State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs

California Highway Patrol (CHP)

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Under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Business, Transportation and Housing, the primary mission of the California Highway Patrol is the management and regulation of traffic to achieve safe, lawful, and efficient use of highways. The secondary mission of the CHP is to serve as a major statewide law enforcement agency which supports local law enforcement and assists in emergencies exceeding local capabilities to provide disaster and life-saving assistance to the public. In addition, the CHP is mandated to enforce the California Public Utilities (CPUC) regulations governing safety standards for trucking and passenger service vehicles. Each California Highway Patrol office is structured to include every aspect and responsibility of CHP jurisdiction so that any area office can handle all the same problems or same types of calls. Therefore, no matter what office a consumer calls, that individual would find the same kind of assistance as he or she would from any CHP office.

Responsibilities include:

  • Under California Public Utilities Commission mandates, the CHP is responsible for safety compliance inspections of school buses, heavy trucks, farm labor vehicles, and commercial vehicles. A major CHP responsibility is performing safety inspection of commercial transportation vehicles at state inspection stations. Inspections include checking for the transporting of hazardous wastes.
  • Responsible for traffic enforcement on freeways or highways.
  • Responsible for protecting state property and for assisting state employees during emergency situations.
  • Responsible for providing VIN (Vehicle Identification Numbers) numbers for stolen cars or reconstructed cars with missing VIN numbers

California Highway Patrol
Bureau of Internal Affairs
2555 First Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 657-7261

Mailing Address:
PO Box 942898
Sacramento, CA 94298-0001

How to file a complaint against a California Highway Patrol Officer:

Consumers may file a complaint with their local law enforcement agency. Each law enforcement agency in the state is required to establish a procedure to investigate citizen's complaints under Penal Code section 832.5. A written description of this procedure is available from each law enforcement agency. If resolution cannot be obtained through this procedure, a complaint may be filed with the California Highway Patrol Commissioner's Office.

California Highway Patrol
Commissioner's Office
PO BOX 942898
Sacramento, CA 94298-0001

Most complaints against a California Highway Patrol officer can be resolved through this office. Consumer should allow ample time for an investigation into the complaint.

If the California Highway Patrol Commissioner's Office fails to act on a complaint, consumers may file a written complaint with the Attorney General's Office. Complaints directed to the Attorney General should include the details of contacts made with the Internal Affairs Division (local law enforcement agency) and the Commissioner's Office in an attempt to resolve the complaint.

California Department of Justice (DOJ)
Office of the Attorney General
PO BOX 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
(916) 445-2550
(800) 952-5225 (Public Inquiry - recording)

Publications available: None are offered by the Consumer Information Center.

See also: None

Other referrals: California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

See California Highway Patrol (CHP)

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