The Complete Guide to the DMV and Why you Should Never Ignore a Ticket

Introduction: What is the DMV and What is it Supposed to Do?

The Department of Motor Vehicles is a place where your vehicle is licensed. If you have a driver’s license, you have to go to the DMV. Your DMV visit will cost you a little money and time, but it’s worth it — there are many benefits that come from registering your car with the state. One such benefit is that if you’re pulled over for speeding or any other traffic infraction and the officer does not know who you are (i.e. you do not have valid ID on your person or in your car), the officer will be able to contact the DMV to get all of that information. If you’re pulled over and you’re found driving with a suspended license, and there’s proof that you are aware of this suspension, this can lead to an arrest — so be sure to keep track of any changes in your license status.
The Department of Motor Vehicles is also important because it registers your car, issues you a title for this car, and issues you license plates for the car. This makes it possible for your car to be in operation on public roads. In the event that you sell your car, the DMV will provide ownership transfer paperwork to transfer title of the vehicle from yourself to the new buyer. There are a lot of things that you can do to protect yourself in the event of a car accident, but registering your vehicle with the DMV is one of the most important things that you can do.

do they weigh you at the dmv
do they weigh you at the dmv

What You Didn’t Know You Needed to Bring to Your DMV Appointment

Your proof of insurance and valid form of ID that is up to date are things you will most likely have in your car, but you’ll also need to bring your vehicle’s registration and proof of ownership. If the ownership is written on the title, you’ll be ok – if not, it might be a good idea to bring the original papers along with you. You’ll also need to bring the outstanding balance(s) on your tags and any renewal notices and other updates. If you’re going to have any problems, don’t forget to bring a copy of your insurance card, in case the DMV officer has a question about whether or not you have proof of insurance.
You’ll need to bring your vehicle’s keys, too. If you go inside, chances are you won’t be allowed to leave unless (a) you have a valid reason .. or (b) you take your keys with you.
If you’re planning to trade in a vehicle and have the trade-in title, registration and current proof of insurance for your trade-in, it might be a good idea to give these to the DMV officer before he/she even asks for them because once they ask for them .. you don’t want to be waiting around for them, do you?

do they weigh you at the dmv
do they weigh you at the dmv

How Long Does it Take & How Much Does it Cost to Go To The DMV?

You’ll have to go to the DMV about once a year for your vehicle registration and for renewed tags. If you’ve already been pulled over and given a ticket, you can go to the DMV right away — there will be no waiting on hold. The cost is $20 for either your vehicle registration or the renewal of your tags, whichever applies. You can find out which is which by looking at the tag or registration sticker on your car (the registration sticker should be placed on the inside wing of your windshield). If you need both, you can save $10 by getting them done together.
If you got a ticket and went to court first, then you can go to the DMV at the same time as your court date; it’s in the same building. If you haven’t been to court, you must schedule an appointment to go to the DMV. It’s best if you call or make an appointment at least a week before your court date — this will help ensure that there aren’t any conflicts in dates or times.

do they weigh you at the dmv
do they weigh you at the dmv

What Fees Can You Be Charged for a Traffic Violation?

Generally, you’ll only be charged for the traffic infraction itself. If your license is already suspended for another infraction (like a DUI or DWI), you’ll be fined as well. If you’ve never had your license suspended before, you’ll have to pay a fine of $120 — and that’s if you’re lucky! The fine can increase to $300 and even up to $500 if additional conditions are met. If you have multiple tickets, the highest fine will be taken into consideration. If your license has been temporarily suspended (i.e. it was taken away from you after you were charged with a DUI or DWI), it won’t be taken away permanently. You will, however, have to pay a $120 fine (i.e. if the temporary suspension is up) and have your license suspended for at least 60 days — and up to 90 days if multiple tickets are involved.

do they weigh you at the dmv
do they weigh you at the dmv

Conclusion and Final Thoughts on The DMV

We hope that this article has been helpful for you! If you have any questions or concerns about the information in this article, please post a comment to let us know. We’ll do our best to answer your question as quickly as possible. As always, please don’t hesitate to leave any questions or comments you may have below. To receive a notification when we publish our next post, click on the red bell icon on the top right side to subscribe to our blog.
Thanks for reading!
-The End Is Near! Team
9/19/15 UPDATE: FYI, this is still a relatively “new” article and we have since published many more DMV related articles where you can learn other valuable information regarding the DMV (DMV hours of operation, DMV wait times, addresses & phone numbers of DMV offices in California etc.). Feel free to read more articles/look for videos at the end of this article.

do they weigh you at the dmv
do they weigh you at the dmv