1.

If you have recently undergone a name change due to marriage, divorce or other reasons, you must update your legal name on your car registration. This may be done online, by mail or in person. When submitting this request online, you will be asked to fill out an electronic application on your state DMV portal and to pay for the applicable fees. Our guide contains everything you need to know about changing your name on a car registration. In it, you will learn about the required paperwork you will need to supply during this procedure. Additionally, you will discover how to complete other important transactions related to registration, such as renewal and replacement.

2. By Mail

Certain states allow you to change your name on a car registration by mail. However, it is important to note that this method is not always available to all car owners. Eligible drivers may change their names on their vehicle registrations by completing an application form and sending it to a specific DMV mailing address, including identification documents and payment for any applicable fees. However, be mindful that this option may take longer in comparison to others, because shipping and processing times are often lengthy. To avoid further delay, make sure to attach the necessary paperwork to your application package.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

When updating your name on a car registration in person, you will be asked to fill out a name change application and to submit the appropriate documents identifying you, your new name and your vehicle. Then, you will be asked to submit an acceptable payment method for the applicable fees, which may include the fee for a replacement registration with your up-to-date information. Be mindful that visiting the DMV unprepared may result in the failure of this procedure. Therefore, in order to avoid long wait times or having to visit a DMV office twice, make sure to gather all the documents and information you need for your in-person visit.


California motorists may have to change their names on a car registration and title after changing their names due to marriage, divorce or court order. A California car registration name change procedure may be performed by vehicle owners through the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Drivers will need to furnish certain paperwork and pay fees for replacement documents.

When wondering “How do I change the name on my car registration in CA?” vehicle owners need to first update their names on the CA DMV records and on other credentials. To change car registration and car title name, motorists may be required to perform a different procedure than that for updating names on driver’s licenses and ID cards. For more information on how to change your name on car registration in California, continue reading the following sections.

Instances Where You Must Change Your Name on Your California Car Registration

If you are a vehicle owner wondering about the instances when to change your name on car registration in California, then you should know that you will need to update the DMV anytime your name legally changes. You may be required to perform a process of changing a name on car registration after marriage, divorce or after receiving a court order. However, you will only be able to make an update on your vehicle registration and car title after changing the name with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

While performing a California car registration name change after marriage or divorce are the most common instances, they are not the only ones. You may also be required to change name on car registration when the designation written on your credential is misspelled or is not your true full name. You must make sure that all of your driver and vehicle documents are accurate with the correct name.

California Name Change Time Limits for Updating Your Car Registration

Is name change notification mandatory in California? Yes, and there are consequences for not changing your name on time following a legal name modification, as driver and vehicle documents must match your true name. The time limits to change your name on car registration are set to a few weeks after the legal modification, in most cases. Keep in mind that if you are wondering when to change your name on car registration in California, then you may be first required to change your name with the SSA and to update your DMV records and other credentials.

Steps to Take Before Updating Your Registration in California

One of the most important things to do before updating your registration is to update your name with the Social Security Administration. After changing your name with the SSA, the DMV will verify your name, date of birth and Social Security Number with the SSA in order to update your DMV records. However, prior to performing a DMV registration update, you may need to update the name on your driver’s license and ID card so that you may be able to begin the procedure.

When performing a drivers license name change you are encouraged to learn how to update your car registration in CA and whether to perform that procedure immediately after updating your driver’s license. To learn more information about what to do before updating your registration in California, continue reading to learn about what is needed for the process.

How to Change Your Name on Your California Car Registration in Person

Although motorists are currently unable to change vehicle registration name online in California, the DMV offers an in-person and a mail-in method for performing the procedure. Vehicle owners who decide to change name on vehicle registration in person at a local CA DMV branch will be actually updating their car registration and vehicle title records. To change vehicle registration name in person, you may be required to provide the following:

  • Certificate of title or an application for a duplicate title
  • A statement of facts form
  • Current CA driver’s license or ID card with photograph

Note that when providing your certificate of title, you need to have your updated name printed or typed above the old/incorrect one. In addition to the process of changing your name on your car registration in person in California, you may be required to apply for a replacement credential while at the DMV.

How to Change Your Name on Your California Car Registration by Mail

Motorists may also change car registration name by mail in California by preparing the required documents and sending them to the CA DMV mailing address. Moreover, when changing your name on your car registration by mail, you may need to follow the instructions for obtaining a duplicate car registration or vehicle title.

Note: Motorists who do not have a certificate of title may have to provide a different list of documents for the procedure. Learn about the paperwork you need for a car registration name change before beginning the procedure in person or by mail.

When to Renew Instead of Update Your Registration in California

The CA DMV will notify you when to renew your car registration in California, and if you want to perform a name change during the period for your vehicle registration renewal process, then you will be encouraged to renew and update your credential instead of getting a duplicate. Therefore, prior to performing a vehicle registration renewal name change requests may be submitted to the CA DMV. If you want to renew your car registration name change procedures may be performed at the same time, depending on the DMV requirements. You may be about to use the registration renewal grace periods in California if you are waiting for the SSA to process your name correction.

California DMV Name Change Fees

Motorists may be required to pay certain California DMV name change fees when performing a name update on their car registrations. However, the DMV name change price may vary based on whether you are getting a duplicate credential in the end or not.

Although vehicle owners are not required to pay vehicle registration name change fees in CA, they need to pay a $21 fee for the replacement car registration.

Last updated on Wednesday, December 5 2018.

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