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What No One Will Tell You But You Need to Know About Vehicle Registration Fees

Man Showing Teen Vehicle Registration Fees

Buying A Car

When you buy a car, it's important to know what the registration fees are. I worked for a Dealership and noticed a number of people who never checked the registration fees of the vehicle they were buying. During the vehicle purchase, you're paying a number of fees. Why pay unnecessary fees if the registration is current. Some dealerships charge a standard fee when they sell you a car which may be the case if it's new, but not if it's used.

If the vehicle you are buying is a used vehicle, it should already have a registration history started. Take a moment and take picture of the license plate and the Vehicle ID Number. Then check the California DMV Fee Calculator. This will give you an estimate of what if any fees are due.

Commercial Vehicle Registration

So many of my customers would argue with me about what defines a commercial vehicle. Without boring you with the definition straight out of the DMV bible, if you have a pick up truck, which most of you probably do, then you have a commercial vehicle.

Commercial vehicles have weight fees. What's important to know about these weight fees is that if your registration expires, DMV will charge you penalties for the weight fees. These fees can be enormous depending on how much your vehicle weighs.

Vehicle Value Reported Incorrectly

When your vehicle is sold, the value is entered by the dealership. The value reported will affect how much you pay in registration fees. If you feel your vehicle value is reported incorrectly, you can resubmit a revaluation to DMV.


There are a number of situations where refunds may be granted by the DMV. I won't go into detail here, but you can download the form ADM 399 for more information.

Author Bio: David Briscoe is a Licensed Vin Verifier in California and Registration Service Owner for 11 years and a former Business Office Associate for a California Dealership.


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