New Vehicle Registration for Automobiles in California

Auto Registration Services in California - Registering Your New Vehicle

Hassle-Free Registration Tips For Your New Car…

Provided you prepare yourself well, registering a recently purchased car with the California DMV doesn’t have to be a painful experience. If you have recently purchased a brand new car off the lot, there is a high possibility that your dealer will handle the registration and title process as a courtesy. All you have to do is sign a few documents and you’re on your way to driving a fully registered vehicle that won’t be up for renewal until next year.

If you’ve bought a new or used car from a private seller or a non-courteous dealer, the responsibility of ensuring your new ride is fully registered with the DMV falls on your shoulders. Your first step should be to make an appointment with a local DMV office that is most convenient for you.  Sure, you can still just walk in and take a number, but scheduling an appointment will cut your wait time drastically.  Drivers with an appointment receive top priority and often don’t have to wait in line at all.  Thanks to the DMV’s website, this process is a cinch.  It’s now possible to schedule your registration appointment online at the DMV site. Find the DMV of California insurance information on their site.  The CA DMV proof of insurance requirements are also on their site.

California Auto Registration Checklist

After you’ve made your appointment, it’s time to be diligent and gather all the various documentation required to complete your registration.  Here’s a helpful checklist to make sure you have everything you need for a quick and efficient DMV registration visit.

  • Application for Title or Registration of Vehicles in California
  • The Certificate of Title OR Application for Duplicate Title.
  • Smog certification (if the car is older than 6 model years).
  • Title transfer fee of $15.
  • Registration fee of $34.
  • Signature of the seller (and lienholder, if any) on the title.
  • Signature of the buyer on the title.
  • Odometer disclosure if the car is less than 10 years old.
  • Credit card or money order for the use tax.  (Rates vary by county and usually correspond with your county’s sales tax rate.)
  • Credit card or money order for additional applicable fees, if any.

Additional DMV Registration Help and Resources

If you have any questions as to the required documentation for registering your new vehicle, don’t be afraid to call ahead and discuss your questions with a DMV representative.

A great resource for questions about registering your new vehicle is the California DMV website itself.  The DMV’s registration and title topic page contains a wealth of specific information about the entire registration process including payment methods, late fees, vanity license plates, and smog inspection info.

Provided you make an advance appointment and arrive with your documentation in order, registering your car doesn’t have to take more than a half hour of your time at the DMV.  Finally, if you should subsequently misplace any paperwork, license plates, or registration stickers, you can obtain duplicates from the DMV by paying replacement fees.

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