How To Register A Car

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How To Register A Car

How To Register A Car

Getting your vehicle registered is the first thing you need to do after purchasing a car. Whether it be new or used, it is illegal to not get it registered immediately. Most first time buyers don’t know How To Register A Car, which is why we’ve laid the steps out for you here.

What Is Registration?

Registration is the legal document proving that you have legal rights over the car, it is represented by an official piece of paper you keep with you. You must register your vehicle to be able to legally drive it on the road.

Your registration will expire after a certain amount of time and you will need to renew it. In most states, you can renew your registration and pay any required fees online. This all varies by state.

Failing to maintain a valid registration can lead to fines or impoundment. If either happens, you will need to renew your registration before you can get your car back.

What You Need To Register Your Car

Although some states may require more documents than others, these are some of the more common ones you need to bring to the DMV. Make sure you have the following paperwork following DMV standards in your state.

  • Drivers License or ID card
  • Proof of Insurance
  • The car title or the signed lease if you financed your vehicle
  • Proof of a passed safety inspection
  • Vehicle registration application form
  • Payment of any registration fees

You might also have to provide an odometer reading or proof of paid sales tax depending on the state you’re in.

Car Registration

The Process Of Registering A Car

Once you have all of the required documents for your state, you’re ready to head to the DMV. The best way to go about it is to make an appointment, this way you wont have to wait in any lines when you get there. This is where you will submit all paperwork and documents that you have prepared. After submitting, you will need to pay your fee, which is affordable but price varies by state. Most DMV’s accept any form of payment including card, cash or check. After you have paid, you will receive you registration sticker and your license plate.

After you have completed all of this, your car will be registered for a year or more. This also varies by state, so make sure to check with your DMV on when you’ll need to renew your registration.

Temporary License Plates

Also known as temporary registration, this is a type of license plate that you only use for a short amount of time. These plates allow you to drive around while still waiting on your official license plate to be issued to you.

To get a temporary license plate you have to contact your local DMV and fill out an application. You must include the make, model, title, your name, address and reason for the request. After that’s been submitted, you’ll have to wait a few days before it is sent to you. Make sure to get your actual plates as soon as possible due to the temporary tags only being valid for a short time.

If you just moved to a new state, you will have to re-register your vehicle in the new state. When waiting for it to be registered in the new state, you’ll need to get a transit registration so you can legally drive.

The information you need when applying for a temporary plate varies by state, but usually consists of:

  • Valid Drivers License
  • Proof Of Insurance
  • Title
  • Passed Inspection
  • Loan Documentation or Release. (if you plan to Refinance Your Car, be sure to let the BMV know of any upcoming changes)
  • Temp Tag Application

If you’ve purchase a vehicle from a dealership, most of the time they provide you with a temporary tag to give you time to get your vehicle registered. Although, you should always ask because of the the off chance that they don’t provide one.


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