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How to Register a Car in California
It’s imperative that you register your car almost immediately after it arrives in California. There is only a 10 to 20 day period where the vehicle can be registered before you are subjected to late fees. To avoid the extra expense, begin the process of registration right away. If your car is being shipped to California through an auto transport company, get it registered as soon as it’s delivered.
The Process for California Car Registration
Before you can register your car, you must first be registered as a resident. If you are new to the state, establish residency in California first.
- Submit an application for title or registration. The application should include the information of all owners or lien holders. Owners of commercial vehicles and trailers must submit forms REG 4008 or REG 4017.
- Must show proof of insurance for the vehicle.
- If transferring the title in California, show out of state title.
- You may need to show out of state registration as proof.
- Weight certification may be required.
- If applicable, your car must earn a state smog and emissions certification.
- All California vehicle registration fees must be paid in full.
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Not all vehicles will have to go through the exact same process but it depends on what type of vehicle you have and how old it is. For example, your car may need to pass the smog and emissions test if it qualifies and some areas of California require that the vehicle pass this test every two years.
Smog Checks and Inspections
Your car will not require a smog and emissions certification if it meets the following criteria:
- The vehicle is less than 4 years of age.
- It is a gas model made before 1975 or a diesel model made before 1997.
- It’s a diesel or natural gas vehicle weighing more than 14,000 lbs.
- You have a motorcycle or trailer to register.
- You own a hybrid or electric powered vehicle.
To begin registering your vehicle with the State of California, make sure you have all the pertinent documents. Then, make sure you have the proper amount of money to pay off all fees. You can contact the DMV for more information before going in to get the vehicle registered. Luckily, this isn’t too tedious of a process and you shouldn’t come across any issues with the help of the professionals at the DMV and those at the transport company.