Can I get an extension on my car registration in California 2021?

FAQs/Things to KnowMy car is in the shop, not running or my renewal is otherwise lateThere are no partial registrations or extensions. Simply let the registration expire. When the

Can I get an extension on my car registration in California 2021?

FAQs/Things to Know

My car is in the shop, not running or my renewal is otherwise late

There are no partial registrations or extensions. Simply let the registration expire. When the vehicle is ready, you may get amovement permitto drive it for the emissions test. You may obtain a movement permit online through aMyDMV account.

You may then renew using any option. The system will automatically calculate late fees.

If you did not drive your vehicle on public streets during the registration lapse, you may avoid late fees if you renew through MyDMV or in person at a DMV office and complete an Affidavit of Non-Operation. Late fees cannot be waived or refunded if you renew at a kiosk or an emissions station.

The DMV is required by law to charge late fees that consist of taxes and penalties if you operated the vehicle with an expired registration. You must pay the full renewal fees for the coming year and the pro-rated Registration Fee and Governmental Services Taxes for the period of time the vehicle was not registered.

Additional penalties include $6 per month on the Registration Fee. The Governmental Services Tax penalty is $6.00 or 10%, whichever is greater (including Supplemental Governmental Services Taxes in applicable counties)


If you drop your liability insurance for any reason, you must cancel the registration and surrender your license plates. You can cancel through MyDMV. See Plate Surrender. Failure to cancel the registration will result in a registration suspension and reinstatement fees. See Insurance.

You must reinstate your insurance before you obtain a movement permit.

Emission Repairs

Your vehicle may be eligible for a waiver if it continues to fail emission testing after certain repairs. See "Test Failures and Waivers" on the Emissions page.

My car is out of the state and I can't get a Nevada smog check

If your vehicle doesn't require a smog check, you can renew online but the registration and decal will sent to the address on record. We cannot send them to a temporary address.

You can't use the online renewal if your vehicle requires a smog check and you can't have it completed in Nevada. Please contact us with your license plate number and current address for fees and instructions.

If you are currently in an area where emissions testing is required, you must have a test completed. Submit the completed test with the other documents listed.

If you are currently in an area where emissions testing is not required, you may complete an Emission Control Exemption Application (EC-8) and submit this with your other renewal documents. You must have the car tested upon your return to Nevada.

Violations of emissions testing laws are criminal offenses and you may also be subject to an administrative fine from the DMV.

You may wish to consider an early renewal to change your expiration date. A college student, for example, may renew in August before leaving Nevada for the year. Those who travel during the summer could renew in the spring. Early renewals must be done in person at a DMV office. Credit will be given for the unused portion of the current registration.

My renewal is due but I'll be moving out of Nevada. Is there any temporary registration?

There are no partial-year registrations or refunds. You must register the vehicle for a full year or drive on a movement permit.

You may obtain a ten-day, in-state movement permit online through a MyDMV account or at a DMV office. These are valid for in-state driving only.

You can purchase a special "drive-away" permit when leaving the state at a DMV office. See also Former Residents.

I want to renew early or change my expiration date

Vehicle registrations enter "renewal status" approximately 35 days before expiration. If you renew during this period, the expiration date will remain the same and you will be charged fees for a full year.

If you wish to renew early or change your expiration date, you must visit a DMV office. The new expiration date will be set one year from the date of the renewal. You will receive credit for the unused portion of your current registration fees. You will need to complete a new emission inspection if required for your vehicle and if the last test was completed more than 90 days prior to the renewal.

I want to change license plates

You must obtain new license plates in person at a DMV Full Service Office or County Assessor which offers vehicle registration services.

If you wish to avoid personalized or specialty plate fees charged on your current plates, you should renew your registration in person and exchange plates at the same time.We do not issue credits or refunds for these fees.

Please renew your registration on time regardless of whether you change plates. You may renew first and change plates at a later date without obtaining a new registration or emission inspection.

If the new plates you wish to obtain are in stock at the DMV, you should renew the registration, surrender the old plates and obtain the new ones at the same time. Bring the old plates into the office with you.

If the new plates will be custom-ordered, you may order them in person at the same time you renew the registration. Or, you may renew using any method above and order the plates by mail. You would then exchange the plates in person when the new set is ready.

See our License Plates pages for different plate styles and for specific instructions on obtaining the plates of your choice.

Smog Exemption for Classic Vehicle/Classic Rod/Old Timer plates

blue classic car hard top sedan

You must complete a Odometer Certification for Emission Exemption (EC 018) at each renewal and submit this with your payment by mail, by fax or in person at a DMV office.

Mail/fax renewals may take four to six weeks for processing. You may obtain a movement permit if your registration expires.

You do not have to claim the exemption. You may have an emissions inspection completed and renew online, at a kiosk or at a participating emissions station.

See the Fact Sheet (EC 019) for more information.

Three-Year Trailer Registration

Recreational and utility trailers can be registered for either one year or three years at a time.

  • You will be issued a three-year decal.
  • Registration credits can be applied.
  • County-issued tax exemptions can be applied to the first year's fees only. Exemptions issued in the second and third years cannot be applied retroactively or refunded.
  • Three-year registrations are available at original registration and at renewal.
  • Three-year registrations are not available for fleet customers.

Visit Online Fee Estimates to compare one-year and three-year fees.

Complete Streets

Residents of participating counties have the option to make a $2 donation to the Complete Streets Program in their county. The option is available only on internet and kiosk renewals.

Clean Streets promotes the retrofitting of roads to benefit pedestrians, bicyclists, disabled persons, and motorists. The donation is voluntary, non-refundable, and is in addition to any other applicable registration fees.

Participating counties include Carson City, Clark, Douglas and Washoe.

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