Dishonored Check Payment

Make a payment for a dishonored check (DC).

Before you begin:

  1. You will need:

    • The Dishonored Check letter mailed to you by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
    • Your driver’s license or identification (DL/ID) card, if your DC is related to your DL/ID card.


    • Your vehicle’s license plate number or vessel’s CF Number and the last 5 digits of your vehicle identification number (VIN) or hull identification number (HIN) for a vessel/boat, if your DC is related to your vehicle/vessel.

Dishonored Payments FAQs

Yes; however, partial payments will not stop the collection action.

The amount requested in the letter includes:

  • The face amount of the original check.
  • A dishonored check service fee.
    • A payment is considered dishonored and the dishonored check service fee is due if, for any reason, DMV is unable to deduct funds from your account.
  • The maximum late penalties for the vehicle’s registration, if the dishonored check was for vehicle registration.
    • The registration fees are subject to penalties if the dishonored check remains unpaid after the vehicle’s registration expiration date, regardless of when you received the dishonored check Demand for Payment letter.

If repayment of the total amount due (as stated in the Demand for Payment letter) is mailed (postmarked) to DMV:

  • Before the registration expiration date, the registration penalties will be refunded to you.
  • After the registration expiration date, but within 30 days of the expiration date, a portion of the penalty fees may be refunded to you.

If DMV is unable to deduct funds from your account because of a bank error, you must submit a letter from the bank explaining their error. The letter must have the bank’s letterhead, the check number, and the dollar amount of the check. Send all of the following to the Revenue Service Support Unit:

  • The bank’s letter.
  • A money order or cashiers check made payable to DMV for the total amount due as stated in the Demand for Payment letter.
  • Your full name.
  • The dishonored check account number (located in upper right corner of demand letter).
  • The vehicle license plate number (if the check was for a vehicle).
  • Your driver’s license number or identification card number (if the check was for a driver’s license or identification card).

Mail to:
Revenue Services Support Unit
Mail Station C140
PO Box 825341
Sacramento, CA 94232-5341

DMV will review the bank’s letter to determine if the dishonored check fee may be refunded. If the dishonored check was for vehicle registration, DMV will also review to determine if the registration penalties may be fully or partially refunded.

If you received a notification of a dishonored check from DMV and you did not submit the check payment and you are not the registered owner of the vehicle indicated in the letter (or are not the person the driver’s license or identification card was issued to), provide a written explanation and mail to:

Revenue Services Support Unit
Mail Station C140
PO Box 825341
Sacramento, CA 94232-5341

Include copies of any papers that prove your claim. DMV will research your claim and contact you with the outcome. You may also call the Revenue Services Support Unit at (916) 657-8101 for additional information.

You are responsible for the payment of the fees and any resulting penalties. If a check was written for you by someone other than yourself and submitted to DMV to pay for your driver’s license, identification card, or your vehicle registration and the check was returned by the bank (dishonored), the payment remains your responsibility.

Once your payment is processed and returned by the bank, DMV will automatically send you a Demand for Payment letter and will be unable to stop the dishonored check from occurring. However, if you are able to pay your fees (with another payment method) before your vehicle registration expires, you may be able to avoid penalties. The dishonored check service fee will still be due.

Submit your registration payment as soon as possible and be sure to retain the receipt. When you receive the dishonored check Demand for Payment letter, submit the letter, a money order or cashier’s check for the dishonored check service fee, and a copy of your repayment receipt to:

Revenue Services Support Unit
Mail Station C140
PO Box 825341
Sacramento, CA 94232-5341

If you have received a Demand for Payment letter, and full payment was submitted within the last 30 days, please disregard the letter. The Demand for Payment letters are printed in advance and do not reflect recent payments.

Contact the Driver Safety Mandatory Action Unit at (916) 657-6525 to ask about the cancellation status of your driver’s license or identification card.

As a courtesy to our customers, the registration card/sticker or driver’s license/identification card is mailed before the bank information is verified by the bank. If any of the bank information submitted to DMV is incorrect, DMV will not be able to locate your account and your bank will not show an inquiry or withdrawal. If the bank information cannot be verified by the bank, it becomes a non-payment and a dishonored check account is created.

When making a payment using bank information, you must enter your checking account number and your bank routing number. Common mistakes that prevent bank information from being verified are:

  • Using a deposit slip to key the routing number.
  • Including a check number with the account number.
  • Entering credit card information in the check field.

During the online transaction using your bank information for payment, the department advises customers that if DMV cannot deduct the payment from your account for any reason, a service fee will be charged. If the payment is for vehicle registration, you will also be subject to late registration payment penalties.

Paying with your bank information is an electronic way of paying for your transaction using your bank’s routing and account numbers to obtain payment from your bank. These payments are verified with your bank after you finish your DMV transaction. With debit or credit card payments, DMV obtains a payment authorization before you finish the DMV transaction.