You need a registration service license if you process public applications for vehicle registration, transfer of ownership, registration renewals, lien sales, or dismantler documents.
How to Apply for a Registration Service License
To apply for your license, submit the following:
- Application for Original Occupational License for Registration Service (OL 601).
- Application for Occupational License Personal History Questionnaire, Business Licensing Unit (OL 29B) for each person listed under ownership on form OL 601.
- Registration Service Surety Bond (OL 605) or Deposit Agreement and Assignment (OL 25E).
- Property Use Verification for Registration Service License (OL 139).
- Appointment of Director as Agent for Service of Process (ADM 9050).
- Live scan fingerprint and Request for Live Scan Service (DMV 8016) for each person completing form OL 601.
- Photographs of the business location (refer to Occupational Licensing (OL) photography requirements).
- Copy of articles of incorporation, corporate minutes or other document filed with the Secretary of State, which identifies the officers, share holders and managers (if filing as a corporation, limited liability company or limited liability partnership owned businesses).
- Copy of your fictitious name statement.
Once you have completed all mandatory forms and collected all required documents, call your local OL Inspections office to set an appointment to submit your paperwork and fees.
After DMV processes your application, you’ll receive an email instructing you to schedule an inspection of your business location. Once you receive that email, you’ll need to create a DMV online account and select a time slot for an inspection. The email you receive will provide the information you need to get started.
Need help? These step-by-step guides can help you use DMV's online inspection scheduling service:
Create your DMV Account
Schedule an Inspection
View your Inspection Report and Upload a Photo
Please note that this inspection tool supports these browsers: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari (iOS/OS X).
The OL inspector will:
- Inspect the main business office where you conduct business.
- Inspect all books and records pertinent to the business.
- Inspect your signage to make sure it meets requirements.
- Ensure that your business is located in an area approved for the operation of a registration service.
Refer to the Registration Service Program Handbook for more information about the inspection and requirements.
You will also need to undergo a background investigation.
- $150 non-refundable application fee
- $1 family support program
- $70 for each branch location (if applicable)
Before accepting transactions from the public for processing at DMV field offices, you must submit these forms, along with a copy of your permit, to the DMV field office manager:
Business Partner Automation (BPA) Program
Our BPA Program authorizes our partners to process and issue validated registration cards, full year registration stickers, and automobile, commercial, motorcycle, exempt vehicle license plates, and sequential Arts Council License Plates from their remote locations.
Take a look at the Registration Service Application Checklist (OL 599) to make sure you completed all the steps.
How to Renew a Registration Service License
To renew your license, complete a Renewal Application (OL 45). Mail your application and fees to the address on the form.
- $15 renewal application fee
- $1 family support program
- $15 for each branch location (if applicable)
How to Modify a Registration Service License
To modify an existing license, complete and submit one of these forms:
- Ownership changes.
- Application for Modifications to an Occupational License for Registration Service (OL 600).
- Property Use Verification for Registration Service License (OL 139) if changing or adding a location.
- Industry Customer Employee Listing (FO 607A) if adding or removing employees.
- Photographs of the business location (refer to OL photography requirements).
Submit your form(s) and fee(s) to the DMV office where you normally conduct business.
- $70 name change fee
- $70 address change fee
Registration Service Exclusions
- A person performing registration services on a vehicle acquired by that person for their own personal use or for use in the regular course of that person’s business.
- A person who solicits applications for or sells, for compensation, nonresident permits for the operation of vehicles within this state.
- An employee of one or more dealers or dismantlers, or a combination thereof, who performs registration services for vehicles acquired by, consigned to, or sold by the employing dealers or dismantlers.
- A motor club, as defined in California Insurance Code §12142.
- A person who performs registration services exclusively for vehicles registered pursuant to Article 9.5 (commencing with §5301) of Chapter 1 of Division 3 or Article 4 (commencing with §8050) of Chapter 4 of Division 3.
- A common carrier acting in the regular course of its business in transmitting applications. California Vehicle Code (CVC) §505.2
Registration Service Licensing Authority
California Vehicle Code (CVC) §§320 (c), 505.2, and 11400 et al. The CVC is available for purchase from the DMV.
California Code of Regulations Title 13, Chapter 1.
California Government Code §§6157 (a) – (d).
Need something else?
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Registration Service Program Handbook
The Registration Service Program Handbook contains helpful information about applying for a license, requirements, the inspection process, and more.
Take a look at the Registration Service Application Checklist to make sure you completed all the application steps.