DMV Inaugurates New Way to Pay with Online Transactions

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: Mike Marando, Steve Haskins, Armando Botello, Mike Miller
July 19, 2006

SACRAMENTO—In the world of finance, they are called “e-checks,” or “EFTs.” They are also known as Electronic Funds Transfers, and they are the latest way for DMV customers to pay for business they conduct on the department’s Internet Web site at

“E-checks” are simply electronic versions of paper checks. And they can be used exactly the same way paper checks can---except that “e-checks” are for doing business online.

“We’re providing our customers with yet another easy way to do business with us using their home computers at the most convenient time for them, “said DMV Director George Valverde. Just like a debit card, money is electronically transferred from customer accounts to us for whatever transaction they choose after they provide us the necessary information. And, it’s available on both the English and Spanish language Web sites.”

Valverde explained that all paper checks have customer account numbers and bank routing numbers printed at the bottom. When using the EFT payment option, customers will be asked to type those numbers in the spaces provided on the screen. (Important note: Customers should use the numbers from personal checks only not deposit slips!)

Following is an example of what those numbers look like, and where they are located:

Image of check

Department officials caution that to properly utilize the process, customer account numbers must be valid and that business accounts are not now eligible for the EFT option. There is no additional cost for using e-checking, although Electronic Funds Transfers must be used for the entire amount of the transaction. (Customers won’t be able to use a credit card to pay for a portion of the fee and then use an EFT to pay for the rest.) At this point, Electronic Funds Transfers can only be used to pay for Internet vehicle registration renewals, but DMV officials say the option will be soon be available as well for online driver license renewals and personalized license plate reservations--probably by the end of the year.

Valverde also noted that the Electronic Funds Transfer option is just the latest addition to the DMV Web site, and that it has now been two years since the $4 “convenience fee” was eliminated for all department Internet-based business. The move has tripled the number of monthly online transactions since 2004. Eight million customers have registered their vehicles electronically since 2000, and so far this year, 2.2 million on-line registrations have been logged.

"The Internet is increasingly becoming a part of daily living for number of Californians," said Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, Sunne Wright McPeak, which oversees DMV. "Gov. Schwarzenegger recognizes that Californians want to do business in the most expeditious way possible, which is online and when it's most convenient for them. We're delighted that it hasn't cost them anything to do so for the past two years, so this anniversary has meant real savings for millions of hard-working people. "


DMV Media Relations Office
(916) 657-6437
FAX (916) 657-8282