Roadshow extra: Can I deduct California vehicle fees on my taxes?

“Ask the DMV” press release, February 2014, from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, www.dmv.ca.gov. Questions can be e-maile d to AskDMV@dmv.ca.gov.

Q. How do I find the vehicle license fee part of my annual vehicle registration fee, which I’ve heard may be deducted on my income tax?

A. The vehicle license fee part of your payment is the only part of your annual vehicle registration payment that may be deducted on your income tax. The vehicle license fee can be found on your Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice or you can check on our website at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/FeeCalculatorWeb/index.jsp, will help determine the Vehicle License Fee.

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Q. Who is eligible to renew their driver license online via the Internet?

A. You are eligible to renew your driver license online if you meet the eligibility for renewal by mail by answering NO to all of the following questions:

  • Have you already received two consecutive five year extensions by mail?
  • Has your license been expired for more than one year?
  • Are you currently on any type of driving probation?
  • Does your driver license expire more than 60 days from today’s date?
  • Will you be 70 years of age or older when your current driver license expires?
  • Do you have a driver license from more than one state or jurisdiction?
  • Were you convicted of any moving violations in the past two yars?
  • Did you violate a written promise to appear in court within the last two years?
  • Were you suspended within the past two years for driving under the influence, or for refusing, or failing to complete a chemical or preliminary alcohol screening test?
  • Have you had any health or vision changes within the last 5 years that affect your ability to drive safely?
    Additionally, in order to process your renewal online, you must:
  • Be the person named on the renewal notice.
  • Not have a change of address.
  • Have a valid credit card or a checking account.

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Q. I’m not sure how much I’ll have to pay for my vehicle registration and I’m trying to budget for it. Is there a way to find out how much I’ll have to pay?

Yes. By going online at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/FeeCalculatorWeb/index.jsp, you will find a vehicle registration fee calculator which allows you to calculate an estimate of vehicle registration fees and determine Vehicle License Fees (VLF) for tax purposes. Save Time, Go Online! Visit www.dmv.ca.gov or call 1-800-777-0133 for customer service.

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Q. My father recently took his car to Mexico. I was wondering what forms and/or steps are to be followed now. I went ahead and filled out the online Affidavit of Non-Use Form. Is there something else that we need to do?

A. Customers should file a Change of Address and send a letter to DMV (or use a Statement of Facts-REG 256) with this information:

  • Provide the vehicle description – make, year model, California plate number and vehicle identification number.
  • Stating the vehicle was removed from the State and where it was taken.
  • Provide date (MM/DD/CCYY) the vehicle left the State.

Once received, a status can be updated to the vehicle record so that billing notices are not issued and prevents collection activity when the vehicle registration expires. The Affidavit of Non-Use is only for reporting cancellation of vehicle insurance.