How to Find Out What Is Owed for an Auto Registration in California


The state of California doesn't just hand out auto registrations for free. You will need to pay a fee to properly register your car, and if you don't you could potentially have your car towed or your license suspended. The fee you will pay depends on whether you're registering a car for the first time or if you're renewing an existing registration.

  • Open your Web browser and visit the Vehicle Registration and Title Information homepage for the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

  • Click "Vehicle Registration Fee Calculator" from the column of options on the right side of the screen.

  • Select the option that matches your situation. You can choose between calculating new vehicle registration fees, nonresident vehicle registration fees (for people moving into California from another state), the vehicle license fee or the registration renewal fee.

  • Enter your driver's license number and your vehicle's identification number (VIN) into the boxes on the screen. Select the county you live in and input your ZIP code into the boxes. Click "Calculate Fees" to determine the amount of money you will owe on your auto registration in the state of California.

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