New California resident? Locating the nearest DMV or using DMV’s online services is all you need to process your Real ID, driver’s license, register a vehicle, pay traffic tickets and more in California.
In California, the DMV is the Department of Motor Vehicles, which is in charge of overseeing the various driving services in California’s 58 counties.
DMV California appointment
If you need to go to the California DMV, it is a good option to book an appointment or use online services. Follow the steps below to get a new California DMV account.
- Go to the California DMV main portal at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/.
- Then select the online service you wish to begin.
- You can choose to process your Real ID, obtain or renew your license, make payments, register a vehicle and more.
- Enter the requested information and payment method to complete your transaction.
- For some online services, you will need to create an account or log in to MyDMV California.
What to bring to the California DMV?
Don’t forget that DMV offices serve a limited number of customers. Online services will allow you to renew your vehicle registration, driver’s license, license plate, change your address and more from an internet connection.
However, you may be required to submit some documents to the California DMV office. If you have all your documents ready, your visit can be quick and hassle-free. These include:
- Proof of identity, such as a passport or birth certificate.
- Proof of social security number, social security card or W-2 form.
- Two documents proving your California residency, such as a utility bill or lease.
When to attend the California DMV?
Keep in mind that if you decide to go to a California DMV office, wait times can be long, especially during lunch hours. Here are some tips to help you during your visit.
- Afternoons are usually busier than mornings.
- The middle of the week has shorter waits than Monday or Friday.
- You can avoid the lunch hour. Since the DMV starts the lunch break around noon, which leaves fewer employees.
- Be aware of the time it will take to complete your DMV California appointment, especially if you are obtaining a permit or taking a road test.
California DMV Offices
Need to locate a California DMV field office? Find the DMV office nearest you on the list of all California county DMV offices below. You can also contact the DMV with questions or to book an appointment.
California DMV Phone
Contact center: 1-800-777-0133
Telephone hours of service: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00 to 5:00 pm.
Wednesdays from 9:00 to 5:00 pm.
California DMV: Office Locations
San Luis Obispo