To know if your vehicle registration is current, check either the registration card or the stickers on the vehicle's license plate. The vehicle registration card lists its expiration date, while the stickers on the license plate list the month and year of expiration, as of 2015.
Each state has a department of motor vehicles, although the name varies from state to state, that handles vehicle registrations. These departments typically offer online registration information, including the registration expiration date and how you can pay that registration fee. They may also allow you to receive registration renewal notifications via email instead of by mail.
The department of motor vehicles mails a registration renewal notice before the registration fee is due. You must pay the fee before the registration expires to avoid any late fees. If you don't receive the renewal notice, you are still responsible for paying the fee on time. You can contact the department of motor vehicles if you don't receive the notice, or pay the renewal fee online.
Some states require a smog check before the department of motor vehicles registers the vehicle for the year. The frequency of these smog checks and what vehicles must undergo smog checks varies from state to state.