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SAN FRANCISCO DMV | DMV ANYTIME (844) 744-6367| NEXT DAY DELIVERY | CarTagz®

SAN FRANCISCO DMV | DMV ANYTIME (844) 744-6367| NEXT DAY DELIVERY | CarTagz®

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DMV Office in SAN FRANCISCO
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1034 W. Ramsey Street B

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 92220

(800)777-0133
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California Registration and Renewal

This page is intended to supply you with all of the information you need to register your car and renew your registration in the state of California.

Your Initial Registration

DMV

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is where you will go for registration, renewal, and countless other transactions. If you just moved to California, state law requires you to register your vehicle with the DMV within 20 days of gaining residency.

The DMV requires an in-person visit to your local branch for your registration. If you have purchased a new car in California, the dealership will likely have submitted your vehicle registration documents for you. Ask the dealership for specific information on this process.

The list of documents below will cover what you need to bring to the DMV office if you are registering an out-of-state car, or a car bought in California from a private party.

Documents Required For Registration

Be sure to submit these documents to your local DMV office to register your vehicle.

A completed Application for Title or Registration.
Proof of Insurance
Out-of-State Registration (If you originally registered the car in another state)
Out-of-State Title (If you are transferring a title to CA)
Vehicles Title with Odometer reading (If purchased in state from private party)
Fill out an Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title and present Smog Certificate (If title cannot be located)
Smog and Emissions Certification (if applicable)
Weight Certification (if applicable)
Proof of Vehicle Ownership
Payment to Cover Registration Fees
A physical inspection of your vehicle will be done by a DMV employee. Once your VIN is verified, you will be issued your registration certificate, tags, and California plates.

Military Drivers

If you are a California resident that is currently stationed in another state, you may register your car in your current state and re-register in CA when you return .

If you are a non-resident that is stationed in California, you do not need to register your vehicle with the DMV. However, in order to drive in CA, non-residents must have California auto insurance and current registration from their home state.

Weight Certification and Smog Checks

Weight certification is required for some trucks in California. Smog checks are required of most cars before registration and some areas require smog checks every two years. Check with the DMV for your local regulations.

Renewing Your Registration in California

The DMV will send you a renewal notice before your registration expires. The majority of car owners have an annual yearly renewal. This notice contains the total cost of your renewal fees and the date of your current registration expiration. It will also tell you if you need an emissions test and if you have any outstanding issues (unpaid tickets or fines) that need to be resolved before renewal. If you did not receive a renewal notice, contact your local DMV office or call (800) 777-0133.

Once you have completed your emissions test (if necessary) and cleared your record of any outstanding fines or tickets, you are ready to renew your vehicle.

Renewal Options

Unlike your initial registration, you do not have to make a personal visit to the DMV to renew (but it is still an option). Instead, you may renew by phone, online, or by mail.

Phone

Call (800) 921-1117. Be sure that your car insurance and proof of emissions certification is on file with the DMV. Have your VIN and license plate number ready and follow the instructions. Your new registration materials will be mailed to you upon completion.

Online

Visit the DMV Online Renewal page. In order to use online renewal, you must have proof of smog certification and insurance on file with the DMV. Your VIN number is required as well as a method of payment. Once completed, print your receipt for your records. Your new registration materials will be mailed to you.

In Person

Simply drop by your local DMV, bringing your ID, your renewal notice (or current registration), court clearance regarding outstanding tickets (if necessary), and payment. You will be supplied with your updated registration documentation on the spot.

Mail

These are the documents you will need to mail to the DMV: a) Your registration renewal form, b) proof of smog inspection (if applicable), c) proof of insurance (if applicable), d) proof of paying outstanding fees (if applicable), e) check or money order made out to the DMV.

Once collected, throw these documents in an envelope and send it to:

Vehicle Registration Operations

Department of Motor Vehicles

P.O. Box 942869

Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

The DMV will mail your new registration and tab to you.

Renewal for Military Drivers

If you are a deployed member of the armed forces and your registration is expiring, you can delay payment until your return (check with DMV for full details).

Once you arrive back in California, you may be eligible to waive your late fees by visiting your local DMV office and filling out a Statement of Fact form. You are allowed 60 days upon your return to California to waive your late fees and re-register.

Renewing a Non-Operational Vehicle

If your registration is expiring but you do not plan on driving the vehicle for the upcoming registration period, you may apply for Planned Non-Operation (PNO). This will allow you to avoid paying renewal fees.

To apply, you can mark the PNO box on your renewal notice, or you can complete the PNO Certification sheet linked above, and mail it to:

Department of Motor Vehicles

P.O. Box 942869

Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

California Car Insurance

This page is intended to supply you with the information you need about car insurance in California.

California law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance for their registered vehicle.

State Insurance Requirements

California requires that drivers be covered with liability insurance to help pay for damages in case of an auto accident.

Your liability insurance must include the following minimum coverage:

Bodily Injury or Death Per Person: $15,000
Bodily Injury or Death Per Accident: $30,000
Property Damage: $5,000
Other Types of Insurance

Although they are not required by law, California insurance companies offer additional types of coverage so you can keep your vehicle better insured. These will likely include:

Uninsured Motorist: This insurance will cover you if you are in an accident with a driver who has inadequate or no insurance.
Comprehensive: This will cover damages to your vehicle cause by factors that are out of your control. Factors can include theft, weather damage, and vandalism.
Collision: This will help pay for damages to your vehicle cause by an accident.
Medical and Funeral: Will help with the cost of medical bills or funeral arrangements after an auto accident.
Only liability insurance is required in California, but it would be wise to look into these additional coverage options to be sure that your car is fully covered for the unexpected.

Obtaining a Quote

To save as much money as possible on car insurance, it is important to do research. Whether you are uninsured or already covered, you will want to get as many quotes from as many insurance providers as possible.

Conveniently, most insurance providers now offer free quotes through online applications. Simply visit the companyís website and follow the on-screen instructions for obtaining a quote. Be aware that you will have to enter personal information. Quotes can also be done by phone or in-person.

The more quotes you get, the more likely you are to save money on car insurance.

 

 

Average Cost

There are a number of factors that can affect your auto insurance rate. These factors can include (but are not limited to): your driving record, age, sex, marital status, the vehicle you drive, and your location.

Due to the number of factors that goes into determining your rate, auto insurance rates can vary greatly from person-to-person or city-to-city.

For example, the average annual rate in San Luis Obispo, California, is $997. Comparatively, the average annual rate is $2,541 in Los Angeles.

Caught Without Insurance?

There are steep penalties for being caught driving without liability insurance. You will be fined up to $200 for your first violation, up to $500 for each subsequent offense within three years. A license and registration suspension is also possible.

In order to have your license and registration reinstated, you may have to pay the fines. You will also need to re-register your car with proof of insurance. This can be done online at the DMVís Vehicle Registration Suspensions Insurance Program page.

How Do I Make a Claim?

If you are in an accident, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. Here is the proper procedure to take after an accident:

Inform law enforcement if anyone is injured
Exchange insurance information with the other driver(s) involved
Gather information from other drivers and witnesses
Record the date, time, and location of the accident
Notify your insurance company (report a claim)
You can notify your insurance provider by calling the number on your insurance card. For your convenience, many companies also allow you to report your claim online using their website. An insurance agent will help you with the remainder of the process.

How Can I Lower My Rates?

If you want to lower your insurance rates, you will want to be sure you are taking advantage of all the insurance discounts that you qualify for. Ask your insurance provider about the following discounts:

Good Driver Discount: The best way to save on car insurance is to be a safe driver. If you maintain a clean driving record you will receive a discount.

Multi-Car Discount: If you are insuring more than one vehicle, ask your provider about this discount.

Homeowners Discount: If you own a home you may be able to receive a discount on your auto insurance.

Taking a Traffic School Course can also lead to a reduction in your rate:

A California State-Approved Traffic School can lead to a loss of points on your driving record as well as a reduction of your insurance rate.

Not all providers reward discounts for the completion of traffic school. You will need to check with your provider before taking a course. If your provider offers the discount, they should be able to supply you with contact information for approved traffic schools.

To find a California State-Approved Traffic School yourself, you can visit the DMVís Occupational License Status Information System and click ìstart search.î Once you access the system, you will be able to search for traffic schools. You will be supplied with a list of schools and can even modify your search to include only internet, classroom, or home study courses.

The cost of traffic school varies depending on the school and county.

If you are still unhappy with your insurance rate, you can seek out quotes from other company.

California Traffic Tickets

This page is intended to supply you with the information you need about traffic ticket procedures in the state of California.

If you get hit with a traffic ticket in the state of California, you will have the option to either pay the fine (plead guilty or no contest) or fight the ticket (plead not guilty).

Pleading Guilty

If you choose to plead guilty to your traffic violation, you will be required to pay the associated fine and any other potential court costs or fees.

Most counties in California allow you to pay your ticket online, unless your ticket requires you to make a court appearance. It is possible that a judge will allow you to plead to a lesser offense, and you may even be allowed to enroll in traffic school to have your ticket dismissed (see ìTraffic Schoolî below).

Depending on whether or not you can attend traffic school, you may incur points on your driving record. If the violation is severe enough, or if you have too many points on your record, you could face a suspension or revocation of your license. A traffic ticket can also have adverse effects on your car insurance rates.

Cost of a Violation

The cost of a violation depends on a number of factors. These factors can include the severity of the violation and the number of violations a driver has previously been charged with.

For example, a speeding violation for driving 16-25mph over the speed limit will cost around $250. Comparatively, a DUI first offense can cost you as much as $15,000 (fines and other expenses) in California.

Paying the Fine

Your traffic ticket should include payment option details.

California traffic violations are handled by county courts. Your courtís information will be provided on your ticket.

You can visit your county courts website and look up your payment options. They will likely include:

Online Payment
Payment by Mail
Payment by Phone
In-person Payment
If you cannot find the method of payment that fits your needs, call your court and talk to a clerk.

How to Fight a Traffic Ticket

If you choose to fight your traffic ticket, you will need to appear in court on the date and time listed on your traffic ticket and plead not guilty. You will then be issued a trial date where you will need to plead your case to a judge and receive a verdict.

If you need to reschedule your court date, contact your court and talk to a clerk. The more time you give the court to reschedule, the more likely they will be able to change your court date.

Your Court Date

Whether you plan on hiring an attorney or defending yourself personally, you will need to spend some time preparing your case before your court date. You will want to prepare your testimony, gather possible evidence that will help your case, and talk with any witnesses about providing testimony (if applicable).

When your court date arrives, the officer who issued you the ticket will appear before the judge and testify to your guilt. You will testify to your innocence. After the testimony is heard, the judge will consider the information and issue a judgment.

If you are found not guilty, you will be allowed to leave the courthouse without any marks on your record and without having to pay fines. If there is paperwork that needs to be completed, the court will contact you.

Drivers found guilty will be instructed about the fines and penalties they will face.

Most courts will allow you to file an appeal. The judge or clerk will give you full details on how to file the appeal.

Traffic School

If you are eligible, a California State Approved Traffic School can lead to a dismissal of your traffic ticket and a loss of the points on your record. To see if you qualify, contact the court in the county where your ticket was issued.

To find a California State Approved Traffic School, you can visit the DMVís Occupational License Status Information System and click ìstart search.î Once you access the system, you will be able to search for traffic schools. You will be supplied with a list of schools and can even modify your search to include only internet, classroom, or home study courses.

The cost of traffic school varies depending on the school and county.

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CARTAGZ INC IS LICENSED BY THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. THIS SERVICE HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED OR ENDORSED BY ANY GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY, AND THIS OFFER IS NOT BEING MADE BY AN AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT. CALIFORNIA VEHICLE CODE (CVC) SECTION 1685.