DMV.com - your advisor for California DMV issues (not from California? Select another state)

How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in California

If your vehicle's California Vehicle Registration card, license plate(s) or stickers are lost, stolen, or damaged, you may apply for a replacement with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. While the procedure differs slightly depending on what needs to be replaced, you will usually need to complete the following steps.

APPLYING FOR A REPLACEMENT REGISTRATION CARD

You can apply for a replacement registration card if your card is lost, stolen, or damaged by following these steps:

  1. Complete the Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers Documents.
  2. If your current registration card has been damaged, attach the damaged card to the application.
  3. Pay the duplicate registration fee, currently $19.

An application for a replacement registration card can be made by mail or in person. When applying by mail, include the completed application and fee, and mail to:

California Department of Motor Vehicles

P.O. Box 942869

Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

To apply in person, visit your local DMV office. You can save time by making an appointment in advance.

APPLYING FOR A REPLACEMENT LICENSE PLATES

If one or both of your license plates are lost, stolen, or damaged, you must apply for replacement plate(s) immediately. You can obtain replacement plates either in person or by mail.

Applying For Replacement License Plates In Person

  1. Complete the appropriate application for replacement plates. The correct application depends on whether you have regular, special interest, or personalized plates.
  2. Bring the damaged plate(s) with you, if you still have them.
  3. Bring your valid California driver's license. If you do not have a driver's license or ID card, others forms of identification may be acceptable.
  4. If your current address differs from the one the California DMV has on file, you must also provide proof of ownership of the vehicle (a copy of your title or registration card), along with a police report, if your license plates were stolen. In addition, if replacement plates were issued in the past 90 days, you will need to supply a vehicle verification completed by the California Highway Patrol.
  5. Pay the appropriate duplicate registration fee, which varies depending on whether you have regular, special interest, or personalized plates.

To apply in person, visit your local DMV office. You can save time by making an appointment in advance.

Applying For Replacement License Plates By Mail

To be eligible to apply by mail, you must be the registered owner of the vehicle, and your current address must match the one the California DMV has on file.

  1. Complete the appropriate application for replacement plates. The correct application depends on whether you have regular, special interest, or personalized plates.
  2. Mail the damaged plate(s) along with the application, if you still have them.
  3. Pay the appropriate duplicate registration fee, which varies depending on whether you have regular, special interest, or personalized plates.

Mail the application, plate(s) and fee to the address indicated on the form. If the form does not have an address, mail the application package to:

California Department of Motor Vehicles

P.O. Box 942869

Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

APPLYING FOR REPLACEMENT LICENSE PLATE STICKER(S)

Replacing The Year Sticker

If your vehicle's year sticker is lost, stolen or damaged, you are required to obtain a replacement sticker. You must complete the Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents, and pay the appropriate fee, currently $19. Submit the application at your local DMV office. You can save time by making an appointment in advance. You may also mail the application to:

California Department of Motor Vehicles

P.O. Box 942869

Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

Replacing The Month Sticker

Replacement month stickers are available free of charge at your local DMV office. You can save time by making an appointment in advance.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Note that you cannot obtain replacement license plates or stickers for vehicles that are not currently registered.
  • If you have not received your replacement registration card, license plates, or stickers within eight weeks of submitting your application, contact the California DMV at 1-800-777-0133, Monday to Friday between 8 am and 5 pm for assistance.

If you are looking to renew your registration instead of replacing your lost or stolen registration you can Calculate a California car registration renewal fee using DMV.com's fee calculation tool.

Reviews of How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in California

As of March 9, 2013, the fee for new stickers is $19 on the DMV website; not $17 as listed on website.

I bought a car in June (from a dealership) and still haven't received my registration. What do I need to do next? I've already emailed the dealership today and am waiting for a response.

I import a 01 ford pick-up truck to mexico the truck never going to comback to usa how I do a release of liability

My check cleared 1/20/11, and I still haven't received my tags on 3/8/11. D Hernandez

You will need to verify with DMV the status of your registration. Once they realize you haven't received it they should be able to tell you what steps are necessary to get your tags.

how does someone get in touch with the proper department?

Paid, haven't received tags, called 1-800-777-0133 and keep getting told no operators are available to assist. What now?

I bought a new car in July I still have not recieved my registration and tags. What do I need to do now?

I paid my registration, sent proof if insurance and smog certificate the middle of March. I never received my tags. Now what do I need to do. Why do I have to pay another fee. I have the receipt of when I paid.

 

Auto Insurance Comparison

by DMV.com
Find the Best Rates
and save money