Registration Renewal in Indiana
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You only need to obtain a certificate of title after a change in ownership, but you must renew the registration for your vehicle on a yearly basis with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
Renew IN Registration
The BMV provides an online site for checking your registration's renewal date.
In addition to a current registration, you must also have financial responsibility to legally drive your vehicle. Now may be the time to explore your options.
Register a Vehicle in IN for the First Time
If you have recently purchased a different vehicle or just moved to the state, please see our Car Registration page to learn how to register your vehicle for the first time.
Register a Non-Operational Vehicle
The state doesn't have separate registration procedures for vehicles that are placed in storage or classified as non-operational. If you wish to register this type of vehicle, you must complete the same process you'd use when registering a car or truck you plan to drive on a regular basis.
As a courtesy, you'll receive a renewal notice in the mail before your scheduled registration expiration date. On the notice you should see details about the renewal fee, instructions for how to submit your payment, and information about an emissions test, if applicable.
If you do not receive a renewal notice, you will still need to pay your registration fees on time to avoid penalty charges. Contact your BMV; it may simply be a matter of an incorrect address.
Avoid Late Fees and Penalties
Because you can renew your vehicle registration up to six months before it expires, it doesn't pay to procrastinate. The fee for a late registration is $5. Additionally, an officer might ticket you if he stops you for driving without a valid registration.
- If you live in Lake or Porter counties, your vehicle may need an emissions test before you can complete the registration process. See our emissions section for more details.
- Have your Social Security number, license plate number, and insurance information handy.
- Pay $21.05 registration fee, plus excise tax and, depending on your county, a surtax or wheel tax with an eCheck, or a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card. (You get a $5 discount for using the online service.)
- Visit the BMV's Easy Plate Renewal and follow the instruction to complete your renewal.
- Wait for your registration to arrive in the mail. It will take at least seven business days to receive your renewal.
- Make sure you have your registration renewal form, previous year's registration, or license plate number with you.
- Obtain proof of insurance.
- Be able to verify your Social Security number.
- If you live in Lake or Porter counties, you may need to bring your vehicle for an emissions test. See our emissions section for more information.
- Head to a license agency to complete the registration renewal process.
- Pay $21.05 registration fee, plus excise tax and, depending on your county, a surtax or wheel tax.
You may may renew your vehicle registration at the Crown Point, Griffith, and Valparaiso emissions sites, allowing you to take care of your testing and renewal requirements in one location. Site personnel will even attach your license plates and stickers upon request. Eventually, all emission sites are expected to offer this service.
- Complete the renewal notice you received in the mail.
- If you live in Lake or Porter counties, check your notice for information about an emissions test.
- Enclose your payment.
- If you are temporarily living outside of the state, provide a forwarding address to the post office. The BMV will mail your registration renewal card to your temporary address.
- Mail your registration renewal and payment to the address listed on the form.
- Allow one to three weeks to have your registration processed. If you have not received your registration after this time, you can call the BMV at (317) 233-6000 to request a replacement.
- Your vehicle might need an emissions test if you live in Lake or Porter counties. See our emissions section for more details.
- Be sure to have the personal identification number from your renewal card near, as well as your payment information.
- Call (877) 4NEWBMV to renew by phone.
- Pay required fees.
- Look for your registration to arrive within seven business days.
At Self-Service Terminals
- Gather your Social Security number, license plate number, and insurance information.
- Make sure you've met any emissions test requirements if you live in Lake or Porter counties. See our emissions section for more details.
- Be ready to pay all necessary fees with a MasterCard or Visa debit or credit card.
- Visit one of the 36 self-service terminals located throughout the state (the terminals look like automated teller machines) and follow the instructions.
Keep in mind you must have your new stickers or plates attached to your vehicle in order to be in compliance with regulations. Just having them sit on your kitchen table doesn't qualify. Follow the provided instructions for affixing them, or ask a BMV agent for assistance.
The IRS considers a vehicle registration fee based on your vehicle's value a deductible personal property tax. If you itemize deductions on your tax return, this can help save you some money. To learn more, see page 146 of IRS Publication 17. If you need assistance correctly preparing your return, meet with an experienced tax attorney.
You're ready to hit the road after you properly register and insure your vehicle. Just don't forget to take the necessary precautions to keep your vehicle in optimal running condition.
Most drivers know that oil changes and regular tune ups can reduce the chances of getting stranded. However, it's also important to remember tire rotation and tire replacement. A mechanic can provide these services if you don't have the time or skills to complete these tasks on your own.
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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