Vehicle Registration Suspension in California

Vehicle Registration Suspension in California

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In California, every driver must carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Driving without insurance — or simply driving without proof of coverage — can result in steep penalties, including vehicle registration suspension.

When there's no policy associated with a vehicle in California's electronic database, the state mails a Notice of Intent to Suspend. Law enforcement officers can also ask for proof of insurance during traffic stops. If you can't provide it, the state will send a notice.

It's important to respond quickly. You may be able to stop the suspension or reinstate your registration.

Vehicle registration suspended for driving without insurance

According to California's financial responsibility law, every driver must carry a minimum amount of auto insurance. While you might be tempted to skip insurance entirely because of the cost, the penalties for driving without it can be much more expensive.

The state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) can suspend your registration for any of the following reasons.

  • - You don't provide proof of insurance within 30 days of registering your car in the state.
  • - You don't provide proof of insurance within 45 days of being contacted by the DMV.
  • - You provided false proof of insurance when registering your vehicle.

California may also charge fines and impose other penalties for driving while uninsured.

Reinstating your registration

If you've received a Notice of Intent to Suspend, you'll need to send proof of coverage to the DMV within 30 days and pay a $14 reinstatement fee.

You may request a hearing, but only within 10 days of receiving the notice. If you don't request a hearing, respond to the notice or provide proof of coverage within 30 days, the DMV will suspend your driving privileges.

If you don't have auto insurance, we recommend comparing quotes from at least three insurers to find a good rate. You can typically get proof of coverage online almost immediately after purchasing a policy.

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There are five ways to respond to the notice:

1. Respond by phone. Call 800-777-0133.

2. Respond by mail. You can mail the detachable stub from your notification letter with your proof of insurance and the reinstatement fee to the following address:

DMV PO Box 997405 Sacramento, CA 95899-7405

If you don't have a notification letter with a stub, mail your proof of insurance and/or reinstatement fee to:

DMV — VRFRP Unit PO Box 997408 M/S N305 Sacramento, CA 95899-7408

3. Respond by email. Email a scanned copy of your proof of insurance to [email protected]

4. Use a kiosk at a local DMV. Submit your proof of insurance, reinstatement fee and/or Affidavit of Non-Use (ANU), which notifies the DMV that the vehicle isn’t being operated or parked on any road in the state and liability coverage was canceled at a kiosk. You can also use the kiosk to remove an ANU.

5. Respond online. Visit the California Online Vehicle Registration Suspension and Insurance Program website.

You can reinstate your license online if your insurer participates in the verification program. If your carrier doesn't participate, then you must choose one of the other methods.

If you are eligible, you can check the status of your vehicle registration and suspension on the website. You may also submit fees and evidence of insurance to reinstate your driving privileges. Here's what to do:

  • Head to the online service portal.
  • Choose "Start".
  • Enter your license plate number and the PIN from your Notice of Intent to Suspend. If you do not have the letter, leave the PIN box blank and enter the last five digits of your vehicle identification number (VIN) instead.
  • Check whether you owe fees.
  • Electronically submit documents that prove financial responsibility.

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