Chapter 2.5. Registration Services of California Vehicle Code >> Division 5. >> Chapter 2.5.
No person shall act as a registration service, engage in the
business of soliciting or receiving any application for the
registration, renewal of registration, or transfer of registration or
ownership of any vehicle of a type subject to registration under
this code, or of soliciting or receiving an application for a motor
carrier permit under Division 14.85 (commencing with Section 34600),
or transmit or present any of those documents to the department, if
any compensation is solicited or received for the service, without a
license or temporary permit issued by the department pursuant to this
chapter, or if that license or temporary permit has expired or been
canceled, suspended, or revoked, or the terms and conditions of an
agreement entered into pursuant to Section 11408 have not been
An applicant for a license to be a registration service
shall submit an application to the department upon the appropriate
form for a license and a distinguishing number. The applicant shall
also include with the application any information as to the applicant'
s character, honesty, integrity, and reputation which the department
requires. The application shall include, but not be limited to, all
of the following:
(a) The type of ownership, whether an individual, a partnership,
or a corporation. If the applicant is a partnership, the names and
titles of all partners, except limited partners, shall be furnished.
If the applicant is a corporation, the names and titles of all
controlling stockholders, directors, and officers who, by reason of
the facts and circumstances, could direct, control, or manage the
business of the registration service shall be furnished.
(b) The name and address of the business, including street, city,
and postal zip code of the principal place of business and any branch
(c) A personal history statement and fingerprints from any person
required to be identified in subdivision (a), containing the
information the department requires.
(d) The name, address, driver's license number, and a brief
physical description of all persons employed or otherwise engaged by
the registration service to perform registration work.
(e) A bond executed by an admitted surety insurer, approved as to
form by the Attorney General, to cover any loss to the public or the
State of California arising out of the operation of the registration
(f) A nonrefundable application fee, as specified in Section
(a) The amount of the bond required by subdivision (e) of
Section 11401 for the issuance of a registration service license, or
for the renewal of such a license is twenty-five thousand dollars
($25,000). Liability under the bond shall remain at that amount.
(b) If the amount of the liability under the bond is decreased, or
there is outstanding a final court judgment arising out of a
violation of any provision of this code for which the registration
service is liable, the license of the registration service shall be
automatically suspended. In order to reinstate the license, the
registration service shall either file an additional bond or restore
the bond on file to the original amount, or shall satisfy the
outstanding judgment for which the registration service and surety
(c) The bond shall remain in effect for three years after
cessation of business of the registration service.
(a) A license to conduct a registration service, or a
renewal of that license, shall not be issued to any applicant unless
the applicant files with the department an instrument, in writing, in
which the applicant appoints the director as the agent of the
applicant upon whom all process may be served in any action which may
be commenced against the applicant arising out of any claim for
damages by any person by reason of the violation by the applicant of
any provision of this code in connection with the registration
service or any condition of the registration service's bond.
(b) The applicant shall agree in the instrument that any process
directed to the applicant, when personal service of process upon the
applicant cannot be made in this state after due diligence and, in
that case, is served upon the director or, in the event of the
director's absence from the office, upon any employee in charge of
the office of the director, is of the same force and effect as if
served upon the applicant personally.
(c) The applicant shall further agree, in writing, that the agency
created by the instrument shall continue during the period covered
by any license that may be issued and so long thereafter as the
applicant may be required to answer in damages for a violation of
this code in connection with the registration service or any
condition of the bond.
(d) The instrument appointing the director as the agent for the
applicant for service of process shall be acknowledged by the
applicant before a notary public.
(e) If the registration service is served with process by service
upon the director, one copy of the summons and complaint shall be
left with the director or in the director's office in Sacramento or
mailed to the office of the director in Sacramento. A fee of five
dollars ($5) shall also be paid to the director at the time of
service of the copy of the summons and complaint.
(f) Service on the director is a sufficient service on the
registration service if a notice of service and a copy of the summons
and complaint are immediately sent by registered mail by the
plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney to the registration service. A
copy of the summons and complaint shall also be mailed by the
plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney to the surety on the
registration service's bond at the address of the surety given in the
bond, postpaid and registered with request for return receipt.
(g) The director shall keep a record of all process served on the
director pursuant to this section, which shall show the day and hour
of service, and shall retain the summons and complaint so served on
(h) If the registration service is served with process by service
upon the director, the registration service has 30 days from the date
of that service within which to answer any complaint or other
pleading which may be filed in the cause.
(i) For purposes of venue, if the registration service is served
with process by service upon the director, the service is deemed to
have been made upon the registration service in the county in which
the registration service has, or last had, its principal place of
(a) Until the department determines that the applicant meets
all of the requirements of this chapter, it may issue a temporary
permit to the person applying for a license as a registration
(b) The temporary permit shall permit the operation by the
registration service or registration agent for not more than 120 days
while the department is completing its investigation and
determination of all facts relative to the qualifications of the
applicant for the license. The department may cancel the temporary
permit when it has determined that the application is incorrect or
incomplete or that the temporary permit was issued in error.
(c) The temporary permit is invalid when canceled or when the
license has been issued or refused.
The department may refuse to issue a license to, or may
suspend, revoke, or cancel the license of, a person to act as a
registration service for any of the following reasons:
(a) The person has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving
moral turpitude which is substantially related to the
qualifications, functions, or duties of the licensed activity.
(b) The person is, or has been, the holder, or a managerial
employee of the holder, of any occupational license issued by the
department which has been suspended or revoked.
(c) The applicant was previously the holder of an occupational
license issued by another state, authorizing the same or similar
activities of a license issued under this division; and that license
was revoked or suspended for cause and was never reissued, or was
suspended for cause, and the terms of suspension have not been
(d) The person has used a false or fictitious name, knowingly made
any false statement, or knowingly concealed any material fact, in
the application for the license.
(e) The person has knowingly made, or acted with negligence or
incompetence, or knowingly or negligently accepted or failed to
inquire about any false, erroneous, or incorrect statement or
information submitted to the registration service or the department
in the course of the licensed activity.
(f) The person has knowingly or negligently permitted fraud, or
willfully engaged in fraudulent practices, with reference to clients,
vehicle registrants, applicants for motor carrier permits under
Division 14.85 (commencing with Section 34600), or members of the
public, or the department in the course of the licensed activity.
(g) The person has knowingly or negligently committed or was
responsible for any violation, cause for license refusal, or cause
for discipline under Section 20 or Division 3 (commencing with
Section 4000), Division 3.5 (commencing with Section 9840), Division
4 (commencing with Section 10500), or Division 5 (commencing with
Section 11100), or Division 14.85 (commencing with Section 34600), or
any rules or regulations adopted under those provisions.
(h) The person has failed to obtain and maintain an established
place of business in California.
(i) The person has failed to keep the business records required by
(j) The person has violated any term or condition of a restricted
license to act as a registration service.
(k) The person has committed or was responsible for any other act,
occurrence, or event in California or any foreign jurisdiction which
would be cause to refuse to issue a license to, or to suspend,
revoke, or cancel the license of, a person to act as a registration
(a) Every registration service shall keep accurate business
records containing all of the following information:
(1) The name, address, and license number of the registration
service and the name and address of every employee who performs
(2) The name and address of each client for whom registration work
(3) The identity of every vehicle by year, make, type, license
number, and vehicle identification number on which registration work
(4) The amount of registration fees or payments collected for each
vehicle on which registration work was performed, including the
method of payment to the registration service.
(5) The amount of registration fees or payments submitted to the
department for each vehicle on which registration work was performed,
including the date and method of payment to the department.
(6) The amount of any refunds or additional charges on
registration fees or payments collected for each vehicle on which
registration work was performed, including the date and method of
payment of the refund or additional charge by or to the client, the
registration service, or the department.
(7) The name, signature, or initials of each employee performing
work on each transaction and the date the work was done.
(8) The cost to each client for the registration work performed on
each of the client's vehicles or to obtain a motor carrier permit.
(9) For each motor carrier for which motor carrier permit work was
performed, the carrier identification number, business type,
business address, carrier type, activities, and number of vehicles.
(10) For each motor carrier for which motor carrier permit work
was performed, the amount of fees or payment collected and the method
(11) For each motor carrier for which motor carrier permit work
was performed, the amount of fees or payment submitted to the
department, including the date submitted and the method of payment to
(b) As an alternative to maintaining the records required by
paragraphs (1) to (11), inclusive, of subdivision (a), a registration
service may retain a copy of the listing sheet approved by the
department for transmitting registration or motor carrier permit
documents to the department.
(c) Every registration service shall provide each customer with a
document containing all of the information required by subdivision
(a) relative to that customer's transaction, excluding paragraph (7)
and excluding the addresses of employees and other customers' names
and addresses. This requirement does not apply to transactions for
customers of a dealer or dismantler.
(d) Every registration service shall display prominently at its
place of business a sign indicating that the service is not a branch
of the department and shall inform each customer of that fact.
(e) Every registration service shall provide a disclosure to each
customer that the services described in Section 11400 may be provided
by the department without an additional fee. If a registration
service is providing a service described in Section 11400 in person,
the disclosure required pursuant to this subdivision shall be in
writing. If a registration service is providing a service described
in Section 11400 on an Internet Web site, the disclosure required
pursuant to this subdivision shall be in a conspicuous place on the
Internet Web site.
Whenever a customer fails to submit to a registration
service any documents, compensation, or fees requested in writing by
the registration service, the registration service shall return all
documents pertaining to the incomplete transaction, including the
department receipt evidencing any fees paid, within 60 days after the
request was sent to the customer, to the last known address of the
customer, by registered mail.
The business records required by Section 11406 shall be
maintained for at least four years and shall be open to inspection by
the department during normal business hours.
The department may duplicate or make a record of any information
contained in any of those records, which shall be for the official
use of the department.
All records shall be returned to the licensee not later than 30
days after receipt of the records by the department.
(a) The director may issue an order to grant an unrestricted
or a restricted license to act as a registration service, or an
order to deny, suspend, revoke, or cancel a license to act as a
(b) The order shall become final 30 days from issuance, unless the
denied or restricted applicant or licensee files with the department
a request for a hearing. Hearings shall be held pursuant to Chapter
5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2
of the Government Code.
(c) Any registration service may be served with an accusation
issued pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part
1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code by registered mail
to the address of the principal place of business on file with the
department, whether or not the business has been closed or
terminated, unless the registration service has notified the
department in writing of another address where service shall be made.
(d) The department may, pending a hearing, temporarily suspend the
license issued to a registration service for not more than 30 days
if the director finds that action is required in the public interest.
In that case, a hearing shall be held and a decision issued within
30 days after notice of the temporary suspension or cancellation.
(e) The director may, following the filing of a statement of
issues or an accusation against an applicant or a registration
service, with the consent of the applicant or licensee, enter into a
compromise settlement agreement with a stipulated restriction or
penalty whereby the applicant or licensee accepts the terms and
conditions of the agreement without hearing or appeal by any party
(1) The compromise settlement agreement may provide for a
restricted license, special operating terms and conditions, a higher
bond, a monetary penalty, or any other term or condition agreeable to
(2) The compromise settlement agreement shall be signed by the
respondent applicant or licensee, the director, and the accuser, or
their authorized representatives, and filed with the Office of
Administrative Hearings, together with the department's notice of
withdrawal of the statement of issues or the accusation upon which
the action was initiated.
(3) A failure of the respondent applicant or licensee to carry out
a compromise settlement agreement entered into under this section is
a separate cause to refuse to issue, or to suspend, revoke, or
cancel, any license authorizing the respondent to act as a
(f) Any person whose license to act as a registration service was
suspended for cause and the terms of the suspension are unfulfilled,
or whose license was revoked for cause, may reapply for a license to
act as a registration service after not less than one year from the
effective date of the suspension or revocation action.
(g) The issuance of a new license to that person is within the
sole discretion of the department, and a hearing regarding that
issuance shall be held only upon the consent of the director.
The fee for a license issued to a registration service is as
(a) For the original license, or an ownership change which
requires a new application, one hundred fifty dollars ($150), which
(b) For the annual renewal of a license, fifteen dollars ($15).
(c) For the alteration of an existing license required by a name
change, address change, change in corporate officer structure, or the
addition of a branch location, seventy dollars ($70).
(a) Every license issued under this chapter is valid for a
period of one year from the last day of the month of issuance. Except
as provided in subdivision (c), renewal of the license for the
ensuing year may be obtained by the person to whom the license was
issued upon application to the department and payment of the fee
required by Section 11409.
(b) An application for the renewal of a license shall be made by
the licensee not more than 90 days prior to the expiration date and
shall be made by presenting the completed application form provided
by the department and by payment of the renewal fee.
(c) If the application for renewal of the license is not made by
midnight of the expiration date, the application may be made within
30 days following expiration of the license by paying the annual
renewal fee and a penalty fee equal to the amount of the original
application fee for each license held.
(d) A licensee shall not renew the license after the expiration of
the 30-day period specified in subdivision (c).
If a registration service ceases operation for any reason,
the owner of the service immediately shall notify the department and,
upon demand by the department, shall deliver to the department the
registration service license, all records kept pursuant to Section
11406, and all customer transactions then in his or her possession,
including any fees or receipts for fees due to the department or to
The suspension, expiration, or cancellation of a
registration service license provided for in this chapter shall not
prevent the filing of an accusation for the revocation or suspension
of the suspended, expired, or canceled license as provided in Section
11405 or 11408 or any related rules or regulations, and the
department's decision that the license should be suspended or
revoked. That determination may be considered in granting or refusing
to grant any subsequent license authorized by this division to that
licensee or to a business representative of that prior licensee.