Article 6. Identification Plate Or Device of California Vehicle Code >> Division 16.5. >> Chapter 2. >> Article 6.
The department, upon identifying an off-highway motor
vehicle subject to identification, shall issue to the owner a
suitable identification plate or device which is capable of being
attached to the vehicle in such a manner so as to not endanger the
operator or passengers of the vehicle, and which shall identify the
vehicle for which it is issued for the period of its validity.
(a) The department shall determine the size, color, and
letters or number of the plate or device issued pursuant to this
division and the life of the series of plate or device issued, but in
no event less than six years. The design of the plate or device
shall have the identification number as the most prominent feature of
the device. During the intervening identification periods for which
the plate or device is issued, the department shall issue a tab,
sticker, or other suitable device to indicate the term for which such
plate or device will be valid.
(b) On or before July 1, 2009, the department, in conjunction with
the Division of Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation of the
Department of Parks and Recreation, shall report to the Assembly
Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife and the Senate Committee on
Natural Resources and Water, regarding recommendations to improve the
identification of off-highway motor vehicles. At a minimum, the
report shall examine the benefits and challenges of all of the
(1) Using multiple identification stickers for each vehicle.
(2) Using large-print identifying numbers or letters.
(3) Various identifying devices, such as license plates and
(4) Requiring license plates or other device alternatives for
certain off-highway vehicle types.
(5) Including a unique number for special nonresident permits
issued under Section 38087.5.
(c) In preparing the report, the department and the Division of
Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation shall work with vehicle
manufacturers to evaluate feasibility.
(a) Every off-highway motor vehicle subject to
identification shall have displayed upon it the identification number
assigned to the vehicle for which it is issued, together with the
word "California" or the abbreviation "CAL" and the year number for
which it is issued or a suitable device issued by the department for
validation purposes, which device shall contain the year for which it
(b) The identification plate or device shall at all times be
securely fastened to the vehicle for which it is issued and shall be
mounted or affixed in a position to be clearly visible, and shall be
maintained in a condition so as to be clearly legible. No covering
shall be used on the identification plate or device.
(c) All identification plates or devices issued on or after
January 1, 1996, shall be displayed as follows:
(1) On the left fork leg of a motorcycle, either horizontal or
vertical, and shall be visible from the left side of the motorcycle.
(2) On the left quadrant of the metal frame member of sand rails,
rail-type buggies, and dune buggies, visible from the rear of the
(3) On the left rear quadrant on permanent plastic or metal frame
members of all-terrain vehicles, visible to outside inspections.
(4) On the left tunnel on the back quadrant of snowmobiles.