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    In California, recreational vehicles (RVs) or motor homes must be titled and registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

    The process is the same as registering a car, and requires proof of ownership, an application, and payment of fees. Depending on the vehicle itself, you may need other documents in order to register the RV.

    Keep reading for more detailed information about California RV registration.

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    How to Register a CA RV

    Registering a motor home or recreational vehicle in California is just like registering a car.

    Dealers will take care of title transfer and registration for you. If you bought from a private party, make an appointment to go in person to your local DMV office and bring:

    You can use the registration fee calculator to estimate your fees before heading to the DMV.

    RV Registration Renewal

    When you renew your motor home registration, you have to provide proof of insurance. Your vehicle might be also be required to pass a smog test. For more information, see Registration Renewal in California.

    Registering a Vehicle From Out of State

    The DMV provides a handy checklist of what's required to register a vehicle brought from outside of California.

    Smog Testing

    Motor homes and RVs 6 years old or less are exempt from the biennial smog certification requirement. Other vehicles are exempt from the requirements as well; the CA DMV provides a full list of exempt vehicles.

    Depending on the county you live in, you might be required to submit a new smog certificate to the DMV every 2 years, when you renew your registration.

    Check the California DMV smog certification page to find out more about the smog requirements for your vehicle. If you need to get your RV smog checked, be sure to confirm with the inspection station ahead of time that they can accommodate your larger vehicle.

    Nonoperational RVs and Motor homes

    If your RV or motor home is sitting in your driveway inoperable, you can register it as nonoperational.

    The DMV has a nonoperation registration renewal brochure with more information about this process. The fee to register a vehicle as inoperable is $19.

    Travel Trailer Registration

    Many travel trailers and campers are required to be registered in CA. A travel trailer longer than 16 feet or wider than 96 inches must be registered annually just like an RV or motor home. The California DMV lists several the definitions of trailers that must be registered annually, as they do not qualify for permanent registration.

    Other trailers are registered through the Permanent Trailer Identification Program. There is more information about the program on the CA DMV registration page.