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California Car Currently in Utah with Student Son

Hi. Our car is registered in our name in California. Our son, a Utah resident, living in Utah has been driving the car a couple months for school. The registration was due last week (gulp- i know) and it needs a smog check. I have printed and filled the REG 5103. Do I send it to you? Do I take it to my local DMV?


Visiting a DMV Branch Office or Mailing in the REG 5103

You may email a copy of the REG 5103 to us only if you will be processing your registration renewal through our system. If you're renewing through the DMV, you will need to mail them the REG 5103 hard-copy along with your renewal application, or visit a local DMV branch office. Note, if you're mailing in the REG 5103 it may take the DMV up to 30 days to approve and process your registration renewal.

Using the Online DMV System for Smog Exemption

We do not recommend using the DMV online renewal system system if your vehicle is out of state and needs a smog check as this will complicate matters. When needing a smog check and renewing through DMV online, the system will automatically place an RDF (Report of Deposit of Fees) on record. Getting a smog exemption authorization and RDF clearance after the fact will not be possible unless you physically visit a DMV branch office.

Using the NeedTags System for Smog Exemption

If you'll be renewing your registration through NeedTags, you'll only need to email us the REG 5103 rather than mailing it. We'll file the REG 5103 with the DMV instantly and complete your registration renewal without needing a smog check. Plus, we'll ship your new registration card and sticker to the out of state address where your vehicle is located the same-day as you place your order. This will eliminate you needing to forward your new registration card and sticker to your son in Utah, allowing him to drive legal the fastest way possible.

NOTE: You must contact us before submitting your renewal order to allow us to mark your vehicle's license plate number as Smog Check Exempt. There is an additional fee for this service which will be applied to your credit or debit card after you place your initial order. Please contact us for pricing.


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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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