Can I figure out how much my vehicle registration will be?

-A +A


“Ask the DMV”

Expert Answers to Common DMV Questions


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – 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. Go Online at    


Q: I haven’t received my renewal notice for my car yet.  Is there a way to figure out how much I owe?


      A: Yes, you can use the Vehicle Registration Fee Calculator at  The Vehicle Registration Fee Calculator allows current and new residents of California to calculate an estimate of their vehicle registration fees, determine Vehicle License Fees (VLF) paid for tax purposes, and calculate fees for registration renewal and used vehicle purchases. As a reminder, you are required to pay fees on or before the due date to avoid incurring penalties. Your vehicle registration card will show the specific date the registration expires.  If you have any questions, you may contact us at 1-800-777-0133.


Q: I have volunteered to drive my son’s youth group on a snowboarding trip; however, I will need to transport 14 teenagers. Do I need to have a special license to rent and drive a 15 passenger van?


A: Yes. Any vehicle designed to carry 10 or more passengers, including the driver, which is used to transport persons for compensation or profit, or is used by any nonprofit organization or group, requires that the driver have a Commercial Driver License, often referred to as a CDL, along with a passenger vehicle endorsement. Vanpools may be operated with a non-commercial Class C license provided the vehicle is designed to carry no more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and the driver shall possess evidence of a medical examination required for a class B license. The driver must also keep in the vanpool vehicle a statement, signed under penalty of perjury, that he or she has not been convicted of reckless driving, drunk driving, or a hit-and-run offense in the last five years. Any vehicle that carries more than 15 passengers including the driver must have a commercial license with a passenger endorsement. To learn more about the CDL, please visit


Q: I purchased a used vehicle from a private party selling the vehicle on a corner lot.  It was recently confiscated by the police after finding out it was stolen.  How could I prevent this from happening in the future?

A: This is a hard lesson, but the term “buyer beware” applies here.  When purchasing a vehicle from a private party, you and the seller can visit the DMV together to process the transfer, before any money exchanges hands.  The seller should have the title to the vehicle and if not, a duplicate title may be applied for at that time, and the appropriate signatures can be obtained.  You can also check our website at for additional transfer requirements.


In addition, before buying a vehicle, you can check the vehicle’s history by obtaining a vehicle history report.  There are several online companies that you can check using the vehicle identification number.



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