Senator Newman’s SB 1407 would allow drivers to choose from three photos at the DMV or use a photo taken offsite; revenues would go to fund driver education

By Lisa Murphy

A measure by Senator Josh Newman (D—Fullerton) that would allow drivers to choose the photo which goes on their California state driver’s license passed the Senate Transportation Committee recently on a unanimous vote.

Senate Bill (SB) 1407 wold allow drivers to take up to three photos when they are at the DMV with an additional fee assessed for each additional photo taken.

The licensee would then be able to select from the three photos taken to decide which photo will appear on their California Driver’s License. SB 1407 would also allow drivers the option of having their photo taken by an accredited entity, such as a professional photographer, in compliance with specifications provided by the DMV.

Revenue from the fees for additional photos taken would go into the Motor Vehicle Account in the State Transportation Fund. Moneys in the fund deposited into that account would be used by the department, to support driver education and training programs.

“AAA believes everyone deserves the right to have a driver’s license photo that reflects the best possible version of themselves,” said John Moreno, public policy manager for AAA Northern California. “And while drivers aren’t required to pay a single dollar more at the DMV under this bill, those who choose to pay a small fee for extra photos will be supporting driver’s education programs for new drivers. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 16- and 17-year-old drivers are almost four times more likely than adults to be involved in a car crash. We applaud Senator Newman for finding a creative solution to fund driver’s education programs.”

“Over the past three decades, in the face of shifting educational priorities and ever-increasing fiscal constraints, the offering of driver education has been almost entirely removed from California’s public schools,” said Newman. “SB 1407 will create a simple but effective mechanism for generating revenues for increasing access to affordable Driver Education.”

The measure now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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