Update Sept. 30, 2019 : SB-112 passes, fix-it tickets are back. Breath easy, California car enthusiasts. We won!

Here’s everything you need to know about California AB-390 and some further clarification on how it will reverse AB-1824.

***Update 3/26/2019- “Good news! I’ve heard and looked up that AB-390 passed Transportation Committee. Reading the bill, it’s been re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations. So, it must now pass THAT Committee before being voted on separately by Calif. Assembly and Calif. Senate. Note, that does NOT mean this bill passed, far from it. I’ve been seeing a lot of people on Social Media posting it passed and police can’t ticket you now. No, they can and STILL will slap you with a $197 ticket if they want to.

This is just the second hurdle of, as far as I know, six hurdles. 

I’ve called Jay Obernolte’s office, the author of this bill, and according to his Aide, if you want to support AB-390 correctly, look up your Assembly and Senate Rep and give them a call or write them a letter. If you need talking points,

let them know AB-1824 hurts low-income individuals, you feel singled out as a car enthusiast driving around, you don’t feel like this fosters healthy community policing and it’s harder for police to prove exhaust violations in court.”

By now you’ve heard that two California Assembly Members introduced a bill meant specifically to reverse AB 1824. But, how specifically will AB 390 reverse AB 1824? Although I’ve clarified this in a previous blog post I thought it necessary to explain it here as well as clear up possible issues.

socal police car meet
SoCal police pull over dozens of cars at a car meet

First, most car enthusiasts know AB 1824 as “that California exhaust law where we get a fine automatically.” While that is true, it’s only partially true. AB 1824 was a bill that contained multiple parts and only one of those parts targeted the vehicle code pertaining to exhaust laws.

You can read the whole text of AB 1824 here but basically there are at least three other sections regarding how California assesses its Veterans Home system, damages awarded to victims stemming from the East Bay Serial Killer, modifications to the Voting Modernization Bond Act of 2002 AND an amendment/update/correction to the Vehicle Code regarding exhaust laws.

AB 390 specifically targets that one section of AB 1824 and is not meant to reverse the entire assembly bill. The official name of AB-390 is “AB-390 Notice to correct violations: exceptions.”

With that out of the way, this is what AB 1824, as passed, said regarding the exhaust vehicle code.

This bill would include, among those conditions that are disqualifying, a violation of the above-described requirements related to mufflers and exhaust systems…in other words “No fix it tickets.”

And this is the important part of AB 390

This bill would delete the requirements related to mufflers and exhaust systems from the list of disqualifying conditions, thereby making a person who is arrested for one of these offenses eligible to execute the notice as described above…in other words “Let’s bring back fix-it tickets.”

Another issue that you might have pertaining to AB 390 when searching around is other bills called “AB 390” Just from googling around, it looks like at least two previous bills, one pertaining to “Pedestrian Crossing Signals” and the other to “Criminal law: DNA evidence” pop up. Rest assured that these bills have already gone through the California legislative process and have been voted upon accordingly.

AB-390 IS the bill that will defeat a part of AB 1824’s vehicle code amendment.

Source: California Legislative Information


  1. Paulo,

    How does it hurt low income individuals who buy modified exhaust parts or pay to have it done?

    These people are making a conscious decision on how they spend their money. If they make that decision how is it now a hardship if their decision has consequences of violating a law?

    • I’m talking about low-income car owners who are not in compliance with current exhaust laws including those who had their catalytic converters stolen, someone who drives an older car with a cracked header, someone with holes in their exhausts, someone who just purchased a used car with an overly loud exhaust with no fault of their own. These low-income individuals most likely do not have access to a working space, don’t have the know-how to get their car fixed, and probably just live with it. While they SHOULD get it fixed, giving them a fix-it ticket does remedy the issue, gives them an incentive to find someone to fix it in a timely manner and does not overly burdening them financially. An automatic $197 fine takes away that choice.


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