How to File Your Application for Car Title or Registration in California

Need to register your car because it's been junked, salvaged, or any other reason? Or is your car from out-of-state? Either way, you are going to need to register your vehicle, and the best way to do that is fill out the REG 343 Application for Title or Registration.

Follow these steps if you’re a new California resident, or if you purchased a vehicle outside of California and are bringing it here to be registered.

Step 1: Fill out the Application

To get started, you need to fill out the Application for Title or Registration (Form REG 343). If you drive a commercial vehicle, you will also need to complete a Declaration of Gross Vehicle Weight/Combined Gross Vehicle Weight (Form REG 4008). Trailers must be registered using the Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) Application Certification (Form REG 4017).

Step 2: Prepare the appropriate information

In addition to the forms listed above, you will also need to bring:

  • Proof of vehicle insurance
  • Out-of-state title (if you’re transferring your title to California)
  • Out-of-state registration (the DMV will also accept registration renewal or letter showing registration from the DMV in the last state where your vehicle was registered)
  • Weight certification (if applicable)
  • Smog and emissions certification (if applicable)
  • Payment for the registration fee ($58) and the California Highway Patrol fee ($25)

Step 3: Visit the DMV

Once you have the materials listed in Step 1 and 2, submit everything to your local DMV office. A DMV employee will give your vehicle a physical inspection and a VIN verification.

Step 4: Receive your registration!

After you’ve been approved, you’ll receive a California registration certificate, license plates, and registration stickers.

Please note that if you bought your vehicle from a private seller, you have 10 days to register it. You’ll need to go to the DMV to do this. Be sure to bring:

  • Vehicle title (if your vehicle is less than 10 years old, you must also include the odometer mileage). If you can’t find the title, you must complete an Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title (Form REG 227).
  • A valid smog certificate. Certificates are valid up to 90 days after inspection.
  • A completed Application for Title or Registration (Form REG 343).
  • Payment for the registration fee ($58) and the California Highway Patrol fee ($25)

How to File Your Application for a Duplicate Car Title

Did you lose or misplace your car title? You can easily get a new one with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Step 1: Fill out the application

Complete the Application for Duplicate Title Form (Form REG 227).

Step 2: Pay the $21 duplicate title fee

Step 3: Return the application to the CA DMV by mail or in person.

If submitting by mail, send the application and payment to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Registration Operations
P.O. Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269

If you choose to apply in person at your local DMV, remember to bring the $21 fee as well as your California driver license.