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Renewing a Vehicle Registration in California

How to Renew CA Car Registration and Vehicle Tags

Vehicle registration and tag renewal is available:

  • Online.
    • Receive your new registration and tag in up to 2 weeks.
  • By mail.
    • Receive your new document and sticker in up to 6 weeks.
  • At DMV NOW Kiosks provided at many CA DMV offices and other locations.
    • Get your new registration and tag instantly.

Each option also allows you to file for planned non operation (PNO) status -- just leave any proof of insurance or smog certification requirements blank.

DO NOT make an appointment or an in-person visit to renew your registration at the DMV.

Am I Eligible for Online Vehicle Registration in California?

You can renew your registration online as long as:

  • Your smog certification is up-to-date.
  • You have a checking account or credit or debit card.
  • You can provide your vehicle’s Vehicle identification number (VIN) or Hull Identification Number (HIN).
  • Your vehicle is insured, or does not require insurance.

Depending on the situation, you will renew your CA registration online by using either:

  • The self-service portal, or
  • The DMV’s assisted renewal system. Use this option ONLY if your:
    • Vehicle has changed ownership since its last renewal.
    • Insurance provider is not listed here.
    • Registration payment is considered delinquent (you will have received a letter notifying you).
    • Commercial vehicle is registered through the International Registration Plan (IRP).
    • Vehicle is exempt.
    • Vehicle has Year of Manufacturer (YOM) specialty plates.
    • Vehicle is a trailer that requires Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) registration.
    • Vehicle is considered farm trailer equipment, cemetery equipment, special construction equipment, logging equipment, etc.

NOTE: If you must change your address, change it online BEFORE renewing your registration.

How to Renew Your CA Vehicle Registration Online

To renew your CA registration online using the self-service system, visit the DMV registration portal. Make sure you have the following information available:

  • VIN.
  • License plate number.
  • Credit or debit card or checking account information.

When you have completed the process, the DMV will mail your new registration card and tags within 5 business days.

If you must use the assisted renewal system through the DMV virtual office, be ready to provide the following:

  • VIN or HIN.
  • Plate number.
  • Smog certification (if required).
  • Registration renewal notice.

How to Renew Your Registration by Mail in California

If you prefer to renew your registration by mail, you can do so by following the instructions given on your renewal notice.

This includes providing:

  • Your registration renewal form (this can also be completed online).
  • Proof of insurance (if needed).
  • Proof of smog certification (if needed).
  • A check or money order for the renewal fee made payable to the DMV.

Mail the items listed above to:

Vehicle Registration Operations
Department of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

How to Renew Your Registration at a DMV NOW Kiosk

Visit a DMV NOW Kiosk and provide:

  • Your registration card or renewal notice. If using your renewal notice, make sure it contains your Renewal Identification Number (RIN) appearing on the top left.
  • Payment for your registration renewal fee.
    • Credit and debit transactions will be charged an additional 2.1% fee.
    • Cash is accepted at all DMV field office kiosks and select other locations.

After completing the process, the kiosk will print your new registration card, plate sticker, and receipt.

CA Registration Renewal Fees

Look on your registration renewal letter or use the DMV’s Registration Renewal Fee Calculator to determine your renewal cost.

California registration renewal fees vary depending on:

  • The vehicle.
  • The county you live in.
  • Late fees (when applicable).
  • Whether the vehicle is subject to a Commercial Vehicle Registration Act (CVRA) registration fee.