Registering An Automobile With The California DMV

Each year, Californians must send in a payment to the Department of Vehicles to register their car, truck, van or motorcycle. Californians pay more to register their vehicles than residents of many states, so where does all of the money go from this yearly tax? Here is a look how your money is spent.

Part of your registration tax is called the Vehicle License Fee, and this fee first was levied in 1935 and is considered a property tax on motor vehicles. Different cars are charged different amounts for the VLF, depending on the age of a vehicle and the purchase price of the vehicle. Your VLF will drop every year for 11 years of vehicle ownership then stay at the same level.

The VLF is spread among many governmental entities, including the Department of Motor Vehicles, which takes about 15% of this tax. The California Highway Patrol gets a portion and so does the county in which the vehicle is registered. In addition, some of the money is used to fund state highway projects and other state government programs.

Your registration fee is another part of the total cost of vehicle registration in California, and this fee is $69, which includes the main registration renewal fee of $46 plus another California Highway Patrol Fee of $23. This fee goes up considerably if you fail to pay for your registration by the due date, which is included in your paperwork that is sent to your residence by the DMV.

You also will see that a portion of your bill goes to county and district fees, which include a variety of taxes levied by your county to pay for any number of government programs. If you display a personalized plate, you are charged a yearly special plate fee. Commercial vehicles also often have to pay a weight fee as part of vehicle registration. If you have unpaid parking tickets, sometimes you are charged an owner responsibility fee, as well.

Of course there are other costs associated with vehicle ownership aside from gasoline and registration tax, and one that you encounter every other year is smog certification. If you live in Berkeley or many other California cities and counties, smog tests are required to ensure that your vehicle adheres to strict California vehicle emissions regulations. This added cost does not go to the state, however, but to the test only station where you have your smog check.

Nolan Tornes loves writing and sharing tips on auto maintenance. For additional details about DMV smog Berkeley centers or to find out more about car smog Berkeley centers, please go to the Berkeley-Smog.com site now.

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