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


  • Autonomous Vehicles

    Authorizes full deployment without a human operator.

  • Bicyclists and Pedestrians

    Bicycle helmets required for all riders under 18.

  • Child Passenger Safety

    Child Restraint Required

    In rear-facing car seat under 2 yrs unless child weighs 40 or more lbs or is 40" or more inches tall

    Under 8 yrs and under 57" tall in car seat or booster seat in the back seat

    Adult Safety Belt Permissible

    8 yrs or at least 4'9" in booster seat, but at min. safety belt 16 yrs and over

  • 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: no mail renewal


  • 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

    No state law or programs

    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 6 50 (10)

    Intermediate Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Nighttime Driving Restriction

    Passenger Restriction (except family, unless noted)

    16 11 p.m. - 5 a.m. (secondary enforcement) First 12 months: no passengers under 20 (secondary enforcement) unless accompanied by parent, guardian or other adult 25 years or older