The operation of motorized scooters is codified in the California Vehicle Code, Article 5, sections 21220 -23330.
The following is a synopsis of the law.
Definition of a motor scooter
Any two-wheeled device that has handlebars, is designed to be stood or sat upon by the operator, and is powered by an electric motor, or gasoline two-stroke engine and is capable of propelling the device with or without human propulsion. V.C. 407.5
Effective January 1, 2005 (AB 1878, Chan) a new law requires users of motorized scooters to possess a valid Class C driver’s license or instruction permit. Previously no license was required. The law is also amended to prohibit operating a scooter on a highway or offhighway unless it has a properly maintained muffler in constant operation. It also prohibits sale of a scooter the produces more than 80 decibels at a distance of 50 feet.
A motorized scooter may not be propelled at a speed in excess of 15 MPH. The operator of a motorized scooter shall not operate it on a highway (which also includes city streets) with a speed limit in excess of 25 MPH, unless the motorized scooter is operated within a bike lane. V.C. 22411
Registration, Insurance and License Requirements
A motorized scooter is not required to be registered and no proof of financial responsibility (vehicle insurance) is required. V.C. 21224
Note: Your insurance policies may not provide coverage for accidents involving the use of these scooters. To determine if coverage is provided, you should contact your insurance company or agent.
Must Comply With the Vehicle Code
Every person operating a motorized scooter upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle ... including but not limited to, provisions concerning driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs. V.C. 21221
Night Provisions / Equipment
Motorized scooters operated during hours of darkness are required to have the proper lighting equipment and reflectors. Required is a headlight visible 300 feet to the front, red reflector visible 500 feet to the rear and white or yellow side reflectors visible 200 feet. V.C. 21223
Rules of the Road
A motor scooter traveling at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or right edge of the roadway except when: V.C. 21228
Overtaking and passing another vehicle
Preparing for a left turn, the operator shall stop and dismount as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or right edge of the roadway and complete the turn by crossing the roadway on foot, subject to the restrictions placed on pedestrians.
If a bike lane exists, any person operating a motorized scooter upon the roadway shall ride within the bicycle lane except for provisions in V.C. 21228. V.C. 21229
Brake, Speed, Helmet, Age of Rider, Passengers, Handlebars, Sidewalks
The operator of a motorized scooter shall not do any of the following:
Operate a motorized scooter when the operator is under the age of 16 years old.
Operate a motorized scooter without wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet per 21212 VC. (Roller Blade and Skateboard helmets do not meet the requirement).
Operate a motorized scooter carrying any package, bundle, or article that prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.
Operate a motorized scooter with any passengers in addition to the operator.
Operate a motorized scooter unless it is equipped with a brake that will enable the operator to make a braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
Operate a motorized scooter upon a sidewalk.
Operate a motorized scooter on the highway with the handlebars raised so that the operator must elevate his or her hands above the level of his or her shoulders in order to grasp the normal steering grip area.
Leave a motorized scooter on its side on any sidewalk, or parked on a sidewalk in any other position, so that there is not an adequate path for pedestrian traffic. V.C. 21235
The above listed laws went into effect on January 1, 2000 (licensing requirement on January 1, 2005) and will be enforced by the officers of the Irvine Police Department. If you wish to report a violation, call (949) 724-7200.
Vehicles that have been abandoned for over 72 hours can be reported to the Irvine Police Department to be marked for Abandoned Auto. This includes all vehicles in public sight that are inoperable for any reason. 72 hours after the vehicle has been marked it can be towed at the owners expense. To report an abandoned vehicle, contact the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7200.
All bicycles that are operated in The City of Irvine are required to have a bicycle license from the Irvine Police Department. Licensing is free, but the bicycle must be in safe working condition to be licensed. You must also report the bicycle make, model, and serial number. This helps police and other officials track your bicycle should it be lost or stolen. When you apply, you will receive a license decal to be placed on your bicycle and a pamphlet outlining bicycle safety tips and regulations. For more information, or to license your bicycle, contact the Irvine Police Department located at 1 Civic Center Plaza, between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, or Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by calling (949)724-7000.
Community Police Academy
As part of the Irvine Police Department’s community policing effort, the Community Police Academy is an educational program designed to provide participants with real-life, hands-on experience about the everyday operations of our department. Participants don’t just sit in a classroom either; much of the instruction involves hands-on experience! Just some of the courses include:
- Arrest & Control Response
- Special Weapons Unit Demonstration
- Emergency Vehicle Operations
- Orange County Jail Tour
The Community Police Academy is a 14-week program. Classes are held each Wednesday from 6:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Classes are held at the Irvine Police Department. The class culminates the 14-week program with a formal graduation banquet and ceremony that family and friends can attend. The next Academy begins in September 2005.
Minimum age for participation is 21. Participants must live or work within the City of Irvine.
Participants cannot have any prior felony convictions and no misdemeanor arrests within one year of application. A background check, including fingerprinting, will be conducted on all applicants. Prior police contacts and arrests will be reviewed and considered in the screening process.
To apply for participation in a CPA Class, download an application and mail it in, or call Katie Brannen at (949) 724-7045. For additional information, you may contact the CPA Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (949)724-7045.
Are you a Community Police Academy past participant? Join the Community Police Academy Alumni Association. Contact the Alumni Association here: email@example.com.
Concealed Weapon Permits
If you are interested in obtaining a CCW (Carrying a Concealed Weapon) permit, please contact Sergeant Gary Wyatt at (949) 724-7041, or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
To insure the safety of Irvine citizens, especially minors, the Irvine Police Department enforces curfew regulations for minors under the age of 18. These regulations make it unlawful for children to loiter, idle, or linger unsupervised in parks, playgrounds, vacant lots, or other public places and buildings between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. of the following day. This law does not apply to a minor accompanied by his or her parent, guardian, or other adult responsible for child care and custody, or in situations where the minor is upon an emergency errand or legitimate business directed by the parent, guardian or adult supervisor or the minor is attending an official school, religious or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the City, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor, or going to or returning home from, without any detour or stop, an official school, religious or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the City, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor. Violation of this ordinance will result in a misdemeanor citation being issued to the minor, and can result in the same for the supervising adult if they knowingly permit the minor to violate this regulation. For more information about the curfew regulation, or to report a suspected violation of the law, contact the Irvine Police Department Business Desk at (949) 724-7000.
The Irvine Police Department in conjunction with the Irvine Unified School District and the Tustin Unified School Distict, sponsors the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program, or D.A.R.E. Program, at several Irvine Elementary schools. D.A.R.E. is a drug education and prevention program taught in the 5th or 6th grades with a primary emphasis on helping students to recognize drugs and realize their effects. The program provides accurate information about alcohol and drugs and aims to equip youths with skills needed to resist the peer pressure to experiment with harmful drugs. D.A.R.E. also teaches children decision making skills and provides ideas of alternative ways for kids to spend their time. Additional lessons are also taught on bullying, youth laws, and internet safety. The program is unique in that all instructors are uniformed police officers who dedicate their time to educate the youth of the Irvine Schools . For more information about the D.A.R.E. program, contact the Irvine Police Department main offices, located at 1 Civic Center Plaza , between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or call them at (949) 724-7000.
Driving Regulations information can be obtained from the State of California, Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may be contacted at 1-800-777-0133.
The following local DMV offices serve Irvine and surrounding communities:
- Costa Mesa: 650 W. 19th Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
- Laguna Hills: 23535 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Hills, CA 92653
- Santa Ana: 1330 East First Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
- Westminster: 13700 Hoover Street, Westminster, CA 92683
For more information, visit their website at www.dmv.ca.gov
The personnel assigned to the Front Desk of the Irvine Police Department provide live scan and ink fingerprinting services to both residents and visitors to the City of Irvine during scheduled hours of operation.
Live Scan and Ink Fingerprinting Hours
9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
All fingerprinting services require that picture identification be presented. We cannot process payments by credit card. Personal checks (made out to the City of Irvine) and cash (no bills over $50.00 please) are accepted. If you have any questions, please contact the Business Desk at (949) 724-7000 or visit the web site link: Public Safety Department Fingerprinting Web site Link Fingerprinting hours are subject to change based on availability.
We do not process fingerprints for the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) for U.S. Citizenship. The INS has fingerprinting locations designated for this service.
Livescan fingerprinting services is done by appointment only. You must contact the Front Desk of the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7000 to schedule your appointment. All appointments are scheduled on a "first come first served" basis. If you miss your appointed time, you must schedule a new appointment time and date. Please bring your forms.
Livescan is $10.00 per license plus any additional fees for services requested by the requestor. Below is a list of typical fees:
California Department of Justice (DOJ)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
California Child Abuse Index
Geographic Policing - General Information
In an effort to continuously improve the quality of service the Irvine community deserves, the Irvine Police Department transitioned to Geographic Policing on May 24, 2003. This change means Irvine has been divided into three geographic areas for policing purposes. These areas were then given names after much discussion, research, input from department members and the community and based on their geographic location. The names selected are “Portola,” “University” and “Crossroads” . Each of the areas are lead by a single Commander supported with a cadre of supervisors, Patrol officers, Traffic officers, Investigators and civilian support staff, all of whom are tasked with working toward preventing community safety issues and quickly and effectively resolving issues as they evolve.
This change allows for patrol officers, investigators and traffic officers to be assigned to the same geographic area for a “one year” time period. This will make these personnel more familiar with the people that live and work in that area while giving them “ownership” for an entire geographic area. Although the officers may move from area to area within a shift based on the entire city needs they will be held accountable for those issues in their area. A special emphasis will be placed on “Quality of Life” issues that affect each of these communities. These issues generally include traffic, noise and vandalisms. Working on these issues help to reassure our community members that we work and live in one of the safest cities in the nation. These changes strengthen our “partnership” mission and our Values of providing quality of service, integrity, respect and accountability.
The University area of the City of Irvine is bordered by the San Diego Freeway (I-405) on the north, Laguna Canyon Road (I-133) on the east, the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor (SR 73) on the south. This area includes the communities of Rancho San Joaquin, Turtle Rock, University Park, University Town Center, Quail Hill, Shady canyon and Turtle Ridge.
The University area also includes the Irvine Business Complex (IBC), which is bordered by the San Diego Creek on the east, Barranca Parkway on the north, The Newport Freeway (I-55) on the west and MacArthur Blvd. on the south. This area of the city includes both commercial and residential areas. Click the link for additional information on the University Area.
The Crossroads area is the central area of Irvine. It encompasses the communities of Windwood, Woodbridge, Westpark, Walnut Square, Deerfield, The Ranch, The Colony, College Park, Irvine Groves, Harvard Square, Heritage Park, Greentree, The Willows/Greentree, Smoketree, and California Homes. Click the link for additional information on the Crossroads Area.
The Portola area is basically east of Jeffrey Road and north of the I5 Freeway. It encompasses the communities of Northwood, North Park, Racquet Club, Oak Creek, Orangetree, West Irvine, East Irvine, Old Towne Irvine, Woodbury, Heritage Fields and the Irvine Spectrum. Click here for additional information on the Portola Area.
Handgun and Firearm Regulations
The Discharge of Firearms within the City of Irvine limits is prohibited under Irvine Municipal Code 4-14-103. The municipal code section is detailed below:
Sec. 4-14-103. Discharge of firearms prohibited; exemptions.
A. Prohibition. It shall be unlawful for any person, other than peace officers and members of the armed forces and National Guard acting in their official line of duty, to shoot, fire or discharge, or for any person to cause or permit to be shot, fired or discharged, within the City, any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or firearm, or BB gun, pellet gun and air rifle of any kind, except when it may be necessary to do so in order to protect life or property or to destroy or kill any predatory or dangerous animal.
B. Firing ranges exempted. The provisions of section 4-13-103A shall not be deemed nor construed to prohibit the establishment or maintenance of any pistol, rifle, or target range, nor to prohibit the discharge at any target thereon, by any person using such range, of any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or firearm or BB gun, pellet gun and air rifle of any kind in or on such range, provided that such range is so installed, constructed, safeguarded, equipped, maintained, and used so as to adequately prevent any bullet, shot or missile from being projected beyond the confines of such range.
C. Hunting clubs exempted. The provisions of section 4-13-103A shall not be deemed nor construed to prohibit the establishment or maintenance of any hunting club, nor to prohibit the discharge, by any member or guest of such club, of any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or firearm or BB gun, pellet gun and air rifle of any kind upon the premises thereof; provided, however, that said premises have first been approved for such use by the Planning Commission, and provided further that the premises shall be so operated and maintained as to adequately prevent any bullet, shot or missile from being projected beyond the confines thereof.
(Ord. No. 45, §§ 32.011--32.013, 9-26-72; Code 1976, §§ IV.L-103--IV.L-105)
In response to the rising numbers of incidents involving juvenile head trauma, the California State Legislature passed a law in January 2003 requiring all individuals under the age of 18 to wear an approved bicycle helmet while riding a bicycle on a roadway (highway), sidewalk, or bike path.
What makes this law unique is that the helmet law (21212a CVC) applies to scooters ("Razors"), rollerblades, roller-skates skateboards, as well as electric and motorized scooters ("Go-Peds"). However, with motorized scooters, ALL riders, regardless of age, must wear a helmet. To comply with the law, helmets must be securely fastened, with straps connected. It should be noted that a person must be 16 years of age in order to ride a motorized scooter and as of January 2005, must also posses a California driver’s license.
Children issued citations for helmet law violations should receive a courtesy notice in the mail from the court within two to three weeks, listing a fine amount. The fine can be as much as $86 or more. It is the child’s responsibility to inform their parents of their having received a citation, in the event that a notice is not received via mail. A choice of paying the fine via mail, or making a court appearance is offered. Parents electing to appear in court with their child should bring a working helmet with them. If it is a child’s first offense, and he or she testifies under oath that it is their first offense, the citation can be dismissed.
The Irvine Police Department’s Traffic Unit is genuinely concerned regarding the safety of the children in our community, and encourages parents to communicate the importance of responsible riding.
27803(b) / 27803(c) CVC requires all drivers and passengers riding a motorcycle to wear a DOT helmet. The use of a "novelty" helmet is a violation of the vehicle code and a rider and/or passenger may be cited and fined approx $86. The "novelty" helmet may be seized as evidence under the CA constitution and presented as evidence in court.
Home Safety Tips
Burglary is a serious crime to which we are all vulnerable. It is however one of the most preventable of crimes. A few simple precautions will greatly reduce the possibility that you will become a victim of this crime. Follow these guidelines to help prevent crime in your home: Make your home look occupied at all times. Leave interior lights on when you go out for the night and utilize exterior lighting or motion sensitive outdoor lighting. Lock your outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Do not allow daily deliveries, such as mail and newspaper, to accumulate. If you are gone, have a neighbor pick up these items for you and arrange to have your lawn cut in the summer. You should maintain a detailed description, pictures and the serial numbers of all appliances, tools, radios, televisions, firearms, and other valuables you own. Whenever possible, inscribe or label your valuables with your driver's license number. The Irvine Police Department offers programs that provide crime prevention techniques you may implement to help protect you and your home. Crime Prevention officers can also conduct a security check of your home to make sure it is safe. For more information about home safety programs, or to receive safety brochures at your home, contact the Irvine Police Department, Crime Prevention Unit at (949) 724-7079.
Home Security Inspection
What is a Home Security Inspection?
An Irvine Police Department Crime prevention officer will conduct an on site inspection of your home, evaluating your locks, lighting and landscaping and make any recommendations to better secure your home to reduce your chances of becoming a burglary victim.
How much does it cost?
This is a free service, and is provided to all Irvine residents at no cost to them what-so-ever.
What are the hours that inspections are conducted?
We conduct the inspections Tuesdays thru Fridays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
How long does it take?
The inspection normally takes about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, possibly longer if the resident has many questions to be answered.
How do I schedule an inspection?
You may call the Crime Prevention Bureau at (949) 724-7051 to schedule an appointment.
PURPOSE OF HEARING. As a vehicle owner or other person entitled to possession of an impounded vehicle, you have the right to a hearing if you believe your vehicle should not have been impounded. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether there was probable cause to impound the vehicle, that is, whether the impounding officer was legally authorized to remove your vehicle.
WHEN AND WHERE HEARING WILL BE HELD. The hearing will be held within forty-eight (48) hours of the request, excluding weekends and holidays. The hearing will consist of a meeting with a hearing officer at the City of Irvine Police Department. You may present any witnesses or any other evidence you believe will show that your vehicle should not have been impounded. You must establish that you are the owner of the vehicle or that you have some other right to possession of it.
ATTENDANCE BY IMPOUNDING OFFICER. At the time you request a hearing, you may also request that the police officer who directed the impound appear and answer your questions at the hearing.
CONDUCT OF THE HEARING. If the Hearing Officer determines that your vehicle should not have been impounded, it will be released to you without charge, or you will be repaid after processing by mail for the charges you paid to the Official Police Garage. If the Hearing Officer determines that the vehicle was properly impounded, you must pay the impound and storage charges to the Official Police Garage (if you have not done so already), or the garage will have a lien placed on the vehicle.
HOW TO REQUEST A HEARING. Request must be done within ten (10) business days of the date of mailing of the “Notice of Stored Vehicle”. Failure to request a hearing within ten (10) days of the notice, or failure to attend a scheduled hearing will end your right to a hearing.
(1) Complete a Request for Vehicle Impound Hearing Form. Click here to download a form
(2) Telephone the Irvine Police Front Desk at (949) 724-7004 during normal business hours.
(3) Write or appear in person at the Irvine Police Department, One Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606-5208.
NOTE: Your right to a hearing within forty-eight (48) hours does not affect your right to seek an immediate release of your vehicle, without waiting for a hearing, by obtaining a written release from the Irvine Police Department and paying the impound and storage charges of the Official Police Garage. In this event, the Hearing Officer will determine whether you are entitled to a refund of the charges.
RESULTS OF HEARING: A written reply will be provided by the Hearing Officer. The time within which to file a judicial challenge of the Hearing Officer’s decision is governed by section 1094.6 of the California Code of Civil Procedure.
Our Investigative Team is trained to investigate a wide range of crimes, including crimes against persons, burglary, fraud, identity theft, narcotics violations, juvenile offenses, and a host of others. All of our detectives have been assigned to a geo-policing district, which allows them to become familiar with crime trends specific to their particular district. Click here for more information on the Investigative Division.
If you have already filed a police report and need further assistance, please call (949) 724-7160 and ask to speak to the detective handling your case. If you have not filed a police report and need to do so, or need general information, call (949) 724-7000.
Jail Information/Ordered Bookings
The Irvine Police Department's Jail is only a holding facility. Arrestees are either booked into Orange County Jail, Orange County Juvenile Hall, or Cited and Released. Arrestees are not allowed incoming phone calls while in the holding facility but can make outgoing calls according to the established booking procedures. Arrestees are not allowed visitors.
Persons ordered to be booked by the Court (Court Ordered Booking) or by an Officer (Prior to Appearance Booking) should call the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7000 and ask to speak to a Custody Officer. Ordered bookings are generally performed Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. The Custody Officer will schedule the appointment. All persons must bring photo identification and any paperwork required when they arrive for their appointment. A fee may apply.
Juveniles loitering may, or may not, be committing a criminal act. Irvine Municipal code contains several sections that may, or may not, be applicable depending on the situation. Call the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7200 to notify police. Please be sure to articulate any of the following circumstances, which may constitute a violation:
- Loiter, or stand Obstructing sidewalks and/or a highway. I.M.C. section 4-14-105.
- Minors out after curfew (11 p.m. to 6 a.m.). I.M.C. section 4-14-303A.
- Parents knowingly allowing their minor children to loiter after curfew are in violation of I.M.C. section 4-14-305A.
- Disorderly conduct within a City park. I.M.C. section 3-4-122A.
If you have lost property in the City of Irvine, you may contact the Property Department at (949) 724-7095 or (949) 724-7096, to see if the property has been turned in. You will need to give a complete description of the property and the approximate time that you lost it.
If you have had property stolen in the City of Irvine, and you made a police report, you may contact the investigator assigned to your case for the status. If you have not made a police report, you may call (949) 724-7000 for the procedure for filing a police report.
If you have received a letter from the Property Department advising that they have your property and it is ready for release, you may pick up your property between 8:30 a.m. through 4 p.m.Monday through Friday with the exception of holidays.
Missing Persons and Runaways Reports
If you suspect that someone you know is either missing or has run away, you can file a missing persons report with the Irvine Police Department. You do not have to wait 24 hours, you may make the report at any time following the person's disappearance. An officer will gather pertinent facts about the missing person, such as where and when they were last seen and who they were with. It is always helpful if you can provide physical descriptions, facial features, clothing when they disappeared, and ages of the people involved. If a vehicle is involved, a physical description as well as the color, model, year, and license plate number are very helpful. Any detail you can remember will greatly assist police in the apprehension of criminals. After you file your report, be as patient as possible while the department investigates your report. Be assured that officers make every effort to quickly and comprehensively follow up each situation. For more information, or to file a missing persons report, contact the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7200.
Police Officers of the Irvine Police Department issues tickets for moving violations within the City of Irvine. Tickets will not be marked with the amount of the fine as this is determined by the court based on the violation and the violators driving record. Most moving violations are payable without a court appearance. The court should send a “courtesy notice” with the amount of the fine, if you choose to pay the fine prior to your hearing date. Note that payment of the fine is an admittance of guilt in the offense and cannot be appealed.
If the violation on your citation can not be handled via the mail or if you wish to contest the citation, you must appear in court for an arraignment on or before the date, time, and court specified on the citation. Failure to appear in court may result in issuance of a bench warrant for your arrest.
For more information about moving violations, contact the Harbor Justice Center, located at 4601 Jamboree Rd. Newport Beach, California, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or call them at (657) 622-5400.
Neighborhood Watch Program
One of the best ways to prevent crime in residential neighborhoods is to organize a Neighborhood Watch Program. Neighborhood Watch groups are not difficult to organize. You can request information packets from the Irvine Police Department Crime Prevention Unit during regular business hours. Share the information with your neighborhood. They, in turn, provide information to the police. Neighborhood Watch participants' duties include arranging for a home security survey, practicing operation identification, exchanging identification with neighbors, reporting all crimes and suspicious activity to the police, and participating in passive patrol in your neighborhood. Watch group participants should never attempt to arrest an offender. To learn more about the program, or to obtain an information packet, contact the Irvine Police Department Crime Prevention Unit at (949) 724-7079.
A noisy neighbor may create a disturbance by having a loud television, stereo, or radio. There is no formal time at which noise becomes illegal. We enforce California Penal Code section 415. This section of the penal codes provides that noise is illegal when “any person…maliciously and willfully disturbs another person by loud and unreasonable noise”. Since no time frame is specified within this section it means that any person’s peace can be disturbed at any time of day they consider their peace to be disturbed by unreasonable noise, whether 2 a.m. or 2 p.m. The unreasonableness of the noise is an important and necessary requirement of an actual violation of Penal Code section 415.
If this is occurring you should call the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7200 to report it. You may be asked if you wish to sign a complaint. In effect, you are being asked if you will sign a citizen’s arrest for disturbance of the peace. Under California law, a police officer’s peace cannot be disturbed. A police officer observing a social gathering and hearing loud music cannot enforce Penal Code 415 without a citizen who has reported this gathering to be disturbing their peace. To allow us the authority to arrest the offending party we must have a victim who has identified himself or herself to us, and is willing to make the citizen’s arrest for this section. Even if you do not wish to do so, you will still be asked for your name, address and phone number, for our information only.
Property Maintenance Noise
Irvine Municipal Code section 6-8-205B prohibits noise of maintenance of real property from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on any day except Sundays. On Sundays and Federal holidays property maintenance noise is restricted between the hours of 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. Call the Irvine Police Department if you observe violations of this section.
Leaf Blower Noise
Irvine Municipal code section 6-8-205.C.2C requires leaf blowers to be tested and certified to be below 70 decibels before they can be used within the City. Certified blowers are restricted from use 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturdays. Leaf blowers are not allowed to operate at any time on Sundays. Call (949) 724-6326 to register and certify leaf blowers for use, or to report companies using leaf blowers in violation.
Obtaining Police Records and Reports
In order to obtain a copy of a police report, individuals must be named in the report or be the owner of property involved. Police reports are .10 per page. Please call the Business Desk at (949) 724-7000 to ascertain if your report is available. Bring picture identification with you when picking up the report. Reports cannot be faxed. Additionally, some reports are not releasable.
Insurance company request for police reports are processed via U.S. mail only. Requests must be mailed in and include: the report number or full name of the party involved, a self-addressed stamped envelope and a check for the cost of the report. The .10 per page fee applies.
Attorney requests for police reports are processed via U.S. mail only if they can document they are the Attorney of fact. The .10 per page fee applies.
Crime and Incident Reports:
If the disclosure would endanger the safety of a witness or other involved party
If disclosure could endanger the successful completion of an investigation and/or related investigation
Name and address of a victim(s) of certain specified crimes will not be disclosed
If the Department is prohibited by law from releasing the report (e.g. child abuse reports)
Traffic Collision Reports:
Drivers involved in the collision
Registered owners of vehicles involved
Parents of a minor driver involved
Passengers involved listed in the report
Those incurring property damage as a result of the accident
Those who may incur civil liability as a result of the accident
Any attorney who declares under penalty of perjury that he or she represents any of the above persons
Parents of a juvenile may receive a copy of certain types of reports if their child is the only juvenile identified in the report.
All other requestors must petition the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court directly for the release of juvenile records. The Juvenile Court has the exclusive authority to determine whom, and the extent to which juvenile record information may be released.
The Irvine Police Department works in cooperation with the California Highway Patrol and the state of California to insure that all vehicles traveling on local public roads obey posted and standard restrictions regarding vehicle weight.
Motor vehicles may not carry more than the allowed number pounds per axle or a total allowed number pounds on any road in the City of Irvine. The police department enforces these weight regulations through a mobile commercial vehicle enforcement program. Failure to obey the posted weight limit or the allowed vehicle weight limit may result in heavy fines and penalties.
For more information about overweight vehicles, or to report a vehicle that you believe is operating illegally, contact Officer Scott Crones, the Commercial Enforcement Officer for the Irvine Police Department located at 1 Civic Center Plaza, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, or call him at (949) 724-7000.
The Irvine Police Department is responsible for the enforcement of laws related to parking within the city of Irvine. Parking citations list the violation and the fine amount. Parking citations are not moving violations and will not reflect on a drivers DMV record. Citations are issued to the registered owner of the parked vehicle.
Be sure to read the instructions printed on the front and back of the citation. Certain violations require proof of correction. The police department front desk is able to verify proof of correction.
Parking citation fines must be paid within 21 calendar days from the date of the violation. The parking citation is an envelope that allows the violator to mail the citation and payment at the same time. The reverse of the citation is pre-addressed to a processing center. Do not change the address on the citation. Violators who pay their citations within 21 days are not required to take any further action. Any fines paid after 21 days may result in late fees and a DMV registration hold. The registration hold will prevent the driver from registering the vehicle until the citation has been paid.
Violators wishing to contest a citation must follow the following procedure. The initial parking review is handled by mail only. The police department will not review any citation in person, or over the telephone. You must write a letter to the department and provide an explanation of dispute. Please include any evidence or photographs that may be helpful to the Review Officer. Any items sent to the department will not be returned. All parking citation review requests must be post marked within 21 days of the violation. The Police Department will not review any citations after 21 days of issuance. A written response will be sent to you within 10 days.
If the citation involves any violations relating to disabled person parking, please be sure to include the following information with your review. A copy of the disabled persons placard, a copy of the handicap placard registration, a copy of the registered owners identification card, and a narrative from the disabled person as to the circumstances related to the violation.
Send your parking citation review request to:
Irvine Police Department
Attention: Parking Reviews
1 Civic Center Plaza
PO BOX 19575
Irvine CA 92623
If you need further information, call (949) 724-7026 or (949) 724-7037.
Working "in partnership with the community" the Irvine Police Department patrols approximately 47 square miles and is rapidly growing, providing service to over 165,000 persons. The City of Irvine is expected to grow out to its sphere of influence, which encompasses 73 square miles, within the next year with the addition of the Northern Sphere and Heritage Fields (El Toro Marine Air Base). The projected population is 250,000.
The patrol division of the Irvine Police Department transitioned to Geographic Policing on May 24, 2003. This change means Irvine has been divided into three geographic areas. These areas were then given names after much discussion, research, input from department members and the community and based on their geographic location. The names selected are “Portola,” “University” and “Crossroads.”
Currently, patrol officers operate under the area policing plan and officers, whether a patrol officer, traffic officer or a detective, are assigned to a specific area. The officers, who are assigned to a geographical area for longer periods of time, are allowed to become more familiar with problems occurring in their respective areas. In doing so, the officers' ability to address the community's needs and concerns will be more effective and specific. In addition to the improvements to the way we operate, we are also implementing cutting edge technology to help our officers and civilian employees to be more effective.
Each police vehicle is equipped with a laptop computer, offering powerful computer software that allows officers to locate addresses, create reports, generate maps, and receive calls for service. As technology advances, we too will maintain the most state of the art equipment available. We are currently updating our software to make computer operations even more effective. In addition to that technology, several police vehicles are also equipped with moving radar and we are also studying the emerging technologies associated with in-car video technology. These additions to our technological tools will contribute to a safer community.
Working as a patrol officer you have the ability to work a wide variety of assignments. Possible assignments include:
- Field training officer (FTO)
- Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)
- Bike patrol
- Spectrum entertainment Policing Officer
- Canine Officer
- Vice/Narcotics Investigator
- DARE Officer
- School Resource Officer
Personal Safety Tips
Self protection means knowing how to avoid being the victim of an attack or robbery by keeping alert for the unexpected and not taking unnecessary chance. It also includes knowing what to do if you are a victim and acting with common sense and cooperating with authorities. The Irvine Police Department has programs in place to help protect yourself against crime. Programs include precautions to take at home, precautions to take while walking or driving a car, sexual assault and robbery prevention, and various other topics of concern. Programs are intended to help you evaluate a crime risk and provide you with skills and information to help reduce the possibility of crime occurring and what to do if you do become a victim. For more information about personal safety programs, or to receive safety brochures at your home, contact the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7000.
Police Department - Emergencies
In the event you need the emergency services of the Irvine Police Department, please dial 9-1-1. Please remember that 9-1-1 should only be used for in-progress crimes and/or life threatening situations. When you dial 911 for emergency assistance, the dispatcher will answer the phone and ask you questions about the emergency. They are: your name, the address of the emergency, the telephone number you are calling from, and a brief description of the emergency such as "An intruder is in my house," or "There is an accident at the intersection of Alton and Culver." Stay on the line until the dispatcher tells you it is ok to hang up. Dispatchers ask standard questions to help them make evaluations, decisions, and forward the necessary information to those responding to your call. Generally personnel are dispatched while the dispatcher is still on the line with you. For more information about police and emergency procedures call the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7200.
Police Department - General Information
The Irvine Police Department consists of 168 sworn Police Officers who are trained to provide you with the highest level of public safety and emergency assistance. The Irvine Police Department also has 911 services for emergency police, fire, and rescue assistance 24 hours a day. For more information about the emergency and non-emergency services that the Irvine Police Department brings to you, stop by the department's main office, located at 1 Civic Center Plaza, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, or call them at (949)724-7000. You may also visit our website at www.irvinepd.org.
Police Department Tours
Crime Prevention will provide your group or organization with a tour of the Irvine Police Department. The tour will begin at the Front Desk of the police department and the fingerprinting station. While on tour your group will also see the Communications Center, Emergency Operations Center, ITRAC, Report Writing Room, Briefing Room, and Secured Parking Lot with police vehicles. The highlight of the tour is the Jail. (If facilities are in use-they will not be included in the tour.) Please call (949) 724-7079 to schedule your tour.
Police Explorers Program
The Irvine Police Explorers is a program that allows teenagers to investigate a career in law enforcement. Explorers volunteer at a variety of community events and provide services ranging from traffic control to fingerprinting small children. After explorers complete a five-day training academy, they are invited to participate in monthly patrol ride-alongs. "I have the best time when I am on ride-alongs, I get to be right in the middle of all the action. I have been able to have a much better understanding of law enforcement and now know that this would be a great career." said Police Explorer Captain, Scott Grange.
Explorers meet the second and fourth Wednesday of every month, at 6:30 p.m. During meetings, they discuss upcoming events and receive training ranging from homicide investigation to first aid. Explorers are greatly involved in the community and encourage all members to develop strong ethics and leadership. Many former explorers have gone onto careers in law enforcement.
The Explorers raise money while working community events and use that money to take annual summer vacations. Past trips have included: a five-day cruise, seven days in Hawaii and this year they will travel up north for a river-rafting trip.
The police department recruits new explorer members throughout the school year. Those interested are encouraged to attend the open house. Candidates must attend two consecutive meetings and complete an oral interview. Those interested in joining, should be of strong moral character and free of any significant criminal history.
For more information, contact the Irvine Explorer Hotline at (949) 724-7048.
Reporting a Crime
Many people have questions about what is suspicious. It could be a stranger who enters your neighbor's home while your neighbor is away with no apparent lawful purpose, or someone carrying property such as TVs, radios, or stereos at an unusually late hour or in an unusual place. It could be non-public employees using or damaging public utilities. Other suspicious activity is the sound of shattering glass, which could be the sign of a burglary or vandalism in progress. Anyone being forced into a vehicle could be the victim of a possible abduction. In general, any activity which you observe that is out of the ordinary and potentially illegal should be reported. When you make your report, the police officer or dispatcher will ask for your name, address, and phone number for informational purposes; however, you may remain anonymous and any information you provide will be kept in confidence. An officer will gather pertinent facts about what you witnessed, such as what happened, where, when, and who was involved. It is always helpful if you can provide information like names, physical descriptions, facial features, types of clothing, and estimated ages of the people involved. If a vehicle is involved, a physical description as well as the color, model, year, and license plate number are very helpful. Any detail you can remember will greatly assist police in the apprehension of criminals. If you are reporting a crime such as a burglary, breaking and entering, or theft, provide the police with as much information as possible about the property taken, including property value and serial numbers. After you file your report, remember that the Irvine Police Department receives numerous reports everyday and that it may be some time until your report is investigated. The department must prioritize reports by the nature and severity of the crime committed and the factor time plays in a particular investigation. Be assured that officers make every effort to quickly and comprehensively follow up each situation. For more information about detecting criminal or suspicious activity, or to file a criminal report, contact the Irvine Police Department Business Desk, located at 1 Civic Center Plaza, between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or call them at (949)724-7000.
The Irvine Police Department offers a ride along program in which citizens may ride with a uniformed police officer during his or her regular duty shift. This program is a great way for Irvine citizens to witness firsthand how their law enforcement officials help to keep the community safe. Typically, only residents of Irvine will be permitted. A routine background check will be conducted on all applicants. For more information, or to receive an application, contact the Business Desk located at 1 Civic Center Plaza , between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, or call them at (949) 724-7000.
Beware of any organization soliciting cash or credit card donations by the telephone. Before you purchase from or donate to anyone soliciting by phone, check with the local Better Business Bureau or the State of California. Be sure to request the name of the company, the tax identification number and the name of the representative of the business that has called you. Even if a business is legitimate, it may not be permitted to solicit by telephone. For more information, call the California Department of Justice at (916) 322-3360 or 1-800-952-5225, or call the Better Business Bureau at (909 )825-7280 or visit their website at www.bbb.org
Unregistered or Uninspected Vehicles
All vehicles driven or parked on a public roadway, within the state of California even those that are not driven, are required to be currently registered. Vehicles exempt from this law, include those (vehicles) with proper temporary permits, those reserved for government use, those moved by manufacturers or licensed dealers and those listed with Dept. of Motor Vehicles as non-operational and parked on private property. Vehicle owners are also required to display all appropriate license plates and yearly registration tags indicating compliance with the registration law. Failure to have your vehicle registered or displaying the current tags may result in fines and penalties.
New residents to California have 20 days following their change of residency to apply for vehicle registration. Vehicle owners who have allowed their (vehicle) registration to lapse for longer that six (6) months run the risk of having their vehicles towed to a storage garage until such time as they provide current registration for their vehicle.
For more information concerning vehicle registration contact your local office of the Department of Motor vehicles between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call (800) 777-0133.
Vacation House Watch
The Irvine Police Department offers the residents of the Irvine a Vacation House Watch Program. Residents may contact the department prior to a vacation or business trip and request that a patrol car make periodic checks of their home while they are away. Simply give the department your name, address, and vacation dates. Be sure to mention what lights you will leave on in the house, what lights you will have set on timers, and what security devices you have to protect your home. For more information, contact the Irvine Police Department Business Desk at (949) 724-7000 Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. or Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Vehicle Title and Registration
Vehicle Title and Registration is handled by the State of California, Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may be contacted at 1-800-777-0133.
The following local DMV offices serve Irvine and surrounding communities:
- Costa Mesa: 650 W. 19th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
- Laguna Hills: 23535 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Hills, CA 92653
- Santa Ana: 1330 East First Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
- Westminster: 13700 Hoover Street, Westminister, CA 92683
For more information, visit their website at www.dmv.ca.gov
Vehicle VIN Inspections
Vehicle VIN Inspections and verifications are done by the California Highway Patrol. For more information, call (714) 559-7888.
Rapid communications are prime in the prevention of crime. The more timely one receives information about a crime the better the chances are of not being a victim. WatchMail is a neighborhood electronic crime/disaster related information broadcast to neighbors in real time. It also can provide information to the police about crime/disasters in the community. WatchMail consists of a "host" who broadcasts neighborhood crime and disaster related information via e-mail to surrounding neighbors. WatchMail hosts can share information with 300 - 500 homes or as many residences as would be effected by an incident. For more information about WatchMail please contact the Irvine Police Department Crime Prevention Unit at (949) 724-7079.