Preparedness Is The Key To A More Timely Visit To The DMV

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: DMV Media Relations

March 19, 2009

Sacramento —While many business options are available to customers online, the Department of Motor Vehicles reminds customers who visit any DMV facility for a transaction to be fully prepared with all necessary paperwork and proper documentation in hand.

“We absolutely prefer that customers use the department’s secure Internet website to do their business whenever possible, but if an in-person visit to an office is unavoidable, then we want to remind everyone that they can save themselves a lot of time and trouble if they come in completely prepared,” said DMV Director George Valverde.

The department identified the following transactions with the most commonly forgotten documents:

  • Driver License:
    Birth Document/Legal Presence Document – applicants need to bring in original documents, (certified copies of birth certificates are acceptable), not a photocopy.
  • Commercial Driver License:
    Applicants must bring in a valid Social Security Card.
  • Drive Test:
    Applicants must bring proof-of-insurance documents
  • Registration renewal:
    Customers must bring insurance documents, if required, and proof of completed smog test.
  • Transfers or other related transactions:
    Documents must have all necessary signatures. Odometer reading: the signature of the buyer and the seller is required on this section of the title. Customers should ensure the vehicle has been smog tested.

The DMV notes that making appointments for walk-in service is also an important time-saver, and can be accomplished by accessing the DMV Internet site ( or by phone at 1-800-777-0133.

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DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Secretary Dale E. Bonner. The DMV licenses drivers; maintains driving records; registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels; investigates auto and identity-related fraud; and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools.

Don’t Stand In Line, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Web site (, including online appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions.


For Media Inquiries Only
PHONE (916) 657-6437
FAX (916) 657-8282

DMV Customer Service Centers