“Ask George” Expert Answers to Common DMV Questions

July 20, 2011

By George Valverde - Director, California Department of Motor Vehicles

Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration and insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California Department of Motor Vehicles has answers. “Save Time by Going Online,” at www.dmv.ca.gov.    

 Q: I am trying to plan ahead and budget enough money for my car registration renewal. Is there any way I can find out what I owe ahead of time?

 A: Yes, you can calculate your fees ahead if time if you want to know before you receive your registration renewal notice, but only if it’s less than 75 days before your renewal fees are due. It's easier than you might think! Simply visit www.dmv.ca.gov and click on the tab labeled “Vehicle Registration”. There is a bullet point on that page that says “vehicle registration calculator”; click on that link and you’ll be taken to a list of registration renewal options. Select the appropriate option from that page, and you will be directed to the calculation form. Once you’re finished entering the appropriate information, click on “calculate fees” and your amount due to the DMV will be displayed for you.  Save Time. Go Online!

 Q:  What documents do I need to bring with me on the day that I apply for a driver license?

 A: If you’re age 18 or over, remember to bring an original (or certified copy) of your Birth Certificate or Legal Presence document on the day you apply. You must also provide your social security number as well. If you are under the age of 18, the above requirements apply in addition to the requirement that your application be signed by your parents or guardian. If under the age of 17 1/2 you must also provide your certificate of completion of driver’s education. And remember to bring your proof of insurance card for your drive test - this is one of the more commonly forgotten documents and can save you from making an extra trip to the DMV. For additional information, go to this link on the department’s web site: www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm. Save Time. Go Online!

 The DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Acting Undersecretary Traci Stevens. The DMV licenses drivers, maintains driving records, registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels, investigates auto and identity-related fraud, and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools. For more information about the DMV, visit www.DMV.ca.gov.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.