Article 1. Exemption Of Nonresidents of California Vehicle Code >> Division 3. >> Chapter 4. >> Article 1.
(a) Except as provided in Section 6700.2, the owner of any
vehicle of a type otherwise subject to registration under this code,
other than a commercial vehicle registered in a foreign jurisdiction,
may operate the vehicle in this state until gainful employment is
accepted in this state or until residency is established in this
state, whichever occurs first, if the vehicle displays valid license
plates and has a valid registration issued to the owner, and the
owner was a resident of that state at the time of issuance.
Application to register the vehicle shall be made within 20 days
after gainful employment is accepted in this state or residency is
established in this state.
(b) A nonresident owner of a vehicle, otherwise exempt from
registration pursuant to this section or Section 6700.2, may operate
or permit operation of the vehicle in this state without registering
the vehicle in this state if the vehicle is registered in the place
of residence of the owner and displays upon it valid license plates
issued by that place. This exemption does not apply if the
nonresident owner rents, leases, lends, or otherwise furnishes the
vehicle to a California resident for regular use on the highways of
this state, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 4000.4.
(c) Any resident who operates upon a highway of this state a
vehicle owned by a nonresident who furnished the vehicle to the
resident operator for his or her regular use within this state, as
defined in subdivision (b) of Section 4000.4, shall cause the vehicle
to be registered in California within 20 days after its first
operation within this state by the resident.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the
department may issue an in-transit permit to a resident of a foreign
country not more than 30 days before or after the foreign resident
purchases a new motor vehicle in California which was manufactured in
the United States. The permit authorizes the operation of the
vehicle for which it is purchased for up to 30 consecutive days after
the first date of operation, and is in lieu of any other
registration requirements, including, but not limited to, fees or
taxes required by this code or the Revenue and Taxation Code. The
seller shall ship or drive the vehicle out of this country before or
at the end of 30 consecutive days from the first date of operation,
or thereafter shall be subject to, and shall be required to pay, all
charges and registration requirements for vehicles subject to
registration in this state. In addition, if the vehicle is not so
removed from this country, the department shall assess, and the
seller shall be required to pay, a penalty of 20 percent of the
vehicle registration and license fees and sales tax due upon the
vehicle becoming subject to registration.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to commercial vehicles.
(c) Proof of residency in a foreign country for purposes of this
section shall be established through the presentation of a valid
visa, passport, or other suitable documentation, as determined by the
(d) A fee of sixty dollars ($60) shall be paid to the department
for each in-transit permit issued.
(e) A permit issued under this section shall be displayed in the
manner permitted by paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section
(f) The permit issued by the department shall clearly and
prominently indicate the date of expiration of the authorized
in-transit driving privilege.
(g) No California certificate of ownership shall be issued.
(h) A manufacturer's certificate of origin shall prominently
indicate that the certificate is valid for transfer of ownership to
the purchaser only outside of the United States, the District of
Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
(i) Notwithstanding Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001) of
Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, the manufacturer of a
new motor vehicle sold to a foreign purchaser under the conditions
specified in Section 6366.2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code shall
reimburse the retailer for an amount equal to the sales tax and all
registration charges and fees, and a penalty of 20 percent of those
taxes, charges, and fees if the conditions of the in-transit permit
are not met, as specified in this section.
(a) Notwithstanding Section 4000.4, subdivision (a) of
Section 6700, or Section 6702, a nonresident daily commuter may
operate a motor vehicle on the highways of this state only if all of
the following conditions are met:
(1) The motor vehicle is a passenger vehicle or a commercial
vehicle of less than 8,001 pounds unladen weight with not more than
two axles of the type commonly referred to as a pickup truck.
(2) The motor vehicle is used regularly to transport passengers on
the highways of this state principally between, and to and from, the
place of residence in a contiguous state and the place of employment
in this state by the owner of the motor vehicle and for no other
(3) The motor vehicle is not used in the course of a business
within this state, including the transportation of property other
than incidental personal property between, and to or from, the place
of residence in a contiguous state and the place of employment of the
motor vehicle owner in this state.
(4) Nothing in paragraphs (2) and (3) prohibits a nonresident
daily commuter operating a motor vehicle that displays currently
valid external vehicle identification indicia and who possess a
corresponding identification card issued pursuant to Section 6700.25
from using that vehicle for other lawful purposes.
(b) The exception to registration of a motor vehicle under the
conditions specified in this section does not supersede any other
exception to registration under other conditions provided by law.
(c) This section does not apply to a resident of a foreign
(a) The department shall provide a nonresident daily
commuter with external vehicle identification indicia and a
corresponding identification card, upon application therefor and
completion of the form required by Section 6700.3, which indicia and
card shall be valid for a period of two years. A vehicle shall be
exempt from Sections 4000.4 and 6700 when operated with the requisite
indicia and otherwise in accordance with this chapter.
(b) Subdivision (a) applies only to residents and vehicles of
residents of a contiguous state which has enacted laws that provide
reciprocal privileges to California residents who are employed in the
contiguous state. Subdivision (a) does not apply to residents of
(c) Subdivision (a) applies only to the vehicles specified in
paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 6700.2.
(d) Subdivision (a) applies only to vehicles which are licensed in
a foreign jurisdiction that are used to commute into California to a
destination within a corridor in this state that parallels the
border between California and the contiguous state and extends not
more than 35 air miles into California from the border at any point.
The privilege accorded by subdivision (a) shall be revoked by
operation of the vehicle for commuter purposes beyond that 35-mile
(e) The department shall charge a service fee of fifteen dollars
($15) for each vehicle.
(a) An application by a nonresident daily commuter for
indicia and an identification card pursuant to Section 6700.25 shall
be filed with the department.
(b) The department shall prescribe a form to be completed by the
applicant which shall include all of the following information:
(1) The vehicle license number and the vehicle identification
number (VIN) of the vehicle that will display the nonresident daily
(2) The name of the registered owner of the vehicle that will
display the indicia.
(3) A statement that the applicant is a nonresident daily commuter
as defined in Section 435.5.
(4) A statement that the indicia will be displayed upon a
qualified vehicle as specified in Section 6700.4.
(5) A statement that the place of employment of the nonresident
daily commuter is within the 35-mile corridor specified in
subdivision (d) of Section 6700.25.
A nonresident daily commuter indicia shall be displayed in
a location on the vehicle which is clearly visible and adjacent to
the rear license plate. The corresponding nonresident daily commuter
identification card shall be carried at all times in the assigned
vehicle and shall be presented to any California peace officer upon
(a) Any nonresident owner of a vehicle registered in a
foreign state who is a member or spouse of a member of the armed
forces of the United States on active duty within this state, and any
resident owner of a vehicle registered in a foreign state who is a
member or spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States
returning from active duty in a foreign state, may operate the
vehicle in this state without securing California registration after
satisfying all of the following requirements:
(1) The license plates displayed on the vehicle are valid plates
issued by a foreign jurisdiction.
(2) The vehicle registration and license plates are issued to the
military person or spouse of the military person.
(3) The vehicle registration and license plates were issued by the
foreign jurisdiction where the military person was last regularly
assigned and stationed for duty by military orders or a jurisdiction
claimed by the nonresident military person as the permanent state of
(4) If the vehicle is a motor vehicle, the owner or driver has in
force one of the forms of financial responsibility specified in
(b) For purposes of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), military
orders do not include military orders for leave, for temporary duty,
or for any other assignment of any nature requiring the military
person's presence outside the foreign jurisdiction where the owner
was regularly assigned and stationed for duty.
(c) This section applies to all vehicles owned by the military
person or spouse except any commercial vehicle used in any business
manner wherein the military person or spouse receives compensation.
Every nonresident, including any foreign corporation, having
an established place of business within this state, and regularly
using a vehicle of a type subject to registration under this code,
shall immediately register the vehicle upon entry into this state.
Any person entering California following discharge from the
armed forces of the United States is exempted from registration of
passenger vehicles, trailer coaches, and utility trailers only, as
provided for and under the conditions prescribed in Section 6700.