California DMV reiterates 30-day extension to renew car registrations in July and August

Tony Bizjak
Sacramento Bee
Jul 13, 2011

Responding to confusion among some drivers, California Department of Motor Vehicles officials clarified Tuesday that anyone receiving a vehicle registration renewal notice in the mail this month or next will be given an extra 30 days beyond their renewal date to pay their fees.

Some drivers have complained their registration renewal notices gave them only a day or two to mail in a check, or face penalty fees, rather than the usual 60-day advance notice.

DMV officials said all renewal notices mailed this month and next are accompanied by a separate notice indicating drivers whose registrations expire in July and August are being given a 30-day grace period to pay their fees. Some car owners apparently are not reading the second notice, DMV spokesman Jaime Garza said.

The 30-day grace period stems from a state decision not to mail out July and August renewal notices until after a state budget was passed.

The DMV was given the go-ahead to mail those notices last week, and some are arriving just a day or two before the car owner's registration renewals are due. More than 4.8 million vehicles have July or August registrations, according to DMV spokeswoman Jan Mendoza.

Mendoza said the DMV did not have time or money to change the information on its renewal notices, so it is putting the second notice about the 30-day grace period on a flier in green ink in the envelope.

Some have complained the second notice still didn't make it make it obvious that there was a grace period.

Mendoza said drivers shouldn't panic because law enforcement agencies will not cite people with overdue July or August license tags.

"And if you are worried, you can go online to the DMV's website and take care of it right now," she said.