Special Vehicles in CaliforniaPage Overview
California Special Vehicles
In California, you not only need to register your car, you must also register any off-highway motorized vehicles that you own. This includes:
- Trail bikes.
- Mini bikes.
- Racing motorcycles.
- Dune buggies.
- All-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
Although these vehicles do not require the standard on-highway registration, they must display an identification plate issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
If you have recently purchased an off-highway vehicle from a party that is not a licensed dealer and the vehicle was never registered, you will need to register it with the California DMV.
This simple process requires you to:
- Make an appointment at your neighborhood CA DMV office.
- Submit a completed Application for Title or Registration (Form REG 343).
- Have the vehicle verification portion of the application completed by a CA DMV representative, law enforcement officer, or a licensed vehicle verifier.
- Provide a bill of sale, out-of-state title, or the manufacturer's certificate of origin as evidence of ownership.
- Hand over any on-highway plates registered to the vehicle.
- Pay the original off-highway application fee of $52.
- Pay the use tax.
For more information about fees, visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website.
Your off-highway registration stays valid for up to 2 years and expires on June 30 of its 2nd year.
You will receive a renewal notice in the mail from the CA DMV before your registration expires.
Keep in mind that you must pay a $23 penalty fee if the renewal is not submitted on time.
You do not have to register your vehicle as an off-highway vehicle if it already has a valid on-highway registration.
Visit the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation website for additional off-roading information.
Generally, golf carts do not need to be registered. However, if you plan to use it on a public road check with your local California DMV office. Registration rules vary from county to county.
- Complete an Application for Title of Registration (Form REG 343).
- Bring the form along with the trailer's title and previous registration to your local California DMV office.
- Pay the registration fee determined by the trailer's value.
Other vehicles will also require some form of registration:
If you have a clean air vehicle (CAV), you may be eligible for CAV decals which enable you to use the carpool (or HOV) lanes even while driving without a passenger. For more information, visit the CA DMV website.Other Topics in This Section
Organ Donation Survey
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog Check
Are you currently registered as an Organ Donor?
Thank you! Besure to keep your registration up to date.Update Your Organ
Donor Information ▸