Two important and timely questions with respect to DNA replication, DNA recombination, and DNA repair are: (i) what controls which DNA polymerase gains access to a particular primer-terminus, and (ii) what determines whether a DNA polymerase hands off its DNA substrate to either a different DNA polymerase or to a different protein(s) for the completion of the specific biological process? These questions have taken on added importance in light of the fact that the number of known template-dependent DNA polymerases in both eukaryotes and in prokaryotes has grown tremendously in the past two years. Most notably, the current list now includes a completely new family of enzymes that are capable of replicating imperfect DNA templates. This UmuC-DinB-Rad30-Rev1 superfamily of DNA polymerases has members in all three kingdoms of life. Members of this family have recently received a great deal of attention due to the roles they play in translesion DNA synthesis (TLS), the potentially mutagenic replication over DNA lesions that act as potent blocks to continued replication catalyzed by replicative DNA polymerases. Here, we have attempted to summarize our current understanding of the regulation of action of DNA polymerases with respect to their roles in DNA replication, TLS, DNA repair, DNA recombination, and cell cycle progression. In particular, we discuss these issues in the context of the Gram-negative bacterium, Escherichia coli, that contains a DNA polymerase (Pol V) known to participate in most, if not all, of these processes.