Search
Search & Choose State
  • Location:

  • Car Registration in New Hampshire

    Registering a car?

    It's a good time to check car insurance rates

    Find the lowest rate among top providers.

    New Hampshire Vehicle Registration

    All residents of New Hampshire must register their vehicle with the New Hampshire Department of Safety Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in order to legally drive on the state roads. When you are registering the vehicle for the first time, the town clerk will also submit the paperwork to get you a New Hampshire title for your vehicle(s).

    This page is for first time registrations only. If you already have a registration, go to the Registration Renewals page for information about keeping your New Hampshire vehicle registration current.

    New to New Hampshire?

    Once you become a resident of New Hampshire, you have 60 days to register your vehicle and obtain a New Hampshire driver's license. You are considered a resident once you purchase, lease, or rent a place to live in the state.

    The registration and titling of your vehicle will take place at the same time. The town clerk will take care of the city and state parts of the registration and titling. For details on what to bring to title your vehicle, please visit our Title Transfers page.

    To register your vehicle in New Hampshire, go to the town clerk's office and:

    • Submit the out-of-state title and registration.
    • If your vehicle is leased, provide:
      • The lease agreement.
      • The lienholder’s name and address.
        • You may apply for a temporary license plate, which is valid for 60 days, to use while the town clerk gets the title information from the lienholder. Please see "Vehicle License Plates" below for more information on temporary plates.
    • Show proof of residency (lease or mortgage agreement, utility bills, etc.). The DMV provides a list of acceptable documents.
    • Pay all applicable fees (see Vehicle Registration Fees below).
    • The state and city fees will be collected as different transactions, so you will need to make out separate checks, money orders, or credit card payments.

    The town clerk will then prepare the paperwork required to register your vehicle(s).

    Registering a Vehicle in New Hampshire

    You can register your vehicle with one trip to the town clerk's office. The process may be slightly different depending on whether the vehicle was purchased at a car dealership, through a private party, or if you are leasing.

    Vehicles Purchased from a New Hampshire Dealership

    After you purchase a vehicle from a dealership in the state, the dealer will issue you a temporary license plate valid for 20 days to give you time to register your vehicle. You must complete your registration within this period of 20 days.

    Go to the town clerk's office and submit:

    • The vehicle title, or the blue pages of the title application.
    • Manufacturer's Statement of Origin for new vehicles.
    • Lienholder information, if required.
    • Proof of residency (bank statement, lease or mortgage agreement, driver's license, etc.). View the DMV's list of acceptable documents.
    • Payment for registration fees (see Vehicle Registration Fees below).
      • The state and city fees will be collected as different transactions, so you will need to make out separate checks, money orders, or credit card payments.

    Vehicles Purchased from an Out-of-State Dealership

    If you've purchased your vehicle from a dealership outside of New Hampshire, ask the dealer before you leave whether you may obtain a temporary license plate in order to bring the vehicle into NH.

    Once you arrive in New Hampshire, go to the town clerk's office and submit:

    • The title from the dealership, or the title application from a New Hampshire lienholder.
    • The Manufacturer's Statement of Origin, for new vehicles.
    • Proof of residency (paycheck, bank statement, utility bill, etc.). The DMV has a list of acceptable documents for your reference.
    • Payment for all fees (please see “Vehicle Registration Fees” below).
      • City and state fees are collected as different transactions, so be prepared to make separate payments for each.

    Vehicles Purchased from a Private Party

    When purchasing a used vehicle through a private transaction with an individual seller, you may first obtain a 20 days temporary license plate from your local DMV office for $10. This plate will make it legal to drive the vehicle from the seller’s location to the county clerk’s office for registration. Please see "NH License Plates" below for details on this temporary registration.

    To register your vehicle, go to the town clerk's office and submit:

    • The vehicle title properly signed over from the seller to the buyer (you).
    • Proof of NH residency (utility bill, paycheck, rent or mortgage agreement, etc.). Please refer to the DMV’s list of acceptable documents.
    • An Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form TDMV 12).
    • Payment for all applicable fees.
      • Please note that state and city fees are different transactions, so bring appropriate payment for each.

    NOTE: If you’ve purchased a vehicle from a private party in New Hampshire with the intention to bring the vehicle out of state to register it elsewhere, you may apply for a temporary 20 day in-transit registration in order to legally drive to your final destination. Go to the closest DMV office to apply.

    Military Members & New Hampshire Vehicle Registration

    Non-Residents Stationed in NH

    Members of the military serving in New Hampshire, but are residents of another state do not need to register their vehicle(s) in the state as long as the registration is current and legal.

    NH Military Residents

    Military residents of New Hampshire who are in state can simply register their vehicles using the same methods described above.

    If you are a New Hampshire resident serving out-of-state, please contact the DMV for instructions on how to register and title a recently purchased vehicle. You can call (603) 227-4030 or email NH.DMVHelp@dos.nh.gov.

    New Hampshire Vehicle Registration Fees

    New Hampshire charges state fees and city fees, with state fees based upon the weight of your vehicle. When you pay the fees, you must have a separate check, money order, or credit card transaction for each.

    State Fees:

    • 0 to 3000 lbs.: $31.20.
    • 3001 t0 5000 lbs.: $43.20.
    • 5001 to 8000 lbs.: $55.20.
    • 8001 to 73,280 lbs.: $.96 per 100 lbs.

    City Fees:

    • Passenger vehicles and trucks: $3.
    • Heavy vehicles and buses: $5.
    • Motorcycles, recreational/farm vehicles, and trailers: $2.

    Other New Hampshire Vehicle Registration Fees:

    • Initial license plate fee: one time fee of $8.
    • Duplicate car registration: $15.
    • Temporary 20 days registration: $10.

    Custom-Built Cars

    Registering a custom-built car in New Hampshire is much the same as registering a regular vehicle. Follow the instructions included in the "Registering a Vehicle in New Hampshire" section above.

    If your vehicle doesn't have a certificate of title or vehicle identification number (VIN), you will need to have your vehicle inspected and obtain a Verification of Vehicle Identification (Form TDMV 19A). Take this form with you when you register your car.

    NOTE: Remember to keep all receipts and bills of sale for all car parts you used. You may need to provide these to the NH DMV.

    NH Safety and Emissions Inspections

    Vehicles in New Hampshire are not required to have an emissions inspection prior to registering. You must get safety and emissions inspection within 10 days of registering the vehicle with the town clerk's office.

    Visit our page on smog & emissions checks in New Hampshire for more information.

    Obtaining a Duplicate New Hampshire Car Registration

    If your registration certificate has been lost or damaged, you may apply for a replacement. Go to your local DMV office and:

    For more information on what to do if your registration is lost or stolen, please visit our page Replacing a Lost Registration in New Hampshire.

    New Hampshire License Plates

    You will receive your license plates when you register your vehicle, unless you order vanity or specialized plates that are not available at the town clerk's office. Visit our page on license plates and placards in New Hampshire for more information, including how to change your license plate from one type to another.

    Temporary License Plates

    You may need to get a temporary license plate to operate your vehicle in New Hampshire while you wait for your vehicle registration.

    Dealer 20-Day Plate

    New Hampshire dealerships may issue a 20 days temporary plate when you purchase a vehicle from them. The temporary plate allows you to drive the vehicle for the purpose of registering it with the town clerk's office.

    Private Sale 20-Day Plate

    If you are buying a vehicle from a private party, you can get a 20 days temporary license plate from the town clerk's office to use while you are registering the vehicle. To do so:

    • Show proof of identity (the DMV includes a list of acceptable documents).
    • Submit the bill of sale that includes:
      • Legal names of both buyer and seller.
      • Signatures of buyers and seller.
      • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
      • Description of vehicle (make, model, year, etc.)
    • Pay the $10 fee.

    In-Transit 20-Day Plate

    If you are not a resident of the state, but you are purchasing a vehicle from a New Hampshire resident, you may apply for a 20 day in-transit temporary license plate in order to drive the vehicle back to your home state. To apply, you must:

    • Show proof of identity.
    • Have a properly filled out title.
    • Provide a bill of sale that includes:
      • Legal names and signatures of the seller and buyer.
      • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
      • Description of vehicle (year, make, model, etc.).
    • Pay the $10 fee.

    New Resident 60-Day Plate

    New residents whose vehicles carry loans from out-of-state lienholders can apply for a 60 day temporary license plate to use while they wait for the town clerk's office to receive the New Hampshire vehicle registration information from the lienholder. Leased vehicles can also apply for this temporary license plate.