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Ready for a Taste of Fair Fun

How sweet it is to have the DMV sponsor a booth at the San Diego County Fair! Stop by the Exhibit Hall between June 1 and July 4 and visit with DMV representatives who can answer your driving-related questions.

If you need to renew your vehicle registration, bring your renewal notice or current registration card to the fair and find out how quick and easy it is to get your registration and sticker instantly! Simply use the DMV Now Self-Service Terminal available at the DMV booth. Not sure how to use it? Friendly DMV representatives will walk you through the process!

Come visit us in Exhibit Hall to find out how sweet it can be!

5 Easy Ways to Renew Your Vehicle Registration


Did you know the DMV offers five simple ways to renew your vehicle registration? We realize it may not always be convenient to visit a field office, so we offer the following alternative ways to renew your vehicle and be on your way:

1)      Renewal by mail – Simply send in your renewal notice along with the required payment. Your registration card and sticker will arrive in the mail shortly after!

2)      Online renewal – If you’re eligible to renew online, all you need is the last 5 digits of your VIN and your license plate number.

3)      Renewal by self-service terminal (SST) – A self-service terminal allows you to complete your registration process using touch screen technology and immediately dispenses your registration card and sticker. It’s quick and easy! Check the list of locations to make sure an SST is available at your local office.

4)      Renewal by telephone – To renew by phone, all you need to do is dial DMV’s Automated Telephone Service at 1-800-777-0133. When prompted, you will need to provide your renewal identification number (RIN) found on your renewal notice, last five digits of your VIN number and your license plate number.

And if you prefer, you can still visit the field office and renew your vehicle registration. Here’s how:

5)      Visit your nearest DMV field office and present your renewal notice to the technician at the counter. Before you head in to the office, be sure to schedule an appointment online. You can thank us later!

Why wait for Cyber Monday…Go Online Now.

The opportunity to take advantage of the shopping deals on Cyber Monday may only come once a year. Remember with DMV Online Services available 24/7, you don’t have to wait that long to renew your vehicle registration or driver license. You’ll be finished with your transaction– just in time to buy that television you’ve been waiting so long for!

Vehicle Registration Due? Let DMV Remind You!

With our lives as hectic as ever these days, it’s easy to forget when our vehicle registration is up for renewal. It’s even easier to misplace the paper renewal notice we receive prior to when our vehicle registration is due.

Worry no more! DMV online now gives you the option to sign up for a Vehicle Registration E-mail Reminders (VRER), which lets you know when your vehicle is up for renewal. Upon signing up, you will receive an email reminder 30 days prior to your registration expiring and another email 7 days prior to expiration.

Opting in to the online program is easy, since all you have to do is add your vehicle and let DMV do the rest. The image below provides a glimpse of what you will see if you add a vehicle to your online profile. If you sell your vehicle or it is no longer in your possession, opting out of the program is just as quick! Can it get any simpler?


So let DMV make your life a little easier and remind you about your registration. Nearly 200,000 people have already opted in to receive renewal reminders via email. Still not sure if you want to sign up? Read our commonly asked VRER questions to learn more!

Does My Mustang Need to be Smogged?

ImageBuddy the Mustang. and yes, he’s FAST!

Not the REAL kind, but then those do require some hay and a few carrots.  However, if you own a Ford Mustang in California (or any other kind of car, for that matter) chances are you need to get a smog certificate every other year.

Once you receive the friendly reminder in the mail (yes, DMV tries to be nice about it) that you need a smog certificate, start that task immediately.  Don’t wait! Try not to put it off until the last minute like you did with your homework! (Well, some of us did, anyway).

Go down to your local smog check station first thing to get your car smogged,  and get your smog certificate.  Then,  go online to DMV.ca.gov and pay your registration fee.  The smog check station will electronically send your certificate to the DMV and you will receive your tags and registration card in the mail in a few weeks.  If you don’t, give us a call as soon as you can at 800.777.0133.

Yikes, I’m Late!

We know, life happens and that renewal notice that’s been buried under your other bills suddenly pops into your head and to your horror, you realize it’s due TODAY and you didn’t get your car smogged!  Get online and pay your fee right now to avoid penalties.  Stop reading this and go pay it!  What are you doing still reading this? We’ll wait…Go!

Avoid the Aspirin

So, the moral of this story is to start working on getting your smog certificate the minute you get your renewal notice, which is sent to you 60 days in advance.  That’s  plenty of time to get things worked out, just in case the unspeakable happens and your car fails the smog test.   Handling it immediately will also give you plenty of time if you have to make any repairs before you’re registration is due, too.  If your car fails the smog test, and your tags have expired, and you didn’t get your car fixed in time, you can bring in the failed smog test report and pay $50 for a 60-day Temporary Operating Permit.  Just bring in proof that you failed your smog test (it can’t be more than 30 days old).

After reading this, you may opt for the actual mustang as your mode of transportation, but you’ll have to leave for work a lot earlier!