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  • Car Registration in Indiana

    Summary: How to Register Your Vehicle in Indiana

    Vehicles in Indiana can be registered online or in person. You'll need to be able to provide your title information, IN driver's license, proof of car insurance, and payment for your registration fee. Vehicle emissions inspections are required every 2 years, and new Indiana residents will need to have a VIN inspection completed.

    Indiana requires all vehicles to be registered with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to legally be driven on the state roadways.

    If you already have a properly registered vehicle and just need to keep the registration and plates current, visit our Registration Renewal page for more information.

    New to Indiana?

    When you move to Indiana, you will have 60 days to complete your registration in person at an Indiana BMV branch office. You must first have an Indiana title on the vehicle in your name. For details on titling, please visit our page on Indiana Title Transfers.

    Follow the steps for registering your car in person below.

    Registering a Vehicle in Indiana

    Vehicles Purchased from a Dealership

    If you are purchasing a vehicle from the dealership, the dealer will handle the titling and registration of your new car, and collect your vehicle registration fees as part of your purchase.

    Vehicles Purchased from a Private Party

    If you are buying from a private individual, you will need to do the paperwork and register the vehicle yourself. You may do so:

    • Online, if your vehicle was purchased within the last 45 days AND your title application has already been submitted.
      OR
    • In person, if you purchased your vehicle over 45 days ago.

    You may also title your vehicle by mail.

    Register Vehicle Online

    To register your vehicle online, you must have an Indiana title on the vehicle and register within 45 days of purchase.

    Once your title application has been submitted, go to the MyBMV online registration portal and either log into your existing MyBMV account or create a new account. Be prepared to provide:

    • Your IN driver’s license number.
    • Your vehicle title information.
    • Payment for your registration fees (see “Vehicle Registration Fees” below).

    If you have not registered within 45 days, you must visit your IN BMV branch office in person to get your car, truck, or other vehicle registered.

    Register Car in Person

    If your vehicle was purchased over 45 days ago, or you have yet to title your vehicle in Indiana, go to an IN BMV office and submit:

    • Your IN driver's license.
    • The original vehicle title.
      • If you have not yet titled your vehicle in your name, you will also be required to submit additional titling paperwork and documentation. Check out our page on Indiana Title Transfers for more information.
    • Proof of Indiana car insurance.
    • Payment for all registration fees and taxes (see “Vehicle Registration Fees” below).

    Title by Mail

    Indiana does not provide an option to register a vehicle by mail. However, you can mail in your Application for Certificate of Title (form 44049) to title the vehicle from out of state. Once the vehicle is titled, you can then register the vehicle using the online registration process.

    Go to our page on Title Transfers in Indiana for more information.

    Transferring a Vehicle Registration in Indiana

    If you wish to transfer your existing license plate from a vehicle you’ve just sold to your newly-purchased one, you may do so within 31 days of purchase. Your vehicle must first be titled in your name; typically, you can complete your titling and registration/transfer at the same time.

    You’ll also be responsible for a $9.75 plate transfer fee.

    Visit our Title Transfers page for details on titling your new vehicle with the IN Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

    Military & Non-Resident Indiana Vehicle Registration

    Members of the military will register their vehicles differently depending on whether you are:

    • A resident of Indiana stationed in the state.
    • An Indiana resident stationed out of state.
    • A non-resident military member stationed in Indiana.

    Non-Resident Military Stationed in Indiana

    Any non-resident members of the military currently serving in Indiana do not need to register their vehicle with the IN BMV, as long as you keep your vehicle(s) properly insured and registered in your home state.

    Should you choose to claim Indiana residency, you’ll simply follow the methods outlined above in “Registering a Vehicle in Indiana.” You may also be exempt from paying excise tax on your vehicle (see “Vehicle Registration Fees” below).

    In-State Indiana Military Residents

    Indiana residents who are stationed or living in Indiana may register their vehicle(s) using the same processes outlined above for civilian residents of the state.

    IN Military Stationed Out of State

    If you are stationed outside of Indiana, you may register your vehicle through the online registration portal at MyBMV.com.

    You can also call the Customer Contact Center at (888) 692-6841 for help with your out-of-state vehicle registration.

    Vehicle Registration Fees

    The amount you pay to register your vehicle depends not only upon the type of vehicle you drive, but also taxes related your vehicle’s age and price, and the county you live in.

    Indiana Vehicle Registration Fees

    Indiana registration fees for cars & other passenger vehicles are standardized, while those for trucks are determined based on their weight.

    Visit the state’s Vehicle Registration Fees chart for a comprehensive list of fees that may apply to your vehicle.

    Other vehicle registration fees:

    • License plate transfer fee: $9.75.
    • Late vehicle registration fee: $5.
    • Duplicate registration certificate: $6.
    • Duplicate license plate or sticker: $10.
    • Change vehicle registration information: $6.
    • Change license plate type: $10.

    Registration Taxes

    Excise Tax

    You will also be required to pay an excise tax when registering your vehicle. The taxes are determined based on the age and price of the vehicle being registered.

    Check the excise tax charts for passenger vehicles and recreational vehicles to determine the excise tax charge.

    NOTE TO NON-RESIDENT MILITARY MEMBERS: Non-resident military stationed in Indiana who have registered a vehicle in the state are eligible for an excise tax exemption upon renewal of your registration.

    To find out if this exemption applies to first-time vehicle registration in the state, please call the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Contact Center at (888) 692-6841.

    Surtax and Wheel Tax

    Certain counties may also apply a surtax and/or a wheel tax in addition to your base registration fee.

    • Surtax is calculated at a rate of either 2% to 10% of your fee, OR a specific tax fee of $7.50 to $25. Note that regardless of how it’s calculated, your fee will be a minimum of $7.50.
    • Wheel tax is calculated based on the type of vehicle you drive compared against the vehicle’s gross weight. Your tax fee will be at least $5, but no more than $40.

    View the state’s surtax and wheel tax charts by county:

    Indiana Vehicle Inspections

    Emissions Inspections

    While you do not need to get an inspection before you register your vehicle, you will be required to get an emissions inspection every 2 years to keep your vehicle legal in Indiana.

    Visit our page on Smog & Emissions Checks in Indiana for more information.

    Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Inspections

    A VIN inspection is required for any vehicle that has never had an Indiana title. If you are new to the state, you will need to have this completed.

    The VIN inspection can be completed at any IN BMV branch office for free, or by a police officer who may charge a fee of up to $5. The police officer will need to fill out the Affidavit of Police Officer/Physical Inspection of an Indiana Resident’s Vehicle/Watercraft (Form 39530).

    Obtain a Duplicate Indiana Vehicle Registration

    If your Indiana car registration certificate has been lost, damaged, or destroyed, you can replace it online or in person at any IN BMV branch office.

    Online Replacement

    If you have a myBMV account, you may replace a lost registration online. Be prepared to provide:

    • Title information.
    • Driver’s license number.
    • Payment for the $6 duplicate car registration fee.

    In-Person Replacement

    To replace your Indiana vehicle registration in person, go to your local Bureau of Motor Vehicles office and provide:

    • Your vehicle title.
    • Your driver’s license.
    • Payment for the $6 duplicate vehicle registration fee.

    Indiana License Plates

    You will receive your license plates and registration stickers after you have completed all the Indiana vehicle registration paperwork and paid all fees and taxes. If you get any special or personalized license plates, you will need to wait to receive your plates in the mail.

    If you wish to keep your license plates and transfer them from your old vehicle to your new one, you can pay the $9.75 transfer fee when you register to change them over (please see “Transferring a Registration in Indiana” above).

    For more information, please visit our page on License Plates & Placards in Indiana.

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