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.
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
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.
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.
Find out what constitutes a ‘foreign import’, which can and can’t be registered in California, and what’s required for a direct import registration.
Registering Foreign Imports
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.
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 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
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