What Does The California DMV Do?

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) handles all services for drivers in the state, including driver licensing and ID card applications and renewals; vehicle titles, registrations, and renewals; and driving records. The Division of Boating and Waterways handles boat licensing and registration.

If you move to California, you must exchange your driver’s license and apply for a vehicle registration within 10 days after establishing residency in the state. Prior to registering your vehicle, you must also complete an emissions inspection.

The California DMV also has specific information geared toward its military residents and non-residents, in order to accommodate the unique circumstances that military service brings. Non-residents stationed in California are not required to get a CA license or registration while serving in the state. For residents serving out of state, you can renew online or by mail.

Online and Third-Party Services

The California DMV’s online services include:

The DMV partners with a number of authorized third-parties to assist with a number of services such as licence applications and title and registration services, driver training, CDL skills testing, and motorcycle education and training.

You can access the California Driver Handbook online, in addition to the Motorcycle and Commercial driver handbooks. Looking to study for your license exam? The DMV offers online practice tests to give you the extra prep you need.

Contact Information


Driver’s License Inquires

Department of Motor Vehicles

PO Box 942890 

Sacramento, CA 94290-0001


Vehicle Registration Operations

Department of Motor Vehicles

PO Box 942869

Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

Phone: (800) 777-0133

Office locations