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.
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 December 16, 2019, the Office of Administrative Law approved revised regulations allowing for the testing and deployment autonomous motor trucks (delivery vehicles) weighing less than 10,001 pounds on California’s public roads with an approved permit from the DMV. The DMV can begin approving new applications as of January 16, 2020.
The DMV’s regulations continue to exclude the autonomous testing or deployment of vehicles weighing more than 10,001 pounds.
California Vehicle Code Section 38750 and approved autonomous vehicle regulations establish several key definitions, which relate to autonomous vehicle use in California.
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
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 here: AV’s Feedback Form.
Please do not include any sensitive personal information such as social security number, driver license number, or financial account number.