Required Forms for Car Registration and Renewal

Date posted: 06/15/2012

by Melissa Crumish on
in Registration & Titling

851 Required Forms for Car Registration and Renewal

Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices are document needy. Most vehicle and licensing transactions require at least one form of some sort. This bears especially true for car registration and registration renewal.

Register Car First Time

To legally drive you need license plates. To get license plates you must register the car with your DMV.

Each state, of course, has different vehicle registration requirements, but in general you may need all or some of the following forms:

  • A registration application form. Usually, DMV websites provide this form for download. Depending on your state, the application may also double as a title application.
  • Proof of passing a smog check. This is only required for cars in emissions test states or areas. Generally, new cars are exempt.
  • Bill of sale.
  • Proof of car insurance, if applicable.
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) inspection, if applicable. Most often, this is reserved for vehicles purchased out of state.
  • Car title, if applicable.
  • Special license plate application, if applicable. If, for example, you opt for personalized license plates, you’ll need to submit a special form.

Don’t forget that in addition to these DMV forms, you’ll also need to provide proof of identification and proper payment to cover the registration fee.

Registration Renewal

Your state’s registration renewal notice will instruct you on how to renew your registration.

Depending on your state and situation, you may be given the option to renew online. In this case you’ll be document free, needing only your drivers license number, possibly an insurance card number, and a valid credit card.

To renew in person, you might need to provide:

  • Registration renewal notice. Not all states require it.
  • Your old car registration certificate.
  • Proof of emissions, if applicable.
  • Proof of vehicle insurance, if applicable.

Remember, all states govern differently. To be certain, contact your local DMV before visiting.

NOTE: If your car registration has remained expired for an extended period of time, be prepared to provide additional documents, including a registration application.

Are there any other forms or publications you’ve had to use to register a car, or renew its registration?

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