Registration Renewal FAQs

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Do you have questions about renewing your registration? We answer them here!

You can renew your registration online if:

  • You have access to the Internet.
  • You have a valid credit card, debit card, or checking account.
  • You know the last 5 digits of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or the Hull Identification Number (HIN) for your vehicle or vessel.
  • You have insurance for your vehicle OR you are registering a vehicle that does not need insurance (like a trailer).
  • DMV has electronic smog certification information for your vehicle on file.

You cannot renew your registration online if you do not:

  • Have a credit card, debit card, or checking account.
  • Know your vehicle’s VIN or HIN.
  • Have insurance for your vehicle.
  • Have a required smog certificate on file.

We recommend you use the latest version of one of these web browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Opera
  • Safari (iOS/OS X)

Your browser should have JavaScript turned on to make sure the DMV website loads properly.

If you have problems with the browser you are using, try a different one from the list above. If you continue to have problems, you can contact our Technical Support.

Your new registration and sticker will be mailed to you within 5 business days.

You can also review current renewal processing times on the Vehicle Registration Renewals page for an estimate of how long it will take for your registration to arrive in the mail.

Yes, you can. However, you need to change your address online before you try to renew your registration online.

To make sure that your new registration is mailed to your updated address, make sure you wait 3 business days between changing your address online and renewing your registration so the system can update your information.

Yes, all DMV customers can renew their registration by mail.

Sometimes you need to share certain documents with DMV, like an insurance card. You can’t renew online in that case because DMV needs to have that information on file in order to process your renewal online.

Yes. You can only renew online if your insurance company electronically reports information to DMV. You can check our website to see if your insurance company is on the list of insurance companies that electronically report to DMV.

No. If you do not plan to use your vehicle this year, but you plan to store it somewhere, you need to apply for Planned Non-Operation online. Then you will have to pay the PNO filing fee.

After you apply for PNO, if you decide to operate your vehicle or park it somewhere where it could get a parking ticket, then you need to pay full vehicle registration fees and penalties for that year.

You have to pay or settle all parking tickets before renewing your registration online.

If those parking citations still appear on the renewal notice you get from DMV, you should complete your renewal by mail or on site at a DMV location.

If you want to challenge your parking ticket, you need to resolve that with the court. Once the court clears your parking ticket, submit your clearance paper with your renewal notice by mail or at a DMV location.

If you have paid your renewal fees but your check has not cleared, do not place a stop payment on your check. The department might still be processing your payment.

If it has been 8 weeks since you renewed your registration, but your check still has not cleared, please contact DMV at 1-800-777-0133 between the hours of 8 a.m and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Even if you pay your registration fees, if your vehicle does not meet other requirements (like smog certification or outstanding parking tickets), your registration will not be renewed. In this case, you have to pay your parking tickets or get your smog certification before you can renew your registration.

You need to report your change of address to DMV within 10 days of moving.

You can change your address online to notify DMV of a change of residence or mailing address for your vehicle, vessel, driver license, or identification card records.

DO NOT mark the box labeled “check if registered outside of CA.” Billing notices will not be mailed if this box is checked.

No. According to the law, any minor who does not have a valid driver license cannot order, buy, lease, or receive any vehicle as a gift. (California Vehicle Code (CVC) §15500)

If your California Certificate of Ownership is stolen or damaged, you can submit a completed Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title (REG 227) and pay a duplicate fee.

If you lost the registration card or sticker, you can submit a completed Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents (REG 156) to replace the lost certificates and/or stickers and the appropriate fee.

You can submit these forms to DMV by mail or in person at a DMV office.

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