The California DMV has made it easier for the consumer to renew their DMV registration renewal by providing multiple ways to pay for and pick up their stickers. Here are a few ways you can get it done:
- Go to a local DMV: Go to the DMV personally to pay for and pick up your auto tag instantly. The great thing about this is that it is instant: you pay for your tags and you get them on the spot. Also, there is no additional service fees or membership fees. Keep in mind that DMV employees and the building that they work in are paid for by your tax dollars, there should be no fee anyway. The drawback to going to the DMV is that you will be waiting for a several hours, even with an appointment, to get to a DMV technician. Sometimes you will go to a DMV and will be seen within 15 minutes, in and out, with no appointment. But for the most part, you will be waiting for hours. Here is a link to the local DMV field office: Field Office Locator
- Go to AAA: Like the local DMV, AAA will let you pay for your registration renewal and get your car tags instantly and in person. However, lately, AAA has started to gain popularity, and they are now starting to develop 40 minute wait lines. Another drawback to using their service is that it is NOT free, you will have to pay for a membership to use their service. For some people the membership fee is well worth the money to avoid the even longer lines of the DMV. Keep in mind, the membership allows for other services, such as notary services & roadside assistance. Here's a link to become a AAA member: AAA for Nothern California or AAA for Southern California
- Pay for your tags by mail: If you receive a registration renewal notice from the DMV you can mail out a check or money order to the DMV directly. The great thing about this is that you avoid having to leave your home and deal with any lines or people. Another benefit is that you get your auto tag delivered to your address directly. The drawback to this of course is that it could take weeks before you receive your auto tag, leaving you wondering, when will it ever get here? The DMV may cash your check or money order as soon as they receive it, but that does not mean that they will send your car tag out right away. Here is the address that is one the registration renewal: DMV RENEWAL, PO BOX 942897, SACRAMENTO, CA 94297-0897.
- Pay for your tags online through the DMV's website: The DMV does have an option for you to renew your tags online. Their website has the capability to allow its customers to log-in to their website and renew the registration online. Again, like any service the DMV offers directly, there is no fee. However, their service is NOT instant. They will collect your money instantly, but the sticker is not issued right away. In addition, you have to have an email, create a username and a password, and provide private information (driver's license, address information). The registration process can be a pain. Here's the link to their online portal: DMV online portal.
- Visit a licensed registration service: If you like personal service, no lines, and a variety of ways to have your auto tag delivered to you, choose from the local private registration services. These are privately owned businesses that are licensed and bonded to process registration renewals in their offices. Unlike the DMV, there is a fee for the service, however, unlike the DMV, there is virtually no waiting with some of the local registration services. Sometimes, customers can't even sit down before the registration renewal process is already complete. The personal service that a private registration service offers cannot be paralled by the DMV or AAA. In addition to the faster and personalized service is the ability for the registration service to deliver your tags: issue it to you in person, issue it to you by USPS, UPS, FedEX, GSO, or, even further, have them delivered to you the same day. Also, registration services offers many forms of payments such as PayPal, credit card, ACH, debit, cash, check, and even invoicing options (depending on the type of client). Here's the DMV's Business partner locator: California DMV Business Partners - Registration Services