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All Topics > Lost Documents > How Can I Get a Replacement Bill for My Car?

How Can I Get a Replacement Bill for My Car?

I wanted to ask how I can get a replacement bill for my car's registration that is due this month. I lost the document I got in the mail, so I have no idea what my tags fee is. Plus I know the car needs a smog check and without the renewal notice, I won't have the BAR code that's on the bill to get the test done. Please help me get her a replacement bill.


Unfortunately, it is not possible to request a replacement DMV registration bill or renewal notice. These are mailed out automatically, and one-time only.

Not to worry though, it's actually quite simple to look up and pay your DMV fees online. As for the smog check, the smog center you visit can scan the VIN Bar Code on your vehicle instead of the VIN Bar Code on the renewal notice. Your renewal notice is not required. The vehicle information the station needs to perform the emissions inspection can be retrieved off your car or can be found on your current (or expired) registration card.

So how do I pay by renewal fees without a replacement bill?

First consider whether you need your new registration card and sticker immediately or you still have time. You have a few different options when it comes to renewing your vehicle registration without a replacement bill, and your decision will probably depend on how fast you need your new registration card and sticker. If you need your registration renewed as soon as possible, jump to option 4.

Option 1. Renew in-person at a local DMV branch office. Take with you your current or expired registration card and ID. If your vehicle requires a smog inspection, ensure you have it completed before your visit. If not, the DMV will issue you what is referred to as an RDF, a Report of Deposit of Fees, in essence, an incomplete application for registration renewal. You can no longer be charged late fees, but you still aren't legally allowed to operate your vehicle on public roadways. Once your vehicle is smog checked, your new registration card and sticker will be mailed to the address on DMV record. Allow 3-4 weeks.

Option 2. Renew online through the California DMV online renewal system. Visit the CA registration renewal website. Have your vehicle's license plate number and last five digits of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Same as with visiting a local DMV branch office, if your vehicle requires a smog inspection, ensure you have it completed before using the DMV renewal portal. If not, the system will automatically RDF your vehicle's registration and it will take much longer to receive your renewed registration card and sticker. Approximately 3-4 weeks after your inspection.

Option 3. Renew in-person at a local vehicle registration office. These privately owned businesses are known as BPA (Business Partner Automation) providers, DMV office alternatives, really. BPAs are contracted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to provide in-house vehicle registration services. They provide the same services which you would find at a state run DMV office but without long lines, and with very few limitations as far as the types of vehicle registration transactions they can perform. They carry official DMV license plates, stickers, vehicle registration cards, OHV tags, and more. They will be able to renew your vehicle's registration without a replacement bill. Note, BPA offices do charge nominal fees for their services.

Option 4. Renew your vehicle registration online through NeedTags without a replacement bill. You'll only need to provide your vehicle's license plate and last 3 digits of the VIN number. The difference between using the state's DMV renewal portal and is simply speed and resolution support. We can process and mail out your renewed registration card and sticker today (same business day). As for the smog check or insurance requirement, should you not have one or the other, NeedTags can post renewal fees with the DMV so that you avoid late fees and we'll mail out you your new registration card and sticker on the same day you complete your smog check, effectively eliminating the DMV 3-4 week processing time.

What if the DMV website won't accept my vehicle's information?

NeedTags is also a "must use" when the state run DMV portal does not allow you to process your renewal online (No RIN Number included on your renewal notice). NeedTags will accept your transaction and assign a DMV specialist to review and complete your order, with no DMV office visit required. This happen most often when the vehicle's renewal has special circumstances and/or requirements not yet met. No need to worry. We can identify the issue(s), inform you of the correctional steps required, and help you get new tags as quickly as possible. Start Here.


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The VIN is a 17 digit identification number assigned to automobiles.

The VIN can also be found on your registration card or renewal notice.
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