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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain a copy of a police report?
Can I obtain a copy of my criminal history record from the police department?
How long will my vehicle be impounded?
Do you have a notary public available for the public? What do they charge?
I want to sell fireworks. What do I do?
Are collection service costs based on garbage container size?
What accommodations are being made for people on fixed incomes who just can't afford a rate increase?
I called my plumber out to fix a sewer stoppage. He said the blockage is on the City’s side. Will the City clear the blockage and who will pay my plumber bill?
I don't understand…why 30 days? I absolutely need my car!
It was a minor infraction…why was my car impounded?
What happens to my car…who impounds the car?
Why is driving without a valid license so serious?
How do I get my car released?
The following excuses will not help when your vehicle is being driven by an unlicensed driver and then stopped by a law enforcement officer for any reason.
Why was my car impounded?
Are passengers covered by this law?
Can I send a text message on my phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) while driving?
My car has a built-in hands-free mobile phone feature. Is this adequate or do I have to buy additional equipment?
May I use the speakerphone feature and hold the phone in my hand, but not next to my ear?
I drive a commercial pickup truck, may I use a two-way radio while driving?
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Q: How do I obtain a copy of a police report?
A:
The Police Records counter is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Police reports are generally available for copying 3 to 5 days after the date of report, although some traffic accident reports may require more time for the officer to complete. All requests for copies must be submitted in writting. A request form is available at the public counter, or copies can be requested via email.  Copies can additionally be requested by fax at @09)366-7012.  A name, address, phone number, date of incident, and case number, if known, should be included on the faxed in request. There is no charge for copies of police reports.
Q: Can I obtain a copy of my criminal history record from the police department?
A:
Only local arrest history can be provided at our office. A request must be made in person at the public counter during business hours.  A valid identification card with photograph must be presented at the time of the request items pickup.  State criminal history information can only be obtained from the California Department of Justice, Record Review Unit at (916) 227-3816.
Q: How long will my vehicle be impounded?
A:
The vehicle will be impounded for 30 calendar days. The registered owner will have to pay for the towing and the 30-day storage fee to get the vehicle back at the end of that period.
Q: Do you have a notary public available for the public? What do they charge?
A:
Contact the City Clerk's office at 209.366.7130 to make an appointment for notary services. There is no charge for this service.
Q: I want to sell fireworks. What do I do?
A:

The fireworks applications are accepted during the month of May only. Contact the City Clerk's Office for further information.

Q: Are collection service costs based on garbage container size?
A:
Yes, waste collection services are based on the size garbage container residents choose to use. Rates for services are as follows:

• 20-gallon container = $19.99 Per month
• 38-gallon container = $22.05 Per month
• 64-gallon container = $24.31 Per month
• 96-gallon container = $37.55 Per month

The objective of this variable container rate system is to provide an economic incentive for residents to reduce waste and maximize use of the mixed recycling and green waste collection programs. The smaller the container, the lower the fee. These rates include costs for garbage collection, mixed recycling, green waste collection and annual neighborhood and citywide cleanup services.
Q: What accommodations are being made for people on fixed incomes who just can't afford a rate increase?
A:
Unfortunately, it is not legally possible to offer discounted rates to fixed income residents without making up the discount from some other source. State law (Proposition 218) requires that all residents be charged equally for the actual cost of a service. There are some actions residents can take to lower monthly rates for waste collection services. By using a 20-gallon or 38-gallon garbage container residents can save up to $4.32 per month.
Q: I called my plumber out to fix a sewer stoppage. He said the blockage is on the City’s side. Will the City clear the blockage and who will pay my plumber bill?
A:
Many plumbers and property owners are not aware that in the City of Galt, the property owner is responsible for the entire sewer lateral. This includes the portion of the lateral in the public right of way to where it connects with the sewer main. However, if a plumber believes the problem is in the City’s main, contact the Public Works Department at (209) 366-7260. Public Works staff will investigate. If the problem is in the City’s main, Public Works staff will clear any blockage. If the problem was the responsibility of the City, you may file a claim for reimbursement of plumbing costs.  There are two exceptions. When the lateral service from the sidewalk to the sewer main is actually broken, the City will replace the broken line. If a tree maintained by the City damages a sewer lateral, the City will repair the lateral. If your plumber discovers a damaged line in the sidewalk or street area, he should contact the Public Works Department at (209) 366-7260. 


Q: I don't understand…why 30 days? I absolutely need my car!
A:
The legislature intended to provide safer roads for California's motoring public by removing the vehicles driven by unlicensed, suspended or revoked drivers for 30 days. A serious violation of the law calls for a serious response. The 30-day impound begins on the calendar day that the car is towed and will be released at the conclusion of the 30th day.
Q: It was a minor infraction…why was my car impounded?
A:
Both 14602.6 and 14607.6 of the California Vehicle Code give law enforcement officers the authority to impound your vehicle when it is being operated by an unlicensed, suspended or revoked driver. Your car is being impounded because you have committed a misdemeanor, not an infraction. By operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license you have committed a serious offense. In addition to the citation, the vehicle you are operating will be impounded and held for 30 days or possibly forfeited.
Q: What happens to my car…who impounds the car?
A:
Your car will be stored at a tow yard and you will be given a receipt.
Q: Why is driving without a valid license so serious?
A:
Driving in California is a privilege, not a right. An unlicensed driver is a potential danger to all other motorists on the road. A driver who is unlicensed, suspended, or revoked has been ordered not to drive because of previous driving violations. Continuing to drive shows a flagrant disregard to the safety of other motorists.
Q: How do I get my car released?
A:
At the end of 30 days, you must obtain a release from the Galt Police Department. The vehicle may be released prior to the end of the 30-day period when the driver reinstates his or her driver’s license or acquires a driver’s license and proper insurance. You will be given a release after paying an administrative fee related to the towing, processing and storage of your vehicle.
Q: The following excuses will not help when your vehicle is being driven by an unlicensed driver and then stopped by a law enforcement officer for any reason.
A:
• My brother borrowed the car. I did not know his license was suspended.
Under section 14604 CVC, the owner of a motor vehicle has the duty to assure the person driving their vehicle has a valid license; however, if you allow or permit anyone, including your wife, son, daughter, friend or relative to drive your vehicle and that person does not have a valid license, then you will be responsible for the towing and storage fees. You will not have access to the vehicle for 30 days.

• She took my car without my permission. I am the owner, and I have a valid license.
To say someone has taken your car without your permission is not a valid excuse. Ask yourself "How did this happen?" Have you allowed him/her to use your car before? Did you ask to see his/her license? Any vehicle impounded for this violation will be released to the registered owner after 30 days.

NOTE: If it is determined your car was taken by an unlicensed driver without your knowledge or permission, then a stolen vehicle report must be filed. The person charged with this crime will be arrested.
Q: Why was my car impounded?
A:
Your vehicle was impounded because you or another individual driving your vehicle has:
  • a suspended license,
  • a revoked license,
  • or, does not have a valid license.
California Vehicle Code Sections 14602.6 AND 14607.6

On January 1st 1995, new laws were enacted relating to unlicensed drivers. These laws, California Vehicle Code Sections 14602.6 and 14607.6, authorize law enforcement agencies to tow and impound vehicles for 30 days when driven by unlicensed, suspended or revoked drivers. There is a possibility the vehicle could be forfeited (taken from you) if you have a prior conviction for driving while unlicensed, or with a suspended or revoked license.

14607.4 - The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
  1. Driving a motor vehicle on the public streets and highways is a privilege not a right.
  2. Of all drivers involved in fatal accidents more than 20 percent are not licensed to drive. A driver with a suspended license is four times as likely to be involved in a fatal accident as a properly licensed driver.
  3. At any given time, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) estimates that out of approximately 20 million driver’s licenses issued to Californians, 720,000 are suspended or revoked. Furthermore, 1,000,000 persons are estimated to be driving without ever having been licensed.
  4. Over 4,000 persons are killed in traffic accidents in California annually and another 330,000 persons suffer injuries.
  5. Californians who comply with the law are frequently victims of traffic accidents caused by unlicensed drivers. These innocent victims suffer considerable pain and property loss at the hands of people who flaunt the law. The DMV estimates that 75% of all drivers whose driving privilege has been withdrawn continue to drive regardless of the law.
  6. It is necessary and appropriate to take additional steps to prevent unlicensed drivers from driving, including the civil forfeiture of vehicles used by unlicensed drivers. The state has a critical interest in the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of Californians from the harm of unlicensed drivers, who are involved in a disproportionate number of traffic incidents, and the avoidance of the associated destruction and damage to lives and property.
Q: Are passengers covered by this law?
A:
No. This law applies to the persons driving a motor vehicle.
Q: Can I send a text message on my phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) while driving?
A:
No.
Q: My car has a built-in hands-free mobile phone feature. Is this adequate or do I have to buy additional equipment?
A:
No. You do not need to purchase additional equipment.  You may use your vehicle's hands-free mobile phone feature.
Q: May I use the speakerphone feature and hold the phone in my hand, but not next to my ear?
A:
No. The law requires you to use a hands-free device with your phone.   A "push-to-talk" feature is not allowed.
Q: I drive a commercial pickup truck, may I use a two-way radio while driving?
A:
No. The exemption does not apply to drivers of pickup truck with commercial plates, even if the pickup truck is used for commercial purposes, for example, a contractor, landscaper, or other business.
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