California License Plate Renewal

Overview of Renewing Your License Plate

Routine renewal of your vehicle's license plate is mandatory in California to maintain legal vehicle operation. The renewal process ensures your vehicle remains registered, insured, and compliant with state emissions standards.

When to Renew

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) typically sends out renewal notices several weeks before your registration expires. These notices include important information such as the renewal deadline, fees due, and any required emissions testing.

How to Renew

You can renew your vehicle's license plate in several convenient ways:

  • Online through the California DMV website, the fastest and most convenient method.
  • In person at a DMV office, where you may also complete other transactions.
  • By mail, sending your renewal notice along with payment to the address provided.
  • Through self-service kiosks available at select locations.

Ensure that your vehicle's insurance is up-to-date and that you have passed any required emissions testing before attempting to renew.

Fees and Penalties

Renewal fees vary based on your vehicle type, weight, and location. Late renewals are subject to penalties, which increase over time. Prompt payment helps avoid these additional costs.

Special License Plates

If you have custom or specialty license plates, the renewal process remains the same. However, there may be additional fees associated with these plates.

Keeping your vehicle's registration up to date is crucial for legal road use in California. Timely renewal avoids penalties and ensures continuous coverage. For specific fees, requirements, or to renew your registration, visit the California DMV website or contact a DMV service center.