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DMV 2013: New laws and old plates

california license plate

Photo by The Brain Toad / Nick Young via Flickr Creative Commons

NBC LA breaks down some of the new California Department of Motor Vehicles laws that will take effect beginning Jan. 1, 2013. Among the fun ones, a chance to own an old-style, vintage-look California license plate.

Some new rules and regulations for 2013:

AB 2020: Drivers suspected of being under the influence of drugs can no longer choose a urine test over a blood test, minus a few exceptions for health reasons.

Self-driving cars: Self-driving car manufacturers can submit permit applications to test vehicles on state highways.

Vintage vanity plates: Applications for vintage-style CA throwback license plates will be available in 2013. Options may include yellow with black lettering, black with yellow lettering, or blue with yellow type. 

Veteran License Plates: Increase in fees to apply or renew. The fees will support local agencies that help get benefits accrued in military service to veterans and their families.

Car buyer protection: New law defines "buy-here-pay-here"-type dealers and business, limits how GPS tracking can be used by the companys, and prohibits them from remotely shutting down vehicles without first notifying the buyer in writing.

Traffic school:  Individuals who drive on the job will be permitted to attend traffic school for non-commercial violations that occur while not on the job.

New vessel owner fees: Increase will be set by the Department of Boating and Waterways to help fund "dreissenid mussel infestation prevention programs" in the state’s waterways, notes NBC LA.

The invasive species, known as the quagga or zebra mussels, can cause a lot of damage to the state's economy. To compare, a similar outbreak in the Great Lakes area is blamed for billions in damages. The new fee won’t be needed for vessels that operated exclusively in marine waters.


Ashton Kutcher co. sues DMV for backing out of TV contract


Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

People wait in line outside of CA Dept. of Motor Vehicles in Los Angeles.

With a lawsuit filed this week, dreams of an Ashton Kutcher-produced DMV show have crashed headfirst into the tent-pole of reality television programming.  

Ashton Kutcher's production company, Katalyst Media Inc., sued the California Department of Motor Vehicles for breach of contract accusing the agency of backing out of a reality series focused on the government agency and its parallel parking patrons. 

The company, which produced Kutcher's show "Punk'd" and some of the actor's other projects, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles claiming it's owed more than $1.4 million on the deal. According to the filing, the DMV peeled out of the program on claims the show was no longer in the agency's best interests.

Katalyst says the series had already been promised to the TruTV channel. The DMV does not comment on active lawsuits, said spokesman Mike Marando.