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Oregon New Resident Guide

Welcome to Oregon! As a new driver to this state you will need to be aware of our unique traffic laws and regulations. Here's what you need to keep in mind while driving in Oregon. Some of these rules may be the same as what you're already used to, but others will be drastically different!

Licensing and Residency Requirements



  • Whenever a person changes their name or residence address, notice of such change must be submitted to the DMV within 30 days of the change.
  • Within 30 days of becoming a resident of or domiciled in Oregon you must title and register your vehicle, including obtaining Oregon license plates.


Graduated Licensing Program



Learner's Permit

Requirements

  • Must be at least 15;
  • Must provide proof of school enrollment, completion, or exemption;
  • Must pass written Class C knowledge stest and vision screening.

Privileges and Restrictions

  • May only drive when accompanied by a licensed person who is at least 21 years old, has been licensed for 3 years and who is occupying the front passenger seat.

Provisional License

Requirements

  • Must be at least 16;
  • Must have held permit for at least 6 months;
  • Must have completed driver education and accumulated 50 hours of driving practice, OR have completed 100 hours of driving practice;
  • Must provide proof of school enrollment, completion, or exemption;
  • Must pass Safe Driving Practices knowledge test;
  • Must pass drive test.

Privileges and Restrictions

  • For first 6 months, may not transport any passenger under 20 years of age who is not a member of the licensee's immediate family.
  • For second 6 months, licensee may transport more than 3 passengers under 20 years of age who are not a member of the licensee's immediate family.
  • For entire first year, may not drive between midnight and 5 AM except to school, employment, or when accompanied by a licensed driver at least 25 years of age.
  • Restrictions apply for one year or until you are 18, whichever comes first.

Unrestricted License

Requirements

  • Must be at least 17.


Violation Point Counts

The amount of points that go against your driver's license for specific types of violations.



Oregon does not have a point system, but traffic violations are still recorded on your driving record.



Insurance Requirements



Oregon law requires every driver to insure their vehicles by at least these minimum amounts:

  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage
    • $25,000 per person;
    • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury to others; and;
    • $20,000 per accident for damage to the property of others.

Oregon law also requires every motor vehicle liability policy to provide:

  • Personal Injury Protection
    • $15,000 per person for reasonable and necessary expenses one year after an accident, for medical, dental, and other services needed due to the accident. Motorcycles are excluded.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage
    • $25,000 per person;
    • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury.

Driving without liability insurance could result in fines, suspension of your driving privileges, and in some areas your vehicle could be towed. if your vehicle is towed, you are also subject to towing and storage fees.



Headlight Laws



You must dim your headlights from high to low beam when you are within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle, or when within 350 feet of a vehicle traveling ahead of you.

You must use your headlights:

  • From sunset to sunrise;
  • Any time conditions make it difficult to see people or vehicles 1,000 feet ahead;
  • When your windshield wipers are on.

It is illegal to flash any lights as a courtesy or a "do pass" signal to drivers approaching from the rear.



Implied Consent Laws



Criminal

  • At least $500 and not more than $1,000, with the "presumptive" fine being $650.

Administrative

  • Suspension - 1 year if no previous suspensions for a test refusal or a DWI offense (90 days are mandatory).
  • Suspension - 3 years for a previous test refusal or a previous DWI offense/admin per se violation based license suspension within 5 years (1 year mandatory).
  • Consecutive license suspensions for refusals to submit to both breath and urine tests.


DUI Penalties



First Offense (Class A misdemeanor)

  • Up to 1 year imprisonment.
  • Not less than $1,000 fine.
  • 80 - 250 hours community service may be imposed as alternative to imprisonment.
  • 1 year license suspension.
  • Must complete alcohol or drug dependency treatment program.
  • Ignition interlock required for 5 years after end date of suspension/revocation.

Second Offense (Class A misdemeanor)

  • Up to 1 year imprisonment.
  • Not less than $1,500.
  • 80 - 250 hours community service may be imposed as alternative to imprisonment.
  • 2 year license suspension.
  • Must complete alcohol/drug assessment and treatment if referred. If not referred, must complete education program as condition for restricted driving privileges.
  • Ignition interlock required for 5 years after end date of suspension/revocation.

Third or Subsequent Offense (Class A Misdemeanor)

  • Up to 1 year imprisonment OR;
  • Not less than $2,000 fine.
  • 80 - 250 hours community service may be imposed as alternative to imprisonment.
  • 3 year license suspension.
  • Must complete alcohol/drug assessment and treatment if referred. If not referred, must complete education program as condition for restricted driving privileges.
  • Ignition interlock required for 5 years after end date of suspension/revocation.

Fourth Offense (within 10 years) (Class C felony)

  • Up to 5 years imprisonment OR;
  • Not less than $2,000 fine.
  • 80 - 250 hours community service may be imposed as alternative to imprisonment.
  • Permanent license revocation.
  • Must complete alcohol/drug assessment and treatment if referred. If not referred, must complete education program as condition for restricted driving privileges.
  • Ignition interlock required for 5 years after end date of suspension/revocation.

BAC .15 or more

  • A minimum of $2,000 fine.

Child Endangerment

If the driver has a passenger who is under age 18 and at least three years younger than the driver, the court may impose a maximum fine of $10,000 in addition to other penalties.

School and Work Zone

If the offense occurred in a school or work zone, there is a minimum mandatory fine which is equal to: (1) 20 percent of the maximum fine for a misdemeanor offense; and (2) 2 percent of the maximum fine for a felony offense.



Open Container Law



The Open Container Law prohibits possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in the passenger area of any motor vehicle, by any occupant of the vehicle, on any public highway or right of way, whether or not the vehicle is in motion.



Red Light Violation Fines



  • Traditional enforcement: $300 maximum fine.
  • Auto enforcement: $300 maximum fine.


Construction Zone Penalties



Numerous specified violations are subject to minimum enhanced penalties whether or not workers are present:

  • Misdemeanor violations are subject to an enhancement of 20% of the maximum penalty.
  • Felony violations are subject to an enhancement of 2% of the maximum penalty.

Under a separate law, reckless endangerment of highway workers and refusing to obey a flagger are both Class A misdemeanors, each punishable by a fine up to $5,000 or 1 year in jail.



Turn Signal Information



Signal your intention to turn or change lanes at least 100 feet in advance.



Hazard Light Information



Hazard light use is permitted for the purpose of warning other drivers of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing.



Funeral Procession Right-of-Way Laws



  • The law requires other vehicles to yield the right-of-way to funeral processions, to stop at intersections to allow the funeral procession to pass, and obey any directions given by the driver of a funeral escort vehicle.
  • If the funeral escort lead vehicle enters the intersection lawfully, the other vehicles may follow without stopping.
  • Processions must yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles or if directed by a police officer.
  • The escort vehicle may exceed the speed limit by 10 miles per hour and cross the center line of a road.
  • Other vehicles may not drive between or join a funeral procession.
  • Funeral processions are allowed to pass toll-free through all tollgates.


School Bus Laws



Requirements

  • Vehicles are required to stop unless the bus is on the other side of a divided highway separated by a median strip.
  • Vehicles must stop before reaching the bus.

Penalties

  • Failure to stop and remain stopped when required is a Class A traffic violation, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000.


Bicyclist Passing Distance



You are required to pass at a safe distance.



Motorcycle Laws



Licensing

  • A motorcycle endorsement may be issued to the holder of a valid license provided any tests and demonstrations are successfully completed.
  • Completion of an approved motorcycle rider education course may be required to obtain a motorcycle endorsement depending on date of application and age: January 1, 2013 - anyone under 51; January 1, 2014 - anyone under 61; January 1, 2015 - any age.
  • A motorcycle instruction permit may be issued only to persons who are at least 16 years old and is valid for 1 year. The holder of a motorcycle instruction permit may only operate a motorcycle during daylight hours, may not carry any passengers, and must wear an approved helmet.

Protective Gear

  • The operator of a motorcycle, and all passengers on a motorcycle, must wear a safety helmet.

Headlights

  • At all times that a motorcycle or moped is operated on a highway, it must display a lighted headlight(s).

Sharing the Road

  • Lane splitting is prohibited.
  • Two motorcycles may travel side-by-side in a single lane.


Using the Shoulder to Pass



You may pass a left-turning vehicle on the right when the paved portion of the highway is wide enough to allow two or more lanes of vehicles to proceed lawfully in the same direction, and the roadway ahead is unobstructed to permit safe passing.



Passing Laws



Do Not Pass:

  • When approaching or upon a hill or curve;
  • When approaching any intersection or railroad grade crossing where the driver's view is obstructed;
  • At any intersection or railroad grade crossing.

When Being Passed:

  • Give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle;
  • Do not increase the speed of your vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.


Speed Limits



  • It is prima facie evidence of a violation of the basic speed rule to exceed the following speed limits (OR ST § 811.100(2)):
  • 65 mph on rural interstate highways;
  • 55 mph on other highways;
  • 25 mph in a public park; in a residential district if it is not located within a city and the highway is neither an arterial nor a collector highway; and on the ocean shore;
  • 20 mph in a school zone, and in a business district;
    • This speed limit only applies when "children are present" or a flashing light indicates that children may be arriving or leaving a school. "Children are present at any time and on any day when children walking within a crosswalk or waiting on the curb or shoulder of the highway at a crosswalk."
  • 15 mph in an alley or narrow residential roadway.


Safety Belt and Child Safety Seat Laws



Safety Belts

  • Occupants 16 years and older must wear a seat belt.
  • Police may stop vehicles solely for belt law violations.
  • The fine for a first offense is $110.

Child Seats

  • Children younger than 1 year or 20 pounds or less must be in a rear facing child safety seat
  • Children 7 or younger who are 40 pounds or less must be in a child safety seat
  • Children 7 or younger who are more than 40 pounds but 4'9" or less must be in a safety system that elevates the child so that an adult seat belt fits properly.
  • Children taller than 4'9" and children 8 - 15 years must be restrained, and may use an adult safety belt.
  • Police may stop vehicles solely for child seat law violations.
  • The fine for a first offense is $110.


Emergency Vehicle Laws



Move Over

  • When you see any of these vehicles displaying flashing lights while stopped on or adjacent to the roadway:
    • Emergency vehicle;
    • Roadside assistance vehicle;
    • Tow vehicle;
    • Ambulance.
  • You must do the following:
    • On a highway having two or more lanes for traffic in a single direction, make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the vehicle. If making a lane change is unsafe, reduce the speed of the vehicle to at least 5 MPH under the speed limit.
    • If on a two-directional, two-lane highway, reduce the speed of the vehicle to at least 5 MPH under the speed limit.

Following

  • Do not follow any emergency vehicle or ambulance traveling in response to a fire alarm or an emergency closer than 500 feet,
  • You must not drive or park in a manner that interferes with an emergency vehicle or ambulance responding to a fire alarm or emergency.

Collision Procedures

  • Stop at the scene or as close as possible without obstructing traffic more than necessary, and remain at the scene until all requirements are fulfilled.
  • Provide assistance to any injured person, including transporting them or making arrangements for transportation to a hospital or doctor, if necessary or requested.
  • If none of the other people involved in the accident are in a condition to receive the information you are required to give them, you must remain at the scene until a police officer has arrived. This requirement does not apply if you need immediate medical care or need to secure medical care for another injured person, or if you need to leave the scene to report the accident to the authorities.
  • You must provide the following information to any other person involved in the accident, or any police officer at the scene of the crash:
    • Driver's name and address;
    • Name and address of any other vehicle occupants;
    • Vehicle registration number;
    • Show driver's license upon request.
  • Unattended vehicle or property
    • If you have collided with a vehicle that is unattended, locate and notify the operator or owner of the driver's name and address and the owner's name and address. If you are unable to do so, leave a written notice providing this information and a statement of the circumstances.
    • If you have collided with other unattended property on or adjacent to a highway, locate and notify the owner of the driver's name and address, the vehicle registration number, and show your driver's license if requested.
  • If there has been no personal injury or death, and the vehicle is capable of being safely driven, you must move the vehicle off the roadway.
  • Report crash:
    • If the crash resulted in injury, death, property damage of $1,500 or more, or a vehicle is damaged to the extent that it must be towed you must report the accident as quickly as possible to law enforcement.
    • If the crash resulted in injury, death, or property damage of $1,500 or more, you must report the accident in writing to the Department of Transportation within 72 hours of the accident. If the driver does not report the accident and the driver is not the owner, the owner is required to report the accident.


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