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  • Car Registration in Louisiana

    SUMMARY: How to Register Your Vehicle in Louisiana

    To legally operate your vehicle in Louisiana, you must register it with the Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) either in person or by mail. You will need to provide various documents, including proof of ownership and proof of car insurance. Registration fees and taxes vary based on your vehicle and which parish you live in. New Louisiana residents should be prepared to supply out-of-state title and registration.

    Keep reading for complete details about registering a car in Louisiana.

    New to Louisiana?

    When you move to Louisiana, you must register your out-of-state motor vehicle with the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) within 30 days.

    NOTE: Use tax is required for all registered vehicles, but you may be able to receive a credit if you already paid sales tax in your previous state. Contact your nearest LA OMV office for more information.

    Your vehicle will also need to pass an inspection before it can be registered. Safety inspections are required in all of Louisiana. Some parishes also require emissions inspections.

    BEFORE you register your vehicle, make sure you:

    To register your vehicle, you'll need:

    • The Vehicle Application (Form DPSMV 1799).
    • Your driver's license (or a copy for mailed applications).
    • The current title and registration.
    • Proof of car insurance.
    • Inspection certificates.
    • Proof of sales tax payment IF you paid tax in another state and will be claiming credit for it.
    • Payment for fees and taxes.
      • By mail: Check or money order.
      • In person: Credit or debit card, money order, e-check, or cash.

    You can submit your registration documents:

    Read below to learn how to register a vehicle if you are already a Louisiana resident.

    Register Your Vehicle in LA

    When you buy a vehicle, you must register it with the Louisiana OMV within 40 days of the purchase date.

    You can register your vehicle:

    • By mail.
    • In person.

    NOTE: Registration requirements are slightly different for new and used vehicles.

    To register your vehicle, you'll need:

    • A completed Vehicle Application (Form DPSMV 1799).
    • Your driver's license (or a copy if mailing the application).
    • Proof of car insurance UNLESS you bought your vehicle at a dealership.
    • Valid inspection certificates.
    • Proof of purchase, such as:
    • Ownership documents:
    • An odometer disclosure statement for vehicles under 10 years old.
      • This can be included on the title or in a separate statement.
    • A loan document IF you financed the vehicle. You can submit:
      • A UCC-1 Financing Statement.
      • A security agreement.
        OR
      • A chattel mortgage.
    • Applicable fees and taxes, payable by:
      • Cash, E-check, money order, debit card, or credit card in person.
      • Check or money order by mail.

    Mail your application to the address on the form OR take it in person to your nearest Louisiana OMV location.

    License Plates in Louisiana

    The LA OMV offers a standard license plate and several special plates.

    You'll get a standard license plate when you register your vehicle, unless you apply for a specialty plate.

    NOTE: In most cases, you'll need an additional form and fee for special plate orders.

    Fees to Register Your Car

    The fees to register your vehicle in Louisiana vary based on your vehicle's value and your location.

    When you register a vehicle the first time, you'll pay:

    • A title fee: $18.50.
    • A license plate fee: $20 to $82 based on the value of your vehicle. The complete fee table is available on the LA OMV website.
    • Sales and use tax: 4% of your vehicle's assessed value UNLESS you're:
    • Local or municipal taxes if required in your parish or city.

    NOTE: If your vehicle is financed, you'll also pay a fee to have the lien recorded. The fee varies based on the documentation you provide.

    Learn about accepted forms of payment below.

    Accepted Payment Methods

    If you register your vehicle in person, you can pay with:

    • Cash.
    • E-check: $1 fee.
    • Money order.
    • Credit or debit card: $1.25 PLUS 1% fee.

    If you register by mail, you can send:

    • A check (personal, business, or cashiers).
    • A money order.

    Additional Registration Requirements

    In some cases, the LA OMV may have different requirements to register certain vehicles. Read below to learn more.

    Vehicle Inspections

    Louisiana vehicles must pass a safety inspection to be registered.

    NOTE: New vehicles DO NOT need an inspection for initial registration.

    Some LA parishes also require a smog check as part of the inspection. Your vehicle must pass the emissions inspection if you live in:

    • Ascension.
    • East Baton Rouge.
    • Iberville.
    • Livingston.
    • West Baton Rouge.

    Learn more about safety and emissions inspections by visiting our Smog Check and Car Inspection page.

    Motorcycle Registration

    Registering a motorcycle is similar to registering a car or truck in LA. However, fees may differ.

    Get more details on our Motorcycle Registration in Louisiana page.

    Louisiana Military Vehicle Registration

    If you are in the U.S. military, you DO NOT have to pay use tax.

    To claim your exemption, you must submit:

    • Proof that you paid sales tax when you bought the vehicle.
    • Proof of military service:
      • A copy of your military ID.
      • A copy of your orders.
        OR
      • A letter from your Commanding Officer that confirms you're on active duty.

    If you are a Louisiana resident stationed outside of the state, you can register your car by mail.

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