GHSA maintains data on state laws surrounding a number of highway safety issues. Below is information regarding laws in the state of California. For more information, consult the State Highway Safety Office.

  • Alcohol Impaired Driving


    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 4 months After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all repeat and injury-involved offenses, first-time injury or vehicular manslaughter offenses.


    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No


  • Bicyclists and Pedestrians

    Bicycle helmets required for all riders under 18.

  • Child Passenger Safety

    Child Restraint Required

    Under 2 yrs or under 40 pounds or 40” in rear-facing car seat, following manufacturer instructions and in a back seat

    Under 8 yrs or under 57" tall in child safety seat or booster seat in the back seat, following manufacturer instructions 

    Adult Safety Belt Permissible

    Under 16 yrs properly restrained, including a seat belt

  • Distracted Driving

    Hand-Held Ban?

    Yes. Primary law.

    All Cell Phone Ban?

    School Bus Drivers

    Yes. Primary law.

    Novice Drivers

    Drivers under 18. Secondary law.

    Text Messaging Ban?

    All drivers. Primary law.

  • Drug Impaired Driving

    DUID Zero Tolerance or Per se Laws for Some Drugs

    • None

    Marijuana-Specific Laws

    • Possession and Use: Decriminalized and legal for medical and recreational use
    • Impaired Driving: None
  • Mature Drivers

    Length of Regular Renewal Cycle

    5 years

    Provisions for Mature Drivers

    70 and over: License renewal in person at a DMV field office, unless otherwise instructed by the DMV. Knowledge and vision tests are also required. Most drivers 70 and older are eligible for open book no-fail eLearning course.


  • Motorcyclists

    Universal helmet law enacted 1992.

  • Seat Belts

    Type of Law


    Who Is Covered?

    16 and over

    In What Seat?


  • Speed and Red Light Cameras

    Speed Cameras

    State Law

    Permitted by state law

    Where Permitted

    In six specified jurisdictions in a pilot program until 2032

    Red Light Cameras

    State Law

    Permitted by state law

    Where Permitted


  • Speeding and Aggressive Driving

    Rural Interstates

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    70 55

    Urban Interstates

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    65 55

    Other Limited Access Roads

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    70 55
  • Teen and Novice Drivers

    Full Privilege Minimum Age

    17 years

    Learner Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Minimum Duration (Months)

    Required Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours)

    15 / 6


    50 (10)

    Intermediate Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Nighttime Driving Restriction

    Passenger Restrictions (Except as specified in circumstances outlined by law)


    11 p.m. - 5 a.m. (secondary enforcement)


    First 12 months: No passengers under 20 (secondary enforcement) unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is the licensee’s parent or guardian, a licensed driver who is 25 years or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor.