Register Car in Indiana
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Please see our Registration Renewals page if you are a current resident who needs to renew your registration.
A first time registration is necessary if you have recently:
- Decided to buy a new or used vehicle.
- Become a new resident.
- Received a gifted vehicle.
The state requires you to complete titling and registration within 31 days of buying a vehicle or receiving a vehicle as a gift. If you're new to the state, you have up to 60 days to title and register your automobile.
In addition to a valid registration, the law states that drivers must provide proof of financial responsibility. Generally, this means you will need to obtain a valid automobile insurance policy. To compare rates and learn more about how to find a policy that provides the coverage you need at a price you can afford, visit our Insurance Center.
When you buy a vehicle from a licensed dealership, the sales representative can help you complete the necessary registration and title transfer documents. If you have questions about titling your vehicle, visit Title Transfers.
To complete the registration process:
- If you are a new resident, provide the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin or your current out-of-state title.
- If you have recently purchased the vehicle, provide the new title and the dealership receipt or Bill of Sale. (You can order a duplicate title if necessary.)
- Show proof of financial responsibility, such as a valid auto insurance policy.
- Provide proof of your Social Security number. To prevent fraud, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) only accepts original documents or certified copies from the original issuing agency.
- Pay $21.05 registration fee, plus excise tax and, depending on your county, a surtax or wheel tax.
- If you live in Clark, Floyd, Lake, or Porter counties, provide proof that your car passed the state emissions test.
Ordering a vehicle history report to make sure you are aware of any issues that may cause problems down the road is a great idea if you haven't actually purchased your new vehicle yet.
All affidavits necessary to complete BMV transactions are $5. Additional fees may also apply if you choose one of the state's specialty license plate designs.
Although you can renew your registration by mail or online, you'll need to visit your BMV in person to complete the initial registration process.
If the BMV office is not conveniently located, keep in mind that select AAA Hoosier Motor Club locations also provide registration and title services.
The BMV issues license plates every four years, after the purchase of a new vehicle, or when a new resident moves into the state. There are 75 different designs available and you can learn more about them at our License Plates & Placards section.
License plate frames are another fun way to customize your vehicle. Frames go over your regular license plate and feature designs promoting your favorite sports team, hobby, or special interest.
When your registration is complete, you'll need to affix your stickers to your license plates as instructed. You should keep your other registration documents in your vehicle at all times.
If you plan to itemize deductions on your taxes, be aware that the IRS considers a vehicle registration fee based on your vehicle's value a deductible personal property tax. See page 146 of IRS Publication 17 for details and consult an experienced tax attorney for assistance correctly preparing your return.
After registering your vehicle, spend some time thinking about how you can stay safe while on the road.
Obviously, finding a mechanic you trust can save you money and help keep your vehicle in good working order. Drivers with older vehicles or those who lack the skills to handle an emergency situation should consider investing in a roadside assistance package. Looking into buying after-market auto warranties is also a smart move.
Parents will want to invest in a quality child safety seat, but these aren't the only accessories available for those who are concerned with safety on the road. Auto emergency kits and hands-free headsets are useful for all drivers and available at prices to fit almost any budget.
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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