How to Replace a Car Registration in California

A lost car registration in California may be cause for alarm for car owners, since valid vehicle registration is a requirement for the legal operation of a vehicle in the state. A copy of car registration papers can be ordered through the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for car owners who have misplaced, lost or damaged their current registration papers. To replace car registration in CA, a car owner must complete one of the methods for requesting a duplicate and is required to pay fees for the new documentation. Duplicate car registration, including a license plate sticker, may be requested if the current sticker or paperwork has been lost, but it cannot be requested for renewal. Renewal of these documents is a different process, and it will involve updated materials. To learn how to replace car registration online, by mail or in person, review the following information.

How to Replace Car Registration in California

When replacing car registration in California, a car owner should consider the different methods the DMV offers to request duplicate documentation. Many car owners will decide to request duplicate car registration online since it is fast, easy and does not require a trip to the local DMV office. A CA DMV copy of registration can also be requested by mail, once the car owner fills out the proper paperwork and mails it in to the DMV along with the requested fees. The car registration copy is usually mailed back to the requestor, which can take several business days. Many car owners prefer to request a car registration copy online since the application request does not need to be mailed to the DMV, making the processing time faster.

DMV lost registration can also be requested for replacement in person at a local DMV office. When requesting a CA DMV registration copy in person, a car owner should bring in documentation and identification to prove he or she owns the vehicle. Additionally, the fees required when requesting a copy of auto registration should also be brought to the office so the process can be completed. The types of acceptable payment and the specific registration copy fee amounts should be confirmed by the car owner before visiting the office to avoid any delays. To learn more about requesting a copy of car registration in California at a DMV office, download our comprehensive and informative guide.

Information Needed to Obtain a Copy of Car Registration in California

When a California lost car registration replacement is requested, the car owner will need to prove his or her identity to the DMV, whether requesting the copy online, by mail or in person. The exact vehicle will also need to be identified, and the DMV will need to verify that the requestor is the true owner of the vehicle. Whether replacing CA car registration, the license plate sticker or the license plate itself, the car owner will be required to provide information on his or her identification and certain aspects about the vehicle.

An application for a replacement of car registration must be completed thoroughly by the car owner when requesting a duplicate registration. The CA duplicate vehicle registration application asks for the registered owner’s information, including the mailing address and county of residence. The types of documents that need to be replaced, including the DMV copy of registration or the California license plate, should then be checked on the application, so the DMV knows what the car owner is requesting.

The California lost vehicle registration application also asks for information on what happened to the original registration, license plates or license plate stickers. The applicant must disclose whether these items were lost, stolen or damaged. If a copy of car registration or license plates were damaged, the applicant is responsible for surrendering the damaged documents or plates to the DMV. To learn more about the information that may be requested when replacing car registration with the DMV, download and review our detailed guide.

Steps to Follow When Replacing California Car Registration

To replace car registration online in California, a requestor must follow all online procedures and provide all requested information through an online form. Before a duplicate vehicle registration can be sent to the requestor, he or she will also need to pay the respective fees online with a credit card, debit card or electronic check. If the car registration copy applicant is not able to pay using one of these acceptable methods, he or she must mail the application or visit a local DMV office to complete the request.

After the DMV receives the California car registration copy application, the information provided on the application is verified to ensure it matches the information on the current vehicle registration. If inconsistencies are found, the car owner may need to visit the DMV in person to replace car registration so he or she can verify identity and the current mailing address. When information is verified and the car registration copy fees have been paid, the requestor may receive the DMV copy of registration instantly if visiting a DMV office. Requestors who have mailed in requests for car registration copies or who have completed a request online will receive the documents or plates in the mail if the process has been completed successfully. Additionally, online car registration copy requestors may be able to bring in their payment for fees to the local office and pick up their requested copies while visiting.