California registration services

Visit your local AAA branch for California DMV services

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AAA can help with registration renewal, duplicate registrations, vehicle transfers, and more

Save time by taking care of select registration needs at your local branch instead of going to the DMV.1 No need to make an appointment—just make sure to bring cash or checks payable to the DMV.

 

The state of California has suspended many DMV services due to COVID-19. Members can complete select transactions online or through a DMV NOW kiosk.

AAA branches offer popular DMV services:

 
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Registration renewal2

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Duplicate registration and stickers

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Used vehicle transfer of ownership

(vehicle and off-road vehicle)

AAA branches also offer these DMV services: 
 

  • New and used boat transfers
  • Release of liability
  • Replacement license plates
  • Disabled person parking placards
  • Disabled person license plates3
  • Personalized license plates4

 

Find a branch  |  Join AAA

 
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Some services are only available at the DMV

Driver’s license tests and certain other services must be done at the DMV. See all DMV-only services.

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AAA Approved Auto Repair smog checks

Our AAA Approved Auto Repair network also has many facilities throughout Southern California that can assist you with smog and repair services.

Need a smog check?

 

If your DMV renewal notice indicates you need a smog check, we can help. Our Costa Mesa and Los Angeles AAA branches perform California Bureau of Automotive Repair STAR Certified Test-Only smog checks by trusted, highly trained technicians.

 

Costa Mesa

3350 Harbor Blvd.

Monday - Friday

8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Now open

 

Los Angeles

2601 S. Figueroa Street

Monday - Friday

8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Now open

 

Members receive a $10 discount.5 Call 1-877-428-2277 for pricing and types of vehicles we can smog check. 

These services must be done at the DMV:

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What is REAL ID?

The REAL ID Act of 2005 established new standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Starting October 1, 2021, travelers 18 and older need a REAL ID card or other federally approved document such as a valid U.S. passport, passport card, or military ID to board domestic flights or enter military bases and most federal facilities.


A REAL ID is not required to continue driving, but can only be issued by your state's department of motor vehicles (or equivalent).

DMV Frequently Asked Questions

Can I renew or replace my driver’s license or ID, update to a REAL ID, or get a DMV printout at a AAA branch?

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AAA cannot assist with driver’s license or ID services, including but not limited to driver’s license renewals, replacements, Real IDs and/or DMV printouts. These transactions must be handled at the DMV.

Can I renew my vehicle registration at AAA?

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AAA can handle almost all vehicle registration renewals for members, possibly even those that are late by days, months, or even a few years. Bring your renewal notice or an old copy of the registration to a AAA branch, and you’ll receive your new registration and tags once the process is complete.

AAA can help members start the registration for a vehicle that needs a smog check. However, if you’ve paid your registration with the DMV and just completed a smog check, 30 days must pass before AAA can provide a new copy of your registration and new tags. 

If you need to drive a vehicle that has an expired (or nearly expired) registration, you may be eligible for a Temporary Operating Permit.

Can I renew my spouse’s or child’s registration at a AAA branch?

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AAA can assist if both you and the vehicle’s registered owner are AAA members, and you supply a DMV renewal notice or substitute document such as a registration card.  

My registration or title is missing or stolen. Can I get a replacement at a AAA branch?

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In almost all cases, AAA can help members replace the registration or title for a vehicle they own. AAA can help members submit the paperwork to request a duplicate title, but the duplicate title will be mailed directly from the DMV, and typically takes 4 to 6 weeks to be mailed to the registered address.

What are the registration fees for my vehicle?

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To look up the current fees for your vehicle, you’ll need your license plate number and the last five digits of your VIN.

How can I sell or buy a vehicle to or from a private party, gift my vehicle to a relative, or keep or sell a vehicle I inherited?

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AAA can help members transfer a used vehicle or boat title between two private parties, change the title for an inherited vehicle, or add or remove a name from the title in almost all scenarios. Please note that while AAA can handle title transfers for salvage vehicles, we cannot change a title from regular to salvage. 

Can AAA issue or replace permanent or temporary disabled placards; or issue, replace, or transfer disabled plates?

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AAA can assist members in almost all cases.  Please bring all necessary documents to the AAA branch. The applicant or caretaker assisting with the transaction must be a AAA member.

Can I order or transfer custom plates through AAA?

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Members can order, transfer, and check the status of custom, legacy, and custom legacy plates at a AAA branch.

Can AAA put my car into or take my car out of Planned Non-Operation (PNO) status?

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Members can go to a AAA branch for help filing an Affidavit of Non-Use/PNO or removing the PNO for filing with the DMV.

What forms of payment are acceptable for DMV services?

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AAA is only able to accept cash or personal check for DMV services; debit and credit cards cannot be accepted.

What services must be done at the DMV?

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  • Permit and license tests
  • New driver’s licenses
  • Driver’s license renewals
  • REAL ID
  • New vehicle registration
  • Vehicle safety inspections
  • Correctable violation (“fix-it” ticket) sign-off
  • Select correctable violation payments
  • Out-of-country vehicle (grey market) conversion
  • Dealer transfers
  • Salvage certificate
  • Original (brand new) and out-of-state off-road vehicle transfers

You can make a DMV appointment by calling 1-800-777-0133 during business hours or by using the DMV’s online appointment system.

Do AAA branches carry copies of the DMV’s California Driver Handbook?

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AAA does not carry the DMV’s California Driver Handbook, but members can visit a branch for a free copy of Driving in California, which is published by AAA.

1Registered vehicle owner must be present to receive license plates. 

2Off-road vehicles are motor vehicles that are manufactured for operation exclusively off public roads and highways, including dirt bikes, off-road motorcycles, ATVs, quads, snowmobiles, sand rails, dune buggies, utility task vehicles, or 4x4 sport golf carts. 

3Disabled person license plates can be issued to commercial vehicles only when the weight fee exemption is not requested. 

4Personalized license plates are available for pickup at your local branch, only after placing an order.

5AAA members receive a $10 discount off the posted non-member price of a smog check at an Auto Club smog center. Additional fees may apply. See the Auto Club smog center for details. These benefits require a valid AAA membership card at participating facility at time of service.

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