Online California DMV Vehicle Registration
- Registration Renewals
- Sticker Replacements
- Registration Replacements
- Title Transfers
Your CA car registration is only active for a certain period of time. Once that period concludes, you are required to renew car registration decals and certification with the CA Department of Motor Vehicles. Fortunately, the process of getting a new car registration requires a simple and quick read-through to understand.
Since vehicle registrations must be renewed every year, the California Department of Motor Vehicles allows drivers to renew vehicle registration up to 75 days before the expiration date on the certificate. However, as it can be difficult to remember your California car registration renewal date, the CA DMV sends drivers a car registration renewal notice approximately 60 days before the registration expiration. The notice will also include the following details:
DMV.com Note: If you are not sure when your car registration documents expire, you will be able to find the answer on your tags.
The process for renewing car registration is not the same for everyone. There are four available methods depending on eligibility requirements:
There are specific eligibility requirements you must meet to renew car registrations online, by mail or by phone.
In order to renew car registration online in California, you cannot have any unpaid traffic fines or delinquency fees. In addition, you are required to have:
California drivers can visit a local DMV office to renew car registration documents. If you have any delinquency fees or unpaid traffic fines, you are required to renew your car registration in person.
DMV.com recommends that California residents make an appointment before visiting a local drivers license office, as wait times can be long. On the day of your appointment, you will need to bring the following items:
Renewing car registrations by phone is a simple process. However, you will not be eligible to do so if you have unpaid traffic or delinquency fines.
Call 800-921-1117 and provide the following information:
In addition, proof of emissions certification and car insurance must be on file with the DMV to renew by phone.
To renew car registrations in California by mail, all outstanding fees due to the California DMV must be paid. Additionally, you will have to send all of the following information to the California Vehicle Registration Operations:
Send the documents to the following address:
Department of Motor Vehicles P.O. Box 942869 Sacramento, CA 94269-0001
If you are out of state during the time that your auto registration is set to expire but are still a permanent resident of California, you are still required to renew your vehicle registration on time. Even if you cannot come in person, you can renew online, by mail, or by phone.
On the other hand, if you are in the military and your California car registration is set to expire soon, you may be eligible to delay payment of these fees until you get back from service. However, you must be:
Waiving late fees requires you to go to your local DMV location and submit a Statement of Fact form (REG 256). Other than that, you must follow the standard car registration renewal process. You will only have 60 days from the day of your return to renew car registration in California and still waive late fees.
Fees associated with the process to renew expired car registration documents are not set in stone in the state of California. Whereas other states simply give one price for car registration renewal, the California DMV features an online fee calculator on their website. This is used to help you find out just how much you are going to have to pay when you go through the renewal process. Fees will vary based on a variety of elements, such as:
If you wait until after your registration has already expired, you will have to pay additional fees. The late fee charge for renewing car registrations is between $10 and $100, depending on how long you take to renew expired car registrations.
In the event you do not receive the tags you ordered, you should call the CA DMV at 1-800-777-0133 as soon as possible to find out the status of your shipment. You can contact them Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. On Wednesdays, their hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There are instances in which the California DMV will not allow you to renew your car registration documents. These include the following circumstances:
If any of the following apply to you, you will have to apply for a vehicle registration replacement.