Does the DMV Accept Credit Cards? Payment Options and Guidelines

Visiting the DMV is often a necessary errand, but rarely a pleasant one. Long lines and tedious paperwork can make the experience feel like a chore. However, being prepared and knowing what to expect can help the process go much more smoothly. One key thing to know before heading to the DMV is how you can pay for any fees.

Yes, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) accepts credit cards for in-person and online transactions. Accepted cards include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. However, credit card payments are not accepted for DMV services conducted through mail or over the phone. There are no additional fees charged by the DMV for using a credit card.

The DMV accepts various payment methods depending on how and where you conduct your DMV business. Read on to learn the details about paying with a credit card at the DMV.

What Are The Payment Options At The DMV?

The DMV provides several options for paying their various fees and services. The payment methods accepted depend on whether you visit in person, conduct business online, mail in paperwork, or speak to a representative on the phone. 

At a physical DMV office, you can pay using:

  • Most major credit cards and debit cards (except those requiring a PIN)
  • Cash
  • Personal checks or money orders made out to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles

You can also split your payment between cash and check if needed. Many DMV locations now accept mobile payment services like Apple PayGoogle Pay, and Samsung Pay

If mailing paperwork to the DMV, you can pay by:

  • Personal check or money order made out to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles
  • For some transactions, a certified check may be required

The DMV recommends against mailing cash payments.

For online DMV services, you can pay using:

  • Major credit cards like American ExpressDiscoverMastercard, and Visa
  • Debit cards that do not require a PIN

Does The DMV Accept Credit Cards?

Yes, the DMV does accept credit card payments, with some restrictions. You can use a credit card:

  • At a physical DMV office for most services and fees
  • For online DMV services

Credit cards cannot be used for:

  • DMV services conducted through the mail
  • Telephone DMV services
  • Certain special transactions where a certified check is required

So in most cases, whipping out your Visa or Mastercard at the DMV counter will be just fine. Just be aware that for remote DMV business like mail-in renewals, you’ll need to plan another payment method.

Are There Any Fees For Using A Credit Card At The DMV?

The good news is the DMV does not charge any additional fees or processing costs for credit card payments. You’ll simply pay the published DMV fees required for that service or transaction.

However, your credit card company may charge cash advance fees or interest depending on the type of card you have. Check with your credit card provider for details on their specific policies.

Can You Use A Credit Card For Online DMV Services?

Absolutely! Using your credit card for online DMV services can be a quick and convenient option. The DMV website allows you to use a credit card for many common transactions such as:

  • License and registration renewals
  • Replacing a lost license or ID card
  • Address changes
  • Paying reinstatement fees
  • Scheduling appointments

The DMV website accepts major credit cards like VisaMastercardAmerican Express and Discover. Debit cards are also accepted as long as they can be processed without requiring a PIN.

Paying by credit card online allows you to skip traveling to the DMV office for many simple tasks. Just log on to your state’s DMV website, enter your card number, security code and expiration date, and you can complete renewals and other services right from your home.

Can You Use A Credit Card For Mail-In Or Telephone DMV Services?

Here is where your credit card use for DMV business gets restricted. For any services conducted through the mail or over the phone, credit cards cannot be used. 

For mail-in transactions like license renewals and change of address forms, you’ll need to pay any required fees with a personal check or money order made payable to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. Mailing cash is not advised.

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Over the phone DMV services also do not allow credit card payments. You’ll need to use one of the accepted payment methods like check or money order by mail.

So while credit cards are convenient, the DMV limits their use to in-person and online services only. Any remote DMV business must be paired with alternate payment types like checks sent by mail.

Which Credit Cards Are Accepted At The DMV?

If you plan to pay by credit card at the DMV, you’ll want to make sure yours is accepted. The major card networks accepted include:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover

In addition, many DMV offices now accept mobile payment services like:

  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Samsung Pay

As long as your credit card displays one of the major accepted logos, you should be able to use it at the DMV counter or online. Debit cards are also typically accepted, provided they can be processed without requiring a PIN. 

It’s a good idea to check your card before visiting the DMV to ensure it’s accepted. That way you’ll avoid any payment headaches when it’s your turn at the counter.

How To Pay With A Credit Card At The DMV: Step-By-Step Guide

Paying with your credit card at the DMV is fairly straightforward. Here is a simple step-by-step guide:

  1. Wait in line at the DMV for the service you require that day. Bring your driver’s license, paperwork, and credit card.
  2. When called, approach the counter and state the service you need (renewal, address change, etc). 
  3. After conducting your business, the DMV clerk will inform you of the fee amount owed. 
  4. Present your credit card and allow the clerk to swipe or insert the card into the card reader.
  5. The credit card terminal will prompt you to select “Credit” and enter your card’s security code. 
  6. Follow any remaining prompts to complete and sign for the transaction. Be sure to get your receipt.
  7. Verify the fee was charged correctly on the receipt before leaving the DMV office.

And that’s all there is to it! Paying by credit card offers a quick and convenient way to settle your DMV fees and be on your way. Just have your card ready at the counter when called.

What Other Forms Of Payment Does The DMV Accept?

Aside from credit cards, the DMV provides other payment options depending on your situation:

At the DMV office:

  • Cash – Bills and coins are accepted.
  • Checks – Personal checks made out to “Commissioner of Motor Vehicles” are accepted. 
  • Money orders – Must also be made out to “Commissioner of Motor Vehicles”.
  • Mobile payments – Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay.

By mail:

  • Personal checks
  • Money orders
  • Certified checks for some specific transactions


  • Credit cards – Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover
  • Debit cards – Those processed without a PIN

Knowing these available options ensures your DMV visit will go smoothly from start to finish. You’ll be prepared to pay any fees quickly so you can complete your DMV business and be on your way.


No one enjoys spending extra time at the notoriously tedious DMV. Knowing how to pay any fees using credit cards or other accepted payment methods will help streamline your experience. 

To review, the DMV accepts credit cards at physical office locations and for online services – but not through the mail or phone. Approved card networks include Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. Debit cards are also accepted provided they don’t require a PIN. 

Aside from credit cards, you can pay DMV fees using cash, checks, money orders, mobile payments, and certified checks as required. Having one of the accepted payment types on hand will prevent any delays to completing your DMV transactions.

So don’t let DMV fees and payments create headaches on your next visit. Simply review the payment methods available for the services you need. Bring an accepted form of payment to the DMV office or have your card ready for online transactions. Knowing what to expect will help your DMV experience be as quick and efficient as possible.

Lucas Solomon
Lucas Solomon
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