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 are 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 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 marks the start of a 45-day public comment period, which ends May 27, 2019. Written comments may be submitted to LADRegulations@dmv.ca.gov during the 45-day period. 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
May 30, 2019
Department of Motor Vehicles Headquarters
Assembly Room (6th floor)
2415 First Avenue
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