Moving is usually pretty hectic, whether you’re just going to the other side of town or changing states. While you’re busy packing boxes and handling other tasks for your move, don’t forget to add changing your address with the California Department of Motor Vehicles to your to-do list.
The California change of address DMV process is a simple task, but it’s easy to overlook, especially when you’re focusing on a million other things for your move. The following can help you understand how to go about updating your address with the California DMV.
How Important Is a California DMV Change of Address?
It’s not really something you can take your time getting around to after settling into your new place. In fact, it could cost you. You have 10 days to notify the California DMV of a change of address. If you don’t fill out a California change of address DMV form within those 10 days, you can get hit with fines or other legal problems in certain situations.
For example, you might get in trouble if you’re pulled over and your driver’s license still shows your old address. Instead of risking tickets or other legal headaches, make sure you do a California DMV change of address within 10 days of your move.
Where to Go for a California DMV Address Change
This depends on where you’re moving from. Moving from one California address to another? Your options are:
- Online at the DMV website
- At a DMV office
- At home by either printing and mailing a form or having a blank form mailed to you
While filling out a California change of address DMV form online is the easiest and fastest option, the bad news is you might not be able to. You’ll have to fill out and mail a change of address form under certain circumstances, such as if you have a leased vehicle or don’t currently have a California driver’s license or ID card. The good news is there’s no charge to do a change of address when you’re moving within the state.
Moving to California from a different state? You’ll need to head to your local DMV office to complete a California change of address form in person instead of going a change of address online. There’s a fee you’ll need to pay, and you’ll have to pass a vision test and written test. You might want to schedule an appointment, so you’re not stuck waiting in a long line.
What You Need for a California DMV Change of Address Form
Whether you’re completing a California change of address DMV form online, in person, or via mail, have the following info handy:
- Social Security number
- Existing driver’s license number
- Proof of date of birth, such as a valid US passport or birth certificate
- Proof of a new address, such as utility bills
California DMV Change of Address and Vehicle Registration
Within the State
Completing a California change of address DMV form doesn’t automatically update your vehicle registration. If you’re moving within the state, you’ll need to update this information separately. To do that, you’ll need your current registration card and proof of old and new addresses.
Keep in mind that you have 10 days from your move to change your registration. If you’re able to change your address online, you’ll also have the option to update your registration online.
If you’re moving to California from a different state, you’ll need to update your vehicle registration at the DMV. Bring your most recent registration card with you, and you’ll be able to fill out a form to update your registration. Your vehicle will also get an inspection at the DMV. While you’ll need to pay to update your registration, there’s no charge for the inspection. Plan ahead, since you have 20 days after your move to change your vehicle registration.
So, What’s Next After a California DMV Change of Address?
status a few days later to make sure it went through. Wait about 72 hours after submitting the form, then click on “check the status of the request” to see if you’re in the clear.
If you mailed your California change of address DMV form, you can wait a few days or more and call the DMV to see if they received it and updated your information. If you visit a DMV office, they’ll update your information while you’re there.
Keep in mind that if you’re moving within the state, you won’t get a new driver’s license or registration card issued. If you really want a new one, you can put in a request for a replacement driver’s license or replacement registration card after your California change of address DMV form has been processed.
If you’re new to the state, you’ll get a shiny new driver’s license and a new vehicle registration card when you change your address.