Vehicle Registration Renewal

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In Most states vehicle registration renewal is required yearly. Without renewing your vehicle registration, you are legally not allowed to drive that vehicle without risk of a fine.

Vehicle Registration Renewal Notices

The renewal date for your registration never changes. Generally, the date coincides with the purchase date of your vehicle. A renewal notice will be sent to your place of residence or mailing address several weeks before your registration’s expiration. The notice will include the following information:

  • Information regarding your renewal fees
  • The date you must renew the registration by
  • Information about how to renew the registration
  • Your vehicle’s requirements regarding emissions testing

Even if you don’t get a renewal notice in the mail, you’re still required to pay your fees and renew your plates before the registration expires. Otherwise, you’ll be subject to late fees. You can also be ticketed for driving and parking with an expired license plate.

The following are reasons you may not have received a renewal notice:

  • Not updating a new mailing address
  • Failure to renew your registration the previous year
  • You have unpaid tickets, delinquent taxes, or an outstanding warrant

How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration Online

Some states allow for online vehicle registration renewal. Please see the renewal notice to verify this is an option. Online you can then pay your yearly registration fee and expect to receive your new registration and vehicle tags in the mail.

If you do not receive them within fourteen days, it may be possible to track the documents online or call the local DMV office to ask about the renewal status.

Some states will not allow you renew your registration online if you need any of the following forms:

  • A low-digit group authorization
  • Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax form
  • Department of Revenue Fuel Tax Permit

How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration by Mail

Your renewal notice will come with a preprinted envelope that has your state DMV office’s address listed. To renew the plates by mail, place the following documentation in this envelope:

  • Proof of passing an emissions test (if necessary)
  • A money order or check to the DMV to cover your renewal fee
  • Your renewal notice

Your new registration materials should arrive within 14 days.

How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in Person

If you are under a time crunch to have your registration renewed then visiting your local DMV office in person is your best bet or in some areas, you can go to an AAA office. Only some AAA offices offer this option so it is best to check on the AAA website.

If renewing your registration in person you should bring the following:

  • Your renewal notice or your current registration
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of passing an emissions test (if necessary)
  • Payment for the applicable fees

You’ll receive your updated registration and new plate stickers before you leave.