Register Car in Oregon
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If you're looking for information on renewals, please see our page dedicated to that topic.
You'll need to register your car if you've recently:
- Moved to the state
- Bought a vehicle
- Received a vehicle as a gift
Register and title your vehicle within 30 days of taking ownership of it. Otherwise, you could be liable for late fees ranging from $25-$50. If you're new to the state, you should register and title your out-of-state vehicle immediately.
Registering and titling a vehicle are connected, so you'll handle both tasks at the same time.
Even if you have a registration and title for your vehicle, you can't legally drive it without proper liability insurance. So, if you haven't fulfilled that requirement, see our Insurance Center to find providers and the best rates.
If you bought a vehicle from a dealer, most of the time the dealer will automatically send the registration and paperwork to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). (See our Title Transfers section for more about the titling process.)
If you bought a vehicle from a private seller, or are registering an out-of-state vehicle, you'll need to handle the matter on your own. To do so, you'll need the following paperwork:
- Current title.
- Completed Application for Title and Registration.
- Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) emission certification (if you live in the Portland or Medford area)
- Odometer reading (if the vehicle is less than 10 years old).
- Release of interest, either in the form of the title, a Bill of Sale, or Lien Release.
- Vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection certificate (only needed for out-of-state vehicles).
If the original title can't be found, see how to obtain a duplicate title.
In case you haven't decided yet on a vehicle, ordering a vehicle history report is a good way to help learn more about the vehicle, and see if you're getting your money's worth.
Your overall fees will vary, but here are some guidelines:
After you've gathered the necessary paperwork and payment for your fees, it's time to go to a DMV office to finish the registration and titling process. Or, you may simply mail everything to:
- Oregon DMV
- 1905 Lana Ave. N.E.
- Salem, OR 97314
Make your check or money order payable to the Oregon DMV.
Out-of-State Vehicles with Liens
If you're registering a vehicle from another state and you haven't paid off any existing loans, you'll need to take a few more steps than those without liens. The DMV describes what you'll need to do.
You may transfer current Oregon plates to a new vehicle if they are in usable condition, and will be transferred to same type of vehicle.
If you need new plates and you're interested in the standard state plate, you can usually get them immediately while at the DMV office for $5. Otherwise, the plates will be mailed to you, often within 10 business days.
Your month and year registration stickers will either be given to you at the DMV office or mailed to you, depending on your situation. Place the month sticker on the lower left-hand corner of the plate, and the year sticker on the lower right-hand corner of the plate.
Although you can qualify for a federal tax deduction with your registration fee in some states due to paying an excise or property tax when registering a vehicle, this doesn't apply in Oregon. For more information on this matter, consult a tax attorney.
While you may have taken care of your paperwork responsibilities, you should consider how to make your driving experience as safe and pleasant as possible.
Start by thinking about getting a car emergency kit and a roadside assistance program. Both help you deal with unexpected and possibly dangerous situations that can arise after you've hit the road. Don't forget about helping to ensure the well-being of your child passengers through the use of safety seats. And, if you're a cell phone user, employing a hands-free headset allows you to keep your hands on the wheel at all times.
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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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.