How Long Does it Take to Get My Registration Sticker in the Mail (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 Weeks

You just took a huge leap forward in life and bought yourself a brand-new car! You’re very excited about this new addition in your life and can’t wait for your future ventures on the wheels. However, before you can start driving your car around at will, you have to deal with the vehicle registration process. The state law requires anyone with ownership of a car to get it registered with their state’s transportation agency or the Department of Motor Vehicles. Failing to do so could end up getting you penalized with a fine, ticket, or a possible impoundment. Once issued, the registration is valid for about 15 years after which it needs to be renewed every five years.

How Long Does it Take to Get My Registration Sticker in the Mail

How Long Does it Take to Get My Registration Sticker in the Mail?

It is essential to carry your vehicle registration sticker and insurance certificate with you when driving or else you may be penalized. The registration is important as it connects the car with the owner. Whether registering for the first time or renewing your registration, you need to pay a fee and provide details about your car.

It takes approximately 14 days to get your registration sticker in the mail. However, it could also take 4 to 6 weeks depending on the service. Some services such as NeedTags provide advanced renewal services and deliver registration cards and stickers within a day. The free First-Class USPS option allows you to receive your registration sticker within 1-3 business days. The service doesn’t delay your delivery if you want your order shipped to an address other than provided in the file. The digital registration card is delivered immediately to the provided e-mail.   

Type of Delivery ServiceDelivery period
Regular Service2 Weeks
Delayed Service4-6 Weeks
Overnight Service1-3 Business Days
How Long Does it Take to Get My Registration Sticker in the Mail

The registration process can be operated in person, online or, via mail. It involves some paperwork regarding details about the car and information about the owner. Registration renewal by mail requires the owner to verify their personal and vehicle information on the form and submit it along with the registration fee. They may also need to pass an emissions inspection or smog test within a given date as specified in the renewal form.

Why Does it Take so Long to Get My Registration Sticker in the Mail?

Once the registration is processed and approved by the country tax office, it can take anywhere between 7 to 10 business days to deliver the registration sticker and renewal cards in the mail. However, the tax office may take over 3 to 5 business days to approve the registration or renewal appeal. Overall, the entire process adds up to 2 weeks. Services like NeedTags process the renewal the same day as applied and deliver the registration card overnight.

Registration by mail, however, takes much longer than online or in-person registration. Often at times, they may take a month to process and further delay the wait to receive the registration stickers. Some transactions are specially processed by hand for multiple reasons and may take weeks to get approved by the DMV.

DMV also offers other convenient methods to apply for a renewal which include their self-service terminal. The self-service kiosks, which can be found throughout the state, print registration stickers on the spot and also deal with other issues.


The registration sticker could take four weeks or longer to arrive by mail. It is thus, advisable to apply for a renewal a month before the previous registration expires. If your old registration expires before you receive your new sticker, there is no need to worry. State law enforcement officers allow a grace period of about two months after the expiry of your vehicle registration before they start charging fines and penalty fees. The California Vehicle Code Section 4606 grants you permission to operate your vehicle while waiting for approval for your registration from the DMV.


One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️