Can one pass another vehicle if the line dividing the roadway is double, dotted yellow in California?

Example of such a line:

enter image description here

Video: https://youtu.be/EL1gieTP3kM.

Note it is a two-way street, where each way has one lane.

What I found so far:

  • I found the rules for solid and broken yellow lines (as shown below), but not double, dotted, yellow.

    enter image description here

  • 1
    I suspect that those reflectors are intended to signify solid lines. There may even have been paint there in the past, but paint often fades away, especially in the southern California sun.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 5:07
  • @phoog thanks, I didn't see any previous presence of solid lines. Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 5:10
  • Searching for dashed line is more fruitful than dotted line. I found the answer if you were asking about Lebanon. Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 5:38

1 Answer 1


No. Such a marking is equivalent to a solid double yellow line, and passing is not permitted.

These raised pavement markers are known as Botts' dots and are commonly used in California together with, or instead of, painted lines. A line of evenly spaced dots is meant to signify a solid line. Since here there is a double line of dots, it is a solid double yellow line. If passing were allowed, you would see a single yellow dashed line, which would be indicated with dots by a group of 3-4 evenly spaced dots, then a longer gap, and repeating.

California Vehicle Code section 21460 provides as follows:

(a) If double parallel solid yellow lines are in place, a person driving a vehicle shall not drive to the left of the lines, except as permitted in this section.


(e) Raised pavement markers may be used to simulate painted lines described in this section if the markers are placed in accordance with standards established by the Department of Transportation.

The relevant standards are found in the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). On page 655, Detail 23, you can see a diagram showing exactly this configuration of dots and stating that it is an alternative to a solid double yellow line.

It appears that current policy is to phase out the use of Botts' dots, so this question may become moot in the future.

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