My car is out of state. How do I get a California smog check and complete my DMV registration renewal?
Do not obtain a smog inspection in another state, it will not be valid in California. The California DMV does not recognize out of state smog inspections for the purposes of initial vehicle registration in this state or vehicle registration renewal.
Unless your vehicle is in Nevada or Mexico, you DO NOT need to bring it back to California in order to complete your registration. Simply fill out and sign DMV's "Statement of Facts" form explaining that your vehicle is out of state and the registration tags will be mailed to wherever the car is currently located. You can obtain a "Statement of Facts" form by calling the California DMV at (800)777-0133.
You may download the Statement of Facts Form HERE, complete the form, and mail it in with your registration renewal.
California Insurance - California state law also requires all motor vehicle owners to have insurance which provides Bodily Injury Coverage and Vehicle Damage Coverage. Auto insurance will be required prior to your vehicle's registration being completed.
Minimum Coverage - The required minimum insurance coverage for bodily injury is $15,000 per person injured in any one accident and $30,000 for all persons injured in any one accident.
The minimum coverage required for vehicle damage is $5,000 for injury to or the destruction of property of others in any one auto or car accident.
Please note these are only minimum car insurance coverage requirements, and are in place mainly for the protection of the other driver and his or her vehicle.
In order to insure your own vehicle you must have purchased comprehensive and collision insurance. Comprehensive and collision insurance is not required by the state of California but is highly recommended. You will need this coverage to pay for your own vehicle's repairs as opposed to the other person's vehicle in the unfortunate event of an auto accident.