Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2012
 

Revenue and Taxation Code

Other Taxes

Part 5. Vehicle License Fee

CHAPTER 3. Collections and Refunds


Chapter 3. Collections and Refunds

Article 1. Payments

10851. Time of payment. [Repealed by Stats. 1973, Ch. 889, p. 1647, in effect September 28, 1973, operative March 8, 1976.]

10851. Time of payment. [Repealed by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1330, p. 2889, in effect September 26, 1974, operative July 1, 1977.]

10851. Time of payment. Except as otherwise provided, the vehicle license fee is due and payable to the department each year on or before the expiration date assigned by the director. The fee shall be paid to the department at the time provided in the Vehicle Code for the registration or renewal of registration of the vehicle.

This section shall become operative on July 1, 1977, unless a later enacted statute, which is chaptered before July 1, 1977, deletes or extends such date.

History.—Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1330, p. 2889, in effect September 26, 1974, operative July 1, 1977.

10852. Collection of fee; receipt. The department shall collect the license fee and shall give to each person paying the license fee a receipt which shall sufficiently designate and identify the vehicle upon which the fee is paid.

10853. Delinquency. Whenever any vehicle is operated upon any highway of this State without the license fee having first been paid as required by this part, the fee is delinquent.

10854. Penalty for delinquency. [Repealed by Stats. 1973, Ch. 889, p. 1648, in effect September 28, 1973, operative March 8, 1976.]

10854. Penalty for delinquency. [Repealed by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1126, effective September 28, 1985, operative April 1, 1986.]

10854. Penalty for delinquency. Penalties for failure to pay license fees before delinquency are as specified in Section 9554 of the Vehicle Code.

History.—Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1126, effective September 28, 1985, operative April 1, 1986.

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10854.1. Effect of unpaid check. If a check in payment of a fee or penalty is not paid by the bank on which it is drawn on its first presentation, the person tendering the check remains liable for the payment of the fee, or fee and penalty, as if he had not tendered the check. The department in its discretion may redeposit a check in payment of fee or fee and penalty not more than once without assessing additional penalties.

History.—Added by Stats. 1953, p. 1757, in effect September 9, 1953. Stats. 1969, p. 544, in effect November 10, 1969, substituted "not more than once" for "the second time" in the second sentence.

10855. Nonoperation; affidavit of. [Repealed by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1352, in effect September 27, 1990, operative July 1, 1990.]

10856. Collection of current fee; penalty. (a) Except as provided in Section 9553 of the Vehicle Code, upon receipt of the application for renewal of registration, the department shall collect the required fee for the current registration year. No penalty shall be imposed if the department receives the application prior to or on the date the vehicle is first operated, moved, or left standing upon any highway during its current registration year and the applicant has timely filed, pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4604 of the Vehicle Code, a certification that the vehicle will not be operated, moved, or left standing upon any highway during the current registration year without first making an application for registration of the vehicle, including full payment of fees.

(b) If an application for renewal of registration is accompanied by an application for transfer of title, that application may be made without incurring a penalty for delinquent payment of fees not later than 20 days after the date the vehicle is first operated, moved, or left standing on any highway if a certification pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4604 of the Vehicle Code was timely filed with the department.

(c) Upon receipt of an application for original registration, the department shall collect the required fee for the current registration year. No penalty shall be imposed if the department receives the application and fee within 20 days after the fee becomes due.

History.—Stats. 1973, Ch. 889, p. 1649, in effect September 28, 1973, operative March 10, 1975, substituted "certificate" for "affidavit" in both sentences; substituted "registration" for "calendar" in the first sentence and added "registration" after "current" in the second sentence; substituted "20" for "30", "the vehicle . . . highway" for "first operation of the vehicle", and "its" before "current", in the second sentence. Stats. 1990, Ch. 1352, in effect September 27, 1990, operative July 1, 1990, substituted "of registration" for "and certificate of nonoperation" after "renewal", "required" for "proper" after "collect the" in the first sentence, and deleted "and certificate" after "application", and added "and the applicant . . . payment of fees." in the second sentence. Stats. 1994, Ch. 1220, in effect September 30, 1994, added subdivision letter designation (a) before first paragraph; substituted "prior to or on" for "within 20 days after" after "receives the application" in the second sentence of subdivision (a); and added subdivisions (b) and (c). Stats. 1998, Ch. 600 (SB 619) in effect January 1, 1999, added "Except as provided in Section 9553 of the Vehicle Code" before "upon" in the first sentence of subdivision (a).

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10857. Repossession; effect on penalty. No penalty fee shall be assessed for the delinquent payment of a vehicle license fee, when subsequent to the date on which the fee became due, the vehicle is repossessed on behalf of any legal owner, if the license fee is paid within 60 days of taking possession.

History.—Stats. 1973, Ch. 889, p. 1649, in effect September 28, 1973, operative March 10, 1975, substituted "20" for "30". Stats. 1974, Ch. 1330, p. 2890, in effect September 26, 1974, substituted "30" for "20". Stats. 1984, Ch. 200, in effect January 1, 1985, substituted "60" for "30" after "within", and deleted "and if a transfer of registration to a new owner is applied for during that time" after "possession".

10858. Waivers of penalties to transferees. (a) When a transferee or purchaser of a vehicle applies for transfer of registration, as provided in Section 5902 of the Vehicle Code, and it is determined by the department that vehicle license fee penalties accrued prior to the purchase of the vehicle and that the transferee or purchaser was not cognizant of the nonpayment of the vehicle license fee for the current or prior registration years, the department may waive the vehicle license fee penalties upon payment of the vehicle license fees due.

(b) Other provisions of this code notwithstanding, the Director of Motor Vehicles may, at his discretion, investigate into the circumstances of any application for registration to ascertain if penalties had accrued through no fault or intent of the owner. Provided such circumstances prevail, the director may waive any penalties upon payment of the license fee then due.

(c) When a transferee or purchaser of a vehicle applies for transfer of registration of a vehicle, and it is determined by the department that license fees for the vehicle for any year are unpaid and due, that the fees became due prior to the transfer or purchase of the vehicle by the transferee or purchaser, and that the transferee or purchaser was not cognizant of the fact that the fees were unpaid and due, the department may waive the fees and any penalty thereon when both of the following conditions exist:

(1) The license plate assigned to the vehicle displays a validating device issued by the department, and the validating device contains the year number of the registration year for which the transferee or purchaser is requesting a waiver of fees and penalties.

(2) the transferee or purchaser has submitted to the department the registration card that indicates the vehicle is registered for the registration year indicated on the validating device displayed on the license plate assigned to the vehicle.

(d) Upon the transfer of a vehicle for which license fees and any penalties thereon are unpaid and due, such fees and penalties are, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 2 (commencing with Section 10876), the personal debt of the transferor of the vehicle who did not pay the fees and penalties when they became due or accrued. The fees and penalties may be collected by the department in an appropriate civil action if the department has waived the fees and penalties pursuant to subdivision (c).

History.—Stats. 1973, Ch. 889, p. 1649, in effect September 28, 1973, added "registration" before "years", deleted "and the transferor or registered owner of record whereabouts is unknown" after "years", and substituted "department" for "Department of Motor Vehicles". Stats. 1976, Ch. 935, p. 2141, in effect January 1, 1977, added "or purchaser" after "transferee" and substituted "provided" for "is provided for" in subdivision (a); substituted "the director" for "he" in the second sentence of subdivision (b); and added subdivisions (c) and (d). Stats. 1983, Ch. 759, in effect January 1, 1984, added "transfer or" before "purchase", substituted "both of the following conditions exist:" for "the license fees due for the vehicle for the current year are paid" after "when", and added subparagraphs (1) and (2) in subdivision (c); deleted "of this chapter" after "Section 10876)" in subdivision (d); and substituted "the" for "such" before "fees" in subdivisions (c) and (d).

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Article 2. Seizure and Sale

10876. Lien, what constitutes. Every license fee and any penalty added thereto, from the date on which the fee becomes due, shall constitute a lien upon the vehicle for which due and upon any other vehicle owned by the owner of that vehicle.

History.—Stats. 1983, Ch. 759, in effect January 1, 1984, added "shall" before "constitute" and "and upon . . . that vehicle" after "which due".

10877. Seizure and sale. The department shall collect the fee and any penalty by seizure and sale of the vehicle as provided in Article 6 (commencing with Section 9800) of Chapter 6 of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code, or by appropriate civil action.

History.—Stats. 1963, p. 3847, in effect September 20, 1963, amended by adding the reference to the Vehicle Code. Stats. 1983, Ch. 759, in effect January 1, 1984, added "of" before and after "Chapter 6" and added ", or by appropriate civil action" after "Code".

10878. Franchise Tax Board collection responsibility and authorization. (a) Notwithstanding Sections 10877 and 10951, on and after July 1, 1993, the responsibility and authority for the collection of the following delinquent amounts, and any interest, penalties, or service fees, added thereto, shall be transferred from the department to the Franchise Tax Board.

(1) Registration fees.

(2) Transfer fees.

(3) License fees.

(4) Use taxes.

(5) Penalties for offenses relating to the standing or parking of a vehicle for which a notice of parking violation has been served on the owner, and any administrative service fee added to the penalty.

(6) Any court-imposed fine or penalty assessment, and any administrative service fee added thereto, that is subject to collection by the department.

(b) Any reference in this part to the department in connection with the duty to collect these amounts shall be deemed a reference to the Franchise Tax Board.

(c) The amounts collected under subdivision (a) may be collected in any manner authorized under the law as though they were a tax imposed under Part 10 (commencing with Section 17001) that is final, including, but not limited to, issuance of an order and levy under Article 4 (commencing with Section 706.070) of Chapter 5 of Division 2 of Title 9 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure in the manner provided for earnings withholding order for taxes. Part 10 (commencing with Section 17001), 10.2 (commencing with Section 18401), or 10.7 (commencing with Section 21001), or any other applicable law shall apply for this purpose in the same manner and with the same force and effect as if the language of Part 10, 10.2, or 10.7, or the other applicable law is incorporated in full into this authority to collect these amounts, except to the extent that the provision is either inconsistent with the collection of these amounts or is not relevant to the collection of these amounts.

(d) Even though the amounts authorized by this section are collected as though they are taxes, amounts so received by the Franchise Tax Board shall be deposited into an appropriate fund or account upon agreement between the Franchise Tax Board and the department. The amounts shall be distributed by the department from the appropriate fund or account in accordance with the laws providing for the deposits and distributions as though the moneys were received by the department.

(e) For any collection action under this section, the Franchise Tax Board may utilize the contract authorization, procedures, and mechanisms available either with respect to the collection of taxes, interest, additions to tax, and penalties pursuant to Section 18837 or 19376, or with respect to the collection of the delinquencies by the department immediately prior to the time this section takes effect.

(f) The Legislature finds that it is essential for fiscal purposes that the program authorized by this section be expeditiously implemented. Accordingly, Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code shall not apply to any standard, criteria, procedure, determination, rule, notice, or guideline established or issued by the Franchise Tax Board in implementing and administering the program required by this section.

(g) Any standard, criteria, procedure, determination, rule, notice, or guideline, that is not subject to the provision of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code pursuant to subdivision (f), shall be approved by the Franchise Tax Board, itself.

(h) The Franchise Tax Board may enter into any agreements or contracts necessary to implement and administer the provisions of this section. The Franchise Tax Board in administering this section may delegate collection activities to the department. Any contracts may provide for payment of the contract on the basis of a percentage of the amount of revenue realized as a result of the contractor's services under that contract. However, the Franchise Tax Board, in administering this part, may not enter into contracts with private collection agencies as authorized under Section 19377.

History.—Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 60, in effect June 30, 1993. Stats. 1993, Ch. 878, in effect January 1, 1994, added "and authority" after "the responsibility", substituted "fees, taxes, and . . . the Vehicle Code" for "vehicle license fees, including local vehicle license fees, and registration fees imposed pursuant to Division 3 (commencing with Section 4000) of the Vehicle Code, and any related penalties" after "of delinquent", and substituted "these amounts" for "delinquent vehicle license fees and any related penalties" after "to collect" in subdivision (a); substituted "amounts collected . . . under the law" for "fees and related penalties shall be collected" after "(b) The", added "that is final, . . . order for taxes" after "Section 17001)" in the first sentence, substituted "Part 10 (commencing . . . Section 21001)," for "Part 10.2 (commencing with Section 18401)" at the beginning of the second sentence, substituted "10, 10.2, or 10.7," for "10.2" after "language of part", and substituted "amounts" for "fees and penalties" after "these" in three instances in the second sentence of subdivision (b); and added subdivisions (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g). Stats. 1994, Ch. 1211, in effect September 30, 1994, substituted "the following delinquent . . . fees added thereto," for "delinquent fees, taxes, and penalties described in subdivision (a) of Section 9800 of the Vehicle Code" after "the collection of" in subdivision (a); and added paragraphs (1) through (6) to subdivision (a). Stats. 1995, Ch. 91, in effect January 1, 1996, added a comma after "amounts" and deleted ", and any reference in this part to the department in connection with the duty to collect these amounts shall be deemed a reference to the Franchise Tax Board" in the first sentence of subdivision (a) substituted "that" for "which" after "thereto," in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a); added subdivision (b); and relettered former subdivisions (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), and (h) as (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g), respectively, substituted "(f)" for "(e)" after "subdivision" in subdivision (g).

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10879. Lessee and lessor liability. In the case of leased vehicles, for purposes of Section 10877, this section, and Article 6 (commencing with Section 9800) of Chapter 6 of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code, the following shall apply:

(a) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (b), in the event the lessor designates the address of the lessee under subdivision (a) of Section 4453.5 of the Vehicle Code and provides the Department of Motor Vehicles with the address of the lessor, at a time and in the form and manner required by the department, the lessee shall be solely liable for the following, and any interest, penalties, or service fees added thereto:

(A) Penalties resulting from the delinquent registration of the leased vehicle.

(B) Penalties for offenses relating to the standing or parking of a vehicle for which a notice of parking violation has been served on the owner.

(C) Any court-imposed fines or penalty assessments that are subject to collection by the department.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), the lien described in Section 9800 of the Vehicle Code shall remain in full force and effect for all unpaid penalties, fines, and fees described in this subdivision, including related interest, if any.

(3) Upon a bona fide sale or transfer of the vehicle, the lien on the vehicle being sold or transferred shall be released if the lessor has paid the registration and license fees within 30 days after the lessor is issued notice and demand by the Franchise Tax Board in accordance with subdivision (b).

(4) Any amount that is owed by the lessee under paragraph (1) at the time the lien is released in accordance with paragraph (3) shall constitute a lessee liability enforceable under Section 9805 of the Vehicle Code and collectible in accordance with Section 10878 of this code.

(b) If, within 30 days after notice and demand is issued to the lessor by the Franchise Tax Board, the lessor fails to pay the registration and license fees required to register the vehicle, all of the following shall apply to the lessor:

(1) The lessor shall remain solely liable for those registration and license fees.

(2) The lessor shall be jointly and severally liable with the lessee for the amounts described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).

(3) The lessor shall not be subject to relief under Section 4760 or 9561 of the Vehicle Code or any other law.

History.—Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1211, in effect September 30, 1994.

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Article 3. Refunds

10901. Refund of fee erroneously collected. Whenever the department or the Department of Housing and Community Development erroneously collects any license fee or portion of a fee not required to be paid under this part, or erroneously applies any offset provided under this part, the erroneously collected amount shall be refunded to the person paying it upon application therefor made within three years after the date of the payment. If the department or the Department of Housing and Community Development discovers an error, it may make a refund in the absence of an application therefor.

History.—Stats. 1949, p. 379, in effect October 1, 1949, substituted "one year" for "six months." Stats. 1959, p. 3999, in effect September 18, 1959, substituted "two years" for "one year." Stats. 1961, p. 579, in effect September 15, 1961, substituted "three" for "two." Stats. 1998, Ch. 322 (AB 2797), in effect August 20, 1998, added "or the Department of Housing and Community Development" after "department", added "or portion of a fee" after "license fee", added "or erroneously applies any offset provided under this part," after the first "this part," and added "erroneously collected" before "amount shall" in the first sentence, and added the second sentence.

10902. Refund of fee; total loss or theft. (a) In the event of a constructive total loss, in which the repair value exceeds the market value of the vehicle less the anticipated salvage value, or a nonrepairable vehicle, or an unrecovered total loss, due to a theft, of a vehicle, the in-lieu fee portion of the vehicle license fee that has been paid, less any offset provided in Section 10754, shall be refunded to the current registered owner (the owner of the salvage value of the vehicle), or credited against the vehicle license fee owed on the owner's replacement vehicle. The amount refunded or credited shall be based upon one-twelfth of the annual in-lieu fee, less any offset provided by Section 10754, for each full month that remains until the registration expires.

(b) No refund or credit may be made pursuant to this section unless the vehicle owner has signed a declaration under penalty of perjury that he or she has not been cited or convicted of violating Section 23152 or 23153 of the Vehicle Code (relating to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) or Section 23103 as specified in Section 23103.5 of that code (which involves a substitute for an original citation of driving under the influence) in connection with the owner's vehicle loss. If the owner has been cited under any of these code sections, the owner shall be entitled to the refund or credit upon presentation of either proof of dismissal of the citation or a finding of not guilty.

(c) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall charge to vehicle owners requesting a refund or credit pursuant to this section a service fee in the amount of fifteen dollars ($15) to cover the administrative costs of processing the request.

(d) In the case of a request for refund or credit with respect to a stolen vehicle, the vehicle owner may not be entitled to a refund or credit prior to 60 days from the date the theft of the vehicle is reported to the police. If a refund is received or a credit is applied to another vehicle and the stolen vehicle is subsequently recovered, the owner shall return the amount refunded or credited. If the owner receives a refund or credit, and the destroyed or stolen vehicle is scrapped and subsequently repaired by another person, the new owner shall pay the full vehicle license fee.

(e) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall adopt regulations for the administration of the refunds and credits provided by this section.

History.—Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 718, in effect January 1, 1990. Stats. 1994, Ch. 1008, in effect January 1, 1995, added "or a nonrepairable vehicle," after "anticipated salvage value," in the first sentence of subdivision (a); and deleted subdivision (f) which read: "This section shall become operative on January 1, 1991." Stats. 1998, Ch. 322 (AB 2797), in effect August 20, 1998, added ", less any offset provided in Section 10754," after "been paid" in the first sentence and added ", less any offset provided in Section 10754,"after "in-lieu fee" in the second sentence of subdivision (a). Stats. 2003, Ch. 719 (SB 1055), in effect January 1, 2004, substituted "may" for "shall" after "refund or credit" in the first sentence of subdivision (b); substituted "shall" for "may" after "of Motor Vehicles " and substituted "service fee in the amount of fifteen dollars ($15)" for "fee in an amount sufficient" after "this section a" in the first sentence of subdivision (c); and substituted "may" for "shall" after "the vehicle owner" in the first sentence of subdivision (d).

10903. Additional offset fee appropriation. [Repealed by Stats. 2003, Ch. 2, First Extraordinary Session (AB 11) in effect March 18, 2003.]

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Article 4. Petitions for Reinstatement of Mobilehomes

[Repealed by Stats. 1985, Ch. 397, in effect July 30, 1985.]

10910. Petition for reinstatement. [Repealed.]

10911. Service fee; investigation; excusable delay. [Repealed.]

10912. Notice of decision. [Repealed.]

10913. Reinstatement; delinquent fees and penalties or local property taxes. [Repealed.]

10914. Failure of dealer or escrow officer to pay license fee timely. [Repealed.]

10915. "Director." [Repealed.]

10916. Staff. [Repealed.]

10917. Disposition of service fees. [Repealed.]

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