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California Department of Motor Vehicles, Adopted Regulations for Testing of Autonomous Vehicles by Manufacturers (May 19, 2014; eff. Sept. 16, 2014) (full-text).


The California DMV conducted two public workshops in 2013 related to developing regulations for testing of autonomous vehicles. The proposed regulations were then published in the Office of Administrative Law's California Regulatory Notice Register on November 29, 2013. The publishing marked the start of a 45-day public comment period, which ended on January 13, 2014. After a public hearing held on January 14, 2014, the DMV delivered final testing regulations to the Office of Administrative Law for approval.

Under the regulations, drivers (or riders as the case may be) must be official testers on a manufacturer's payroll and go through a special training program to obtain a year-long permit. They must remain attentive behind the wheel and notify the DMV if they are in an accident or override the car's automated controls for any reason. Manufacturers will need to apply for a permit for each individual vehicle, and cars must have at least $5 million of liability insurance.

A companion document released at the same time is the "Final Statement of Reasons" for the regulations.