If you don’t plan to drive your car, or if you plan to store your vehicle during the next DMV registration renewal year, you may apply for the non operational status (PNO). If you miss your window to pay the PNO fee you may end up paying hundreds in penalties and be stuck with paying another year’s registration for a vehicle you’re not using. Avoid the cost & headache: file & pay the $23 PNO fees. Here are a few things to know about this option:
One thing to note, some cars will fall off the DMV database due to inactivity, sadly, however, that includes vehicles in non-op status. This usually happens after 5-7 years of inactivity. When this happens, you have to re-register/title your vehicle again.
Planned Nonoperation (PNO) is addressed in the California Vehicle Code (CVC §4604). One excerpt from the code that is important is the following:
4604. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (d), prior to the expiration of the registration of a vehicle, if that registration is not to be renewed prior to its expiration, the owner of the vehicle shall file, under penalty of perjury, a certification that the vehicle will not be operated, moved, or left standing upon a highway without first making an application for registration of the vehicle, including full payment of all fees. The certification is valid until the vehicle’s registration is renewed pursuant to subdivision (c).
When you file this you’re signing “I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.”