Find answers, information and resources to help you with all your California vehicle registration needs.
How Do I Clear a Suspended Registration?
I tried to renew my car's registration online and found out that it is suspended. I never received any notice from the DMV so I don't know why I got the suspension but basically my tags are about to expire and I can't renew my registration. How do I go about getting rid of this suspension the fastest way?... Hopefully without having to go to the DMV. And how much is it going to cost me?
How to Clear a DMV Suspended Registration?
So you've verified that your vehicle's registration is in fact suspended, and you need to get it cleared up right away. Follow the steps below to get it done the fastest way possible, and consider using NeedTags to do the legwork for you if you also need to renew your vehicle's registration.
STEP 1. Get Insurance Coverage. The first step in clearing a DMV suspension is to obtain vehicle insurance; if you're currently uninsured, or contact your carrier and inquire on your insurance status. Make sure your insurance company electronically reports your coverage to the DMV. Ask for a hard-copy of your insurance card in case they don't immediately report coverage. During the suspension clearance procedure, which we describe here, you'll have an option of emailing a copy of your insurance card as proof of insurance in case your carrier doesn't immediately report coverage.
TIP! The DMV's email address for Proof of Insurance submission is [email protected] Only email proof of coverage to the DMV after you've completed all the steps described in this post.
STEP 2. Go To DMV Proof of Insurance Webpage. The second step to clear a DMV suspension is to visit the Suspended Registration Reinstatement / Proof of Insurance Submission Webpage of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Have your vehicle's license plate number and last 5 digits of the VIN available. You'll need to enter this information on the Webpage. Note, the system also allows you to enter the PIN shown on your Notice of Suspension letter (use the PIN if you received a suspension notice).
STEP 3. Pay $14.00 Reinstatement Fee. The third step to remove the suspension from DMV records is to make a $14.00 payment. Follow the system prompts to get to the Checkout screen, where you'll make a $14.00 Registration Reinstatement payment. This $14.00 fee is in addition to any registration fees you may owe the DMV. Registration fees are not shown on this screen and are not a part of the Registration Reinstatement process. Registration renewal is a separate process, through a separate portal, and unless you're clearing your registration suspension using NeedTags, must be handled separately.
NOTE: If insurance information for your vehicle is not on DMV record, prior to getting to the Checkout page, you'll be required to enter your insurance carrier's NAIC number (which identifies your insurance company) and your Policy ID number. Both of these can be obtained off of the Insurance Card you receive from your insurance company. The system will then electronically look up records. If records are not found, you'll be required to email the DMV a scanned copy of your insurance card (mailing is also an option but will delay the reinstatement process). If insurance records are found, you'll be taken to the Checkout screen. Go ahead and make your reinstatement payment at that time.
STEP 4. Give It Time. The forth step in How to Clear a Registration Suspension simply requires giving it some time. Allow the DMV a few days to clear the suspension from your vehicle's registration record. You may visit the Suspended Registration Reinstatement Webpage to follow up on the clearance process or use NeedTags and receive automate DMV updates in real-time. Note: Reinstatement will occur much faster if insurance records are found electronically, so it's best if your insurance carrier has reported your coverage to the DMV prior to you using this system.
STEP 5. Renew Vehicle Registration (if required). After verifying that your vehicle's registration suspension has been lifted, you're ready to proceed with paying your registration renewal fees. Use NeedTags or visit the DMV's registration renewal portal to make your renewal payment. Have your license plate and VIN numbers available. There is a CC processing fee added to online debit/credit card payments. Note, the registration renewal process is not a part of the registration suspension clearance process or portal. These are two separate transactions, and a vehicle owner whose registration has been suspended may not necessarily require a registration renewal, i.e. they received a suspension notice mid-renewal period.
How NeedTags Can Help You Clear Your Registration Suspension Faster
Need to get on the road faster? We can help. When you renew your suspended registration through NeedTags, we'll email you detailed reinstatement instruction. As soon as you complete your obligation with the DMV insurance unit, i.e. pay your reinstatement fee, we'll begin monitoring the DMV system and complete your registration renewal the moment your vehicle's registration suspension has been lifted. The DMV states it can take up to 10 days for a suspension to be cleared, however our system has recorded suspension clearances in as fast 24 hours. So don't keep guessing. Let us do the leg work. This is absolutely the fastest way of getting your registration reinstated and renewed, in one step, and effortlessly online.
What Causes DMV Registration Suspensions?
Insurance companies in California are required to report electronic insurance coverage to the DMV within 30 days from the date insurance is obtained, and 45 days from when insurance coverage is canceled or lapsed. The reporting time window is quite wide, and considering not all insurance companies update DMV records immediately, getting caught up in the DMV registration suspension program is pretty easy. For example... a simple four day lapse of insurance coverage can actually trigger the DMV's insurance suspension system. The DMV will then mail the vehicle's registered owner a suspension notice, and registration renewal (if required) will be denied.
Regardless of whether or not you received a letter stating your vehicle's registration has been suspended or will be suspended soon (Notice of Suspension), clearing up the matter and having your vehicle's registration reinstated to normal status is a fairly simple and straight forward process... assuming you have insurance, and coverage is being correctly properly reported to the DMV.
How Do I Find Out If My DMV Registration is Suspended?
In case you haven't received a DMV Suspension Notice and you're unsure whether your vehicle's registration is suspended or not, you'll need to verify DMV insurance records. Visit the DMV Registration Suspension page here to see if your vehicle's registration is in fact suspended. If no suspension exists on record, the system will display a message similar to the one below. The DMV Insurance System will indicate your vehicle's current registration status and cause for suspension. It'll identify the requirements needed to obtain reinstatement and provide an option to pay a $14.00 reinstatement fee; required to clear suspensions AND which is separate from any registration fees you may owe. Below are the two messages you will receive when using the California DMV Registration Suspension system:
NOTE: A DMV field office cannot process paperwork to clear vehicle insurance suspensions. Insurance suspensions are only handled by the Vehicle Registration Financial Responsibility Unit, and the only method to clear a registration suspension is by using the online insurance inquiry system, explained in Step 2 above, or by submitting Proof of Insurance and reinstatement payment by mail. Once your registration suspension is cleared, you may then proceed with your vehicle's registration renewal (if renewal is due).
My Vehicle Registration Is Suspended But I Have Insurance
Contact your carrier and inquire on your insurance status. Make sure they have electronically reported your insurance coverage to the State. Ask for a hard-copy of your insurance card in case they haven't yet sent electronic notice to the proper authorities (California Department of Motor Vehicles Insurance Unit). During the suspension clearance procedure, which we describe below, you'll have the option to email a copy of your insurance card as proof of coverage should electronic Proof of Insurance records not be located in the DMV system. This happens. It not common, but can occur. Say for instance the DMV system uplink is down while your carrier is trying to upload data. No records will be received by the DMV. Unless your carrier is made aware of the upload error, and resubmits the data, for all practical purposes, the DMV will consider your vehicle as uninsured. Lapse in insurance however is a much more frequent cause of registration suspension issues.