If I Change the Color of My Car Do I Have to Notify the DMV?

If I Change the Color of My Car Do I Have to Notify the DMV

Cars are no longer just considered a means of transportation, it is now considered a beautiful package that signifies who you are which makes people want to go out of their way sometimes to make their car(s) look unique by repainting or wrapping them in new designs.

Most times these designs are peculiar to just them and make it easy to recognize the car anywhere you find it. Car painting and wrapping can be quite expensive but it’s worth the satisfaction that’s gotten after.

However, if I change the color of my car do I have to notify the DMV?

Whether you need to notify the DMV or not depends largely on where you reside. However, most states require that you notify the DMV anytime you make a physical modification to your car to update the registration details of your vehicle.

Who are the DMV?

The DMV is an abbreviation for the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV is majorly in charge of registering vehicles and licensing the drivers that have passed the driving tests.

The DMV records and stores the information of every registered car and driver for accountability purposes, in cases of emergency, they can access information that was given by the driver or about the car.

They also update their records from time to time as different happenings occur, from accidents to convictions to violations and every other information as regards the driver of the car.

DMV officials and workers also give out licenses to car manufacturers and car dealers, car distributors, and every other area of expertise that is related to cars.

They also license driving schools and their instructors, look into complaints that are made by the consumers as regards vehicles and make sure that the necessary rectifications are made if need be.

All of these licensing, regulations, investigations, and information accessing are done within the confines of the laws of the state.

Is it Possible to Change the Color of My Car?

Changing the color of your car is very much possible depending on what you want. There are two ways to change the color and look of a vehicle namely;

  • Repainting the vehicle
  • Car Wrapping

Repainting a vehicle should only be done by an expert because it’s too expensive to be done by an amateur and also mistakes can cause you to spend more on repainting.

Most times, repainting the entire vehicle is not advised because it’s quite expensive and it permanently changed the colors and look of your car.

If there’s any need to change the car’s color, probably when you get tired of the current color, you’ll spend more again on a new paint job.

However, car wrapping is more cost-efficient and comes with a lot of perks attached to it.

Car wrapping doesn’t alter the original color of your car, the vinyl wrap with your preferred color or design is just placed on the body of your car, partially or completely covering the car’s original color.

Car wrapping allows you to customize your car to your preferred taste, it is easy to maintain and it’s also easy to remove.

If you ever get tired of seeing the same design on your car, you can take it to a wrap shop and the vinyl wrap design would be removed bringing your car back into its original color and design.

If I Change the Color of My Car Do I Have to Notify the DMV?

As reiterated earlier, whether you have to notify the DMV depends on which state you reside in.

In most cases, you don’t have to but you should because changing the color of your car is a modification that negates the details of your car that were recorded during the registration of your car at the DMV office.

If the registration details are not updated then, the DMV does not have accurate information about your car. Imagine changing your car from red color to black color, you need to update the new color with the DMV for easy identification.

If the DMV doesn’t have accurate information about your car, it could be mistaken for another car if the plates and other registration details are not checked properly.

It is important to note that whether you notify the DMV if you decide to change the color of your car is dependent on where you reside.

You don’t have to wait till it is mandated that every change in the look of a car should be reported to the DMV before you can update your car’s details.

Reasons To Notify the DMV After Changing the Color of Your Car

The reasons to notify the DMV after changing the color of your car are:

1. To Update Car Registration Details

You should notify the DMV after changing the color of your car so that they can update the registration details of your car that they have.

It is important to notify the DMV about your car’s color change for record-keeping sake, so they’ll have an up-to-date record of your vehicle.

2. Easy Identification

When the details of your car have been updated, law enforcement officers have no problem identifying your car because their records match what they are seeing.

It also helps your car to be identified easily and in the event of an accident, the car can be recognized without much stress and they’ll get the needed information from your car registration details or your license.

3. Vehicle Inspection

In cases where vehicles are being inspected, updating your vehicle registration details with the new color change would save you stress.

If the details haven’t been updated, you’d be questioned by law enforcement officials about why the color on your license is different from what they’re seeing

4. For Accurate Record Keeping

The police and every other law enforcement agency rely on the information that will be provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles so the records they keep must be accurate and up to date.

Lists of Other Things to Do After Changing the Color of Your Car

Here are some other things to do after changing the color of your car:

  • Get a New Vehicle License: When the color of your car has been changed, the details on the car’s documents no longer match what the car looks like currently. The vehicle license needs to be updated on the new modifications that have just been made to the look of your car.
  • Inform your Insurance Company: It is important to inform the insurer about any change in the look of your car so that they are kept abreast of the change in color of your car.

Informing the insurance company is important so that when there’s any unplanned defect or any scratch on the body of your newly painted or wrapped car, they would be ready to cover the cost of repair.

Also, a paint job or wrapping would affect the value of your car in most cases because they can be quite expensive. So your car insurance premium would increase.

How much you drive the car, where you park it at night and your driving history would be looked into to determine how much increase would be added to your premium.


In some countries, car wrapping doesn’t have to be reported to the department of motor vehicles because it’s temporary. It is always better to inform the DMV about any modifications made to your car to avoid any form of harassment, embarrassment, or delay.