Car Registration in Missouri
All vehicles in Missouri must be properly registered with the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) at your local license office in order to legally use the roads and highways. Titling and registration is completed at the same time.
If you already have a vehicle that is properly titled and licensed in Missouri, please see our Missouri registration renewal page to learn how to keep your registration current.
New Missouri residents need to register and title their vehicles with the DOR within 30 days of establishing residency in the state. You also need to get a statement of non-assessment showing that you do not owe taxes. This statement is available at any county collector's office, or the city collector's office if you are in St. Louis.
To complete the registration and titling of your vehicle in MO, go to your local licensing office and:
- Present ownership documents for the vehicle (e.g. the title or previous state registration).
- If you still owe money on the vehicle and a lienholder has the title, you will need to contact the lienholder to get the title so you can complete the registration process.
- Call (573) 526-3669 if you cannot obtain the out-of-state title or registration.
- Submit a signed Application for Missouri Title and License (Form DOR-108).
- Show your current insurance identification card.
- Submit your statement of non-assessment from the county collector's office (city collector in St. Louis).
- Present your Missouri safety and/or inspection documents, if required (can not be more than 60 days old). See “Inspection Requirements in MO" below for details.
- Submit your vehicle identification number (VIN) and odometer inspection.
- Pay all registration, title, tax, and processing fees (see “Missouri Registration Fees" below for details).
When buying a new vehicle in MO, you have 30 days to register it or risk late fees. You must submit the paperwork in person at your local licensing office, regardless of whether the vehicle has been purchased from a dealer or from a private individual.
To register your vehicle, submit the following to your closest licensing office:
- Documents showing vehicle ownership:
- Properly completed title certificate (for used cars from a dealership or a private party).
- Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (for new cars from a dealership).
- Application for Missouri Title and License (Form DOR-108).
- For out-of-state vehicles, provide the VIN and odometer inspection certificates.
- A current safety inspection from a Missouri authorized inspection station will cover this requirement.
- Odometer disclosure statement (Form 3019) for:
- Vehicles under 10 years old.
- Vehicle that weighs less than 16,000 lbs.
- A notarized Notice of Lien, Lien Release, or Authorization to Add/Remove Name from Title (Form DOR-4809), if you have paid off a loan on the vehicle.
- A vehicle safety and/or emissions inspection certificate, if applicable for your vehicle (please see “Inspection Requirements in MO" below).
- Payment for the fees and taxes (please see “Missouri Registration Fees" below).
MO Vehicle Inspections
Missouri requires vehicle safety inspections for most vehicles, and those from out of state will also need to complete odometer and VIN inspections. When you have an inspection completed, the technician will provide you with paperwork that you need to bring when you title and register your vehicle.
Depending on where you live, you may also need to get a Missouri emissions inspection along with your safety, VIN, and odometer inspections. More information on all inspections can be found below and on the Missouri smog and emissions checks page.
If you are buying a brand new vehicle that has never been registered, or a vehicle that doesn't have license plates available to be transferred, you will need to get a temporary registration permit in order to drive the vehicle to a driver licensing office to have it permanently registered. The permit is valid for 30 days, during which time you must have your vehicle permanently registered with the state.
You can get a temporary permit from your local MO licensing office or from the car dealership where you purchase the vehicle. Even though a car dealership can issue temporary tags, they will not submit the paperwork for the title and registration. You must do that yourself.
After purchasing your vehicle, go to your local license office and:
- Submit any one of the following:
- Present the safety inspection (less than 60 days old).
- You do not need to present the safety inspection if:
- You have a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin.
- You are a resident of a different state transporting the vehicle back to your home state.
- The temporary permit is for a trailer.
- You do not need to present the safety inspection if:
- Show your current insurance identification card or proof of financial responsibility.
- Pay the $5 temporary permit fee and $3.50 processing fee.
Attach the temporary permit in the back of the vehicle so that it is completely secure and visible. The temporary vehicle registration will expire in 30 days.
Remember you are required to title and register your vehicle. If you don't get your vehicle titled there will be a $25 late fee assessed every 30 days after the required time to title has passed. You could pay up to $200 maximum.
There are different rules regarding vehicle registration for members of the armed forces in Missouri depending on whether you are a resident of Missouri or you are from another state and are stationed in MO.
Non-Resident Military Stationed in Missouri
Members of the military who are stationed in Missouri do not have to register your vehicle with the state as long as you maintain current vehicle registration and auto insurance from your home state.
If you choose to register your vehicle in Missouri, you will need to follow the steps outlined above in the “New to Missouri?" section of this page.
If you are purchasing a vehicle in Missouri, but plan to register it in your home state, you will need to apply for a temporary registration permit in order to operate the vehicle while you complete the registration in your home state. Please see “Temporary MO Vehicle Registration Permit" above.
MO Military Residents Stationed Out of State
Missouri residents who are stationed outside of the state can still register their vehicle in Missouri if they choose. You can mail in the paperwork directly to the central office in Jefferson City, or you can send it to a family member to file the paperwork for you at your local licensing office.
In order to register your vehicle, you must have the following paperwork:
- A completed title certificate or Manufacturer's Statement of Origin signed over to you.
- A completed Application for Missouri Title and License (Form DOR-108).
- Proof of insurance or financial responsibility.
- Statements of non-assessment from your home county collector's office showing you do not owe any property taxes.
- If you live in St. Louis, you will need a statement of non-assessment from the city collector's office.
- A 2 year registration will require statements of non-assessment covering the previous 2 years.
- A signed statement from a commissioned officer verifying the vehicle identification number and odometer display.
- A completed General Affidavit (Form 768) showing that the vehicle has not been in Missouri for more than 60 days.
- You will be required to get a safety inspection for your vehicle within 10 days of returning to Missouri.
- If you have a vehicle that requires emissions testing, it must be tested within 10 days of returning to Missouri.
- Payment for the titling and registration fees, and the applicable taxes.
- If you paid sales taxes in your current state, that amount will be subtracted from the amount you paid to the state where you bought the vehicle.
Register Through a Family Member
The DOR suggests sending all the paperwork to a family member to have them deliver the vehicle registration paperwork in person. This can speed up the registration process because the family member may be able to handle any problems regarding the paperwork or fees right away instead of waiting for notification from the DOR.
The license plates will be issued as soon as the paperwork is filed, and a family member can send the plates to you quicker than you would normally get them from the Department of Revenue.
Register by Mail
If you are unable or choose not to have a family member file your registration paperwork, you may register by mail. Once you have gathered and completed all the required paperwork and fees, send everything to the central office:
Missouri Department of Revenue
Harry S. Truman State Office Building
301 West High Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101
The state of Missouri vehicle registration fee is a variable rate based on taxable horsepower or weight of the vehicle. The title fees, processing fees, and taxes are also due at the same time.
All fees shown are for one year. If you would like to register your vehicle for two years, you will just pay for both years at the same time.
There are processing fees for registration and titling. Both are due when you register the vehicle.
Vehicle Registration Processing
- 1 year: $3.50.
- 2 Years: $7.
Titling Fee and Processing
- Title fee: $11 (includes the initial registration and titling processing fee: $2.50).
Passenger Missouri Vehicles Registration Fees
The taxable horsepower of a car determines the cost of the vehicle registration fee.
Horsepower (HP)/1-Year Fee
- Less than 12 HP: $18.25.
- 12-23 HP: $21.25.
- 24-35 HP: $24.25.
- 36-47 HP: $33.25.
- 48-59 HP: $39.25.
- 60-71 HP: $45.25.
- 72 HP and over: $51.25.
Taxes are due when you register your vehicle for the first time. You will be charged a 4.225% tax on the cost of the vehicle plus whatever local sales tax your county charges.
If you purchased the vehicle in another state and have had it less than 90 days, you will be required to pay the difference between the sales tax in the state where the vehicle was purchased and the Missouri sales tax.
Missouri requires vehicle inspections in order to register all vehicles over 5 years old whenever there is a change of ownership. If there has been no change in ownership, vehicles will be required to follow normal inspection laws (see below).
MO Safety Inspections
All vehicles over five years old must have a safety inspection in order to maintain their vehicle registration. Vehicles with even numbered model years are required to be inspected in even numbered years and vehicles with odd numbered model years are inspected in odd numbered years. Depending on the year, you may have to get a safety inspection prior to registering your vehicle for the first time.
MO Smog and Emissions Inspections
Emissions inspections are required for all vehicles registered in the city of St. Louis or the following counties:
- St. Charles.
- St. Louis.
Vehicles must be inspected if the ownership changes. Regular scheduled inspections are: vehicles with even numbered model years are required to be inspected in even numbered years and vehicles with odd numbered model years are inspected in odd numbered years.
Standard Missouri license plates will be given to you when you register a vehicle. You will also be given registration stickers to place on the license plates. The stickers go in the middle of the license plates.
You also have the option of choosing from a number of personalized or specialty plates when you register, for an additional fee. For more information on Missouri license plates, visit our MO License Plates & Placards page.
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