How to Strike Gold in California

by Lisa on February 05, 2015

2015 brings in over 900 new laws for Californians. The one with the greatest impact to motorists and getting the most press is AB 60. AB 60 ultimately provides a golden win for immigrants in the state and offers all residents safer roads, and people are talking about it. This September, 2014 article covering AB 60 from has been shared on FB over 25,000 times.

The latest CA DMV updates show 217,000 written tests have been administered from January 2 through January 16 and 25,300 licenses have been issued. While this isn’t a completely accurate view of the pass rate of the exam, as a driving exam must also be passed to receive a license, this does highlight the need to study for the exam. Applicants should read the CA Driver’s manual which is available in English and Spanish. Also, taking online practice tests will be helpful. Study guides and online practice tests, in both English and Spanish, are available at

Aside from AB 60, additional new 2015 laws bring a tide of welcome “gold” for immigrants. Here are some of the new laws that will make living in California easier for undocumented residents. Roxanna Kopetman from The OC Register provides a thorough review of upcoming legislative changes that will impact immigrants in her article “New laws in 2015 to benefit undocumented immigrants”.:

Here are some of the golden legal highlights:

  • Access to California Low-Cost Auto Program, or CLCA. Auto insurance is required, and access to this program for illegal immigrants is definitely a win-win for all of CA.
  • SB 1210 opens up a new student loan program for immigrants in CA state universities, also called the California DREAM loan program.
  • A legal fund was approved to provide legal help for illegal immigrant children in CA that are in CA without parents and are facing deportation
  • Governor Jerry Brown also signed a bill removing the language of Prop 187. Prop 187 restricted immigrant access to public services. While this removal was largely symbolic since CA did not actively restrict such services, this sets the tone for positive changes for illegal immigrants in CA.

For motorists, there are still 2014 new driving laws that feel new and many folks are still learning. If you are studying for the DMV written test, make sure you are familiar with these still new-ish laws, as they could easily show up on the written exam.


No longer can cars legally squeeze a cyclist off the road when passing them. Known as the Three Feet for Safety Act, motorists now must allow at least 3 feet between themselves and a cyclist they are passing on the road.

Teen Drivers Can No Longer Use Cell Phones

SB 194 prohibits anyone from using an electronic device to talk or text, even if equipped with a hands-free device.

CDL Changes

Holders of an out-of-state CDL Learner’s permit can now take the CDL driving test in CA. Also, AB 1047 changed the license class definitions to a bus weighing more than 26,000 pounds to require a Class B license and a bus weighing 26,000 pounds or less to a Class C license.

New license plates may be on the way

SB 806 establishes a pilot program to explore alternatives to stickers, tabs, license plates and registration cards. Electronic license plates are part of the experiment…..who knows, screwing on a new license plate may become a distant memory. Look for a report on the pilot programs findings in 2017 or 2018 and possibly electronic license plates as early as 2019.

Reed the Traffic Guy completed a full list of 2014 new laws: Reviewing this list of new laws is a good idea before taking the written exam, as states often include a few questions on the new laws everyone is still learning on the written exam.

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