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In This Section

If you need to register a vehicle for use on California roadways, waterways, or trailways, you’ve come to the right place.

Dealership Purchase

If you bought from a licensed dealer, certain registration tasks may be taken care of for you. Find out what dealers are responsible for, and what you need to do.

Registering Dealer Purchases

Private-Party Purchase

Information for buyers and sellers both: learn what to watch out for, what’s required and when, and how to get it all done.

Registering Private-Party Purchases


View the various types of motorcycles you can register and learn as what is and isn’t required for registration.

Registering Motorcycles


If you own a sailboat over 8 feet long or a boat/vessel with a motor (no matter the size), you must register it with DMV in order to legally use it on California waterways.

Registering Boats/Vessels

Imported Vehicle

Find out what constitutes an imported vehicle, which can and cannot be registered in California, and what is required for a direct import registration.

Registering Imported Vehicle

Specially-Constructed/Modified Vehicle

A specially constructed or modified vehicle is a homemade or kit vehicle built for private use, not made by a licensed manufacturer. 

Registering Modified Vehicles

Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV)

Off-highway vehicles (OHVs) such as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), trail bikes, racing motorcycles, dune buggies, and snowmobiles may not require regular vehicle registration, but they DO require an ID plate or placard.

Registering OHVs

Salvaged Vehicle

Salvaged vehicles can be confusing – what are Salvage Certificates and Non-Repairable Certificates? Can you re-register a salvaged vehicle? Get answers!

Registering Salvaged Vehicles

Junk/Revived Junk Vehicle

Like salvaged vehicles, junk vehicles can also be confusing – when do you need a Non-Repairable Certificate? Can you re-register a junk vehicle? Get answers!

Registering Junk Vehicles

Commercial Vehicle

Commercial vehicles transport people or property for hire, compensation, or profit. Registering these vehicles is different from regular vehicle registration – learn how.

Registering Commercial Vehicles


DMV’s Permanent Fleet Registration (PFR) program makes it convenient for owners of large vehicle fleets to conveniently maintain their vehicle registration.

Learn about the PFR program

Special Circumstances

Some DMV matters involve unique cases and situations, such as registering vehicles no longer in the DMV system, handling a deceased person’s DMV matters, converting non-transferable registrations, and more.  

Registering in Special Circumstances