Car registration form was lost in the mail: Now what?

Q: My license plates are due to be renewed next month but I never received my registration renewal form in the mail. Is there anything I can do?A: If you have lost or did not receive a Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice, you can calculate registration fees by visiting the DMV Web site at and clicking on Vehicle Registration and then Vehicle Registration Fee Calculator. Select the tool for registration renewal, which requires the license plate number, last five digits of the vehicle identification number, county, and zip code. You may also call 1-800-777-0133 to find out what fees are due, what documents are required, and for payment options. To be eligible to renew registration online, you must have a renewal notice containing a Registration Identification Number (RIN). Q: I've decided not to operate my vehicle in the new registration year, but I've already paid my registration renewal fees. Can I get a refund? A: If you decide before the new registration year that the vehicle will not be operated and you've already paid your registration renewal fees, you can get a refund. You will need to: Return the registration card and unused sticker or submit a Statement of Facts indicating what happened to the registration card and sticker. Submit a completed Certificate of Non-Operation/Planned Non-Operation Certificate (REG 102). Submit an Application for Refund completed in full. To fill out and download these forms online, please visit and click on Forms. The Planned Non-Operation (PNO) fee will be subtracted from the refund amount by DMV. This does not apply to boats. Boat renewal fees must be paid whether or not the boat is being operated. For more information, please visit Q: I know the DMV has a driver handbook, but is there a handbook for senior drivers I can give to my aging parents? A: Yes. The DMV now has a link to a Senior Guide for Safe Driving which you can view online or printed to give to your parents. The guide is not just for seniors; it was developed for anyone that may have driving concerns for themselves, a relative or just someone they may know. This useful guide contains information regarding physical and mental changes that may affect safe driving and practical strategies for recognizing, understanding, adapting to, and planning for these changes. To view the guide, visit and clink on senior driving information. Q: I made an appointment to visit the DMV over the phone but I can no longer make it to the appointment as scheduled. Can I cancel or reschedule my appointment online? A: Yes. Use the View/Cancel option on the Welcome or Confirmation page of the Online Appointment System. Don't forget to reschedule while you're online. Q: When do I have to renew my boat registration? A: You must renew your boat registration by December 31 of every odd-numbered year (i.e., 2003, 2005, etc.) regardless of use. DMV mails a renewal notice approximately 60 days prior to the expiration date. The department issues a Certificate of Number (registration certificate) and registration stickers to identify a boat as currently registered. These stickers must be securely affixed to each side of the boat three inches after and directly in line with the registration numbers and must be clearly visible at all times. Do not place any numbers, letters, or devices in the proximity of the registration sticker. Q: Is everyone eligible to get special interest license plates? A: Anyone who has a currently registered California auto, truck, trailer, or motorcycle may order these license plates. Special Interest License Plates have a special graphic design depicting an image relative to the organization's interest, and require extra fees that are used to support programs pertinent to each organization's interest. They are available with configurations of numbers, letters, or both, which have been personally chosen by the applicant (personalized) or are standard issue configurations (sequential). Motorcycle plates are not yet available for all special interest plate programs. Environmental License Plates are the standard California plates, which do not have graphics, and are only available with personalized configurations. The fees are used to support environmental programs. To view the various options for special interest license plates, please visit, click on More Online Services and then the tab labeled Order Special Interest and Personalized Plates. 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 by Going Online," at

********** Published: January 22, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 40

OpinionStaff Report