How to Change Name and Address on Car Registration in California

In the bustling state of California, where life moves at a rapid pace, it’s easy to overlook the small yet crucial details of everyday responsibilities. Among these, ensuring that your car registration information is accurate and up to date is paramount. Whether it’s a change in name due to marriage or divorce, or a relocation prompting an address update, staying on top of these changes is not just a matter of convenience—it’s a legal obligation.

This blog post aims to guide you through the process of changing your name and address on your car registration in California. From understanding the legal requirements to navigating the paperwork and procedures, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive roadmap to streamline the process. 

Understanding the Requirements

Before diving into the practical steps of changing your name and address on your car registration, it’s essential to grasp the legal requirements involved. In California, these requirements are governed by state law and the regulations set forth by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

  • 1. Legal Obligation: Under California law, it is mandatory to keep your car registration information accurate and up to date. This includes your name, address, and other pertinent details associated with your vehicle.
  • 2. Timeliness: It’s crucial to update your car registration promptly whenever there is a change in your name or address. Failure to do so can result in penalties, fines, and potential complications with law enforcement or other government agencies.
  • 3. Documentation: Changing your name or address on your car registration requires specific documentation to verify your identity and residency. These documents may include government-issued identification, proof of residency, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, or legal name change documents.
  • 4. Notification: While the DMV doesn’t require you to notify them directly of a name or address change, it’s your responsibility to update your information promptly. This ensures that important correspondence, such as registration renewal notices or vehicle-related communications, reaches you in a timely manner.

Updating Name in Car Registration

Changing your name on your car registration in California involves several steps to ensure compliance with state regulations and to update your vehicle records accurately. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this process seamlessly:

  1. Gather Necessary Documentation:
  • Obtain legal documentation verifying your name change. This may include a marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order for a legal name change, or other relevant documents.
  • Ensure you have valid identification, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID card, reflecting your new name.
  1. Complete Relevant Forms:
  • Obtain a “Name Change Application” form from your local DMV office or download it from the DMV website.
  • Fill out the form accurately, providing your previous name, new name, vehicle information (including VIN), and any other required details.
  1. Submit Documents to the DMV:
  • Visit your local DMV office or mail the completed Name Change Application form along with the necessary supporting documents.
  • If submitting by mail, ensure you include copies of all required documents and payment for any associated fees. Check the DMV website for current fee information.
  1. Pay Associated Fees:
  • Be prepared to pay any applicable fees for updating your car registration with your new name. These fees vary depending on the type of transaction and may include a nominal processing fee.
  1. Verification and Confirmation:
  • Once your documents are processed, the DMV will update your vehicle records with your new name.
  • You should receive a new registration card reflecting your updated name in the mail within a few weeks.
  1. Update Other Records:
  • Inform your auto insurance provider of your name change to ensure your policy reflects accurate information.
  • Update your vehicle’s title if your name change affects ownership details.

Updating Address on Car Registration

Updating your address on your car registration is a straightforward process in California, but it’s essential to follow the correct steps to ensure a smooth transition. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Identify the Correct Form: The first step is to obtain the appropriate form for updating your address on your car registration. In California, this form is typically called the “Change of Address” form (DMV 14).
  2. Provide Proof of Residency: Along with the form, you will need to provide proof of your new residency. Acceptable documents may include utility bills, rental or lease agreements, mortgage statements, or other official mail addressed to you at your new address.
  3. Complete the Form: Fill out the Change of Address form accurately and completely. Ensure that all information provided is legible and matches the details on your current car registration.
  4. Submit the Form: Once the form is filled out and accompanied by the necessary proof of residency documents, you can submit it to the DMV. You can do this either in person at a local DMV office or by mailing it to the address specified on the form.
  5. Pay Any Associated Fees: While updating your address with the DMV is generally free, there may be fees associated with ordering a new registration card or sticker if you choose to do so. Check with the DMV for any applicable fees and payment methods.
  6. Wait for Confirmation: After submitting the form and any required documents, allow some time for the DMV to process your request. You should receive confirmation of the address update either by mail or email, depending on your preference.
  7. Update Other Records: Once your address change is processed by the DMV, it’s a good idea to update your address with other relevant entities, such as your insurance provider, financial institutions, and any other organizations you have accounts with.


Ensuring that your car registration information is accurate and up to date is not just a legal obligation—it’s a fundamental aspect of responsible vehicle ownership. In California, where the pace of life can be fast and dynamic, staying on top of these administrative tasks is essential to avoid potential penalties and complications.

Remember, timely updates to your car registration information not only keep you compliant with state regulations but also ensure that you receive important communications and documentation related to your vehicle promptly. By following the steps outlined in this guide and staying proactive in maintaining accurate records, you can navigate California’s bustling streets with peace of mind, knowing that your car registration is in order.