There’s a reason that the Golden State is the most populated, with the population trends showing a gradual increase as opposed to a decline in the past few years. Not only is the climate heavenly, but living in California will also give you access to some of the best jobs, schools, and neighborhoods in the country.

If you’re planning to move to California, we’re sure you’ve got a whole checklist prepared and you’re slowly moving through it. What most people who are in the process of moving fail to see is that some things need to be done first before the others, and finding out about an address change is one of them.

The fact that you’ve searched for the California DMV change of address means that you’re on the right track. Since many people push this to the end, they then have to run around trying to meet deadlines after their move. We’ve explained the process in an easy way for you, so keep reading!

Obtaining A Driver’s License When Moving to California From Another State

What you must remember at all costs is that the state of California only gives you a 10 day period to inform the DMV about your change of address. While this seems like a very short time, what with all the settling in that you have to do, there’s no other option.

Related: Out of State Moving Companies Reviews

If you’re moving from a different state, and want to get your address on your driver’s license changed, here’s what you need to do:

1.Register Your Vehicle In California State

As opposed to the DMV deadline which is just 10 days, you have a 20 day period to get your vehicle registered in California if you’ve moved from another state. The price for registering your vehicle will amount to $60, but you must remember that this cost might vary.

You can visit your nearest DMV to get your vehicle registered, but to save you the to and fro, let’s start with the exact documents you’ll have to carry with you:

  • An Application for Title/Registration form also called the REG 343 Form. This has to be filled and then signed by the owners of the car who are registered. The good news is that it’s available online!
  • Your out-of-state title that was last issued.
  • Your out-of-state vehicle registration. This could be a certificate, a letter from the last registration or even a renewal notice for the present year.
  • Proof of vehicle inspection. This will have to be done by a California DMV employee and it won’t be charged.
  • Smog Certificate (Refer to the DMV website for further details)
  • Weight Certificate

Is proof of insurance required to register a car in California?

Yes. Even though it won’t be asked when you’re going through the registration process, you will have to provide proof of insurance within 30 days. Failure to do so might even result in a suspension of your registration.

Does California DMV accept electronic proof of insurance?

Yes, it does. Once your insurance company has let you access a digital copy of your insurance, you can present that to the California DMV instead of a physical card.

2. Apply For A Change Of Address

Coming to the important part, since you have to carry this task out within 10 days, it’s best to get a head start. You have nothing to worry about though since the process is an easy and straightforward one, as long as you have everything in place. To get a headstart, you should do these in advance:

  1. Schedule an appointment with a California DMV online.
  2. Fill the form after downloading it from the DMV website.

Now that these two steps are complete, it’s time to visit the DV office where your appointment is scheduled. When you go, carry the following documents with you:

  1. Your out-of-state driver’s license (current) or your ID card (check for what is applicable on the state DMV website)
  2. Your Social Security card
  3. Proof of residency of both old and new locations. Check this list for acceptable documents.
  4. Birthdate and legal presence verification. This can be done by showing your US passport or your Birth Certificate, but we recommend you check the state’s list of acceptable documents

The good news is that you won’t have to take a driving test for a change of address. But, the California DMV requires that you take a vision test, traffic laws exam, and a sign test, so, don’t forget to prepare for that!

When it comes to costs, standard C class licenses cost $34, but be aware that this can go up depending on your car among other factors. To get a rough estimate you can look at the costs on the state DMV website.

How long can I drive in California with an out-of-state license?

If you’re a visitor 18 years and older, you can drive within state limits for the duration of your stay with your out-of-state license. However, if you’re 16 or 17, you can only drive in the state for a maximum of 10 days.

Did you know? If you’re 16 to 18 years of age and you apply for a CA change of address, you will be given a provisional license with certain restrictions until you’re 18. These include – only driving between 5 am to 11 pm and only driving people under 20 around unless one passenger is over 25.

See also: Moving to California – Relocation Guide

Obtaining A Driver’s License When Moving Within California

If you’re moving within the state, and you want to change your address, the process is much simpler. One thing remains the same though – reporting the address change has to happen within 10 days of your move. Let’s break down the steps for you:

1. Registering Your Vehicle

A major difference between registering an out-of-state vehicle and registering an in-state vehicle again is that for the latter, the time period is brought down to 10 days only. So, you need to buck up so that you’re not paying fines for delay later

The documents that you will have to carry are:

  1. You Notice of Change of Address form
  2. Old and new address proofs
  3. Your Vehicle Identification Number
  4. Your recent registration card
  5. Social Security Card
  6. Leasing Company details if your car is leased

Don’t forget to go through the state DMV website once to cross-check if you have all the necessary documents in place. One thing you can be happy about is that you don’t need to pay a fee to register your vehicle, since it’s already registered in the state of California.

2. Apply For Change Of Address

While you have the option of visiting your nearest DMV to start the application process, for those of you who prefer doing things online, the state DMV website lets you do that! Let’s take a look at the three ways in which you can go about the process:

  1. Online – Log in to the California DMV website and fill the DMV 14 form also called the Change of Address form.

2. Via mail – For those of you who aren’t comfortable with the online method, you can order the form to be delivered to you by calling 1-800-777-0133. Once filled, you can mail it back to the address that’s given at the top of the form.

3. In-Person – Visit the nearest DMV office and fill the Change of Address form. Once you’re done, the DMV will give you a certificate card which you have to carry with your current driver’s license

Note that unlike when you’re moving from another state, you will not receive a new driver’s license in this scenario.

See also: Best-rated Local Moving Companies

When You’re Moving Out Of California State

Didn’t expect this section? There are things you have to do even when you’re moving out of the state which cannot be overlooked. It’s mostly applicable if you have a registered vehicle in California, and if you do, you have to remember to inform the California state DMV that you’ll be moving and registering your vehicle in another state.

In this scenario too, there’s a Change of Address form (DMV 14) that needs to be filled, and the address reported within 10 days. At the same time, once your vehicle is obtained a license in your new state, your California driver’s license will be canceled automatically. Another thing to note is that aside from the usual documents, you will have to share your new license plate number with the state DMV.

Does my driving license address have to match my insurance?

It’s better to keep it uniform everywhere because even though you might continue to get covered, how much insurance premium you pay differs based on your postal code.

See also: Top Interstate Movers in America | How Expensive it is to Move Out of State?

Is It Illegal To Not Change Your Address When You Move?

This question comes up a lot, and we’re sure you know the answer to it already – yes. While you might think that you can get under the radar and no one will notice, if you are caught you can get into trouble. What you might not know is that it’s actually a punishable offense and you can be fined, or your driver’s license suspended.

See also: How to Change Your Address and Forward Your Mail When You Move?

One of the main reasons why it’s necessary to change your address on your driver’s license is also because you’ll need it for various things like voter registration, tax purposes, or even to establish your domicile in the state. At the same time, in case of unfortunate incidents like car accidents or traffic violations, the police look for the address on your license. So, it’s best that you get your address on your driver’s license changed within the stipulated time if you’re moving.


As you spend time settling in, getting your addresses in order is also crucial. This greatly applies to your driver’s license because the time given is stringent. Even though you might think that 10 days is enough time, it’s best you start the process as soon as possible because even though the DMV is prompt, delays can occur.

Related: Top 10 Cities of California