Oregon Motorist Info

The following information is updated periodically. However, laws and regulations can change between updates. State statutes and local ordinances are the ultimate authorities for these issues.

Points of Interest

  • Photo RADAR is actively employed in the cities of Portland and Beaverton.
  • Self-service gas is not allowed in Oregon.
  • Exceeding the speed limit while passing on a two-lane road is specifically prohibited.

Speed Limits

Rural Interstates: Cars 65 (70 on specified segments), Trucks 60 (65 on specified segments)
Urban Interstates: Cars 55*, Trucks 55*
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars 55, Trucks 55

*60 in some sections; can be changed from 55 to 60 for cars
(http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/speedlimit_laws.html)

These speed limits apply unless a different limit is posted.

Speed limits are absolute–exceeding the speed limit is illegal per se (regardless of whether it was safe under the specific conditions).

Speed Limit Enforcement Techniques
Enforced through use of:
Pacing: Yes
Radar: Yes
Vascar: Yes
Automated Speed Enforcement: Yes
Aircraft: Yes
Laser: Yes

Ticket Payment Methods
Consult your ticket or clerk of courts

Trial By Declaration Allowed
Yes. (Search Oregon Statutes 153.08)

Discovery
Allowed with provisions

Jury Trial Allowed
Speeding: No
Parking: No
Equipment: No
DUI: Yes

Member of Nonresident Compact
No

Member of Driver License Compact
Yes

When and Where to File Accident Reports
Accidents involving death, personal injury, or property damage exceeding $1500 must be reported immediately to the local authorities or to the Motor Vehicle Division, 1905 Lana Ave. NE, Salem, OR 97314.

Resident Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required (although some states allow posting a cash bond or such as an alternative)
Minimum Coverage Required:
Injury to one person: $25,000
All injuries: $50,000
Property Damage: $10,000
PIP coverage is required, which covers medical, rehabilitation, and work loss expenses of the insured and those injured while riding in the insured’s vehicle, up to a limit of $15,000 per person, without regard to fault.

Phone/Texting Restrictions
Hand-Held Ban: All drivers
All Cell Phone Ban: Drivers younger than 18
Texting Ban: All drivers
Enforcement: Primary: for all offenses
http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/cellular-phone-use-and-texting-while-driving-laws.aspx

Other Regulations

  • Open intoxicants are prohibited in the vehicle.
  • The BAC level is .08%. For commercial vehicles, the level is .04% or greater.
  • Oregon has an administrative license suspension law and an implied consent law. The breathalyzer refusal penalty is a 1-year driver’s license suspension.
  • Firearms must be carried in plain view or securely encased in the trunk or storage area; state law does not prohibit loaded firearms in vehicles, however, county governments may regulate this aspect separately.
  • Studded tires are permitted from November 1 to April 30.
  • Tire chains are required in certain local jurisdictions based on conditions.
  • Oregon has a seat belt law with primary enforcement for all occupants.
  • Child passengers must be restrained in approved child safety seats until they weigh forty pounds. Infants must ride rear-facing until they reach both one year of age AND twenty pounds.
  • Oregon has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law.
  • Registration and insurance card must be carried in the vehicle.

General Information
Telephone: 503/945-5000 (Department of Motor Vehicles) or http://www.osbar.org/public/legalinfo/traffic.html (Oregon State Bar, Traffic Law)
Emergency Cellular Phone Number: 911