Da' fuzz be hidin.' The Highway Patrol.

1975 Wintun Drive
Woodland, CA 95776-9332
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Traffic Info Website

The California Highway Patrol or CHP is a state organization charged with patrolling the highways of California. Their duties include helping motorists, writing citations for traffic offenses, investigating and writing reports on accidents and drug interdiction. Most people interact with the CHP when they are stopped for a traffic violation. They also are often present for major events such as Picnic Day or large protests.

Common Traffic Offenses

Fix-it tickets

Issued for various equipment/license/registration violations. These can include tinted windows, no front license plate. Consequences for ignoring fix-it tickets include getting notified by a given court with a real ticket with a real fine. When fix-it tickets are signed off, there is a $10 fee. Fix-it tickets are on Form 281.


Depending on the speed, there is a sliding scale on fines/cost. On the CA Point System, speeding is worth one point (unless it is in excess of 100 MPH, in which case it is worth two points and most likely ineligible for traffic school). Occasionally, the CHP will do wolf pack crackdowns on speeding especially on the freeway such as I-80. These crackdowns often begin from the CHP Academy on Reed Ave. A group of CHP students, led by an instructor, will merge onto the freeway en masse and pull over as many speeders as they can find. Citations are put on Form 215.

Out of State motorists

  • California is unusual in many of its laws. They will enforce vehicle equipment laws on you even if it's legal at home (e.g. tinted windows).
  • As mentioned in the DMV page, if you get a job, attend school and are over the age of 24, or rent property, you have 20 days to switch your license plates and driver's license to California. Not doing so can incur expensive fines.
  • If you get a traffic ticket and pay it, the court reports the traffic conviction to the DMV and an "X-Number" will be generated which will be used to track your points.
  • In addition, the traffic conviction is reported to your home state through the shared ticketing system within the Driver License Compact (DLC)) which California is a member of. There is a new compact called the Driver License Agreement (DLA) which would include offenses occurring anywhere within North America which California is NOT a member of yet.
  • If you get enough points as referenced by the "X-Number", you can be suspended in California even with a valid out of state license.
  • Compared to some other regions (for instance, the American South), there are virtually zero speeding stops. This is not to say that you can't get a speeding ticket, but there isn't the massive presence of dedicated speed traps found in other areas.

Media Coverage


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2008-02-24 10:15:12   Sometimes they auction off the old pursuit cars... You can get a four door corvette (caprise) for dirt cheap... It's just been driven really really hard, and they take the chip out...

I got FTS'ed by our good friends the CHIPs, and the officer was professional, as soon as he realized I wasn't hammered. —StevenDaubert