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Filing a Non Operation Status on Your Car


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:

  1. No car insurance is required – It is not necessary to insure your car when a PNO is filed with the California DMV. A stored vehicle is not required to have auto liability insurance. The DMV will not be waiting for an electronic notification from your insurance carrier – and therefore it will not be suspended. If you do have insurance on a vehicle that is in non-op status, take it off the policy, and save yourself some money. I will note however, depending your vehicle, you may want to keep the physical damage coverage on your vehicle – this is especially true for high value vehicles.
  2. It only costs $23 – If you pay it on time, it will only cost you $21. If you don’t file it on time, the fee is due with penalties, however, after 90 days, you will not be able to put the vehicle in non-op status.
  3. Keep it off the streets – You cannot keep your vehicle parked on the street or public roads. Park it on your driveway or inside your garage – otherwise, the PNO becomes invalidated and you’ll have to pay your registration fees.
  4. Getting tickets nullify your PNO-Status – If you get a ticket while your vehicle is in non-op status you will nullify your PNO-status and ALL registration fees will be due. This is why it is imperative to keep your cars off of public streets.
  5. It’s a one time fee – Once this fee is posted, you do not have to pay it again. You will receive a notification in the mail giving you the OPTION to renew the tags (take it out of non-op) or continue the status. If you elect to continue the status, you do not have to do anything.
  6. You can’t just file it when you want – You must file it 70 days prior to when the registration expires or 90 days after the registration expires. In other words, you can’t do it too soon, and you can’t do it too late.
  7. Registration fees become due after 90 days – If you fail to file the PNO after 90 days after the expiration date – ALL FEES BECOME DUE, WITH PENALTIES.

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.

How do you file for the PNO? Here are a few ways to get it done:

  1. Mail it in – Registration renewal notice – Your registration renewal notice gives you an option to pay the planned non operation PNO fee. Please carefully pay attention – there is a box you must check to indicate that you have elected this option. This is by far the easiest way to pay that fee.
  1. Pay it online on the DMV’s website – The DMV will give you the option to both renew your registration and also post the $23 non-op fee.
  2. Visit your local DMV – You can walk into the DMV and pay this fee. You will need to bring cash, check or a debit card to pay this, and you must also come with the REG 102 form (this is a 2 part form, make sure to print the second page only) or the registration renewal notice.
  3. Visit AAA – AAA, like DMV, can accept this fee. They will also require that you bring the REG 102.
  4. Visit a private registration service – Private registration services like Quick Auto Tags can also process this transaction for you. We charge a $31 fee – save time and just get it done!
california dmv planned non-op

Final Notes Regarding a PNO

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.”

planned non-op california dmv


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Quick Auto Tags

Quick Auto Tags 5586 Mission Blvd Ste B Riverside, CA 92509
Tel: (951)409-9091