How to renew your vehicle registration - California DMV?

You need to renew your vehicle's registration every year.  The DMV will send you a vehicle registration renewal notice prior to your vehicle's registration expiration date with the following:

  • Your vehicle information.
  • Your license plate tag's expiration date.
  • Registration renewal fees.
  • Late renewal penalty fee information.
  • Parking ticket late fees (if any).

Whether the smog check is required and you are required to take your vehicle to a smog test only center or any smog inspection center.

If the DMV does not have your vehicle insurance information on file, they will require you to mail your insurance card or stop by the DMV office to drop off your insurance card.

You can renew your registration using any of the following methods:

  • DMV's online registration:  http://www.dmv.ca.gov (Click on Online Services then Registration Renewal, and follow the instructions).
  • DMV's phone registration: Call (800) 921-1117 and follow the instructions.
  • By mail:  Follow the instructions on your vehicle registration renewal form.
  • In-Person: Visit any DMV office.

You can set up an appointment with the DMV for a shorter waiting time at the DMV's office. You can schedule an appointment using the DMV's online appointment for vehicle registration or call (800) 921-1117 to set up an appointment.  Finally, you can visit a DMV service center such as AAA if you are a member.

When you receive the registration stickers from the DMV, attach them to your license plates. Keep your registration in the car at all times.