Article 1. Motor Vehicles Subject To Identification of California Vehicle Code >> Division 16.5. >> Chapter 2. >> Article 1.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), every
motor vehicle specified in Section 38012 that is not registered under
this code because it is to be operated or used exclusively off the
highways, except as provided in this division, shall be issued and
display an identification plate or device issued by the department.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any of the following:
(1) Motor vehicles specifically exempted from registration under
this code, including, but not limited to, motor vehicles exempted
pursuant to Sections 4006, 4010, 4012, 4013, 4015, 4018, and 4019.
(2) Implements of husbandry.
(3) Motor vehicles owned by the state, or any county, city,
district, or political subdivision of the state, or the United
(4) Motor vehicles owned or operated by, or operated under
contract with a utility, whether privately or publicly owned, when
used as specified in Section 22512.
(5) Special construction equipment described in Section 565,
regardless of whether those motor vehicles are used in connection
with highway or railroad work.
(6) A motor vehicle with a currently valid special permit issued
under Section 38087.5 that is owned or operated by a nonresident of
this state and the vehicle is not identified or registered in a
foreign jurisdiction. For the purposes of this paragraph, a person
who holds a valid driver's license issued by a foreign jurisdiction
is presumed to be a nonresident.
(7) Commercial vehicles weighing more than 6,000 pounds unladen.
(8) Any motorcycle manufactured in the year 1942 or prior.
(9) Four-wheeled motor vehicles operated solely in organized
racing or competitive events upon a closed course when those events
are conducted under the auspices of a recognized sanctioning body or
by permit issued by the local governmental authority having
(10) A motor vehicle with a currently valid identification or
registration permit issued by another state.
(a) As used in this division, "off-highway motor vehicle
subject to identification" means a motor vehicle subject to
subdivision (a) of Section 38010.
(b) As used in this division, "off-highway motor vehicle"
includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) A motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, except for any motorcycle
that is eligible for a special transportation identification device
issued pursuant to Section 38088.
(2) A snowmobile or other vehicle designed to travel over snow or
ice, as defined in Section 557.
(3) A motor vehicle commonly referred to as a sand buggy, dune
buggy, or all-terrain vehicle.
(4) A motor vehicle commonly referred to as a jeep.
(5) A recreational off-highway vehicle as defined in Section 500.
Unless otherwise provided, the terms "identification" and
"identification certificate" shall have the same meaning as the terms
"registration" and "registration card," respectively, as used in
Division 3 (commencing with Section 4000).
As used in this division, "closed course" includes, but is
not limited to, a speedway, racetrack, or a prescribed and defined
route of travel on or off a highway that is closed to all motor
vehicles other than those of participants. A closed course is one
which is not available at any time for vehicular access by the
Except as otherwise provided in this division, a person
shall not operate or leave standing an off-highway motor vehicle
subject to identification under this code that is not registered
under the provisions of Division 3 (commencing with Section 4000),
unless it is identified under the provisions of this chapter. A
violation of this section is an infraction. Riding in violation of
seasons established by Section 2412(f) and 2415 of Title 13 of the
California Code of Regulations constitutes a violation of this
section. This section shall not apply to the operation,
transportation, or leaving standing of an off-highway vehicle
pursuant to a valid special permit.
(a) A manufacturer, dealer, or distributor, or his agent,
owning or lawfully possessing any off-highway motor vehicle of a type
otherwise required to be identified hereunder may operate or use
such vehicle without an identification certificate and plate or
device upon condition that each such vehicle is accompanied by a
special permit issued to the manufacturer, dealer, or distributor as
provided in this division.
(b) Persons licensed pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with
Section 11700) of Chapter 4 of Division 5 need not obtain such a
permit provided the vehicle is operated or used under special plates
issued to the licensee.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4000, motorcycles
issued a special transportation identification device pursuant to
Section 38088 may be transported upon a highway to and from a closed
In accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 4000, a motor
vehicle issued a plate or device pursuant to Section 38160 may be
operated or driven upon a highway but only as follows:
(a) On a two-lane highway, only to cross the highway at an angle
of approximately 90 degrees to the direction of the roadway and at a
place where a quick and safe crossing may be made, or only when the
roadway is not maintained by snow removal equipment and is closed to
motor vehicles that are subject to registration pursuant to Division
3 (commencing with Section 4000), or only to cross a highway in the
manner specified in subdivision (b).
(b) With respect to the crossing of a highway having more than two
lanes, or a highway having limited access, a motor vehicle may cross
a highway but only at a place designated by the Department of
Transportation or local authorities with respect to a highway under
their respective jurisdictions as a place where a motor vehicle, or
specified types of motor vehicle, may cross a highway, and a vehicle
shall cross the highway only at that designated place and only in a
quick and safe manner.
(c) The Department of Transportation and local authorities with
respect to a highway under their respective jurisdictions may
designate, by the erection of an appropriate sign of a type approved
by the Department of Transportation, a place where a motor vehicle,
or specified type of motor vehicle, may cross a highway having more
than two lanes or having limited access.
(d) A motor vehicle identified pursuant to Section 38010 may be
towed upon a highway, but not driven, if the vehicle displays a plate
or device issued pursuant to Section 38160.
(e) A motorcycle identified pursuant to Section 38010 may be
pushed upon a highway, but not ridden, if the motorcycle has
displayed upon it a plate or device issued pursuant to Section 38160.
(f) A peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with
Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, may operate or
drive an off-highway vehicle identified pursuant to Section 38010
upon a highway in an emergency response situation.
(a) In addition to Section 38025 and after complying with
subdivision (c) of this section, if a local authority, an agency of
the federal government, or the Director of Parks and Recreation finds
that a highway, or a portion of a highway, under the jurisdiction of
the authority, agency, or the director, as the case may be, is
located in a manner that provides a connecting link between
off-highway motor vehicle trail segments, between an off-highway
motor vehicle recreational use area and necessary service facilities,
or between lodging facilities and an off-highway motor vehicle
recreational facility and if it is found that the highway is designed
and constructed so as to safely permit the use of regular vehicular
traffic and also the driving of off-highway motor vehicles on that
highway, the local authority, by resolution or ordinance, agency of
the federal government, or the Director of Parks and Recreation, as
the case may be, may designate that highway, or a portion of a
highway, for combined use and shall prescribe rules and regulations
therefor. A highway, or portion of a highway, shall not be so
designated for a distance of more than three miles, except as
provided in Section 38026.1. A freeway shall not be designated under
(b) The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission may
propose highway segments for consideration by local authorities, an
agency of the federal government, or the Director of Parks and
Recreation for combined use.
(c) Prior to designating a highway or portion of a highway on the
motion of the local authority, an agency of the federal government,
or the Director of Parks and Recreation, or as a recommendation of
the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, a local
authority, an agency of the federal government, or the Director of
Parks and Recreation shall notify the Commissioner of the California
Highway Patrol, and shall not designate any segment pursuant to
subdivision (a) which, in the opinion of the commissioner, would
create a potential traffic safety hazard.
(d) (1) A designation of a highway, or a portion of a highway,
under subdivision (a) shall become effective upon the erection of
appropriate signs of a type approved by the Department of
Transportation on and along the highway, or portion of the highway.
(2) The cost of the signs shall be reimbursed from the Off-Highway
Vehicle Trust Fund, when appropriated by the Legislature, or by
expenditure of funds from a grant or cooperative agreement made
pursuant to Section 5090.50 of the Public Resources Code.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (e), the County of
Inyo may establish a pilot project to designate combined-use highways
on unincorporated county roads in the county for no more than 10
miles so that the combined-use highways can be used to link existing
off-highway motor vehicle trails and trailheads on federal Bureau of
Land Management or United States Forest Service lands, and to link
off-highway motor vehicle recreational-use areas with necessary
service and lodging facilities, in order to provide a unified system
of trails for off-highway motor vehicles, preserve traffic safety,
improve natural resource protection, reduce off-highway vehicle
trespass on private land, and minimize impacts on county residents.
(b) The pilot project shall do all of the following:
(1) Prescribe a procedure for highway, road, or route selection
and designation. The procedure shall be approved by a vote of a
majority of the Inyo County Board of Supervisors.
(2) Prescribe a procedure for the county to remove a combined-use
designation, including a designation that is removed as a result of
the conclusion of the pilot program.
(3) In cooperation with the Department of Transportation,
establish uniform specifications and symbols for signs, markers, and
traffic control devices to control off-highway motor vehicles,
including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) Devices to warn of dangerous conditions, obstacles, or
(B) Designations of the right-of-way for regular vehicular traffic
and off-highway motor vehicles.
(C) A description of the nature and destination of the off-highway
motor vehicle trail.
(D) Warning signs for pedestrians and motorists of the presence of
off-highway motor vehicle traffic.
(4) Require that off-highway motor vehicles subject to the pilot
project meet the safety requirements of federal and state law
regarding proper drivers' licensing, helmet usage, and the
requirements pursuant to Section 38026.5.
(5) Prohibit off-highway motor vehicles from traveling faster than
35 miles per hour on highways designated under this section.
(6) Include an opportunity for public comment at a public hearing
held by the county in order to evaluate the pilot project.
(c) The pilot project may include use of a state highway, subject
to the approval of the Department of Transportation, or any crossing
of a highway designated pursuant to Section 38025.
(d) (1) By selecting and designating a highway for combined use
pursuant to this section, the County of Inyo agrees to defend and
indemnify the state against any and all claims, including legal
defense and liability arising from a claim, for any safety-related
losses or injuries arising or resulting from use by off-highway motor
vehicles of a highway designated as a combined-use highway by the
Inyo County Board of Supervisors pursuant to this section.
(2) This subdivision does not alter the requirements of
(e) The County of Inyo shall not designate a highway for combined
use pursuant to this section unless the Commissioner of the
Department of the California Highway Patrol finds that designating
the highway for combined use would not create a potential traffic
(f) Not later than January 1, 2016, the County of Inyo, in
consultation with the Department of the California Highway Patrol,
the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Parks and
Recreation, shall prepare and submit to the Legislature a report
evaluating the pilot project, and containing both of the following:
(1) A description of the road segments designated to allow
combined use for over three miles, as approved or adopted by a
majority vote of the members of the Inyo County Board of Supervisors.
(2) An evaluation of the overall safety and effectiveness of the
pilot project, including its impact on traffic flows, safety,
off-highway vehicle usage on existing trails, incursions into areas
not designated for off-highway vehicle usage, and nonmotorized
(3) A description of the public comments received at a public
hearing held by the county in regards to an evaluation of the pilot
(g) (1) A report submitted pursuant to subdivision (f) shall be
submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(2) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2017, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2017, deletes or extends
(a) In accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 4000, a
motor vehicle issued a plate or device pursuant to Section 38160 may
be operated or driven on a local highway, or a portion of the local
highway, that is designated pursuant to Section 38026 or 38026.1 if
the operation is in conformance with this code and the vehicle
complies with off-highway vehicle equipment requirements specified in
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), it is unlawful for a person
using an off-highway vehicle on a combined-use highway to do any of
(1) Operate an off-highway motor vehicle on the highway during the
hours of darkness.
(2) Operate a vehicle on the highway that does not have an
(3) Operate a vehicle on the highway that does not have rubber
(4) Operate a vehicle without a valid driver's license of the
appropriate class for the vehicle operation in possession.
(5) Operate a vehicle on the highway without complying with
Article 2 (commencing with Section 16020) of Chapter 1 of Division 7.
Motor-driven cycles issued a plate or device pursuant to
Section 38160 may be moved, by nonmechanical means only, adjacent to
a roadway, in such a manner so as to not interfere with traffic upon
the highway, only for the purpose of gaining access to, or returning
from, areas designed for the operation of off-highway vehicles, when
no other route is available. The Department of Transportation or
local authority may designate access routes leading to off-highway
parks as suitable for the operation of off-highway vehicles, if such
access routes are available to the general public only for pedestrian
and off-highway motor vehicle travel.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 38020, an
unidentified off-highway motor vehicle subject to identification may
be left standing upon a highway or public or private property
adjacent to the place of business of a dealer of such motor vehicles
when done so in connection with the loading and unloading or storage
of such vehicles to be used in the dealer's business, unless already
prohibited by law.