Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 13 of 38

Chapter 12: Nonresident Vehicles

12.060 Interstate Registration

Interstate registration allows a vehicle owner to register a vehicle in California and still retain valid out-of-state registration. It does not prevent any vehicle from being registered in California on a nontransferable (goldenrod) basis.

Generally, interstate registration is for nonresident commercial vehicles operating in more than one state without reciprocity. However, automobiles may also be registered on an interstate basis. California residents may obtain interstate registration for vehicles registered in another state, but a California resident who is exempt from registering in another state should not be encouraged to pay fees to both states.

Registration Requirements—The following must be submitted:

  • A completed an REG 343.
  • A REG 31 verification must show the motive power.
  • A smog certification, if appropriate.
  • A weight certificate, if a commercial vehicle. A weight certificate is not required if the vehicle:
    • Was previously registered in California and no changes have been made to the vehicle; however, the owner must complete a REG 256 certifying this fact.
    • Is a two-axle or three-axle motor vehicle weighing 10,001 or more pounds; however, a REG 256 with the estimated weight is required.
    • Weighs less than 6,001 pounds unladen, empty, scale, or tare weight, as indicated on the nonresident title or registration.
    • Is a trailer or semitrailer being registered under the Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) program; however, a REG 256 with the estimated weight is required.
  • A REG 4008 for commercial vehicles over 6,001 pounds, except pickups.
  • Full-year registration fees and use tax, if due.

Interstate Registration Renewals—Interstate registration is renewed the same as other California registration. The nonresident registration is not inspected for renewal.

Vehicles Registered in Mexico or Newfoundland may be issued interstate registration under the following conditions:

  • Commercial vehicles over 7,000 pounds unladen must submit proof of insurance by an insurance company authorized to do business in California.
  • Insurance coverage must be in the amounts specified below. Additional coverage is required for commercial vehicles hauling petroleum or hazardous waste (VC §16500.5 and California Public Utilities Code §3631).
    • $250,000 Public Liability Per Person
    • $500,000 Public Liability Per Accident
    • $100,000 Property Damage
    • $600,000 Combined Total Coverage

International Traffic Vehicles—There are additional clearance requirements for international traffic vehicles. These are heavy duty commercial vehicles which are allowed to import and/or pick up merchandise and leave as expeditiously as possible. They enter California for the sole purpose of doing business and do not intend to remain here.

Light weight pickup trucks and/or automobiles are not included in this classification. These vehicles are subject to normal registration requirements.

The owner/driver of an international traffic vehicle must present proof of insurance from a company authorized to do business in California and obtain interstate registration.