Multiple vehicle households have to pay higher insurance, registration and operating costs than those who have just a single vehicle. Some states also require vehicles to have smog checks before they can be legally registered. If you are a California resident who can get by with just one vehicle, but are not yet ready to sell your second vehicle, how can you declare your vehicle off the road in California?
Know the Law
Planned non-operation refers to vehicles that are not registered to be driven or operated in any way anywhere in the state of California. According to DMV, “If a vehicle with a PNO status is operated, parked, towed, or left standing on a public street or highway, it may be subject to citation or impoundment and the payment of fees and penalties for late registration.” As such, make sure you do not intend to use a vehicle with a PNO status. If you do operate the vehicle while it is in PNO status, you will be violating the law.
Planned Non-operation (PNO)
In order to declare your vehicle off the road in California, you must comply with the law. One way is to complete the bottom portion of the vehicle registration renewal notice, detach it and include the PNO fee of $18. Do not forget to mark the “Planned non-operation” box before you send off your PNO payment to DMV. You can also declare your vehicle off the road over the phone, by following the automated steps, or online if you have a Renewal Identification Number (located on the left hand side of the registration renewal notice).
How Long is PNO Valid For?
PNO is valid indefinitely, or for as long as you do not intend to operate your motor vehicle. If you change your mind and wish to start driving your vehicle, you will need to register the vehicle and submit to any other tests and checks, such as a smog check, before you can drive your vehicle. Keep the vehicle registration renewal notice in a safe location so that you can use it to register and/or smog your vehicle if you decide to drive it again in the near future.
Planned non-operation is a cost-effective way to save money on your vehicle costs, provided you do not intend to use your vehicle if it is in PNO status. PNO saves drivers money on insurance, registration and operating costs and is valid indefinitely, or for as long as the driver plans to keep the vehicle off the road.
California Department of Motor Vehicles