Car Registration in Los Angeles

Register a Car in Los Angeles

Car registration is required in the state of California. Unregistered cars or vehicles cannot be legally driven in the state. If you are a resident of California, living in Los Angeles, and just purchased a car (new or used) from a licensed California dealer, then it is the dealer who would do the paperwork for your car. The dealer will collect the necessary fees from you and submit it with other required documents to the local DMV office. In the meanwhile, the dealer will give you a temporary operating authority which will be valid until you get the registration documents (Certificate of Title, stickers, license plates, and registration card) in the mail. This may take anywhere from six to eight weeks.

If you have bought your car from a private party, then you need to submit the following documents to your local DMV within 10 working days to register your car:

  • Certificate of Title or Application for Duplicate Title (REG 227)
  • Appropriate fee
  • Smog certification
  • Odometer Mileage Disclosure Statement
  • Use tax payment

However, if you are the seller then you must submit the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (REG 138) form to your local DMV office within 5 working days.
If you are not a Californian and have an out-of-state registered car, then you must register your car in Los Angeles within 20 days, under the following circumstances:

  • When you become a resident of California, or
  • When you get a job in California

If you are a Californian with an out-of-state registered car, make sure that your car has had a smog inspection; otherwise, it may not be registered in California. The following documents may also be required:

  • Application for Title or Registration (REG 343)
  • Verification of the car
  • Out-of-state title
  • Odometer Mileage Disclosure statement
  • Appropriate DMV fees

Nonresident military personnel and their spouses in Los Angeles are allowed to drive their cars with a valid driving license and license plates from their home state. When their license plates are about to expire, they may get them renewed in their home state or register their cars in Los Angeles.

Choose Your State

Q:What are the legal requirements to get a car registered in Los Angeles? Are these the same all across the state of California?

A:Yes the legal requirements for registering a car in Los Angeles are the same as in the rest of the state. The most important legal requirement is that of insurance. The laws regarding this are very strictly enforced as whenever there is some sort of a traffic violation or a vehicle is involved in a criminal offence, the police request information from the insurance companies.