How to Replace a Lost Registration Card

Date posted: 06/20/2012

by Kathy Teel on
in Registration & Titling

1135 How to Replace a Lost Registration Card

If a policeman or highway patrol officer stops you, you must be able to prove that your vehicle is registered in your home state. Usually, this isn’t a problem – unless your registration card has become lost or seriously damaged.

Fortunately, you can replace registration cards easily enough, though the process differs from state to state.

Car Registration Explained

People sometimes get the title and registration mixed up.

The car title is the formal deed of ownership similar to the deed for a house, and certifies that you own the car.

The car registration, on the other hand, speaks to the vehicle’s road worthiness, and is issued with the license plate(s). The registration card certifies that your car is road worthy and insured, and you must keep it in the car and provide it to law enforcement on demand.

Remember: Safety Inspections and Vehicle Registration

Note that some states require safety inspections and smog checks before drivers can register or renew their vehicles’ registrations.

Generally, you won’t have to have your vehicle re-inspected just to replace a lost registration card, but requirements do vary by state.

Duplicate Registration Checklist

Requirements vary by state, but expect to provide the:

Replacing the Lost Registration Card

You will need to complete an application for a duplicate registration (in many places, you can do the registration online, rather than in person) and pay a nominal fee.

The DMV will furnish the duplication registration, either in person, or through the mail. In some places, the online registration card will be available for download and printing from home.

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About Kathy Teel

Kathy Teel is a freelance writer and editor, a sometime college instructor, and a perpetual student. She has written extensively in the areas of local law, business, politics, addiction and recovery, marriage and sexuality, parenting, education, and religion and spirituality. She is a founding member of her town’s community theatre and works with learning disabled children in her local school. She makes her home in Missouri with her husband, another writer/ editor/ student/ actor, and her three incredibly talented children. Kathy has been writing for a living since 2006, and would love to consider new projects. Contact her at More articles by Kathy Teel

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