Just got shocked by the CA DMV renewal

Just got shocked by the CA DMV renewal

Just got my DMV renewal for my MS. Anyone else get a DMV registration renewal of >$700? Is this CA getting back for the carpool sticker?

Xerogas | 2 ottobre 2013

Wow, is it based on sticker price? Where would one go to look up the projected price?

Xerogas | 2 ottobre 2013 seems to have calculators on it.

Gizmotoy | 2 ottobre 2013

The calculator only really lets you determine the renewal cost after you have already registered. So you can't speculate on the yearly renewal cost until you already bought the car. It's stupid.

ramtaz | 2 ottobre 2013

CA. has many DMV fees , vehicle use fee,registration fee, county fee,city fee, ocean fee,etc etc

AmpedRealtor | 2 ottobre 2013

Wow, I just paid $125 to register my Model S in Arizona for five years.

lolachampcar | 2 ottobre 2013

Aren't you glad you do not live in California. They tend to lead the country on most everything but I do hope we do not follow them on size and efficiency of government. I just do not see the value.

Andercam | 2 ottobre 2013

I wish mine was $700! Come to Colorado where the first year is around $1200- $1500!

unclegeek | 2 ottobre 2013

@Amped... Really? Mine was $157.. then I went online and requested my vanity plate for another $125 (for 5 years as well)

Gizmotoy | 2 ottobre 2013

@daveyb23: Do you mind me asking what your approximate purchase price came to? I'm kind of interested what my renewals will be for my ~$100k P85.

George with SacEV | 2 ottobre 2013

It has been for MANY years in California that the annual billing/registration is based on vehicle cost/value. It does go DOWN each year, so that is something to look forward to.

Yes, it is expensive to live in California, but we did get $2500 cash back rebate for the car, and as many "critics" of this level of vehicular indulgence have noted..."Does anyone who can afford a $100,000 car need to have the rank and file citizen help pay for it?"

So, please "suck it up" about the annual fees from the DMV. We can always move to Oregon or Arizona, if the tax structure here is too much. Heck we have been looking at Portland off and on for the last 3 years as a relocation option now both of us are retired, BUT that got vetoed as it is just TOO WET too much of the time there for our personal lifestyle. We also looked closely at moving to Denver, but other issues led to rejecting that option. We will STAY in California for ALL the climate, culture, diversity, and personal connections we have here...and (grudgingly) pay the extra tax and cost of living tariffs.

AmpedRealtor | 2 ottobre 2013

@ unclegeek - Yes, it was somewhere around there. I figured $125 was close enough to $157, I just didn't remember the exact dollar amount. When I paid, it was lumped in with my sales tax of 5.6%. Without the EV discount, registration would have been over $1,700 for the first year based on their normal rates for ICE vehicles.

Also, all alternative fuel plates in Arizona can use the HOV lane without restrictions. If you see a MC Red Tesla with a blue cloud plate that says "BYEGAS", that's me! :)

dlake | 2 ottobre 2013

@Amped.... Is there a discount on AZ auto registration for ZEV? I just paid over $450 for one year for my wife's Infinity G37 in Scottsdale.

AmpedRealtor | 2 ottobre 2013

@ dlake - As far as I know, it's not the emission classification that qualifies for the discount but rather the fuel type. Here is a FAQ page about the blue cloud plate that earns the lower registration fees and HOV access, it should answer your question:

An Infinity G37 doesn't appear to qualify under the alternative fuel guidelines.

jat | 2 ottobre 2013

Mine would have been ~$900 under the old ad-valorem tax system in GA, but I was able to opt into the new title/ad-valorem tax which is a one-time fee (was actually only $700 extra), and then my tag will be $50/yr ($25 of that for the alternate fuel tag).

bt77057 | 2 ottobre 2013


I went to DMV link, the estimate was the same for gas or electric car. This is just the cost of living in California...or just one more cost...

Gizmotoy | 2 ottobre 2013

So the calculators aren't useful for renewal fees unless your car is already registered, but they do give the details with the algorithm you need here:

Came up with $679 for Santa Clara for first year renewal, registration varies within about a $10 range by county. Looks like all vehicle are required to pay a smog abatement fee, EV or no. Each year they factor in more depreciation, though not on a realistic scale. It's just linear.

Not a huge factor, but I'm glad I know now rather than getting a surprise at renewal time like daveyb23.

dlake | 2 ottobre 2013

@Amped... thanks.
This is what I found on the AZ DMV:
Registration and Fees

The vehicle license tax (VLT) for an AFV is changed to a rate of $4 per $100 of assessed valuation, which is determined by the following:

For the first year, the assessed value is 1-percent of the factory list price (FLP) of the AFV.
For subsequent years, the assessed value is depreciated 15-percent each year.
The minimum VLT for an AFV registration is $5.
In addition, an AFV is subject to

$8 vehicle registration fee.
$8 one-time special plate or sticker fee.
25¢ Air Quality Compliance Fee (if in an emissions test area) and a $1.50 Air Quality Fee.
So, if one pays $100,000 for a MS, their license tax would be $4K + fees?
According to this, the registration is based on 1% of assessed value-- that would be $1000, correct?
Where is the discount for a $157 registration?

And you're are certainly correct- An Infinity G37 drinks lots of gasoline.

AmpedRealtor | 2 ottobre 2013

@ dlake - what you are missing is the "$4 per $100 of assessed valuation" part. The assessed valuation will be 1% of the list price, or $1,000. At $4 per $100 based on an assessed value of $1,000, first year registration tax is $40 plus the miscellaneous fees you mention. On subsequent years, the assessed value of $1,000 is depreciated by 15% and re-calculated using $4 per $100 of assessed value for each subsequent year.

Total registration fees for five years came to around $150-$160.

bonaire | 2 ottobre 2013

All cars in PA are $38.

But we have low-quality beaches. :)

Theresa | 2 ottobre 2013

Not to make you all mad but until Iowa rescinds this (expected soon) my car got registered for $25 and after 5 years it will be $15. I didn't get any tax rebates for Iowa (still got the federal though).

Once it gets rescinded then I will be in the same boat as the rest of you as registration is based upon value (drops by whatever depreciation schedule the state uses) and the weight of vehicle.

strengthcoach4 | 2 ottobre 2013

I'm with Amped, paid $125 for 5 years. Actually it was $140 because I went to a satellite office and not the actual DMV.

DonS | 2 ottobre 2013

CA has a fixed and a variable part of the annual license fee. The variable part is 0.65% the purchase price for the 1st year. After that, the variable part decreases yearly:
Year 1 - 100% (i.e. 0.65% of purchase price)
Year 2 - 92%
Year 3 - 83%
Year 4 - 75%
Year 5 - 66%
Year 6 - 58%
Year 7 - 49%
Year 8 - 41%
Year 9 - 32%
Year 10 - 24%
Year 11 - 15%

dlake | 2 ottobre 2013

@Amped... Thanks. I got it now. I am about a year away from purchase and just "lining up my ducks." I could buy one now (wife has given me green light), but I need to get some stuff out of the way first. Solar city install, etc.

stevenmaifert | 2 ottobre 2013

Check your final purchase document. Is it more or less than you paid initially for the first year. Should be less.

NKYTA | 2 ottobre 2013

OP - I'm not shocked by the renewal I just got for December, but yeah, CA living comes with a price, no doubt. $741 total ($575 is the CA license fee). Bay Area.
Winces but then Tesla grin pops back up! :-)

portia | 2 ottobre 2013

+1 NKYTA, yes, not shocked, not happy but expected a large fee which was included in the total bill paid to Tesla when purchasing the car, so you should know approx. how much to expect. It does go down every year.

derek | 2 ottobre 2013

So I DO own the road!!

GeekEV | 2 ottobre 2013

@Xerogas - Not quite, it's based in part on resale value and goes down every year.

Hodas | 2 ottobre 2013

Note that the portion of the CA registration that is value based (the VLF) is deductible as state taxes on your federal income tax return. The core registration fee (around $40 or so) is not deductible.

Dramsey | 2 ottobre 2013

Heck we have been looking at Portland off and on for the last 3 years as a relocation option now both of us are retired, BUT that got vetoed as it is just TOO WET too much of the time there for our personal lifestyle.

It's a silly-liberal town, but:

1. No sales tax.
2. Great CCW laws.
3. Powell's City of Books!

daveyb23 | 2 ottobre 2013

@Gizmotoy: I bought a P85 fully loaded @~$105k. This was my renewal fee with a personalized plate. Hope this helps.

NumberOne | 2 ottobre 2013

In VA, we have to pay a personal property tax in addition to the registration fee, which amounts to about $45 per year. The personal property tax is based on the value of the base model car. So for us here in VA, the personal property tax, which is a pre-condition for vehicle registration is around $3k for the first year and the less as the vehicle depreciates over time. I fully expect to pay more than $13k in personal property taxes over 10 years on just the one vehicle.

NumberOne | 2 ottobre 2013

...should have been and then instead of and the.

TSLAholic | 2 ottobre 2013

@dlake + @Amped:


[/Brian H mode] :)

Sorry, this is a pet peeve of mine.
Oh, and PA vanity plates are a one time fee of $20, not to mention the no front plate requirement.

Gizmotoy | 2 ottobre 2013

@daveyb23: Sigh. Now I'm sad. I, too, ordered a P85 for around $102k, but it's nowhere near loaded. Stupid price increases ;-)

@hodas: thanks. That's good infor to have for next year.

jjaeger | 2 ottobre 2013

As has been stated - pg 2 of your final delivery/payment docs has the registration costs for yr 1, and you'd want to use the DMV info for your local tax component for the tax year you bought the car. Yr 2 that you received should be the expected drop from that - so not sure where the surprise part comes into this. And as noted - based on value of the car, no diff gas or electric.

Brian H | 3 ottobre 2013

Did you consider "BUYGAS"?

bbryant | 3 ottobre 2013


AmpedRealtor | 3 ottobre 2013

@ Brian H - I preferred the double entendre of BYEGAS

unclegeek | 3 ottobre 2013

@Amped. I am waiting for "GASKCKR" to arrive in the mail.. not that this is another vanity plate thread. :-)

jeffaa | 3 ottobre 2013

$1508 here in Denver.... wtf, right?

nomorefueling | 3 ottobre 2013

Planning to buy P85+ day after I retire from the Army, Spring 2014. Is there discounts for Veterans and which State has lowest vehicle registration and renewal fees?

Brian H | 4 ottobre 2013

But BUYGAS would be a triple. ;D

mrspaghetti | 4 ottobre 2013

@nomorefueling - You may have an opportunity that most people don't have. When you get out of the military I believe you can 'step into residence' anywhere in the U.S., just by changing your address and designating your state of choice before you get out. So you could set your residency to a state with no sales tax on EVs (or whatever combination of benefits works out best for you) before you retire, buy the car, then relocate to wherever you want. Presto! You have legally avoided paying thousands.

I know people who did similar things to legally avoid various state taxes, get in-state tuition rates, etc.

Consult your legal dept for advice (I am not a lawyer or accountant, but I am a veteran).

Gizmotoy | 4 ottobre 2013

@mrspaghetti: Pretty cool perk for veterans. Could save a huge chunk of change in this case.

carlk | 4 ottobre 2013

You pay to get to drive an MS. You pay to get to live in California. I don't know but maybe there is a connection between the two.

docdac | 24 ottobre 2013

Yikes! I just paid my Minnesota DVS renewal fee (license plate renewal) of $1037 for my 2012 Tesla Model SP !! It looks like MN charges about 1.1% of the new car price the first year, and tapers it down to $35 at 10 years. (Just another reason to keep this car forever!)

Roamer@AZ USA | 25 ottobre 2013

@Amped Realtor

My five year az registration on the Tesla was around 150 also. It wasn't a big deal so I didn't try to get an explanation, from the DMV girl that seemed pretty confused thru the whole process, as to why my two Nissan Leafs cost $50 for the same five year registration. Each cost $10 for the first year when I bought them and each renewed for 5 years for $50 online.

For the $100 extra it wasn't worth trying to get an answer from the clerk, but I still wonder why they came out different. It was my understanding that all zero emission were $10 a year in AZ. Will be registering a second Tesla in a few weeks and plan to ask for clarification.

Savers over $5000.00 in VLT tax to drive a zero emissions Tesla.

The real nice part was that the first time I went in to register they were so busy I left and didn't get back in to register for a month and a half. When I finally went in the temporary sales tax increase had expired and the rate had gone down one percent. Saved a $1000 dollars in sales tax because the lines were so long on my first visit.

Alex K | 26 ottobre 2013

@Roamer | OCTOBER 25, 2013: For the $100 extra it wasn't worth trying to get an answer from the clerk, but I still wonder why they came out different. It was my understanding that all zero emission were $10 a year in AZ. :

The vehicle license tax on an AFV is $4 for every $100 in assessed value. The assessed value of the AFV is determined as follows: during the first year after initial registration, the value of the AFV is 1% of the manufacturer's base retail price (as compared to 60% for conventional vehicles)

So the assessed value is 1% of the manufacturers base price and the Model S has a higher base price than a Leaf.

jeffsstuff | 26 ottobre 2013

I don't really feel sorry for anyone in CA at this point since I'll soon have to pay and, unlike the rest of you, I won't get the $2500 rebate (unless any of you have a creative... and legal... solution).

1. Ordered the car in NJ.
2. Will take delivery in mid December (no sales tax in NJ... Yippee!!!).
3. Moving to CA sometime between March and June (depending on how soon we can find a home (my wife got a new job out there and she moves out next week and the kids and I will follow).
4. When I move, I have to pay CA the tax I didn't pay to NJ if the car is less than a year old (most other states only say one month).
5. I can't claim the $2500 rebate since it only is for vehicles registered in CA initially.

So I have to pay the tax, the registration fee, NJ's registration fee and don't get the $2500! It just feels like I should be entitled to one or the other. I don't expect both but one would be nice.