Web Content Viewer


Autonomous Vehicles in California


Autonomous Vehicles in California

California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 38750 requires the DMV to adopt regulations governing both the testing and public use of autonomous vehicles on California roadways.

The DMV has three autonomous vehicle permit options. A manufacturer can apply for:

  • a testing permit, which requires a driver
  • a driverless testing permit
  • a deployment (public use) permit

Each permit program has different requirements. Review the regulations for the list of requirements.

Through adoption of regulations effective on April 2, 2018, the DMV has the authority to issue permits for driverless testing or deployment of autonomous vehicles. All applications will be thoroughly reviewed. The department will not approve any permits until it is clear that the applicant has met all of the safe operation requirements set forth in the regulations.

Notice of Adoption of Regulations (PDF)

Testing with a Driver

The autonomous vehicle testing regulations became effective on September 16, 2014.

Testing without a Driver

The autonomous vehicle driverless testing regulations became effective on April 2, 2018. Review the regulations for the list of requirements.

Deployment (Public Use)

The regulations governing the public use of autonomous vehicles on California roads became effective on April 2, 2018. Review the regulations for the list of requirements.

Autonomous Light-Duty Motor Trucks (Delivery Vehicles)

On April 12, 2019, the DMV published proposed autonomous vehicle regulations that allow the testing and deployment of autonomous motor trucks (delivery vehicles) weighing less than 10,001 pounds on California’s public roads. The release of these regulations marked the start of a 45-day public comment period, which ended May 27, 2019. The DMV held a public hearing on May 30, 2019, at its headquarters in Sacramento to gather input and discuss the regulations. Watch a video of the hearing. The DMV is following the same approach the department used while developing past AV regulations packages and is targeting to complete this rulemaking by the end of the year. The DMV’s regulations continue to exclude the autonomous testing or deployment of vehicles weighing more than 10,001 pounds.

Proposed Regulations – Released April 12, 2019

Notice of Proposed Action (PDF)
Express Terms (PDF)
Initial Statement of Reasons (PDF)
Office of Administrative Law Notice Register

On Friday, October 19, 2018, the DMV held a public workshop to gather and discuss input on the development of the regulations. Watch the video of the workshop.

Key Definitions

California Vehicle Code Section 38750 and approved autonomous vehicle regulations establish several key definitions, which relate to autonomous vehicle use in California.

Related Information

This section provides links to additional information related to autonomous vehicles regulations.

U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0
Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety

Public Feedback

The CA DMV values your feedback regarding your experience with autonomous vehicles operating on California public roadways. Please take a moment to describe your experience in detail. You may submit your feedback to the following email address:

Please do not include any sensitive personal information such as social security number, driver license number, or financial account number.

Complementary Content