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7 Things You Need To Know Before Registering your Vehicle in California


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1. Be A California Resident


If you're registering your vehicle in California, you'll need to have a California address. If you live in a rural community where you need a Post Office Box to receive your mail, DMV will require you list both your residential and mailing address on your out-of-state application.


2. Have Insurance for California Coverage


Although you may have current insurance coverage for your state, you will still need to get insurance meeting California requirements. Make sure you get coverage for the day you are registering your vehicle. To be sure this is done, your insurance card should have an effective date showing when the policy begins and ends. Some companies will issue the policy the same day, but it will not become effective until midnight the next day.


3. If Your Registering Your Vehicle In California, Your Vehicle Will Need To Pass A California Smog Test


Don't be confused by the rules that apply to currently registered California vehicles who's year model determine when the vehicle will need to be smogged. For vehicles coming from another state, a smog is mandatory. You can visit the California Bureau of Automotive Shop Locator for a smog shop near you.


4. Gather The Necessary Paperwork


To register your out-of-state vehicle in California for the first time, you will need the following:


If your vehicle is owned:


1) A Title, and or your out-of-state registration card. 1) As discussed earlier, your insurance card. 2) A Vin Verification from either DMV or a Licensed VIN Verifier such as myself.


If you are financing the vehicle, you will need the following:


1) Your registration card from your state. If the registration card does not list the lien holder (The Financial Institution, I.E. Bank) Then you will need to list it. You will be issued a registration card from the California DMV showing your vehicle is non transferable. This means you can receive registration, but you can not sell your car until the title has been received from the state the vehicle is financed in.


5. Pay Your Registration Fees


It's important to consider your registration fees will be higher the first time you register your vehicle. This is because you will be paying taxes based on the vehicles current market value in addition to city and county taxes along with state registration fees. If you're a Do It Yourself kind of person, you may end up costing yourself thousands of dollars in fees if your not familiar with how DMV charges.


6. Satisfy Any Outstanding Parking or Toll Tickets


Make sure all of your parking and toll violations are paid. DMV's system is becoming more sophisticated over time connecting with other states. You don't want to hit with a surprised after you invested your time getting everything done just to find out you still have tickets to pay.


7. Complete a Vehicle VIN Verification -


All out-of-state vehicles require a VIN Verification. The purpose of this is to prevent fraud by making sure the title matches the vehicle's VIN number. To schedule a VIN Verification, call or book an appointment with us today.




Authors Bio: David Briscoe is Licensed VIN Verifier and owner of a vehicle registration service for over 11 years. He is also a former Business Office Associate for a California Dealership.




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