A Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) exists in every State except Hawaii, where DMV functions are handled by the local government. This government agency administers driver licensing issuing and renewal, vehicle registration and certificates of ownership, or titles, among other responsibilities.


The CA DMV performs all of the above responsibilities, as well as administering the compulsory financial responsibility laws required by California. This law states that all those people who operate or own motor vehicles in California must be financially able to provide monetary protection for those people who have been either injured or have had their property damaged by being in a vehicle accident, regardless of liability, carelessness, culpability, or negligence.


If a vehicle owner receives a notice that the State intends to suspend their driving privileges because they’ve failed to give evidence of their financial responsibility, the vehicle owner is then entitled upon request to a hearing. In a State where traffic is considered worse than any other State in the US, this law plays an important role.


California has been in the public eye since it was determined that the State has over 23 million licensed drivers, substantially more than the State with the second largest number of licensed drivers, Texas, which has approximately 15 million licensed drivers. With this massive amount of drivers contributing to California’s at times horrendous traffic, it is important for the DMV to uphold their responsibility to assure that every owner of motor vehicles and every driver should be able at all times to establish their financial responsibility under Vehicle Code 16020, and should at all times have in their vehicle proof of their financial responsibility.


Vehicle Code 16070 also requires suspension of an owner or driver who fails their obligation to prove that financial responsibility was in place at the time of any reportable accident.


Vehicle Code 16075 states that the DMV department is required to hold hearings and make their determination before the actual date of the suspension.


Vehicle Code 16000 demands that every motor vehicle driver who has been part of an accident occurring on a highway or public street, must report said accident to the DMV within 10 days of the accident if anyone was either injured or killed, as well as if one person’s property sustained damages costing over $750.


Vehicle Code 16000 also demands that off-highway accidents must be reported as well, if they involve any vehicle which is subject to registration, including those vehicles which aren’t currently registered, and there is damage of one person’s property over $750, or if there is any injury of death of anyone as a result of the accident.


A hearing request from the California DMV must be responded to within 10 days of receipt. The hearing will not take into account any claim of drivers that because it was “the fault of the other driver”, that their licenses shouldn’t be suspended. The hearing will consider if the respondent was involved in an accident, whether there was damaged property over $750, and whether any individual was hurt or killed.


The hearing will also determine whether the respondent had either automobile liability insurance, or any other approved kind of financial responsibility that was in effect during the time period of the accident. If a driver can’t be identified (when false identification has been used or it’s a hit and run situation), and a registered owner can’t identify the driver, the owner then will have to submit financial responsibility evidence or their driving privileges are subject to suspension.