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California DMV Locations

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Introduction

In the state of California, you can visit the Department of Motor Vehicles to take care of tasks such as getting your driver’s license and completing your title transfers, registration, and other activities. Since California is a very large state, hundreds of DMV locations exist. Most can take care of basic licensing, but only a few offer all the services you may need for road testing, inspections, or other tasks.

Licensing Centers

In California, five DMV locations handle new license applications, temporary license extensions, and renewals. These are located in:

  • North Fork
  • Hayward
  • Fontana
  • Pleasanton
  • Anaheim

If this is a first-time license, there are 172 offices able to take care of the licensing process. A full list of those offices can be found here on the Department of Motor Vehicle’s website. With this search, you can input a preferred city or zip code and the needed services. The closest DMVs to you will be included in the search results.

Vehicle Centers

California has over 1,282 DMV locations that are capable of registering a new vehicle. These results include DMV kiosks, which are located in some 7-Eleven locations, Albertsons and others.

There are 218 locations that can handle title transfers, new registrations, permanent trailer IDs, temporary operating permits and other services. Some are located in:

  • Santa Ana
  • Covina
  • Sacramento

As well as other major cities. You can search for the specific help you need with this search engine to find a location near you.

Road Testing Locations

There are only 19 DMV locations in California that perform road testing services. These are the full DMV field offices located in:

  • Yuba City
  • Santa Rosa
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Modesto
  • Lancaster
  • Ventura
  • Salinas
  • Redding
  • El Centro
  • Fontana
  • Pleasanton
  • Ukiak
  • Bishop
  • Anaheim
  • Stockton
  • Santa Teresa
  • Fremont
  • Eureka
  • Bakersfield

Inspection Locations

Most drivers need to have their vehicles inspected at least once every two years. California has strict emission standards, so failing to get this inspection could lead to fines as well as a denial of vehicle registration.

The inspection costs between $30 and $70 and must be performed at a licensed inspection station. Smog inspections are not required if:

  • A vehicle is gasoline powered and from 1975 or before
  • The vehicle is diesel-powered from 1997 or before or has a weight of over 14,000 pounds
  • The vehicle is electric
  • The vehicle is less than eight model-years older and is powered by gasoline
  • The vehicle weighs more than 14,000 pounds and is powered by natural gas

There are over 94 smog inspection stations in California. You can search for one near you using the search engine at the Bureau of Automotive Repair’s website.

Regional Service Centers

California has only one field office in Pleasanton that handles every type of DMV issue. There are dozens of field offices. You can check for your local DMV office here.

Last Verified:
Oct 18, 2023