Friday, August 31, 2012


Virginia DMV App Available for Your Smartphone

Conduct Transactions, Find Closest Offices, Check Wait Times

RICHMOND - The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles recently launched an Android mobile operating system application that allows customers to access DMV services through their Android-based smartphones.

The new VADMV app has a wide range of features including access to more than two dozen DMV transactions. VADMV app users can set up a myDMV account, create a personal identification number and conduct a variety of transactions including renewing decals and driver's licenses.

The app has an office locator feature that uses a smartphone's global positioning system (GPS) to locate the customer, and to display the closest DMV offices and their average wait times. If users select a specific DMV office, details such as hours and HAZMAT fingerprinting availability are displayed. Users may tap or select the DMV office's address to obtain driving directions. If a customer wants to talk to a DMV representative before traveling to an office, tapping on the DMV phone number will automatically dial it.

"If a customer is applying for a driver's license, for example, they can read the driver's manual and take a sample knowledge exam on their phone right before the real test," said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. All DMV sample knowledge exams are available through the VADMV app including the motorcycle license exam and commercial driver's license exam. Before taking a sample exam, DMV app users can view the Virginia Driver's Manual.

If users want to purchase license plates, they may browse the more than 200 specialty plates offered in Virginia. Customers can use the app's interactive feature to try out different letter and number combinations, and create a personalized license plate.

The VADMV app also includes a News and Alerts feature where users can get the latest DMV news releases about traffic safety, new service options or upcoming office closures.
One feature that will soon be added to the VADMV app is the interactive Virginia crash map where users can get a street-level view of crashes on specific intersections or roadways, and generate crash statistics based on injuries, fatalities and locality. And, VADMV app users will soon be able to schedule an appointment to take their DMV road tests.

The free app is available through Virginia DMV's website at or through Andoid Market/Google Play. DMV is currently developing a similar iOS app for Apple-based products including iPhones and iPads.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


As reported by

RENO--Nevada's new state law requiring owners of off-highway vehicles, including dirt bikes, to register and title their vehicles went into effect on July 1, 2012.

The Washoe County Sheriff's and District Attorney's Offices remind all owners of off-highway vehicles, or OHVs, manufactured in 1976 or newer, that they must register their vehicle and properly display the registration decal in order to legally operate their vehicles in Nevada.

According to the Nevada Commission on Off-Highway Vehicles, OHVs include, but are no limited to all-terrain vehicles, all-terrain motorcycles, dune buggies, snowmobiles, and "any motor vehicle used on public lands for the purpose of recreation."

Nevada's new statute requires that OHVs purchased prior to July 1, 2012 must be registered by July 1, 2013.  Titles are optional for OHVs purchased before July 1, 2012.

OHVs purchased after July 1, 2012 must be registered and titled within 30 days of purchase.

Registration applications are accepted and decals are issued by mail only.

For additional resources and information about the registration and operation of Off-Highway vehicles in Nevada, visit the official website of the Nevada Commission on Off-Highway Vehicles at; or call (775) 684-4381.

Washoe County is currently reviewing local ordinances related to the operation of OHVs on public roads based on the state's new registration requirements.  However, all current state and local regulations and restrictions pertaining to OHV operation remain in effect, regardless of whether or not an OHV is registered, until such time as new regulations are formally adopted by the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners.

Monday, August 27, 2012



Are you (or do you know) a professional truck driver?  Do you carry a Commercial Driver’s License?  If so, some good news may be headed your way.

Currently, California law prohibits professional drivers from attending traffic school to mask citations on their records, even for citations received while driving their personal vehicles, including motorcycles.  However, this may soon change.

The law was adopted eight years ago to comply with federal rules, however many have argued that the law unfairly punishes commercial drivers by denying them access to traffic school for citations received when they are off the clock.  In fact, doing so has had a significantly negative impact on professional drivers’ abilities to maintain employment.  Most employers of commercial drivers require their drivers to maintain low point counts on their records.  Under the new law insurance companies would still be notified of the violations, but if the driver attends an approved traffic school course, such as, the POINTS would not be included, which is most significant.  It’s the number of points on a driving record that determine whether or not a driver’s license is suspended and influences most employer’s decisions whether or not to hire drivers.

Advocates for the new law argue that violations in non-commercial vehicles should be treated the same way for all drivers, whether the driver possesses a commercial driver’s license or not.

It looks like the state senate agrees.  They voted unanimously to advance the bill – AB1888 – which is now headed back to the state assembly for approval.  A majority vote would send the bill to Governor Brown’s desk.

You can follow the status of AB1888 by clicking here.



It sounds like the California Legislature has caved as they have passed a new law that allows hands-free texting while driving in California.  Beginning January 1, 2013, it will be LEGAL to TEXT while you drive –AS LONG AS YOU DON’T TOUCH YOUR PHONE.

That’s right.  Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that will allow California drivers to TEXT while driving as long as they are using “hands-free” technology.  And when they say “hands-free” they mean “hands-free.”  Although the new law sounds like it is backpeddling, under the new law you will not be able to touch your phone to text.  

Doing so would be a violation of the law and would still warrant a ticket.

So for all you iPhone users out there…. It’s time to lobby Apple to start making deals with auto-makers out there to make Apple software compatible with your vehicles. Same with Google and its Androids.  Because just the act of turning on your phone or pushing any of its buttons while driving is enough to still get you a citation.  Siri cannot help you here.  iPhones require that you push the Siri button to activate the capabilities. Androids require pushing a Google App.  Same with other phones.  However, if your phone can be controlled from your steering wheel or voice alone, then you’re in luck.

But is this a good thing?  Matt Kaminsky, president and CEO of, doesn’t think so.


“Anything that takes your attention away from the road is dangerous.  Physical distractions, such as pushing buttons and turning knobs, are only one type of distraction.  Mental distractions are just as dangerous.  Texting, emailing, posting to facebook – all these things take mental focus, even if verbalized.  My fear is that by giving drivers these capabilities, we’re encouraging them to use them even more, and increasing the dangers rather than diminishing them.”

In an attempt to sell more vehicles, auto-makers are trying to load new cars with as many bells and whistles as possible, such as hands-free commands for auto functions.  It’s no wonder that the bill, AB 1536, also known as the “Freedom to Communicate” act, was sponsored by the auto industry.

Really?  Do we really need more freedom to communicate in our vehicles?  Have our freedoms truly been compromised by restricting texting while driving?  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009, 5,474 people were killed in the U.S. and an estimated 448,000 were injured in motor vehicles that were reported to have involved distracted driving.

With numbers like – go ahead and restrict my “freedoms.” 

What do you think?