Tesla Registration Fee California: All You Need To Know

Last updated on April 18th, 2023 at 11:18 pm

Most cities have rules and laws guiding the registration of your car. If you intend to drive your car in California, you must know what is required of you.

California has specific rules guiding the registration of your Tesla. These guidelines include the amount you are charged as a registration fee.

In this article, you will know how much it costs to register your Tesla and whether electric cars need to pay road tax in California.

According to the laws in California, you are required to register your Tesla with a registration fee of 100 dollars. Depending on the model of the Tesla you own, you will be required to pay an annual charge of up to 175 dollars.

How Much Is the Annual Registration Fee for Tesla in California?

Tesla Registration Fee California

The annual registration fee for Tesla in California costs between 100 dollars and 175 dollars. The variation in charges depends on the model of Tesla you are registering.

The registration charges are a result of a legislative bill passed in 2017. This bill affords the state of California the right to charge electric vehicle owners for registration.

Depending on the cost of your Tesla, the amount you pay will vary. The more expensive and recent models of tesla cars will attract more charges as registration fees.

You don’t have to panic; these laws are applicable in other states in America. Although the amount varies, those Tesla vehicles are also charged.

For recent models of the Tesla car, the amounts charged are higher than older models of the car. The Department of motor vehicles also issues a car license.

The motor vehicle department will charge 25 dollars for Tesla cars worth around 5,000 dollars.

In comparison, You would charge up electric vehicles worth around 60,000 to 175 dollars annually. The Department of Motor Vehicles announced this information. 

According to recent reports by the California new car dealers’ association, California recorded a surge in the registration of new Tesla vehicles.

In this report, the association informed the public that Tesla’s new registration grew by 70% within a year.

Despite the registration cost for all tesla models, the index shows sales have significantly risen in California.

California alone constitutes one – eight of all sales of Tesla vehicles. The state government issued a statement detailing the reason for the fee.

Many residents of California believe that the state government would use the money generated for infrastructure.

The public infrastructure targeted would help reduce the greenhouse emission of the state.

How Much Is Tesla’s Late Registration Fee in California?

The least amount charged for late registration for your Tesla is 20 dollars for up to 10 days. This amount varies depending on the model you drive and the duration of the offense.

The late registration fee is calculated as the vehicle’s license and weight fee percentage.

The set percentage charge is 10%. That is, 10% of your license fee is added to 10 % of your vehicle’s weight fee. The total is the amount you will pay as a late registration fee.

The Department of Motor Vehicle charges a late fee based on the range of days in view. These days are grouped into 1-10 days, 11-30 days, and 31 days a year.

There are charges for defaulters whose late registration spans periods beyond two years. These ranges attract a higher percentage of charges for late registration.

For periods between 11 and 30 days, the set mark is 20%. The late registration fee is calculated by adding 20% of the license fee with 20% of the weight of your Tesla.

For periods within the range of 31days and a year, the set mark is 60%. The late registration fee is calculated by adding 60% of the license fee with 60% of the weight of your Tesla.

For a period above two years, the set mark is 80%. The late registration fee is calculated by adding 80% of the license fee with 80% of the weight of your Tesla.

You can find the expiry date of your registration fee on the back of your registration card. It will be best to pay up your registration fees before the expiry date of your registration period.

You have to be sure about the expiry date of your registration because the Department of motor vehicles in California will not be extending any grace period.

Period of expiryPercentage change in the registration feePercentage change in weight of the carTotal charge percentage.
1-10 days10 %10 %20 %
11-30 days20 %20 %40 %
31 days to 1 year60 %60 %120 %
One year to 2 years60 %60 %120 %
Above two years80 %80 %160 %

What Is the Cost of a Tesla Vehicle License in California?

The cost of acquiring a vehicle license for your Tesla in California ranges between 100 and 175 dollars. The variation in charges depends on the model of Tesla you are registering.

This license is not permanent. You are required to renew your license annually. It would be best if you do not forget the date for your license renewal.

If you do not renew your license as of when due, you will be charged based on the length of time after which you default.

The cost of a tesla vehicle license varies. This variation depends on the model of the Tesla you drive. More recent models of Tesla attract higher license charges than older versions.

You can register your Tesla in person, or Tesla can handle all the paper works for you. In California, the Department for motor Vehicles will issue you temporary papers.

This temporary license is valid for 30 business days. This time interval allows Tesla enough time to process your papers.

Once your papers are processed, you will receive the papers via mail and are fully licensed. Before your license arrives, the temporal papers serve all the license functions.

Do Electric Cars Need to Pay Road Tax in California?

Electric cars are exempted from paying road taxes. You do not need to pay the road tax for using your electric car in California.

Cars that drive on electricity are not required to pay the road tax. This exemption is because the cars do not use gas.

The road tax is normally levied on cars that use gas. The amount raised as a tax is used to curb greenhouse emissions.

Aside from curtailing the effect of greenhouse emissions, the road tax levied by the motor vehicle department is used to upgrade and maintain the infrastructure in California.

These infrastructures include road repairs and bridge construction. The state also uses the money to maintain the markings on the road and the street lights.

The Department of Motor Vehicles charges cars that use gas based on many criteria. These criteria include the weight of the car and the expected mileage of the car.

Many car users in California suggest that these charges are unfair. In recent times, owners of electric vehicles have been charged registration fees.

The fees paid by electric car owners are higher compared to those paid by owners of gasoline cars. 

Final Thoughts

You can register your Tesla for 100 dollars. Depending on your model, it could cost 175 dollars. These charges are paid annually.

In California, the Department of motor vehicle charges for late registration. Depending on a car owner’s default period, a certain percentage is charged off the duration.

Electric cars like your Tesla do not need to pay road taxes. These taxes are for cars that run on gas.

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