Do I Need to Go to the DMV to Register my Vehicle?
Let’s face it; While owning a vehicle makes life easier, particularly in cities like San Diego, being a proud car owner does come with its bureocratic downsides.
Who here hasn’t had to spend too much time at the DMV filling some paperwork that you’re certain could’ve been filled at home?
Wasting time at the DMV is pretty much a rite of passage for San Diego’s car owners!
Okay but, do I have to go?
While most people believe going to the DMV offices is the only way to register a vehicle, the truth is that there are multiple ways to achieve this goal without ever setting foot inside San Diego DMV.
• Registering your vehicle online
• Registering your vehicle by mail
• Registering your vehicle with a DMV services provider
While there are still some special cases in which going to the DMV offices is the only way forward, most vehicle registrations and renovations can be achieved through any of these options.
A good rule of thumb to figuring out whether or not you’ll have to go to the DMV is to ask yourself whether you need your picture taken or your vehicle inspected. If the answer to these questions is no, then it’s reasonable to assume you can just skip the DMV altogether.
Renewing by Mail
You can only do this if you have registered your vehicle before. If you haven’t, you’ll need to visit the DMV offices.
If you’re renewing your tags by mail, this is what you need:
1. Pay your overdue fees and get a smog certificate beforehand.
2. Send proof of insurance to your local DMV.
3. Mail your information, a check to the DMV, and your certificates to the address attached to your renewal notice.
4. You should receive your registration and stickers within 15 days after your documentation has been received.
For this, you’ll need all of the information from before, except you won’t need to mail it anywhere, as you can fill-in the information necessary directly on the website.
It bears repeating that this only applies for license and registration renewals. If you plan on registering your vehicle for the first time, you’ll need to either visit the DMV or use a DMV services agent.
What's a DMV Services Agent.
DMV services agencies employ registered experts who will guide you through the process, help you acquire the right paperwork, and will navigate the bureaucracy ocean for you, removing a lot of stress, and time, from the entire process.
This way, DMV services agencies allow their clients the opportunity to skip the lines and save time, by doing almost everything the DMV can do from the comfort of third-party offices. Convenient, affordable, easy and, best of all, with no lines involved.
The one thing most DMV services agencies can’t do is perform smog checks or other vehicle inspections that may be necessary to register your vehicle with the DMV.
However, they can direct you to a DMV approved expert who’ll perform said inspections for you, or can help you organize your paperwork or requirements so you can go to the DMV knowing exactly where to go and who to talk to, minizing the time and effort it takes you to register your vehicle considerably.