How Do You Apply for Temporary Vehicle Tags?


Quick Answer

Complete the application form required in your state to receive temporary registration tags. These are the first state tags that go on a car after you move into a new state or purchase a new car, and the permanent plates come a short time later.

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Full Answer

If you are purchasing a new vehicle at a dealership, the dealership handles the application for a temporary tag for you in most cases. When you purchase a used vehicle, the dealer handles the transfer title and, in most cases, the same tags stay on the car. This process is most often necessary for the owner to handle himself when he's moving into a different state.

Bring a certificate of title showing the vehicle's assignment of ownership and the insurance identification card showing that you have already arranged for insurance in the new state of residence. Bring a completed application form, generally available from the state's Department of Motor Vehicle's website. You also need an acceptable form of identification.

Pay any registration fees, and prepare to satisfy any safety and emissions inspection requirements. In Maryland, this involves paying a $20 temporary registration fee, getting a safety inspection, and then returning to complete the registration, as of 2015. However, in Connecticut, the fees and requirements depend on the age of the vehicle. If the car is 4 years old or newer, only a VIN verification is necessary, so checking local state laws before heading to the registration office is a must.

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