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The California Department of Motor Vehicles: Brief History and Description of Services Offered

The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) in California is responsible for issuing licenses to all drivers in California. The Department of Motor Vehicles also issues license plates and registrations for all cars, boats, motorcycles and other motor vehicles within the state. The headquarters for the DMV of California is located in Sacramento. The California DMV is part of the state business, transportation, and housing agency.†

The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) in California is responsible for issuing licenses to all drivers in California. The Department of Motor Vehicles also issues license plates and registrations for all cars, boats, motorcycles and other motor vehicles within the state. The headquarters for the DMV of California is located in Sacramento. The California DMV is part of the state business, transportation, and housing agency. There are local offices in almost every part of the state for the convenience of California residents. As of the end of 2007 there were 9000 employees of the department. Around 37% of the employees worked at the departments headquarters in Sacramento. The remaining employees of the department worked at the various branches located throughout the state.

History of the California Department of Motor Vehicles

The state of California issued legislature in 1901 that required counties and cities throughout the state to issue licenses and registrations for several types of wheeled vehicles. The duty to implement a statewide system for this process fell to the secretary of state between the years 1905 to 1913. The responsibility of registering motor vehicles was given to the Department of Engineering in 1913. Both licenses and registrations became a mandatory requirement for all in December of 1913.

The Vehicle Act in 1915 established the first DMV. In 1921 the DMV was placed within the Department of Finance. Authorization to appoint traffic officers as well as inspectors was given to the department in 1923. These officers and inspectors were eventually employed by the Department of California Highway Patrol in 1947. The statewide license fee came into effect in 1936 and took the place of the personal property taxes which cities and counties were taking to levy the immense traffic seen in their areas. There is question about the differing pass rates for obtaining driverís licenses within certain counties. In 2009, studies showed that the Laguna Hills DMV had an extremely lenient pass rate while in Santa Ana less than half of the individuals taking the test passed.

California DMV Services

The DMV of California offers many services to the residents of the state. Individuals residing in the state of California can visit a license branch in the state to obtain a drivers license or state id. Residents also must visit the branch in order to register their vehicles, boats and motorcycles.

The DMV of California offers their services online as well. This makes registering your vehicle or renewing your license plate or driverís license easier. Through the California government Department of Motor Vehicle website a resident can renew their registration, renew a driverís license or state id, change their address, order special interest plates or make an appointment to visit the branch.

If you reside in the state of California and need to register your vehicle or obtain a driverís license, you will need to visit the DMV. It is recommended that you make an appointment for your visit to avoid waiting in long lines. Renewal of all registrations and licenses can be done online, which offers the fastest way to obtain a new license.

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