There are a few different reasons your California registration could be suspended. If you find yourself in this situation, you will need to clear the suspended registration by re-registering your car before you can legally operate your car on roads and highways. You can use Car Registration, which is the alternative to long lines and waiting times at your local California DMV branch. However, you can still clear your suspended registration at a CA DMV branch.
Re-Registering Your Suspended Car Registration in California with Car Registration
Car Registration is an excellent alternative to waiting in line to clear your suspended car registration. One step in clearing your suspended car registration in California is to re-register your vehicle, and you can do this with Car Registration. To get started, make sure you have the following information:
- License plate number
- The last 5 digits of your vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Zip code of the location where the car is registered
- Email address
There are other steps in this process, but the remaining steps are a guided process, so you’ll have help completing the registration process. The services provided by Car Registration are paid services. While paying fees doesn’t seem like your type of party, it will be a party once you get everything situated with your suspended car registration, and legally able to hit the road again. You can take a look at their fees here.
Re-Registering Your Suspended Car Registration at a California DMV Branch
Registered vehicle owners in California are required to insure their vehicles. If the California DMV does not receive proof of insurance for a vehicle, they will suspend the vehicle’s registration until proof of a valid auto insurance policy is submitted. You may NOT operate the vehicle or park on public roadways when your CA registration is suspended.The Vehicle Registration Financial Responsibility Program is required to suspend a vehicle’s registration when:
- Auto insurance information is not submitted to the CA DMV within 30 days of being issued a registration card
- The CA DMV is notified that the vehicle’s insurance policy was canceled and a replacement policy isn’t submitted within 45 days
- The vehicle’s owner provided false proof of insurance to obtain the registration
Reinstating Your California Vehicle Registration
You can send your proof of auto insurance and the $14 reinstatement fee required to reinstate your vehicle registration to the CA DMV. Be advised that calling a CA DMV branch will NOT clear your registration restriction. You will be referred to one of the following options:
If you choose to handle things online, you can do the following:
- View your registration suspension status
- Submit proof of your valid auto insurance policy
- Pay the reinstatement fee
- Submit/Remove an Affidavit of Non-Use (ANU)
- Reinstate your registration
If you prefer to email the required documents, you must scan a copy of your proof of insurance documentation to [email protected].
If you’re visiting a kiosk, you must submit proof of a valid auto insurance policy and pay the reinstatement fee. You must also have an Affidavit of Non-Use (ANU), or remove an ANU.
If you received a notification letter, you must mail the stub from the letter along with your proof of insurance and/or the reinstatement fee to the following address:
California Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 997405
Sacramento, CA 95899-7405
If you don’t have a notification letter, you must mail your proof of insurance and/or reinstatement fee to the following address:
P.O. Box 997408 M/S N305
Sacramento, CA 95899-7408
You can use the automated voice system at (1-800-777-0133) to verify your registration suspension status, submit your proof of insurance and reinstatement fee, and submit or remove an ANU.
Vehicle Registration Suspended for Driving Without Insurance
As per California’s financial responsibility law, every driver is required to carry the state’s minimum insurance. It may be tempting to skip obtaining auto insurance because of the cost, but the penalties for driving without it will be more expensive, and your registration could be suspended.The CA DMV can suspend your registration for any of the following reasons:
- You don’t provide proof of auto insurance within 30 days of registering your car in the state
- You don’t provide proof of auto insurance within 45 days of being contacted by the CA DMV.
- You provided false proof of auto insurance when you registered your vehicle
Be advised that the CA DMV may also charge fines and impose other penalties for operating a motor vehicle while uninsured.
California Suspended Car Registration FAQ
Clearing a suspended car registration in California can sometimes be confusing and frustrating. We’ve provided answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding this process.
Q. How will I be notified that my vehicle registration is suspended?
- The CA DMV will mail a notice informing you that proof of auto insurance and a $14 reinstatement fee is due to clear the suspension.
Q. What do I do if I don’t plan on using the vehicle?
- If it’s time to renew your vehicle’s registration, and you don’t plan on using the vehicle, you can place the vehicle on Planned Non-Operation (NPO) status. If the vehicle is currently registered and you decide not to use it, you are required to either maintain liability insurance or notify the CA DMV that you won’t be using the vehicle by submitting an Affidavit of Non-Use (ANU) online. You can also print and mail an Affidavit of Non-Use (REG 5090) to the following address:
P.O. Box 997408 M/S N305
Sacramento, CA 95899-7408
You can also call the automated voice system at (1-800-777-0133). Vehicles that have an ANU or PNO status are NOT subject to suspension, but they can’t be parked or operated on any California roadways.
Q. What if my vehicle is commercially insured?
- Personal vehicles covered by a commercial or business policy may not be identified as commercially insured. If you receive a notice requesting you to provide proof of a valid auto insurance policy, you must send a copy of your auto insurance card or the declaration page of your policy to the Vehicle Registration Financial Responsibility Program before the suspension date shown on the notice.