Vehicle Registration and Renewal Research: United States

Part
01
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Part
01

Vehicle Registration and Renewal Research - California

In the State of California you can register or renew a vehicle by using the Department of Motor Vechicle's (DMV) Now Kiosk, Online portals, and by using the DMV business partner.

Basic Understanding of Vehicle Registration

Types

  • Vehicle registrations in California are required for all cars, light trucks, pickup trucks, heavy vehicles, trailers, mopeds, and motorcycles.
  • Vehicles such as mini-choppers or pocket bikes cannot be registered or operated on public streets pursuant to California Vehicle Code (CVC) 751(d), since they do not meet Federal Safety Standards.
  • Motorcycles, dune buggies, trail bikes, all-terrains vehicles and snow-mobiles operated exclusively off public roads and highways are known as Off-highway vehicles (OHV) and are registered as OHV unless it is registered for regular highway use and is not otherwise exempt from registration.
  • A motorized scooter (two-wheeled device that has handlebars, a floorboard designed to be stood upon when riding, and is powered by a motor) does not need registration or license plates to be displayed or even to be insured.
  • Commercial vehicles require registration as they are used and/or maintained for compensation, transportation of persons for hire, or profit or designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.
  • Commercial vehicles can either be registered as passenger or commercial, and include multipurpose vehicles, Passenger-type vehicles are those transporting persons for hire, pickup trucks with a camper permanently attached and Station wagons.
  • Specialized vehicles which fall under the definition of Special Equipment (SE) are exempt from regular registration.
  • Special equipment registration is required for special construction, special mobile, and cemetery equipment, logging vehicles, cotton and farm trailers, water tanks, oversize feed and seed motor vehicles, automatic bale wagons, and cotton module movers.
  • Special equipment (SE) vehicles include special mobile equipment, implements of husbandry, special construction, cemetery, logging vehicles, and cotton or farm trailers.

Fees

How to Register

  • Before registration a license plate number, the last 5 digits of vehicle identification number (VIN) for a vehicle, hull identification number (HIN) for a vessel/boat, smog certification filed with the DMV, a renewal notice showing current address or a confirmation on through the change of address system that reveals that the address is updated are all needed.
  • In the state of California, a person can register their vehicle without visiting a department of motor vehicle (DMV) office, but instead going to a business partner, using the DMV Now Kiosk to instantly receive a new sticker and using the renew online portal.
  • To register a vehicle from out-of-state (Nonresident Vehicle), an application for title or registration (REG 343) form is needed as well as an out-of-state title or proof of ownership and/or the out-of-state registration card, a verification of vehicle (REG 31) form, proof of insurance, a valid smog certification from a California smog station and the registration fees as calculated.
  • The registration is simple. A person must enter the vehicle or vessel/boat information, confirm record information, select the payment option, read and accept the eCheck payment terms, if applicable, and then receive confirmation of the transaction.
  • For California residents acquiring new cars, trucks or motorcycles from other states, they must meet the California smog laws before registration.
  • The request for commercial registration of a passenger vehicle and the form is attached here.
  • Owners of trucks obtain the registration application form and must calculate the registration fees so as to register the truck for the first time or renew its registration.
  • A vehicle registration checklist provided by the DMV can be seen here.

Vehicle Renewals

  • The DMV sends out a renewal notice in advance for a registration expiration. The notice listing the renewal options includes renewal in person, by mail, by phone, or online.
  • If a person does not receive a renewal notice, they can use the online fee calculator provided by the DMV or call 1-800-777-0133 to determine fees are due, documents are required, and payment options.

Renewal Frequency

Fees for Renewal

  • The renewal fee is based on vehicle type (auto, motorcycle), purchase price or declared value, dates (date purchased, date vehicle entered California), owner's residence county/city or business address, if a business, unladen or declared gross vehicle weight (GVW)/number of axles, special license plates and unpaid parking violation/toll evasion bail.
  • The amount per renewal is not a single standard amount but is per vehicle based on the various fees that apply to the vehicle.
  • California renewals allows for late registration renewal, but a penalty fee will be charged based on the number of days or years per the table shown here.

Methods of Renewal

  • Renewals can be done in person, by mail, by phone, through a (DMV) office, DMV business partner, using the DMV Now Kiosk or online.
  • The registration renewal is simple. A person must enter the vehicle or vessel/boat information, confirm record information, select the payment option, read and accept the eCheck payment terms, if applicable, and then receive confirmation of the transaction.
  • The online registration renewal portal can be found here.

Failure to Renew

  • California does not offer a grace period after vehicle's registration expiration date and the longer the delay in payment of fees, the greater the penalty amount will be.
  • The vehicle registration annual renewal penalty is calculated by adding the percentage of vehicle license fee + registration late fee + CHP late fee = total due.
  • The late penalty for renewal is $10 for 1 to 10 days, $15 for 11 to 30 days, $30 for 31 days to (and including) one year, $50 for more than one year to (and including) two years and $100 for more than two years.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

Vehicle Registration and Renewal Research - Texas

All cars, light trucks, pickup trucks, heavy vehicles, trailers, mopeds, and motorcycles must be registered in the state of Texas. Registrations and renewals can be made via online, mail, or in person. The impact of not renewing a vehicle registration in the state could land the vehicle owner a citation of up to $200.

Vehicle Registration

Types

  • Vehicle registrations in Texas are required for all cars, light trucks, pickup trucks, heavy vehicles, trailers, mopeds, and motorcycles. This can be found under the 'fees' tab.

Fees

  • The registration fees of vehicles in Texas vary by vehicle type and size. Below is a breakdown of registration fees as provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicle.
  • Passenger vehicle and truck: $50.75
  • Trailer or travel trailer: $45.00
  • Other vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 6,001 lbs. — 10,000 lbs.: $54.00
  • Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of over 10,001 lbs.: From $110.00 — $840.00. More details can be found here.
  • Motorcycle or moped: $30.00

How to Register


Vehicle Renewals

Costs

  • The cost of vehicle registration renewal varies depending on the vehicle type, registration county, and county of inspection. The total cost to renew a vehicle registration entails registration fees, local fees, inspection fees, special plate fees (where applicable), processing and handling fees, and donation opportunities. This could be found under the 'fees' tab.
  • Registration fees are accompanied with a $1 charge for the "maintenance and operations of the Insurance Verification Project (TexasSure)."
  • Local fees vary by county and can be found here.
  • Vehicle inspection fees also vary and can be found here.
  • Processing and handling fee is $4.75.
  • Vehicle owners can choose to donate to support Texas veterans, state parks, and donate life.

Renewal Frequency

  • Vehicle registration in Texas is valid for one year. Registration fees are on an annual base.
  • Active registrations expire on the last day of the month and year shown on the registration sticker of the vehicle.
  • Renewals of vehicle registration can be made "90 days before the expiration date or up to six months after the expiration date."

Methods of Renewal

  • Vehicle registration can be renewed via three different ways: online, mail, and in person.
  • Online: The state of Texas offers a $1.00 discount for vehicle renewals made online. Online renewal would require a two working days period for payments to be processed and three weeks for processing and mailing.
  • Mail: This requires the mailing of the renewal notice, a copy of the vehicle's Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR), proof of current liability insurance, and evidence of payment of all required fees to the county tax office.
  • In-Person: For in-person renewal, the vehicle owner would have to take his or her "renewal notice and proof of current liability insurance" to a nearby substation or county office.

Failure to Renew

  • The state of Texas grants a grace of five working days after the expiration of a vehicle registration by which a vehicle owner can still drive the vehicle without incurring penalties. However, after the grace period, the vehicle owner would receive a citation of up to $200 if the vehicle is still driven on the road. This can be found on the FAQ tab.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Vehicle Registration and Renewal Research - Florida

The state of Florida mandates the registration of any vehicle inside the state in order to be legally operational on its roads. The vehicles need to be registered by both the in-state citizens and out-of-state citizens driving in Florida on a regular basis. The renewal of registration is a mandatory step in order to keep the registration functional while in Florida.

Registrations

  • The state of Florida mandates the registration of any motor vehicle in order to run on roads.
  • Out-of-state vehicles need to register within 10 days of arrival to stay legally operational. The arrival is counted from the date on which the owner:
  • A vehicle registration is considered complete after the acquisition of:
  • The owner must pay an initial registration fee of $225 when first registering the motor vehicle. The owner needs to present the following document for initial/first registration:
    • Proof of Identity.
    • Proof of Florida Insurance.
    • A complete "Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration" (HSMV form 82040).
  • Registrations can be done for following types of vehicles:
    • automobiles/motorcycles/mopeds
    • trucks/truck-tractors/trailers
    • mount camper
    • motor home/mobile home
    • disability access vehicles
    • antiques — motorcycles/passenger cars
    • school-buses/ambulances/hearses
    • vessels like motor-boats and pedal-boats

Renewals

  • Owners can renew their vehicles for a period or one or two years before the expiration of their current registration.
  • The renewal of registration can be done up to 3 months in advance before the expiry of the current registration.
  • Vehicle registrations expire on:
    • the midnight of the birthdate of the first owner.
    • June 30/December 31 in case of heavy vehicles.
  • The cost of renewing the registration depends on the tenure of the renewed registration, the type of vehicle, and the gross weight of the vehicle.
  • The renewal of registration can be done:
  • The owners must provide either the license plate or the vehicle identification number (VIN) of their vehicle for re-registartion.
  • A delinquent fee is added to the renewal fee in case of owners failing to renew their registrations "beginning on the eleventh calendar day of the month succeeding the month in which the renewal registrations were due."

Additional Details

  • Leased cars cost higher to register or renew "because of the taxing structure in Section 320.08(6)(a) Florida Statutes."
  • Heavy vehicles such as trucks, truck tractors, and buses, or any vehicle in general with a gross weight of more than 55,000 pounds are taxed extra with "Heavy Vehicle Use Tax" (HVUT).
  • Drivers of heavy vehicles must also carry with them a 'proof of payment' of HVUT or a 'proof of exemption' from HVUT, at all times.
Sources
Sources