A couple of Road Warrior readers have asked about websites offering to handle your DMV registration renewals for a fee. Are they legit? Should I use them?

For example, when you google “California DMV,” the first website listed is cartagz.com, probably because it’s paid a fee to Google for the prominence. Cartagz.com charges $29 plus a convenience fee of $4.50, in addition to the DMV fee to process a registration renewal. Other charges also may apply.

DMV spokesman Jaime Garza said cartagz.com is among hundreds of businesses licensed by the DMV to handle certain DMV services. Some are websites, some are stores and businesses that offer the service in addition to their regular business, such as AAA. Typically, you have to pay extra to use their service.

He said the DMV licenses these businesses because some drivers prefer to deal with them rather than the DMV.

I couldn’t find a phone number for cartagz.com on its website and it wasn’t listed in AT&T’s phone listing, but on its website cartagz.com touts that “as California’s leading vehicle registration service, Cartagz.com helps people save time and avoid trips to the DMV through this unique and easy to use online service.”

But he noted: “The middlemen do it for a fee, but you can so the same transaction on our website and not pay a dime,” other than the DMV fee.

To go to the DMV site,


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  1. ER

    I just use the DMV’s web site, very convenient.

    November 22nd, 2011 6:21 pm

  2. Jeff T

    The DMV’s website is so easy and clear, I can’t imagine why someone would pay an outside ‘middleman’ anything extra. The website is the one thing the DMV actually DOES do well!

    November 23rd, 2011 11:08 am

  3. Andrew

    AAA will handle your vehicle reg renewal at their offices and hand you the stickers immediately.

    November 23rd, 2011 11:38 am

  4. JR

    AAA members used to be able to do DMV registration for free at AAA but they now charge an additional $4.00 fee. From now on I will be using the Post Office for the cost of a stamp.

    November 23rd, 2011 12:18 pm

  5. karenvb

    ER is right. Not only is it convenient, it is efficient and very fast. Our tags come in the mail in about a week after the transaction. Couldn’t be better. Beats going to the DMV in person, and also beats paying someone else a fee to do what you can do all by yourself.

    November 23rd, 2011 12:19 pm

  6. Keith

    JR is correct AAA now charges a fee. It is because the DMV used to let them do it free as a convenience to their members. DMV now charges AAA a licensing fee which is then passed on to the member. Not only is the DMV website convenient, but you can make appointments at the local DMV office and sail right through.

    November 23rd, 2011 3:16 pm

  7. Igor

    Listen to this…..I sent in a Non-Op certificate and paid the non-op fee (I have the cancelled check with the license number) which was mailed into Sacramento. They deny receiving the signed form, refuse to acknowledge the cancelled check as evidence, AND offset the non-op fee against what their computer is assessing in delinquent penalties. I expect that with the budget cuts this is going to be a everyday occurance ( possibly from a order from “higher up”). I don’t trust the processors one bit, and from now on I’ll use the online system and print out confirmations. As one off duty CHP officer said …. “our union is pressuring us to issue violations for the least trivial violation as a way to increase revenues”. I heard it…and yes he was in a bar, drinking, and drove away…..

    November 23rd, 2011 4:03 pm

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