Bringing your Car to California

cars on a highway during the sunset

Coming from out of state? Don’t forget to register your car in California.

Once you officially establish residency in California, you will have 20 days to register your vehicle with the DMV to avoid late fees. To be sure you get your registration taken care of in a timely manner, you can book your appointment with the DMV before moving through their online appointment system. 

To register, head to the DMV and submit:

  • A Completed Application for Title or Registration (Form REG 343).
  • The Vehicle's Out-of-State Title.
  • The Vehicle's Out-of-State Registration.
  • Proof of Insurance.
  • A Valid Smog Certificate.
  • Payment for Fees (see "Fees" below).

After a DMV employee completes your vehicle's VIN inspection, you will be issued your registration card, stickers, and plates.

Vehicle Registration Fees

The DMV offers a Vehicle Registration Fee Calculator that allows current and new residents of California to estimate their registration fees. It is important to note that a late fee will also be applied if you do not register your vehicle with the DMV within 20 days of establishing residency in California.


The provided links are owned and operated by third parties who are not affiliated with UC Davis. These third-party links are provided for user convenience only and are not endorsed by UC Davis. By providing these links, UC Davis makes no representations or warranties that these third-party sites have adequate data security and data privacy safeguards. If a user decides to access a third-party website and provide any personal information, the user does so at their own risk.