Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 13 of 38

Chapter 12: Nonresident Vehicles

12.145 Privileges of Nonresidents (VC §6700)

  • The owner of any vehicle, other than a commercial vehicle, of a type subject to registration which is registered in a foreign jurisdiction may operate the vehicle in California until the owner accepts gainful employment in this state or establishes residency in this state, whichever occurs first, provided the vehicle displays valid license plates and has a valid registration issued to the owner, and the owner was a resident of that state at the time of issuance.
  • A nonresident owner of a vehicle may operate, or permit operation of, a vehicle in California without obtaining California registration if the vehicle is registered in the place of residence of the owner and displays valid license plates issued by that state. This exemption does not apply if the nonresident owner rents, leases, lends, or otherwise furnishes the vehicle to a California resident for regular use on California highways.
  • Any vehicle owned by a nonresident and furnished to a California resident for their regular use within this state must be registered in California within 20 days after first operation of the vehicle in this state by the resident (VC §4000.4).
  • A nonresident registration that does not indicate an expiration date will be considered to expire one year from the date of first use of the vehicle in California. Fees are due immediately and must be paid within 20 days if the owner accepts gainful employment or establishes residency in California (VC §4152.5).