Register Car in Nevada
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If it's time for your annual registration renewal, get all the information you need in our section on registration renewals.
Nevada law requires you to register your vehicle with the state if you have recently:
- Purchased a new or used car
- Become a new resident of Nevada
- Received a vehicle as a gift or inheritance
While students and active military personnel living in Nevada are typically allowed to keep their current vehicle registration from their home state, they will be required to register their vehicle in Nevada if they obtain employment in the state.
If you've recently moved to Nevada, you must get a new driver's license and register your vehicle within 30 days. Failure to register within this timeframe can result in a fine up to $1,000.
Out-of-state insurance is not acceptable in Nevada. You must have a Nevada policy to meet the minimum state requirements for liability coverage and to comply with the state's Insurance Verification Program. If you're still searching for the best coverage at the right price, try comparing quotes online at our Insurance Center.
When you purchase a car from a dealership, the dealer will handle the title and registration paperwork. You'll typically receive the new registration and title (if no lienholder exists) within 30 days of your purchase.
Purchase a used car from an individual, however, and the paperwork is all up to you. You'll need to transfer the title and register the car in your name.
To register a car in your name after purchasing it from an individual, receiving it as a gift, or after moving to Nevada, you'll need:
- Title signed over to you; if you are new to the state and not changing ownership of the vehicle, your current out-of-state title is acceptable. A title must accompany all registration applications. If the title is lost or destroyed, you must apply for a duplicate title.
- Most recent registration and out-of-state license plates (applies only if you're a new Nevada resident).
- Smog check certification less than 90 days old, if you live in areas of Clark and Washoe counties. See official requirements for Nevada smog certification online.
- A Vehicle Inspection Certificate completed by a police officer or DMV representative. This form is required only if you're new to the state, or if the car has never been registered or titled in Nevada.
A bill of sale is not required for Nevada registration, but it's still a good idea to complete one when purchasing a vehicle from a private party. Before making a vehicle purchase, you might also want to order a vehicle history report for the car you decide on. This document details the past maintenance and repair history of the vehicle, and can assure you that you're not getting a lemon.
The state of Nevada calculates vehicle registration fees based on vehicle class and weight. You'll also be responsible for paying various taxes. You can estimate your total registration cost online with the state's fee estimation page. Your total cost is the sum of the following fees and taxes:
- Registration fees, which vary by vehicle class and weight.
- Governmental Services tax, based on a percentage of the vehicle's value.
- Supplemental Governmental Services tax, an additional fee for vehicles in the counties of Clark, Churchill, and White Pine.
- Prison Industries fee of 50 cents per license plate.
- Title fees (if applying for a new title).
Some drivers are eligible for exemption from paying the Governmental Services tax, and can get a tax exemption form from their county assessor. Those who qualify include:
- Veterans with war-time service
- Disabled veterans
- Surviving spouses of veterans
- People who are blind
Original registration and title applications must be processed in person at a Full Service DMV office. You don't need to make an appointment, but the DMV does suggest that you avoid the busiest times of day and the days right before or right after a holiday. You'll find shorter lines and faster service in the middle of the weekday, and also in the middle of the month.
You will receive two license plates and decals at the same time you register your car. There is no additional fee for the plates. If you're interested in personalized or specialty plates, or need disabled plates or placards, you can get all the details in our section on license plates.
Jazz up your Nevada plates by ordering frames online. You'll find frames for practically every interest, including sports, universities, hobbies, and more.
Apply the decals to your license plates as soon as you put the plates on your car. Decals go in the upper right-hand corner of the rear plate. Follow the instructions on the card to place them correctly.
The IRS allows taxpayers to get a tax deduction for some fees paid to register their vehicles. The tax-deductible fee must be calculated as a percentage of the vehicle's value, rather than by weight or other factors. Based on this criteria, Nevada's mandatory Governmental Services tax is tax-deductible. Consult the "Personal Property Taxes" section on page 146 of IRS Publication 17 for full details.
For Nevada-specific clarification, you can also consult a DMV representative or a reputable tax attorney if you have further questions about deductions for fees paid.
Registering and titling your vehicle makes it street-legal, but it's not the only responsibility you have as a car owner. Protect yourself, your passengers, and your financial investment by planning ahead the best you can.
No matter how well you maintain your car, things happen and someday you just might need help on the road. Consider signing up for a roadside assistance program and be sure to keep a car emergency kit in your trunk at all times.
Invest in a hands-free headset so you can make and take calls in the car without endangering yourself or other drivers. And never drive a small child anywhere unless she's seated in a federally approved child safety seat.
Solve for possible future situations by finding a reputable auto mechanic before you need one. You might also want to look into purchasing an after-market auto warranty to protect your vehicle beyond the sometimes-limited dealer warranty.
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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