What do I need for a new, out-of-state or vehicle never registered in California?
What Do I Need to Register My Nonresident Vehicle?
An Application for Title or Registration (REG 343) form (PDF) signed by all registered owners shown on the out-of-state registration or title. Complete both sides of the REG 343.
The last issued out-of-state title (not required when there is no change of registered owner). However, when an out-of-state title is not surrendered to DMV the California registration card is marked “Nontransferable” and a California title is not issued.
The last issued out-of-state registration certificate or renewal notice for the current year, or a letter, fax, or wire from the last registration jurisdiction verifying the registered owners name(s) and the vehicle’s last registration expiration date.
A Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form (PDF) completed by an authorized DMV employee, law enforcement officer, or licensed vehicle verifier (no charge for vehicle verification at DMV offices).
Commercial motor vehicles (vehicles designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property or used or maintained for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit) that weigh:
Over 6,001 pounds unladen (empty) require a Declaration of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)/Combined Gross Vehicle Weight (CGW) (REG 4008) form (PDF). For more information, see the Registering Commercial Vehicles and PTI Trailers (FFVR 27) Fast Facts brochure..
10,000 pounds or less unladen also require a California public weighmaster’s certificate. To find a public scale, check your telephone directory or visit the California Department of Food and Agriculture website.
A weighmaster’s certificate is not required for:
Autos (unless registered as commercial vehicles).
If a prior California registration shows the unladen weight, and the vehicle’s weight has not been altered.
With an unladen weight of 6,000 pounds or less when the out-of-state title or registration shows empty, unladen, scale, tare, or WT/Wheels weight.
Two or three-axle trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more. The estimated weight must be entered on the REG 343.
Trailers (except trailer coaches or park trailers) require:
A Statement of Facts (REG 256) form (PDF) with the estimated weight of the trailer stated in Section G.
To request a title for the trailer, a Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) Application/Certification (REG 4017) form (PDF) with side A completed.
A smog certification from a California smog station is required for the following vehicles:
Gasoline powered-1976 and newer year models (motorcycles are exempt).
Diesel powered-1998 and newer year models that have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) under 14,001 pounds (diesel hybrids included).
Natural gas or propane powered that have a GVWR under 14,001 pounds.
For a list of smog exempt vehicles and further smog information see http://www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/smogfaq.htm.
The out-of-state license plates; however, you may keep the license plates if they are:
Required to be returned to the state they were issued from.
For an interstate-registered vehicle (maintaining full registration in California and another state).
Appropriate fees and any use tax due.