Car buyer rights

“Ask George” Expert Answers to Common DMV Questions
By: George Valverde – Director, California Department of Motor Vehicles
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Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration and insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California Department of Motor Vehicles has answers. Save Time. Go Online at Q: I lived in California from 1997 to 2006, and moved out of state with my driver license in good standing. Is there a way to "reinstate" my license when I move back? I also still have my license plates, is there a way to just pay the fees and keep my old tag number instead of applying for new ones? A: If the expiration date on your old California driver license has not passed, you can just surrender your out-of-state license and obtain a replacement California driver license. If your California driver license expired, it is still a simple process. You must surrender your out-of-state driver license and take the written and vision tests. You will retain your original California driver license number. At the time you apply, you should bring a certified birth certificate, Social Security Card and Marriage Certificate (If applicable) just in case they are needed. Unless your vehicle is a collector vehicle, you cannot use your old license plates. You will be issued new license plates at the time you register your vehicle. Q: I recently sold my 2008 Nissan Pathfinder so that I can downsize to something more financially reasonable. I am looking at buying an older used car but was wondering if you had any information about my rights when buying a car? A: This is a great question. Many people are in the same situation right now and it is important that you know your rights. A few of the rights for used car buyers are listed below: · Dealers must provide buyers with their credit score and an explanation of how it is used · The car buyer may obtain a two-day sales contract cancellation option · Used cars advertised as “certified” must meet specific requirements For a complete list of car buyer’s rights, visit our website Save Time! Go Online! Q: I just purchased a car and would like to add tinted windows so that it blocks some of the bright sun rays. How do I know if my windows are tinted below the legal limit? A:To ensure that you do not get a ticket for your tinted windows you can take the following precautions: · If you are installing a material onto your windows you must make sure that it has a minimum visible light transmittance of 88% to meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. · If you are getting it installed by a company, ask them to provide a signed certificate stating that it is in compliance with the law as well as the materials manufacturer’s name and address so that you may keep it in your vehicle as proof. · If you are installing it yourself be sure to keep the materials certificate signed by the manufacturer certifying that the material has been installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and meets the federal standards. If the material is torn or has bubbles it must be either replaced or removed. Visit to read more on Material Obstructing or Reducing Drivers View. The DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Acting Undersecretary Traci Stevens. The DMV licenses drivers, maintains driving records, registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels, investigates auto and identity-related fraud, and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools. For more information about the DMV, visit