Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 4 of 38

Chapter 3: Collection and Payment of Fees and Penalties

3.055 Planned Non-Operation Certification (PNO-REG 102)(VC §4604, 4604.5, and CR&TC §10856)

The vehicle owner is responsible for either filing a PNO or renewing the registration, even if a billing notice is not received. The owner is issued an Acknowledgment of Non-Operational Status Receipt after the department processes the PNO fee.

PNO Guidelines—A PNO:

  • Must be filed by midnight of the registration expiration date to avoid a penalty.
  • May be filed up to 90 days after the registration expiration date if the vehicle has not been operated in any manner, but the PNO penalty is due, as explained in the Penalties section in this chapter.
  • May be filed up to 60 days prior to the current registration date.
  • Is not required to be filed annually. Renewal fees must be paid on or prior to the date of first operation to avoid a late penalty.
  • Cannot be filed for vessels and trailer coaches, which must be registered at all times regardless of use.
  • Must be filed for vehicles registered on a partial year registration (PYR) basis by 12/31 of the registration year following the PYR year to avoid a penalty. (The certificate of nonoperation (CNO) date can be up to 30 days beyond the date fees received).

PNO Exceptions (VC §4604(d))—PNO requirements do not apply to vehicles:

  • That expire while in a dealer’s, lessor-retailer’s, or manufacturer’s inventory.
  • Being held pending a lien sale by a garage keeper or towing service operator.
  • Registered as part of an apportioned international registration program (IRP) fleet. IRP vehicles are subject to PNO only if deleted from the fleet and subsequently registered in California on a full-year or PYR basis. Accept a CNO from the date of deletion.
  • Registered on a PYR basis. Refer to PNO Guidelines in this section for PNO filing requirements.
  • Of historic interest and value as described in VC §§5004, 5004.5, or 5051 (also see Historical Interest Vehicles in this section).
  • Identified as special equipment (SE).
  • Stolen and unrecovered.
  • Registered out of state.
  • Issued a Nonrepairable Certificate.

Dealer, Lessor-Retailer, Manufacturer Inventory Vehicles (VC §4604)—A PNO or CNO is not required for a vehicle or trailer coach when the registration expires while held in the inventory of a dealer, lessor-retailer, or manufacturer or
when transferred between dealers, if the application contains evidence that the registration was valid when the registered owner sold the vehicle/trailer coach to the dealer, lessor-retailer, or manufacturer. Acceptable evidence could be the date of release on the title, power of attorney, or bill of sale dated prior to the last expiration date.

Vehicles on consignment, including those consigned to an auctioneer, are not exempt from PNO requirements.

Penalties continue to accrue on vehicles that enter a dealer’s inventory with expired registration. The penalty is not frozen at the penalty rate due at time the vehicle entered the dealer’s inventory unless the fees and penalties due are posted during that penalty rate period. The fees for a vehicle that expires while in a dealer’s inventory are due upon sale of the vehicle and must be paid within 30 days to avoid penalties. If sold more than once, fees are due within 30 days of the first sale date.

Dishonored Checks (DC)—A PNO application is canceled if the PNO fee is paid by a DC. The applicant must register the vehicle or file a new PNO, as applicable. If a new PNO is submitted:

  • Prior to the expiration date, only the PNO fee is due.
  • Within 90 days after the expiration date, the PNO fee and PNO penalty are due.
  • 91 or more days after the expiration date, the vehicle must be registered and full-year fees and penalties are due.

Lien Sale Vehicles (VC §4604)—Neither a PNO or CNO is required for a vehicle on which the registration expires while held pending a lien sale by the keeper of a garage or the operator of a towing service.

Salvage Vehicle Records—Vehicles with records which indicate a “Salvage Certificate Issued” or “Salvage Retention” status, may be placed on PNO status until the vehicle is revived.

Unavailable Records—A Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form is required before a PNO application can be accepted for a vehicle with unavailable records, unless a California title in the applicant’s name is presented. See the Miscellaneous Originals section in Chapter 7 for more information.

Vehicles Registered Under the Partial Year Registration (PYR) Program (VC §9706(d))

The PNO for a vehicle last registered as PYR and not operated since the last PYR registration must be filed by December 31 of the following year.