How Do You Complete Vehicle Registration at the DMV?


Quick Answer

Registering a vehicle for the first time at the Department of Motor Vehicles often requires a title signed by the one seeking to register, as well as proof of insurance. Note that requirements can depend on local and state laws.

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Full Answer

First-time registration must be done in person at the local DMV, though later renewals can often be done online through the state's website. The exact procedure for doing this can generally be found on the registration card mailed to the vehicle owner's official address, or by calling the local DMV number and obtaining the information from the workers specifically. Some states also allow for renewal over the phone, though it is always best to check first.

In addition to requiring the signed title and proof of insurance, some DMV's may also ask for a bill of sale, proof of a passed emissions test, or vehicle safety check. There can also be different steps involved for those with a salvage title, abandoned vehicle title, or branded title. Check with the local DMV before registering to know what is needed.

Once registration is processed, applicable tax and registration fees are calculated, and once paid, the vehicle is registered. Plates or renewal stickers are then issued.

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