CA Relocation Guide

Moving to any state is going to present big changes, especially if you are a driver. 4dmv.com can help make your move to California much easier. In fact, 4dmv.com will direct you to the exact processes that are needed as a driver moving to California, including the correct forms and locations to turn in such forms, if the services you need aren’t offered online. Any online resources will be provided to ensure that you are able to best find the resources you need so your move is done as quickly as possible, allowing you to get on the road as a California driver in no time.

Getting a New California License

As you are moving to the state of California, you will need to get a new California license so you are able to become a legal California driver. Although you can drive with your out-of-state license as you first arrive, you must change your vehicle and license over within 20 days so you are free from penalties.

Determine which type of license you need to apply for

  • Class C standard license
  • Class M motorcycle license (M1 or M2)
  • Class A or B CDL commercial license
  • Attend driver’s courses if this is your first license or you are under the age of 18
  • Study your California Driver Handbook as it is the best resource for catching up  with California traffic laws and rules of the road, as well as any other pertinentdriver information
  • Obtain by visiting your local DMV field office
  • Obtain by calling DMV at 1-800-777-0133 and it will be mailed to your
  • address
  • Obtain online for viewing and/or downloading and printing: California Driver Handbook  or California Driver Handbook Master Table of Contents
  • Find the DMV office nearest you: DMV Public Offices by Location provides full California DMV office directory or California Field Office Locator for a regional map of offices
  • Prepare for your California Driver’s exam
  • Set appointment by calling 1-800-777-0133 for live agent; or visit web scheduler at Appointment System
  • $31 testing fee
  • Completion of DL44 which is not available online as it must be a DMV
  • original copy
  • Provide proof of your birthday and current address
  • Provide your social security number and full name
  • Provide thumbprint and picture
  • There are different requirements for other licensing, which you can find at California Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Complete written and behind-the-wheel exams

California New Resident Vehicle Registration

Since your vehicle is new to the state of California, you will be required to register it within the state to ensure it is legal to drive the roads of California. You have 20 days from the date of your arrival with the vehicle as a new resident to register the vehicle without penalties. If you aren’t sure if you are exactly considered a resident of California, you can visit the qualifications on the state DMV site at How To Register A Vehicle from Out-of-State (Nonresident Vehicle).

1. Obtain valid auto insurance. Make sure that it is at least the legal minimum required in California. If you have auto insurance from your previous state, discuss the options for switching the policy to California to determine if there are any extra needs or costs.

2. Complete Application for Title or Registration, DMV REG 343, which you can download and print to complete or receive in the mail from the DMV by calling 1-800-777-0133.

3. Make an appointment with the local DMV near you, as the rest is done within the office and cannot be done online. Only renewal of registration is offered online. An appointment can be set by calling 1-800-777-0133 and speaking to a representative, calling 1-800-921-1117 for automated and quicker service, or visiting online at Appointment System

4. Bring the out-of-state title and last registration for vehicle.

5. Bring smog certificate, which must be obtained from an authorized smog check center. If your vehicle is less than 6 years old, however, you may be able to pay the smog abatement fee of $20 until the vehicle has reached 6 years.

6. Pay necessary fees. If you aren’t sure what fees to expect, you can use the California Vehicle Registration Fee Calculator online. You can also visit online for a list of Registration Related Fees

Once registration is complete, you will receive your plates and stickers. The license plate in California should be shown in the front and rear of the vehicle, and are not valid until you have an updated sticker affixed to the rear plate.

Completing a California Change of Address

  • As you are getting closer to becoming a full-fledged California resident, you will need to officially change your address, not only so your mail can reach the appropriate destination, but also so your DMV records can display the correct address, which is for your benefit. Changing your address in California is completely free, and must be done within 10 days of your move. You can change your address in California one of three ways:

California Department of Motor Vehicles

P.O. Box 942869

Sacramento, CA 94269

  • Follow the previous steps to obtain and complete the form, and bring into the local DMV  office in-person  Complete the process online at  Change of Address,  however this is not an option if you hold a CDL or cannot locate your social  security number

Settle In As a New California Resident

After you have obtained a new California license, transferred your registration to California registration, and changed your new address, all that is left to do is get your belongings to your new California home and set up your utilities. There are many great resources online to help you do so, making the process a great deal easier. As time passes and you require more California DMV services, you can always visit 4dmv.com or dmv.ca.gov   to find out what processes and services are available online, as well as what form you will need to complete such California DMV processes.


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