Info@DriversEd.com and we’ll look into it.

And an important reminder…
No selfies while driving! After all the hours it took to earn your license, you definitely don’t want to blow it by doing something stupid like crashing your car because of distracted driving. If you have to use your cell phone, pull over or do it before you start the car.

So now that you’re licensed and #FreeToDrive, get out there and hit the streets! We’ll see you on the road.

Still need to earn your license?

Get started with drivers education from I Drive Safely and then take in-car lessons with DriversEd.com! You’ll be on the road in no time.

DEcom-logo I Drive Safely logo

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Stranded on the Highway? The Freeway Service Patrol Will Save You

Freeway Service Patrol for car trouble

If your car breaks down on a California highway, who should you call? Your best friend? No. Your mom? No. Your mechanic, your notary public, or your lawyer? No, no, and no. Take it from one who knows: call the Freeway Service Patrol.

Earlier this summer, the car I was driving suddenly stalled in the middle of 580. Luckily it kept rolling just far enough to reach a safe spot before dying completely. So there I was on the side of the highway in the 90-degree midday heat, waiting for a friend with AAA Emergency Roadside Service to come bail me out.

Two hours later, my friend had gotten lost and I was sweating enough to fill a small salty sea, when a tow truck with a Freeway Service Patrol logo pulled up behind me. A uniformed driver climbed out and asked me if I needed help. Most definitely yes, I replied. And in a matter of minutes, my car was towed off the freeway to a safe and shady cul-de-sac where I waited for my friend to arrive.

“Actually, I’m surprised someone didn’t spot you earlier,” the driver told me before he left. “Next time you have trouble, you should call us.”

And that’s the story of how the California Freeway Service Patrol saved me from dying of heat exhaustion on the side of the highway.

What’s the Freeway Service Patrol?

So, what exactly is the Freeway Service Patrol? It’s a fleet of tow trucks trained, certified, and contracted by the California Highway Patrol to circulate freeways during rush hours and help motorists with car trouble. The basic idea is to keep traffic flowing smoothly and safely.

Sponsored by the California Highway Patrol, Caltrans, and local transportation agencies, the Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) has a fleet of 350 tow trucks covering over 1,750 miles of California highways.

Besides the San Francisco Bay Area, the FSP operates in 13 other areas: El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange County, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.

What services does the FSP offer?Bay Area Freeway Service Patrol logo

When you’re stranded on the freeway, here’s what the Freeway Service Patrol can do to get you back up and running:

  • Give you a gallon of gas
  • Jumpstart a dead battery
  • Change a flat tire
  • Refill your radiator and tape split hoses

If the FSP can’t provide a quick fix for you, they’ll tow you off the freeway to a designated drop-off location. They can also take you to a payphone or contact the CHP for more assistance if needed.

So how do I reach the FSP?

If you have a car problem while driving on the freeway, the first thing you should do is get safely to the side of the road. To reach a dispatcher once you’re in a safe spot, dial 511 and say “Freeway Aid” or “Roadside Assistance” (it varies depending on what area you live in).

Freeway Service Patrol services are completely free during peak commute hours. If you’re stuck during non-commute hours, they can provide you with at-cost rotational tow instead.

But do keep in mind that the Freeway Service Patrol is for non-emergency situations only. If you’ve been in a collision, or if you’re stuck in live traffic or a dangerous spot, you should call 911 so the CHP can get you to safety as soon as possible.

So now you know:
511 Freeway Service Patrol flyer from CHP, MTC Safe, and Caltrans

But what’s even better than getting bailed out by the FSP for free is not breaking down in the first place. So remember to drive safely and keep your car properly maintained!

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