Registration Renewal in Delaware
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Depending on how many years of registration you paid for, you’ll need to renew anywhere from once a year to once every four or five years.
Renew DE Registration
It’s important to renew your registration before it expires; driving without a valid registration is illegal and could earn you a citation. You’ll also need to make sure your insurance is updated, showing current insurance coverage. It may be a good time to revisit your coverage, especially if you’ve had any changes like suspensions or adding a new driver. To shop for quotes, visit our Insurance Center.
Scroll on down to “Check Your Renewal Notice” for more information on renewing.
Register a Vehicle in DE for the First Time
Just bought a car or moved into the state? You’ll need to register your car for the first time.
Register a Non-Operational Vehicle
When you decide to store your car, you may either keep up its registration and insurance, or turn in your plates and drop the insurance.
The DMV no longer sends registration renewal notices via mail. Instead the DMV now notifies using e-mail and automated telephone calls. To receive notification you must alert the DMV of your wishes by completing an online form.
Fees are based on weight. It’s $40 a year for cars under 5,000 pounds. Because this covers most non-commercial vehicles, your renewal fees probably won't vary as much as insurance rates. Inspections are free.
Avoid Late Fees and Penalties
There’s a $10 fee if you’re late. You're at risk for a citation and additional fines if you’re pulled over for a traffic stop while you’re driving with an expired registration, so try your best to register on time.
You may not renew online. You may only renew in person or by mail.
- Have proof of insurance.
- Be prepared to do an odometer reading.
- Be prepared to pay with cash, a check, or a Visa or Mastercard.
- Go to your nearest DMV office. (This is also where you'll get your vehicle's emissions inspected, if necessary.)
- If you’re eligible to renew by mail, you’ll receive a renew-by-mail packet with your renewal notice.
- Fill out the form as asked.
- Gather proof of valid insurance and an odometer reading.
- Have a check ready to make your payment.
- Return the packet, proofs, and payment using the addressed envelope.
You’ll receive your decals in the mail if you renewed by mail; otherwise, you’ll get them at the DMV. Follow the directions to put them on your tags. If you don't receive anything, contact your local DMV office.
Tax deductions are allowed for vehicle registration if it’s based on the vehicle value, not weight; therefore, you won’t be able to use this deduction. If you want more information, please consult a tax attorney.
Your vehicle is now updated on inspections, insurance, and registration―but how about the rest of it? One of your responsibilities is to make sure your vehicle is safe. Be sure you follow your car’s recommended oil change and tune-up schedules. You should also remember to conduct routine maintenance like tire rotations; this will ensure your tires last as long as they should.
If you do have a breakdown, are you ready? Having a roadside assistance program, a good mechanic, and an after-market auto warranty is like having good insurance―you hope you’ll never need it, but you’re glad it’s there if you do.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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