How to Register Motorcycles, Boats, and More in California

Other Vehicle Registration in California

California has a bit of everything for everyone if they’re willing to register other vehicle types. One can enjoy a fun morning on the lake by boating. Or, take a trek through the wilderness during the afternoon by off-road vehicles. The coastal highways have been an iconic trip for motorcycle riders, too!

Sometimes you undertake a fixer-upper project, restoring old cars. Salvaged vehicles may be your business or pleasure. Whatever’s your preference, you’ll need title & registration just the same as you would a car or truck.

This is what you need to know about other vehicle titles & registration in California.

California Motorcycle Registration

Motorcycles follow a mainly similar process as car registration. You’ve got 20-days to register a motorcycle upon ownership. From there, a trip to a local CA DMV will quickly have you on your way.

Registering a motorcycle in California:

  1. Complete the Application for Title or Registration (REG 343)
  2. Have your motorcycle license and inspection
  3. Complete the Verification of Vehicle (REG 31)
  4. Pay the $58 registration plus any taxes, and fees

Dealerships will provide the state with the cycle’s title. Else, complete a title transfer, create a bill of sale, and pay application fees when registering the motorcycle. Out-of-state motorcyclist will provide their title & registration during this process, then follow the same steps.

You will also pay a California Highway Patrol Fee, Vehicle License Fee, County/District fees, and a Use tax. Refer to the CA DMV’s fee calculator for specifics for your make, model, and year.

For Mopeds & Scooters

If it has 2-3 wheels, can’t go faster than 30 mph, automatic transmission, and electric motor then California recognizes the cycle as a moped. You’ll still need an M1 license or endorsement to legally drive. And, you’ll need to register the moped with the DMV.

File and submit the Motorized Bicycle Instructions/Application (REG 230). You may operate a basic scooter with your CA driver’s license.

California Boat Registration

California offers a boater’s dream with its lakes, waterways, and iconic coasts. Those wanting to putter around on the waterways will need to register their boat. This includes any motor-driven boats, commercial vessels, and sailing boats over 8ft in length.

Motor-powered boats require title registration within 120-days of ownership.

What You Need to Register a Boat in California:

  1. Complete and submit the Application for Registration Number
  2. Complete and submit a Certificate of Ownership
  3. Complete and submit a Certificate of Number for Undocumented Vessel
  4. Submit a bill of sale
  5. Pay the registration fees

Fees typically range from $29 – $57 for residents and non-residents. Refer to the vessel fees for specific information about your boat.

California Salvaged Vehicle Registration

Those having experienced an unfortunate accident, totaling their car, must apply for a salvage certificate and a few other items. The insurance company may provide these services, too.

To get a Salvaged Certificate:

  1. Complete an Application for Salvage Certificate or Nonrepairable Vehicle Certificate (REG 488C)
  2. Provide proof of ownership, bill of sale, odometer disclosure, and license plate
  3. Pay the $21 salvage certificate fee

You must get a salvaged vehicle inspected if you plan to restore and drive it. You will follow a similar car registration process for salvaged and junked vehicles. Bring the Application for Salvage Certificate with you during this process.