California Vehicle Registration Renewal

Driving in California

At any given time, there are millions of vehicles on California’s roads. In order to keep check on these vehicles, it is mandatory for the owners to have them registered. A registration of a vehicle needs to be renewed after a stipulated period of time. A vehicle with expired registration cannot be legally driven in the state. In California, a vehicle’s registration can be renewed through a variety of ways.

California DMV Vehicle Registration Renewal

For many, renewal of their vehicle’s registration online remains the preferred option. The DMV does not charge extra fees for this service. There are however three prerequisites to using this invaluable service:

  • Renewal notice with current address
  • If required, the Smog certification filed with the DMV
  • Last five digits of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Once the above mentioned requirements are fulfilled, getting the vehicle’s registration renewed online is not a problem. The process is completed in four easy steps:

  • Enter vehicle’s information
  • Confirm record information and select payment option
  • If applicable, read and accept the E-Checking payment terms
  • Receive confirmation of the transaction

Once a vehicle’s registration has been successfully renewed online, the registration and sticker are mailed within five business days. The state of California follows strict environmental codes and therefore some vehicles may be subjected to a smog inspection. If your vehicle needs one, the registration renewal notice received by you in the mail will clearly indicate that a smog certification is required.

Registration Renewal Online
If you have not had your vehicle’s smog inspection you can still have the registration renewed online, however, the DMV will not send you the registration and sticker till you have submitted the smog certification.
As mentioned above, the DMV does not charge extra fees for this service, however, it does recommend that the user uses one of the following web browsers:

  • Safari
  • Mozilla Firefox (versions 3.5.7, 3.6.3 and 3.6.6)
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Internet Explorer 7
  • Chrome

For the sake of internet security, only the latest versions of the abovementioned web browsers must be used.


How can I renew license through the mail CA?

For having your driver’s license renewed through the mail in California, you need to have at least 60 days left till its expiry. You should also not be 70 years or older by the time your current license expires and neither have them more than one state. You also should not have violated any promises for court appearances, be on any form of probation or suspension or have received two consecutive renewals via the mail for five-year periods.

What is the address to mail DMV registration in California as well as any payments if applicable?

The address for mailing your completed registration renewal form to is: California Department of Motor Vehicles, P.O. Box 942869, Sacramento, CA 94269-0001. However, there are no standard fees that apply as they may wary from $32 to around $2,000 depending on the type of vehicle that you are trying to register.

What do i need to renew my car tags?

To renew your car tags you will need to provide certain documents regarding your car insurance, driver’s license number, ID, and a VIN (Vehicle identification number). However, the requirements vary from state to state, so make sure you get in touch with the department and find out what are the specific requirements.

I have not received my CA dmv registration renewal notice yet, and I am afraid the expiry date is near. Should I call up the DMV office and find out?

Yes, if you think your cars registration renewal date is near, and you have not received any renewal notice, feel free to call up the DMV office and find out. You can renew your cars registration online, in-person, or through mail. There is a registration fee that has to be paid. To find out more about vehicle registration in California, take a look at our page.

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