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How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in California

The California Department of Motor Vehicles notifies vehicle owners of the expiration date of their vehicle registration by mail. Vehicle registrations can be renewed before the expiration date either by through the mail, using the DMV's online service, or in person.


Send the completed registration renewal form and the appropriate payment to:

California Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001    


You can save the time and effort dealing with the government's DMV system or having to go to the DMV in person by completing your registration renewal online through Cartagz. Cartagz will process your renewal online with the benefit of helpful customer service should there be a problem. Cartagz can often help drivers with complex renewal issues caused have tickets or suspensions.


  1. Have your credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express), or a debit card (MasterCard or VISA) handy to pay for the renewal. You can also request an electronic withdrawal from your checking account via e-check.
  2. Make sure you have the renewal notice with the Renewal Identification Number and the Smog certification as filed with the DMV
  3. Go to the California Department of Motor Vehicles Online Services website.
  4. There is no additional fee for online renewals.


  1. Locate the DMV office in your area.
  2. Bring the registration renewal form, mileage certification and smog certification, along with cash, check, credit or debit card to pay for the renewal.


Registration for different categories of vehicles in California will have different fees that range from $32 to $2,064 and your vehicle's estimate can be calculated with's Vehicle Registration Calculator.


  1. Before renewal, check for errors in the pre-printed vehicle renewal notice that arrived in the mail.
  2. For correction or change of address, you can send it to:
    DMV Change of Address
    P.O. Box 942859
    Sacramento, CA 94259-0001    
Or use the DMV's online services to correct your address before renewing. You can also complete the entire process via Cartagz. For any other error, dial the toll-free number (800) 777-0133 and explain the error to the DMV customer service agent.


You can simply renew your registration online by completing the form at the top of the page

Reviews of How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in California

I am Sylvia Doan,

My Two careers:

Electronic quality Technician Engineer and Real Estate

My legal pagers had been corrected since my family sold property at:

165 Blossom Hill Road #43. San Jose, CA 95123

We moved several times cause address needed to change, it did matter to my legal paper if I could not report right time.

Similar my previous personal account had the temporary mailing addresses were not the same with the ID. Human resource did not ask for the ID.

Please report to the Bank to release information about Gemfire Corporation and Century 21 A1 Network.

Thank you very much!

Sylvia Doan

I paid the registration fee on my vehicle, but repair and after a number of diagnostics even with the dealership, my vehicle cannot pass smog. Must of spent over $700 dollars to run testing and replacements. The vehicle is in very good condition with only 55k miles. What can I do to get my smog so I can get registered with my sticker tag?

I have moved out of USA to Canada. I am insuring my vehicle with the local auto insurance agency. Do I get refund of the unused months of vehicle registration fee? Do I need to return the CA license plates to DMV?

I bought a used motorcycle with expired tags from 2008 It has been sitting since then in a garage In order to register it am I paying the past years registration or just this year On the calculator it says there are tons of fees for late registration but I am the new owner and just got into my possesion Let me know

If I lost my registration card is it possible for me to get another one?

I have registered renewal of my vehicle online on May 26, 2013 that i have copy of receipt and payment was taken out from my bank.

Todate have not receive copy of new registration and sticker. Due date of my renewal is June 2, 2013. Kindly advise. Thank you

I have not lived in California since 2008. Before I left California I transferred Vehicle registration through a notary at a DMV office and I gave the vehicle as a gift to a friend of mine. My friend agreed to follow up and get vehicle registered with DMV with the paperwork transfer I gave him etc etc. Unfortunately years later I find out he never registered car on his name but continued driving it. Now my bank account was impounded to pay the due registration on the vehicle and this friend of mine disappeared and I do not know how to reach him. Also I do not even know if he has insurance. So many years have passed and I do not have even the VIN or license plates on the vehicle as I have been moving around and I thought it was a no issue and the car gift had been completed by him. What do I do to stop my liability, report the car as stolen by this individual, I cannot reach him and the DMV keeps the car on my account. I do not live in USA anymore as I work overseas. Anyone with experience please advise how to resolve this without too much expense the car is old not worth more than $2000 5 years ago!!!

I have a 1939 German military motorcycle with a side-car, that has never been registered and has less than 500 miles on it. The DMV here in Merced, Calif. hasn't a clue as to how I go about registering it for the street. PLEASE, PLEASE.., Help me!!!

i am sole owner of my car. my car registration is currently due but i want to add my niece as co-owner of my car. How do i do this and do i have to pay additional fees for this?

I own my car and want to add my son. How do I do that

Question, my vehicle regristion is due June 2013; however, I'm currently in Afghanistan is there a form I can complete so I want be charged last fees for renewal?

have not yet recieved my new registration or stickers bank shows check cashed on 10/29/12 I also sent a check for another of my vehicles on the same day, it also showed to be cashed on 10/29/12 and I recieved registration & sticker for it more than two weeks ago

I have not received my 2013 reg. tag yet. I mailed to you was on 9/8/12. The check was posted to my bank account on 9/12/12. When will I receive my registration/tag?

I have not either!!! Same boat here - any information? I had a change of address does that take longer im assuming. Going on a month here though getting worried

I have a smog test required for an rv but it is currently in Washington state. Can I smog in washington?

There are definitely lots of details like that to take into consideration. That is a nice level to carry up. I offer the thoughts above as basic inspiration however clearly there are questions just like the one you carry up where a very powerful factor will be working in trustworthy good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged round things like that, however I am positive that your job is clearly identified as a good game. Both boys and girls really feel the influence of only a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

How early before the registration is due can I smog my car?

I registered my car when I was in California on 2010. But, Now I am in out of state cause my husband is US army soldier. So,now my car has a plate number of another Country. After few year, I have a plan to ship my car back to U.S.As (http://U.S.As) your policy, every car registed in California must register annually. In this situation, do I need to do renew registration for my car on 2011? I am gonna back to U.S on 2012. And, I lost your notice mail. When I registered in 2010, I made my address to my friend's home. But, my friend moved another house. So, address was changed. Because I am in Another Country, I can't find your mail. So, I don't know correct date and numbers for renewal. Please, make me know what I should do and how to do.

I have a non-op on my car and its been like that since july, I wanted to go pay for my registration, because I got my car running again, but I need to know what to bring because I lost my papers. what can I do?

Registration fee

I renewed my registraition over two months ago in person & I am almost expired. I was also issued new plates & changed my address on my license. I was charged $399.00 for everything. Why is this taking so long??? This exact same thing happened last year when I registered a car. You had no problem taking my money, but services have not been rendered. Would you PLEASE provide me with the services you have charged me for, otherwise I would like my $399.00 refunded. Thanks again DMV.

Email floating around: As of July 1 2011 Calif DMV is no longer required to mail advance notices for upcoming vehicle resistration. DMV is balancing that charge with an additional grace period of 30 days before pentalties would be applied.               TRUE or FALSE?

I have an RV that has not been running. I need to get it to a repair shop to get serviced and smogged. How can I get a one trip permit?

I have not received my tags and registration that was paid at the end of june....the fee was paid and completed from my bank account...whats the hold up???? no info has been sent to me regarding a problem....


Robert Quayle

It took me almost 2 months to get mine i called and they kept saying to just wait.

how do i know if my vehicle registration renewal has bee paid?

beacuse i mailed it over and its been more than do i find out if the dmv has recieve it or it has been paid?

Trying to track the tags for my registration of my dirt bike. renewal ID#150195. PAID /SENT 6/23/2011 CHECK#1005. THANK YOU CHAD LONGFELLOW

i have a question does any body know how much do they charge everyday if late fees to register a car.

If I buy a motorcycle from California and it hasn't had it's tags renewed in years (she says she owes 563 dollars) I live in Idaho does that money still need paid, or since we are in different states is that okay?


I know that I had my car smoged 2 years ago and I am being asked to have it smoged again. Who should I contact. Can you give me an e mail. I thought it was every 4 years?


The Vehicle Registration Calculator is not available.

hi ppl i need help i im about to buy a car from 98 the owner told me he havent move the for a year and hes reg expired he told me he needs to pay the reg that is 400 doll....but if i buy the do i have to pay the fees or him? ones i tranfer the tilte to my name do i have to pay the fee or the last please

yes, if you buy it you have to pay the fees unless you settle it otherwise. Unpaid tickets and all. Once its in your name the problems are yours.

oh sh**t, i barely realized that right now, thanks guys.

How do I go about adding my spouses name to my vehicle registration? There is a lien on the vehicle and we have owned it since new (2009).

My renewal process has turned into a nightmare. After getting the smog test and going on line to make my payment it showed the test never went through the computer system. I called DMV and they said they have no record of it and checked deeper and still couldn't find it. I was puzzled and called the dealership who performed the smog test to make sure it was sent in. They said it automatically goes through. So, I went ahead and paid my fee's so they won't be late and I've sent them a copy of the smog results but I have this feeling I'm going to be waiting a long time to actually get my tags. I hope it shows I paid the fee's by phone using an E Check. That automated voice that registers all that was annoying to say the least. I can't believe what a mess this has turned into.

HOW do i enter the "RIN"?? there doesn't seem to be a place!!


Several weeks ago I renewed my registration for a vehicle that I have since traded in for a new car. The renewed registration showed up this last weekend but I no longer have the car. I would like to see how I can receive a refund of the registration fee. The registration is effective 9/8/2010, which means that the old registration is still in effect.

Thank you.

I need to renew my registration because it was cancelled and I can't do it online or over the phone because I don't have a renewal identification number (RIN). I want to take care of this ASAP, and I went to the DMV and they were unable to give me my RIN. How can I get my RIN number so i can renew my registration?

I did not pay my car registration that was due in august. I returned the car back to the dealer in november. DMV sent me to collections and now they are giving me 10 days to pay up the full amount. Do I have to pay this amount even though I dont have the car in my possesion? or does the dealership just adds it with whatever i owe for returning the car?

My car was not place on plan non-operational since 2004 after it was having a break down until now it wasn't being repair.I wasn't even renew it 'coz I haven't received my renewal form.I try to contact dmv sacramento and they said I have to pay the yearly fee plus penalty amounting to 340 or more.I can't imagine how to pay that much amount.Is there any way I could register that by paying the cost of its registration plus a year penalty 'coz I can't even have it fix right now, 'coz of financial difficulty.Please give me and answer if you could find some way that I could not pay that much amount.Thank you so much.

i have the some situation what was the answer to your ?

How do I get a replacement registration renewal form for the one I have lost. Vehicle 1990 MBZ 3BSA804 tag. Thank You

how can i get a copy of my registration renewal? I'm ready to go to AAA to get my tags on Wednesday, November 23rd.

I can't find my vehicle registration renewal statement to take in for a smog check on my car can I get a replacement sent to me by email? Do I need the statement for the smog check and to pay for my registration renewal?

i have the same question. i paid the renewal fees online, because we moved and they were never forwarded to us. can i get my car smog checked without the specific smog renewal form?

I have the same question, what can I do to get my car smog? Can I use last years renewal form to get my car smog?

i have a 05 supercrew which has a cover over the back. i do not haul anything in it, so i would like to reregister my vechile as not being a pickup,but as a passanger vechile. i dont know how to go about it, so can you lead me in the right direction. thank you


Dear Cust. Rep.

The landlady just changed our apt. carpet and in the process of packing and unpacking I misplaced my DVM Annual Registration form. I looked all over and nothing. Worst of all, I don't remember the due date or the RIM # so I can pay on line. Woudl you be so kind to mail me (ASAP) another one or e-mail me one so I can pay on line. Or what will be our best option. I'll really appreciated. Thank you so much.


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