New Registration

When purchasing a vehicle, it is imperative that you register the vehicle immediately. You can face being ticketed if you do not have proper registration documentation.

Important Requirements

Before you can apply for new vehicle registration, you must have previously obtained the vehicle title.

Most states also require you to have auto insurance that is up to the state standards. When registering, you will need proof of this insurance.

It is also important to note that not all states have emissions requirements but it is important to verify on your state DMV site in case your state does.

Registering a vehicle differs when purchasing a vehicle at a dealership or private sale. Whether from a private party or a dealership, you have 20 days to register the vehicle.

Dealership Vehicle Registration

A car dealership will often submit the title application upon payment for your new vehicle. You will need this title when you apply for a new registration. You will need the following to register your vehicle:

  • A copy of a title application, manufacturer’s certificate of origin, or a vehicle title
  • Bill of sale – received from the dealership; will have itemized sales tax info
  • Dealer’s affidavit – if you bought the car in another state
  • License plates – if applicable (and if you want them transferred)
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Payment for applicable fees (see the fee section below)

Registering a Private Sale Vehicle

If you have purchased the vehicle through a private sale and not a dealership, the title will be transferred to you while you register the vehicle. Keep in mind that you will be expected to pay titling fees and taxes alongside the usual vehicle registration fees.

To register a used car in most states you will need the following:

  • A completed title form from the previous owner
  • Any license plates you want transferred, if applicable
  • Driver’s license
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Proof of residence
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement – if the vehicle is less than 10 years old and weighs less than 16,000 pounds.

New Resident Vehicle Registration

Upon becoming a resident of a new state, you have 30 days to register a vehicle from out-of-state and switch the license plates over. In order to do these without any problems, you should first get a new state title and auto insurance.

Applicable Registration Fees

There is no standard amount. Car, truck, van, motorcycles, motorhomes and RVs can be registered, and the price is calculated using:

  • Vehicle body style
  • Vehicle weight
  • County-based taxes and surcharges.