Californians must renew their vehicles’ registration annually, as required by the CA Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Registration fees provide funding for such things as the building and upkeep of streets and highways, the California Highway Patrol, and local county departments.
New to CA?
The following is for renewing your registration only. If you just moved to California and need to register your car, truck, or motorcycle, check out our California car registrationspage.
Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice
The CA DMV will send you a renewal notice well in advance of your registration's expiration date. The notice will include:
The date of your tag's expiration
Delinquency fees: ―You must pay all delinquency or ticket fees listed on your renewal notice before renewing your registration ―You will only be allowed to renew by mail or in-person if you owe any extra fees
Didn't Receive a CA Car Renewal Notice?
If you did not receive a renewal notice in the mail, either contact your local DMV office or call (800) 777-0133.
NOTE: Even if you don't receive a notice, you are still obligated to register on time.
To avoid missed renewal notices in the future, be sure, if you move, to update your new address with the DMV.
How To Renew Your CA Vehicle Registration
You have four renewal options: mail, online, phone, or in person.
Visit your local DMV office with:
Either your renewal notice or current registration certificate
Your CA driver's license (it must be valid)
Court clearance documents showing that all delinquent fees have been paid (if applicable)
Payment to cover renewal fees (cash, check, money order, debit/ATM card)
NOTE: You must renew in-person if you owe any delinquency fees or unpaid traffic tickets.