- your advisor for California DMV issues (not from California? Select another state)
Getting car registration is quick and simple with CA-Reg. Reliable and trusted, this service handles the procedures for all types of vehicle registrations: cars, motorcycles, RVs and boats. With the click of a button, you can get new auto registration, renew car registration and even order a registration replacement. Start by completing the form below to get CA car registration today.

Online California DMV Vehicle Registration

Official California Vehicle Registration Service & Stickers with Overnight Delivery Available
Complete your DMV vehicle registration online in minutes including:
  • Registration Renewals
  • Sticker Replacements
  • Registration Replacements
  • Title Transfers
Powered by Car Registration, Inc. and Officially Licensed by the California DMV

California Vehicle Registration - How to Register your Vehicle

California law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before taking it on the road. Both new and second-hand vehicles must be registered, regardless of whether they are purchased from a dealer or an individual. In addition, new California residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in California. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, and registration renewals must be done annually, either in person, online or by mail.

If you have purchased a used vehicle you must register it within ten days of the purchase date to avoid late registration fees. If your car is new to California, you must register it within 20 days of the entry date to California to avoid late fees. The following are further resources to help with your specific needs whether you are doing your California vehicle registration for the first time, renewing or replacing your existing registration:

Initial Vehicle Registrations

If you are registering a vehicle in California for the time this process is described below.

Vehicle Registration Renewal

Guide to California vehicle registration renewal. What is required for renewing your vehicle registration in CA, where and when to renew your vehicle, fees, mailing address, forms, etc

California Vehicle Registration Replacement

CA Vehicle registration replacement information for lost, stolen or damaged vehicle registrations. Step-by-step guide to getting a new copy of your vehicle registration.

California Car Registration Fee Calculator

California car registrations fees vary depending on a number of factors including the make and model of the car, the date of late registration, traffic tickets, etc.'s car registration fee calculator can help you figure out how much it will cost to register your vehicle.

The California Vehicle Code

The California Vehicle Code is important for anyone registering their vehicle since it contains all the rules and regulations that drivers and vehicles are subject to while on the road.

California Car Registration Plates

This article is an overview of license / car registration plates. It covers the regulations for displaying and mainting your plates as well as information on vanity, disability and vintage vehicle plates.

California Custom Car Registrations

There are different procedures for registering a custom or vintage car in the state and you can find that information in this article.


If you are registering a motor vehicle in California for the first time, you must complete the following steps:

  1. All vehicles in California must be insured. When you register your vehicle you must provide proof of insurance. The easiest way to do this is to obtain auto liability insurance.
  2. Collect the necessary paperwork. If you bought your vehicle from a dealer, then the dealer will have sent the necessary paperwork to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. In all other circumstances you will need to collect the following additional papers:
  3. A completed Application for Vehicle Title or Registration, signed by all registered owners.
  4. If you do not need to change ownership of the vehicle, collect the last registration certificate and a copy of the last issued out of state title.
  5. If you do need to change the ownership of the vehicle, make sure that you have completed the Change of Title for the vehicle.
  6. If you have newly purchased the vehicle, make sure that you have the Bill of Sale.
  7. For cars less than ten years old, you must also have an Odometer Disclosure Statement signed by both yourself (the buyer) and the seller.
  8. If your vehicle is not new, you may require a smog certificate.
  9. Make an appointment to visit your DMV center, making sure that you explain that you require a vehicle inspection.
  10. Once your vehicle has been inspected, you can submit your paperwork and order your license plates. These will be sent to you in the mail and must be fixed to your vehicle as soon as received.
  11. You are entitled to a tax reduction for a portion of the registration fees called the Annual Vehicle License Fee.
  12. Remember that CA Auto Insurance is needed to legally operate all vehicles in California.


When registering your vehicle at a California DMV office, you will be required to pay the California car registration fee. Registration fees vary depending on whether you are registering your vehicle for the first time, if you require special license plates and so on. Use the CA Vehicle Registration Fee Calculator to find out exactly what you will need to pay.


Owners of motor vehicles in California are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person, online or by mail. See our CA Vehicle Registration Renewal section for complete details.

Reviews of California Vehicle Registration - How to Register your Vehicle

Why don't you just go to your bank and get your bank statement for the month that you payed the fees? It will say DMV and a transaction number on the statement along with the date and amount paid. So lost or not you have proof that paid the fees and they were taken. If the fees were not taken then it is on you. Anytime you pay anyone for anything electronically or by check YOU need to make sure that it was processed. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with government agencies which are notoriously inefficient. That being said I've never had a problem paying my registration fees online. I would not recommend changing your address online as it took almost as much time as it would have to do it in person and it didn't even go through.

my wife is going thru exact same thing dmv is full of incompentent people. i think this is why dmv keeps raising fees. they good at cashing checks , but cant do the job , there is a lot of good people out there looking jobs. dmv needs to get rid of the idiots and hire some1 with iq of more than 20, but might make the boss look bad,so good luck we need it

do i need an id number to register a car? i dont have one yet.

How long do you have when you just change your address in the same state?

My son is deployed in Afghanistan, his registration is due in April, but he will not be back in the states until June. Is there a deferment process for military personel who are deployed overseas when their registration is due?

There is a form for him to fill out. It basically allows 30-60 days, (don't remember the correct number) grace period to pay registration after returning. They never required me to show proof of my return. I brought orders but they didn't even want to see them. So either you can go to DMV and ask for this form or get it online and bring a copy of his orders with you and either pay the reg., or non op. it. If you have it stored where you are not at risk of getting tickets or having it towed then you can wait until he gets home and let him to go DMV and pay the current registration. He will not have to pay any late fees. If he missing two years, then he will have to pay them both.

yes and the military did exlain that before he left in his briefing. either he, or whoever has power of attorney over his finances, can simply call any companies that he makes payments to, either monthly or pariodically, and tell them that he is deployed overseas and they are always more than willing to work with you to DEFER any and all of his payments until he returns home again, without penalties. it isactually against the law for them to not defer his payments while he is deployed. even if there is not a for sure date for him to return home. by the way, i know all of this from experience with my husband who was deployed to Iraq for 16 monthes. never personally had any problems deferring any payments that we needed before. :) so good luck and dont let anybody tell you otherwise, take or fax his ORDERS to them as proof that he is out fighting for our freedom and if worse comes to worse, tell his unit about the problem and theyll help you out. so good luck and god bless your son, you and your family. hoooooah! ; )

I have my grandmother's car from Iowa. My grandmother passed away a little under a year ago. It's registered in Iowa under her name, but as soon as we got to our home in California we called my insurance company and got it insured in my name.

The issue is that my grandmother's estate is the owner of the car at the moment. We hope to have a family member appointed executor as the original executor is unable, but the judge is not available daily, only every few weeks. And the title to the car is nowhere to be found.

Once the family member is appointed executor he can get a duplicate title and transfer it to me, and at that time I would register the car in California.

In the meantime:

Am I legally allowed to drive the car in California? The vehicle's entry into the state is less than twenty days old and it IS registered in Iowa under my grandmother's name, but it's insured in my name.

As soon as I can get the title from the executor I would register the car in California. I'm hoping that's in the next week, as I need to be able to drive the vehicle.

I was told by the southern california autoclub DMV representative that if it was after twenty days it would depend on the officer's mood if he felt like he wanted to give me a citation, but I'm hoping to have everything resolved before the twenty day mark.

What about a transit permit? And what state would issue it?

Thanks for any info.

i want to know if a third person can be added to a car registration??

I was sent a bill that said I was past due, but they sent it to the wrong address so I didn't receive the bill till two months later. How can I speak to someone to explain the situation so I am not charged 200$ for a mistake that wasn't mine in the first place? I came from Michigan and we were required to renew registration based on when we bought the car, not when it was my birthday, so I had no way of knowing I was late.

Buying a vehicle that has been sitting 15 years but has not been registered. Owner has original title but never changed it over in his name but was signed off by original owner. Are back registration fee's going to be due? Does a vehicle become a non-op or fall off the books after a number of years?

i bought a car on 3/11/11 i havent had money to transfer it under my name but i do have insurance, ill be going tomorrow to the dmv. does anyone know appx how much the fees will be? or how long i had since the first day i bought the car to transfer it under my name?


fees are based on the value of your vehicle.

I bought a used car in 7/2010 and took my personalized plates from my old car. The dealership said the car I was purchasing was registered thru 2/14/2011 and that I wouldn't have to pay registration fees until then, but I told them I wanted my personalized plates on the new purchase. They charged me registration fees, but registered the car without my personalized plates. I've been driving around with my personalized plates thinking they registered them, but they didn't. Now I'm being charged late fees for not registering the new purchase before 2/14/2011, and I can't seem to find out how to not pay double registeration fees for registering it under the used car's license and then registering it with my personalized plate. And the website says you can't register in person, only online.

Any suggestions?

I would like to by a used truck that has not been registered in many years. Do I need to pay past registration to register it up to date? Do I just pay non op for those years not registered?

If you have not had it set up as non op prior to the last known payed registration

you will have to pay for the registrations for those years, heres the thing its only if you

have had the vehicle on the road during that time so if you had any tickets or somthing that could be used to say you did have the vehicle on the road then you are toast.

If you claim to have never moved the vehice out of storage let's say then you could fill out a affadavte saying you have not driven the vehicle LOL.

my nephew got in an accident, found out his check to the insurance company had bounced , had to have his car towed away & put in impound.

Will he be denied vechicle registration when he is able to buy another car in

the state of California ?

He will be required to prove he is insured to register the new car.

I will be working in California for 1 year coming from out-of-state. Do I need to register my vehicle and get a California drivers license for that year? I will be leaving California and returning to my home state with my vehicle.

You would at the least go to the DMV and let them know what your plans are.

My son wants to purchase a used vehicle from a private party, the vehicle has not been registered in 10 years, what does he do?



Bad answer. Thanks

I have been given a vehicle in NY from a deceased relative. The insurance & registration on this NY vehicle have expired. I intend to fly to NY and drive this vehicle home but NY only gives a 30 temp registration. I am 70yrs old and I need more than 30 days to get this vehicle home. Is there a way for me to get a CA registration while the vehicle is in NY?

Am I allowed to register a car for my husband or does he have to be there himself?

Yo compre un carro y ya esta pagado perdi el titulo y ahora lo vendi al yonqe tengo la registracion valida y esta a mi nombre pero esta tambien el nombre del dealer donde lo compre es por eso qe me piden el titulo pero no lo tengo qe puedo aser alludenme por favor

Tienes que ir al departamento de motor vehiculos y darlo de alta. Ocupas un comprobante que el carro no esta en tu posesion. Con un recibo de lugar que se lo llevo, pienso que seria bastante. Y les dices que el vehiculo ya no esta en tu posesion. Y lo puedes dar de alta. Pero tendrias que ir primero al DMV. Suerte!


ignorant inbred fool.

I can't belive there is a person that needs help and all u people can do is name them ignorants and fools! u people really need a life! And wat does "Go Back To Europe" mean? Bunch of Fools that don't know how to think of someone that needs help! Bola de Pendejos!!!!!


You are a horrible person.

that spanish it say = You have to go to the department of motor vehicles and discharge. You occupy a proof that the car is not in your possession. With proof of what took place that I think it would be enough. And I say that the vehicle is no longer in your possession. And you can be discharged. But you should first go to the DMV. Suerte!

I had renewed my registration. While I was waiting in the mail for the sticker and registration, I sold my car. Can that registration (in California) be canceled and applied to a new car?

no refund, if you paid before the registration expiry then you can ask the DMV for refund.

A city recently contacted me about unpaid parking tickets from two years ago. I know that I paid them. Dont you have to pay them before you can register your car? Where can I find record of these payments?

Had a car non-op for over a year. Car had a new engine installed last week. Call State Farm insurance and let them know that the car has been repaired and I needed to drive it to get a smog cert. Went to the DMV with copy of Temporary Auto Identification Card for insurance and old registration. After waiting for hours I told the lady that I needed a one day driving pass to get the state required smog done on the car. Was told by the DMV lady I could not because the car registration had been suspended. Yes that is why I was here, to get it re-registered. But first I had to get a ONE DAY driving pass to not be illegally driving in the state. Showed that the car now has insurance and just need the pass to get it smogged!. She said can't help you computer says it is suspended. Yes it was non-op and insurance had suspended it over a year ago. I am showing her the insurance ID card and she still says the computer says suspended. So how do I get a ONE DAY pass to get it smogged??? She says go home and do it online with this site. I went to the registration page and entered the info. It says suspended go to DMV site?? If the DMV office cannot accept the insurance letter from State Farm insurance what am I supposed to do on this site??????????????????????

I have a repaired car sitting in a shop waiting to be picked up and no one at the DMV seems to know what to do??? Man this is so frustrating

Any help from anyone at the DMV would be nice.

solution: You will need someone else drive with you to the SMOG shop_ DMV's IQ is 2.5 out of 10

tow it to smog check duh


If they will give you another temp? you may only be able to get one per year,

but i think you can get a one day move permit if that helps.

pay the reg fees, take it to smog check with your incomplete reg.

If you get pulled over show them the incomplete reg that shows you just paid it and explain your on the wayt to get the smog to complete.

been pulled over 3 times in this situation and every time i was let go immediately with a warning because showing them that told them i was doing everything possible with in the law to take care of the issue.

The law is clear the Report Of Deposit of Fees you have is not a valid registration.

And you can not drive in California without a Valid registration so consider it the cops choice.

sorry but it's just a frustration story after another and it never ends. It's mind buddling how some of these people that were hired by DMV to help the public and paid for by your tax money and yet are poorly trained or can't even understand them. Some of them spoke with heavy accent, I got frustrated and left.

if the person at the window is unable to help you - you can ask to speak to a manager or supervisor to help you out. If a person has an accent that you are unable to understand you can ask to them to speak slower and do not leave unless you understand. Do be put off, be patience and pleasant. They are workers, citizens just like you- they have families like you.

i have the same issue going on, after waiting in the office for an hour and a half the lady tells me my reg is suspended and I need to get insurance verified. I held up my proof of ins and said here you go you can verify that this car is now insured. I asked why she couldnt do it. She told me "we dont have the manpower to do that". THAN WHY ARE YOU SITTING HERE!! I wanted to yell at her. I mean really? All she had to do was LOOK at the document I was giving her.

Anyhow she gave me this website amd told me that I could probably get the confirmation number she needed and come back within the same day. I said ok, so I just come back to this window once I have it? No, she says, I have to stand back in line. AHHHHH!

I sold an enclosed trailer, that was registered in Indiana, to a gentlemen about a year ago. I did'nt think to have him sign a release since it was an older trailer and not worth much. Well, here it is almost a year later and i've deleted his phone number from my phone and all text messages from him inquiring on the trailer, thinking everything is ok...well it's not. I recieved a letter in the mail from the city of Oceanside parking enforcement with a hefty fine on this trailer of $540. I call the number listed and they simply said i have to send them a copy of the release and when i told them i didnt have him sign one, they said i had to contact DMV about it. So now what do i do, i dont know where to begin and i certainly dont want to get stuck paying on a trailer that i sold that long ago.

i want to know how much it will cost me to change the title of a car i just bought to my name?

if it is a gift from parents or with same last name you will pay 15 to 20 dollars,other wise you will have to pay the sales tax on the purchased price plus 15 to 20 dollars