What Forms Of Payment Does The Dmv Accept In California?

With gas prices and inflation on the rise, having to pay unexpected fees to the DMV can put a strain on your wallet. If you’re headed to the California DMV, you’ll want to be prepared with acceptable forms of payment so you don’t get turned away. The DMV accepts both cash and card payments, but be aware that some options have restrictions and fees.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The California DMV accepts cash, checks, debit cards, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover cards. Debit and credit payments over $10 have a 2.35% service fee.

Cash Payments

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in California accepts cash as a form of payment for various transactions. It is important to note that the DMV has specific guidelines regarding cash payments, depending on the amount being paid.

Cash payments under $75

For transactions that require a payment of less than $75, the DMV accepts cash without any restrictions. This means that you can pay for services such as driver’s license renewal, vehicle registration, or obtaining a duplicate title in cash if the amount is less than $75.

Pro tip: It’s always a good idea to carry some cash with you when visiting the DMV, as it can come in handy for smaller transactions.

Cash payments over $75

For transactions that require a payment of $75 or more, the DMV has additional requirements. In these cases, you will need to provide a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or a state-issued ID, along with your cash payment.

Important: The DMV does not accept cash payments over $10,000. If you need to make a payment of this amount or higher, you will need to use an alternative form of payment, such as a money order or a cashier’s check.

It’s worth mentioning that the DMV encourages customers to use electronic payment methods whenever possible, as it helps to streamline the process and reduce wait times. However, cash payments are still accepted for those who prefer or need to use this form of payment.

If you have any questions or concerns about making cash payments at the DMV, it is recommended to visit the official DMV website or contact your local DMV office for more information.

Check Payments

When it comes to paying for services at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), check payments are one of the options available. This convenient method offers a secure and reliable way to make payments.

Personal checks

One form of check payment accepted by the DMV is personal checks. These are checks issued by individuals from their personal bank accounts. If you prefer using personal checks, make sure that you have sufficient funds in your account to cover the amount you need to pay.

Additionally, ensure that the personal check you write is properly filled out and signed.

Certified checks

Another type of check payment accepted by the DMV is certified checks. These checks are guaranteed by the issuing bank, ensuring that funds are available to cover the payment. Certified checks provide an added level of security, as they are verified by the bank before being accepted.

This can be a preferred option for those who want to ensure that their payment is guaranteed.

Money orders

Money orders are also accepted as a form of payment at the DMV. These are prepaid instruments issued by a bank or other financial institution. Similar to certified checks, money orders offer a level of security as they are paid for in advance.

When using a money order, it’s important to fill it out correctly and ensure that it is signed.

Cashier’s checks

Cashier’s checks are yet another form of check payment that the DMV accepts. These checks are drawn on the bank’s own funds and signed by a bank representative or cashier. Cashier’s checks are considered as good as cash, as the funds are guaranteed by the bank.

This makes them a reliable method of payment for DMV services.

It’s worth noting that while the DMV accepts various forms of check payments, it’s always a good idea to have alternative payment methods available, such as cash or credit cards. Some transactions may require immediate payment, and having alternative options can help ensure a smooth and efficient process at the DMV.

For more information on accepted forms of payment at the California DMV, you can visit their official website here.

Debit and Credit Card Payments

When it comes to making payments at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), utilizing a debit or credit card can be a convenient option for many individuals. The DMV understands the need for flexibility and has made efforts to accommodate various forms of payment.

Accepted card brands

The DMV in California accepts payments from major debit and credit card brands, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. This means that individuals can use their preferred card to pay for services such as vehicle registration, driver’s license fees, and other DMV-related transactions.

The acceptance of these widely used card brands ensures that customers have multiple options to choose from when making their payments.

Card payment fees

It is important to note that while the DMV accepts debit and credit card payments, there may be additional fees associated with using this payment method. These fees are not set by the DMV itself but are imposed by the third-party service provider that processes the transactions.

The fees vary depending on the total amount being paid and the type of card used.

Individuals should check with their card issuer or the DMV’s official website to determine if any fees will be applied to their transaction. It is also advisable to review the terms and conditions of the card being used to gain a better understanding of any potential fees that may be incurred.

Despite the potential fees, using a debit or credit card can still be a convenient and efficient way to make payments at the DMV. It eliminates the need for cash or checks and provides customers with a secure and traceable transaction record.

For more information on payment options, including debit and credit card payments, individuals can visit the official California DMV website at www.dmv.ca.gov.


When visiting the California DMV, make sure you’re prepared to pay any fees with cash, check, or card. Keep the payment limits and potential service fees in mind when deciding which option is best for your situation. Arriving with an acceptable form of payment will ensure your DMV tasks go smoothly.

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