Learn About the Car Registration and Car Title

car title
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Having questions about registering a car and car title?

The process to register isn’t difficult when you have all the details on where to go and what documents you need to register your car and car title. State motor vehicle laws across the U.S. require vehicles that will be driven on public roads to be licensed, insured and registered to be in accordance with state laws. Many states will also ask for state or county inspections for environmental protection and safety laws in the state.

Find Out How to Register a New Car

Registering your new car information: If you have purchased a new car, your car dealer will provide you the provisional title and offer you the option to have the dealership register the car for you. Some new dealers require registration with them.

If you have purchased a used car privately or through a used car dealer, you should have the title signed or the bill of sale for the titled car signed by the seller and the buyer (you) which you then take with you to register your vehicle at your local DMV office.

The DMV will process the change in the name on the car registration and title. The title is then sent off to the state office to be reissued with your name on it. You will get your car registration right away with your new auto license tag.

Note: A car must be registered in the state of residence of the owner. Before registering a vehicle, the vehicle must have proof of insurance.

Learn more about vehicle registrations and new titles in the following sections:

  • Register and change title on a car
  • New state residents – how to register your vehicles
  • How you can register a car and title a car
  • Fees to expect to register and update your car title

Car Register and Changing Car Title

With few exceptions, the car registration process is very simple. Have all the documents filled out and in hand to register your vehicle for the first time. If you have just bought a new vehicle, chances are the dealership will automatically have included tag, tax and registration in your purchase.

When buying a used car from a dealer, private person, or Mom & Pop smaller dealer, you will have to go to the DMV locally to register your vehicle and change the name on the car title into your own name.

Before doing ANY of that registration… you will need to have vehicle insurance placed on your car. Call your insurance company or check with our insurance sources to inquire about pricing and quotes. For more helpful steps and links let’s move ahead:

  • Be sure to visit your local DMV to register your new vehicle within the deadline to register. (usually 10 days from the date of purchase)
  • Visit your local county DMV office to submit your paperwork
  • Gather necessary documents, including an application form for vehicle title and/or registration, bill of sale, proof of purchase & sales tax etc.
  • Odometer reading. Some states have the certification needed for this
  • Vehicle insurance coverage for a new vehicle
  • Your personal legal ID. A valid driving license, permit ID card (if required).
  • Payment for fees necessary to complete

Note: The above list is not guaranteed to be everything you need. Check on your state to verify what the new state you live in requires to complete the transfer of title and registration.

New State Residents – Register your Vehicles

If you have just moved to a new state, you will have to register your vehicles to your new address and state. This is for your safety in case of an emergency and to stay within the state regulations to make the change.

Every state has car registration deadlines that are flexible yet safe for your family. Imagine getting into an accident and not being able to find your spouse or family. That is why the law exists. Generally, the timeline is between 10 days to one month to get the paperwork done and receive your new state vehicle registrations.

You will want to make sure your auto insurance is changed as well as your title in case of any vehicle warranty or recall updates you may miss with your car registered to the previous address.

If the state and county you have moved into has emissions or safety vehicle inspection requirements, you will have to take care of that before you make your application for title and registrations. Click on your new state to see what your new local DMV requires. Keep you and your family safe in your new home.

Your driver’s license will have the same limitations for change of address and application process for a new residency. Visit your state link on this page to get the details for the driver’s license application in your new state. Download the driver’s handbook for your state’s required testing so you are fully prepared to take the testing necessary to earn your new driver’s license.

How you can Register and Change Your Title your Car after Moving

When you finally get moved in and boxes are still everywhere you will need to consider registering your vehicles in your new home state. The safety of your family could depend on it in an accident when the authorities have no local address to contact in an emergency.

Before you register your auto make sure your insurance is caught up and transferred to your new address to make it valid in your new state. That will be a good document to show for residency.

Visiting your local DMV will be necessary to complete the new registration for your vehicle and changing the address on your title. Your driver’s license and insurance are to other documents needing changes, as you would imagine.

Get your documents ready to take with you to speed up the process and keep from having to return to the DMV line. Registration deadlines vary by state. In reviewing the states and their individual laws determining registrations, My-DMV.org has found the shortest deadline to be 10 days and the longest 90 days.

Check with your state DMV website to make sure of your deadline and download all the forms needed.

Fees to expect to Register and Update your Car Title

Auto registration fees and title change fees vary by state. Vehicle first-time registrations for new or used cars can be pricey.

Initial registration fees for vehicles can run hundreds of dollars. For instance, Florida’s first time registration of a new or used vehicle into your name is around $225. Renewals will be less pricey at between $35 and $75 per car. Updating a car title is usually under $50 in a new state. Check with your new state DMV to be sure to have the details.