How To Renew Your Car Registration In California?

Having a motor vehicle is a requirement in California in most cases. As a result, the California DMV has established many ways through which customers can get their cars registered which includes online car registration in California. These ways will vary in terms of their ease and quickness. In some instances, a customer may not be able to select some of them.

Online Vehicle-Renewal

The California DMV has made it possible for customers to renew their car registration online in California. In this way, they can skip the line and avoid any unnecessary hassle. Once you have registered for the renewal, you will be able to get your new sticker and get the registration within two weeks. To check for an estimate for the arrival time, you can check current renewal processing times on the Vehicle Registrations Renewals page. It is even possible to renew your car registration if you have changed your address near renewal time. However, it is recommended that you wait three business days after changing your address so that the system can update the information. In this way, you will be able to get your registration and sticker mailed to you at the updated address. Some people may not be able to renew online due to their insurance company or if the DMV requires certain documents. Additionally, you must pay or settle any parking tickets if you want to complete your registration online.

CA Vehicle Registration Requirements For Renewal

You must have the following items on hand before you begin online vehicle renewal on the California DMV website:

  • The license plate number of the vehicle
  • Last five digits of your vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • A renewal notice that confirms the applicant’s current address
  • Payment information. If the fees are being paid through a credit card or debit card, a processing fee of 2.1% will apply. However, if you are paying directly from your bank account, there will be no additional fees.

It is important to note that Disabled Person Parking placards and plates are renewed separately. The required items above only apply for registration renewals.

Online Renewal Eligibility

For vehicle registration renewal online in California, it is vital to establish and understand if you are eligible for renewal. The criteria are the following:

  • You must have access to the internet. It is recommended you use the latest versions of web browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. Additionally, it would be best to have JavaScript turned on so that the site loads better.
  • You must have a valid credit card, debit card, or checking account and be able to pay registration renewal fees.
  • You should know your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  • You must have vehicle insurance or a vehicle exempted from having insurance.
  • Electronic smog certification information about your car should be on file at the California DMV. If you pay your registration fees but the smog certification fails, the DMV will not renew your registration until you obtain it.

Other Forms of Vehicle-Renewal

There are certain situations where you will not be able to renew your vehicle’s registration online. This is when you do not have an online payment method, don’t know your VIN, don’t have vehicle insurance, or do not have a smog certificate on file. Additionally, there may be certain documents like insurance cards that the DMV may not have on file. Therefore, you will have to bring this and register for renewal on-site. Some insurance companies electronically report necessary to the DMV compared to others. Other California renewal registration fee payment methods include paying through a check, phone, and mail. If there are parking citations on your DMV renewal notice, you will have to complete the renewal on-site or through the mail.

Planned Non-Operation

If you do not plan to use your vehicle after the vehicle’s registration has expired, you do not need to renew after receiving a vehicle registration renewal notice. Instead, you will have to apply for Planned Non-Operation (PNO) online on the California DMV website. There is a filing fee that you will need to pay for this. However, if you still operate the vehicle or park it where a parking ticket applies, you will have to pay full registration fees and any penalties for the year.