CA Veh Code Section 40001


It is unlawful for the owner, or any other person, employing or otherwise directing the driver of any vehicle to cause the operation of the vehicle upon a highway in any manner contrary to law.


It is unlawful for an owner to request, cause, or permit the operation of any vehicle that is any of the following:


Not registered or for which any fee has not been paid under this code.


Not equipped as required in this code.


Not in compliance with the size, weight, or load provisions of this code.


Not in compliance with the regulations promulgated pursuant to this code, or with applicable city or county ordinances adopted pursuant to this code.


Not in compliance with the provisions of Part 5 (commencing with Section 43000) of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code and the rules and regulations of the State Air Resources Board.


Any employer who violates an out-of-service order, that complies with Section 396.9 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or who knowingly requires or permits a driver to violate or fail to comply with that out-of-service order, is guilty of a misdemeanor.


An employer who is convicted of allowing, permitting, requiring, or authorizing a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle in violation of any statute or regulation pertaining to a railroad-highway grade crossing is subject to a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).


Whenever a violation is chargeable to the owner or lessee of a vehicle pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), the driver shall not be arrested or cited for the violation unless the vehicle is registered in a state or country other than California, or unless the violation is for an offense that is clearly within the responsibility of the driver.


Whenever the owner, or lessee, or any other person is prosecuted for a violation pursuant to this section, the court may, on the request of the defendant, take appropriate steps to make the driver of the vehicle, or any other person who directs the loading, maintenance, or operation of the vehicle, a codefendant. However, the court may make the driver a codefendant only if the driver is the owner or lessee of the vehicle, or the driver is an employee or a contractor of the defendant who requested the court to make the driver a codefendant. If the codefendant is held solely responsible and found guilty, the court may dismiss the charge against the defendant.


In any prosecution under this section, it is a rebuttable presumption that any person who gives false or erroneous information in a written certification of actual gross cargo weight has directed, requested, caused, or permitted the operation of a vehicle in a manner contrary to law in violation of subdivision (a) or (b), or both.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 40001’s source at ca​.gov