Outrageous registration renewal California

I leased a Chevy Bolt in November 2017, as such I got the DMV registration renewal in the mail, and the cost for renewal is an absurd $400 broken down as follows:

Registration 183
License fee 207
County/district 10
Total 400

There is an 80% chance I will be relocating for work in a different state in mid 2019. At that time I will likely trade in the car to Vroom/Carvana and pay whatever I am upside down or pocket any equity. Will they care if my registration is not current since they are going to buy the car out anyway? Or should I play it safe and just pay the 400?

Lol, sure, the DMV will be happy to transfer the title and just forget about past due registration fees. Good luck.


Do you plan on not driving the car after November this year? You can register it as non-op which will helpmyou avoid fees but good luck if you get pulled over.

So the question is:

Should I pay for my license plate?

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Is the other option driving a car with an expired registration? If so, pay the $400.

Honestly, I’m pretty anti-establishment and hate the man’s hand in my pocket 10x more than the next person, but I don’t mess with registration and insurance. Accidents happen to the best of us, being caught in a sticky situation without your car’s paperwork in order will cost far more than $400.

Blows spending $400 but you’re not the first one to feel shafted by the DMV, surely won’t be the last.

I know that’s not the advice you asked for but…

I can’t imagine a dealership caring if your car is registered or has insurance when you return it. They probably won’t even check.

GMF will likely care though. I know someone with a GMF loan (less restrictive then a lease) who let their insurance lapse (on accident) for like two weeks, and GMF sent them a letter.


You should be able to get a refund for the portion of the year you didn’t own the car. I.e. if you sell the car in May 2019 you might get about $200 back if you ask for a refund.

But asking if you should not pay it? Up to you, but there are consequences for not paying taxes/registration. Maybe look into what will happen to you before skipping the registration tax. Most people wouldn’t like the consequences.

Even if you trade the car in with the expired tags, the dealer or 3rd party will most likely subtract reg fees on tradein value.
There are only 2 things that is certain in life, taxes and death. In this case taxes=reg. Pay now or pay later with penalty and interest.

$400 is outrageous? I think you’re missing a 0 to use that word…


California doesn’t give refunds.

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Pay the registration.

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Everyone makes fun of Jersey for being expensive, but $400 would be the registration for the full lease term here wow. OP, you need to pay it or you are seriously breaking the law. It doesn’t matter that you may move

A wise man once told me:

If you wanna dance, you gotta pay the f@cking band.

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Or, you gotta pay to play.

Just wait till 2020 when it will GO UP another $100 when California starts charging EV vehicles the extra fee.

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$400 is nothing - that’s normal for CA.
My renewal I just received is $635.

For what it’s worth, California let’s you put a vehicle in non-op status for $20. When in non-op there are no DMV fees due.

Death and taxes are hard to avoid !

My Mirai second year is like 577$ need to pay it this month :frowning:

You can write-off your registration in CA. Probably in most states, but definitely here.

Not likely with the new limit of 10k on state tax deductions.


Not in PA unless it’s for business purposes. Although our reg fee is 42/yr and we can transfer plates when getting a new car :grimacing:.

Then again, we have the highest gas tax in the country right now, and turnpike tolls have been going up for the last 10 years annually, and are set to finally stop in 2050.

They always get you one way or another.