Automated auto registration kiosks?

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May 6, 2005
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Anyone try one? I'd like to get my registration paperwork in person rather than waiting for it by mail. On top of that, California DMV now charges a fee for use of debit or credit, even with online payments or in the office. I'm trying to register my wife's car, and AAA won't do it without her present and it's tough getting her to come with me for something like this; she always wants me to do it and thinks it's a pain to drag her with me. Once I managed to get her registration done at a AAA office and ended up paying for it. But then when the clerk realized she wasn't there I was told that they couldn't give the registration to me without her present. I got a receipt and (after discussing what to do with a manager) they ended up printing up the registration and mailing it. I think they could have also held onto it and I have my wife come in.

The last time I registered my wife's car in person, the DMV office didn't care if she was present. But I waited maybe 2 hours total. They do take cash or check without a surcharge though. These automated kiosks only take debit or credit cards and charge maybe 1.96%(?) but it might be worth it rather than waiting for the registration/sticker to arrive in the mail (with the same surcharge) or waiting a couple of hours at the DMV office.




From what I can see, it does print a registration card that's way different than any others. At the DMV office and authorized third-parties (like AAA or other businesses) they print on a perforated 8.5x11" sheet of paper. They used to use dot-matrix printers way back in the day where they removed the carriage holes, but these days it's usually a laser printer. Those always come with the registration sticker in a small bag - just stapled to the form. But for mailed registration cards they have a smaller form (I think using a high-res inkjet) that had the registration sticker on a perforated stub. This seems to be like the latter, although the form itself looks to be way different than the mail-in form.

Here's the printout version (apparently someone's Rivian):

20220408_163740-jpg.18749


And a sample of what the kiosk spits out:

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Never seen those. In my state, Georgia, I just pay the $25 fee or whatever it is online and the state ships a new card w/sticker.

Beginning with MY 2013 my state did away with the annual vehicle ad valorem tax for a one-time tax at time of title transfer (TVAT).

TVAT and Ad Valorem
 
One of the few things IL gets right. I get a postcard and can go on-line to renew. There is a few bucks to do it that way. But my time is worth something, so paying $2-4 to save the time to drive to the Motorist Services office is a good value.

The only time I've had to go is to register a newly purchased used car from a private seller, or every other D/L renewal.
 
I just pay for them online here, and have them mailed to me... No need to stop off at the license agent and even with any surcharge, my time is worth something too...
 
Don't you and your wife have POA for each other?
That said, I renew registrations on line for all my cars, boats, and trailers. Piece of cake. NY DMV sents emails that one is due, 5 or 6 clicks later I'm done.
 
I don't get why they would have a surcharge for using the machine... nothing is for free, including credit card transaction. But those costs must pale in comparison to paying someone to man a DMV booth. You'd think they would encourage such usage.
 
It’s easy here. I get a notification in the mail that my registration needs to be renewed and have 3 way to do it. Fill out the form and return it with a check, a code to use if renewing by phone and the website link. I do it online, pay the $60 for the 2 year registration and in a week or so the new registration and plate sticker comes in the mail. Easy peasy
 
One of the few things IL gets right. I get a postcard and can go on-line to renew. There is a few bucks to do it that way. But my time is worth something, so paying $2-4 to save the time to drive to the Motorist Services office is a good value.

The only time I've had to go is to register a newly purchased used car from a private seller, or every other D/L renewal.

Online renewal used to have no surcharge or fee in California. Not sure when that changed as I haven't done it in a while. I do remember complaints that credit cards weren't accepted at DMV offices. It used to be cash, check, or money order, along with debit cards. But now they have a different provider that charges that surcharge for using credit/debit. My local AAA affiliate doesn't take checks any more for DMV services, so I used debit to avoid a surcharge.

We've always had notices on the envelopes suggesting mail-in registration to save on gas. They've always accepted check or money orders. I don't believe they accept credit/debit by mail anyways.

But these kiosks seem OK. Not sure where else they have them. The one I checked out was at a supermarket. I think I saw that a few DMV offices have them, but I don' think they're outside where one can use them after hours. They seem more for those who don't want to take a number and wait for 1-3 hours. My wife's car's registration is up in more than a month, so I might just wait a bit before renewing.
 
I have used the kiosk in the DMV only when I forgot to mail the renewal. They charge a $10 fee for the service and print out a large temp registration card and then mail the small wallet size. I hate paying extra so much I have gotten into the habit of filling out the renewal form the day I get it and mailing it the next day. Online they also have a CC fee and I have been mailing in renewals for so many years I see the kiosk fee as the price to not standing in line for 2 or 3 hrs. I still hate it but figure its my own fault for procrastinating.
 
Anyone try one? I'd like to get my registration paperwork in person rather than waiting for it by mail. On top of that, California DMV now charges a fee for use of debit or credit, even with online payments or in the office. I'm trying to register my wife's car, and AAA won't do it without her present and it's tough getting her to come with me for something like this; she always wants me to do it and thinks it's a pain to drag her with me. Once I managed to get her registration done at a AAA office and ended up paying for it.

Are you talking about the initial registration of a new to you vehicle, or are you talking about the yearly renewal process?

Also, if your wife never wants to be there for vehicle registration, then just put the car in your own name only.
 
Are you talking about the initial registration of a new to you vehicle, or are you talking about the yearly renewal process?

Also, if your wife never wants to be there for vehicle registration, then just put the car in your own name only.

Just renewal. I prefer getting everything in person rather than waiting for the mail. And I doubt she’ll do that, which would legally be a title transfer.
 
In Virginia you can renew online (you need only your title number, printed on your title or registration) and you can print out a temporary registration good for 10 days while Pony Express (USPS) delivers your registration card and stickers.

What you can't do online is take the car for the emissions inspection due every 2 years, without which you can't renew your registration. (The emissions inspection stations transmit the test results to the DMV so if you pass you can renew it online the same day. I've done it within the hour).
 
In Virginia you can renew online (you need only your title number, printed on your title or registration) and you can print out a temporary registration good for 10 days while Pony Express (USPS) delivers your registration card and stickers.

What you can't do online is take the car for the emissions inspection due every 2 years, without which you can't renew your registration. (The emissions inspection stations transmit the test results to the DMV so if you pass you can renew it online the same day. I've done it within the hour).

In California one can renew online with just license plate number and last 5 digits of the VIN. I suppose anyone could find that out just looking at a parked car, but it wouldn’t really make much sense for a random person to pay for another car’s renewal. Addendum: In person at a DMV office or authorized agent they would want to see a renewal notice or old registration card, but I think the kiosks don't need that. I tried it out to see how it worked and I could have gotten it with just that information and nothing else, although they have a bar code scanner to read the bar code on renewal notices.

Same here with the California Smog Check, although I’m having a heck of a time with my car that was a garaged for a few months. It’s strictly a plug in to the ECU now for newer cars. Years ago there was a requirement for an actual certificate that had to be submitted by mail or in person. I don’t think the automated kiosks would have a means to physically submit a certificate.

At least here one can still pay for a renewal without the Smog Check, if only to avoid late charges. It’s technically not registered for operation, but it will likely need to be driven to finalize the registration. Back when getting a Smog Check was more difficult (many locations were temporarily closed), California DMV encouraged owners to at least pay for the registration ahead of time and get the Smog Check later. I’ve gotten letters with a notice that the renewal fees were paid, but that it still needed the Smog Check along with a bar code for a technician to scan. ADDENDUM: And when my car was new, I was exempted from getting it for four years, but after two years I had to pay some sort of emissions fee if I didn't. I actually went out and got a Smog Check because I found a place that was cheaper to get it checked than the exemption fee.
 
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I kind of wish we had those here. But they usually give you a couple dollars discount online. Extra $5 or $10 if you do it in person at the DMV. I just prefer to save a couple bucks and do it online. In my state you can do up to 3 years I always try to do 3 even though now I have expensive plates so maybe sticking with one or two years haha. Plus where I like to switch plate designs mid cycle it’s easier just to do everything online. Bet you can’t order new plates at those kiosk. We do have a mobile DMV unit not sure if they charge the extra fees or not to do it in person. I actually have a California registration and brand new set of unused plates with the original decals never used too. Found on eBay haha. June 2004 sticker and registration.
 
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