New Law Automates Vehicle Registration to Benefit Consumers

Contact: Mike Marando, Armando Botello,
Jan Mendoza, Jaime Garza
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September 30, 2011

New Car Dealers will now participate in the DMV’s Electronic Vehicle Registration System

Sacramento -- Under AB 1215 (Blumenfield), signed Monday by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., all used vehicles offered for sale by a dealer in California will be checked against the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) to disclose past vehicle damage such as flooding or severe collisions. New vehicle dealers will also be electronically transmitting information to the DMV, ensuring faster delivery of registration documents and license plates to customers.  The new law takes effect on July 1, 2012.

“The new law will benefit consumers because registration will be processed more quickly and new license plates will be delivered faster than before,” said DMV Director George Valverde. “Making electronic registration mandatory will also further improve customer service to our business partners and provide additional information about vehicle history to customers.”

The new law prohibits a dealer from displaying or offering for sale, a used vehicle unless the dealer first obtains the NMVTIS vehicle history report. And, when the report indicates the vehicle is or has been declared a junk or salvage automobile, the law will require the dealer to post the disclosure and provide the purchaser a copy of the report.

NMVTIS is an electronic system that provides consumers with valuable information about a vehicle's condition and history. Prior to purchasing a vehicle, NMVTIS allows consumers to find information on the vehicle's title, most recent odometer reading, brand history, and, in some cases, historical theft data.

The new law also requires all new vehicle dealers in California to participate in the department’s Business Partner Automation Program (BPA).   In the past, new car dealers were not required to use the BPA and would bundle many of their new car reports of sale and physically deliver them to the DMV for processing. 

The new law also clarifies that consumer must affix new license plates when received from DMV and no later than 90 days from the date of vehicle sale.

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With the new “DMV NOW” Smartphone applications for the Android and iPhone, customers on the go are now able to make appointments, find a local field office, and take sample driving tests among many other options.

And, customers making advance appointments will automatically receive a courtesy reminder call three days in advance of their scheduled appointment. DMV’s “Appointment Notify” telephone system reminds customers about the date, time, field office location and type of appointment.

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. Customers can also effect transactions by calling DMV customer service at (800) 777-0133. DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.

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