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Vehicle Registration Suspensions and Insurance Program (FAQs)

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Vehicle Registration Suspensions and Insurance Program (FAQs)


Do I need to keep proof of insurance in my vehicle if my insurance company is electronically reporting the information to DMV?

Yes. You must be able to provide proof of insurance to a peace officer when requested or when involved in an accident.


How will law enforcement know if my vehicle registration is suspended?

Law enforcement and court personnel will see the status of your insurance on the vehicle record when making an inquiry into the DMV database.


Will my insurance information be available to the public?

No. Insurance information is confidential under California law.


What if I cannot afford vehicle liability insurance?

All vehicles driven or parked on a California street, road or highway must be insured. You may qualify for the California Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Program. Information is available on the Department of Insurance web site or by calling 1-866-602-8861.


Does the name on the insurance policy have to be the same as the name on the registration?

No, as long as the private-use liability insurance identifies the vehicle.


Can I renew my vehicle's registration on the Internet if the registration is suspended?
No. If the registration is suspended when the renewal notice is printed, you will not be given the option of renewing your vehicle registration via the Internet. The renewal notice will provide instructions for clearing the suspension and renewing the registration.


How do I know if my insurance company is reporting insurance information electronically to the DMV?

All insurance companies that report electronically are listed on the DMV web site. In addition, if electronic insurance information is not on file the department will notify you of the requirement to submit paper evidence of financial responsibility.


Are all insurance policies reported to DMV electronically?

No. Only private-use vehicle liability insurance policies must be electronically reported. Commercial/business insurance policies and alternate types of financial responsibility are not reported electronically. Owners of vehicles covered by these alternate types of financial responsibility must continue to submit paper evidence of financial responsibility to DMV.


What if I have an alternative type of financial responsibility, such as a cash deposit, bond, or self-insurance?

If your vehicle is covered by one of these types of financial responsibility, the department will not have electronic insurance information on file and will notify you of the requirement to submit paper evidence of financial responsibility. To avoid suspension, you must respond to the notice by submitting a copy of your evidence of financial responsibility prior to the suspension effective date on the notice


What kinds of documents can be used to provide evidence of financial responsibility?


What if my insurance company doesn't report the information to DMV?

If insurance information is not received by the DMV you will receive a notice of the requirement to submit paper evidence of insurance to avoid suspension of your vehicle registration.

NOTE: There may be an error in the vehicle identification number on your insurance policy or your registration card. Compare each to the actual number on your vehicle.

  • If your insurance documents do not match the vehicle, you must contact your insurance company to have the information corrected and resubmitted to DMV.
  • If your registration does not match the vehicle, you must take your ownership document (Certificate of Title, "pink slip") and the vehicle to DMV so that a DMV employee can verify the vehicle identification number on the vehicle and make the correction to the vehicle record. Make an
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