Car Registration in Connecticut

Register Your Car in Connecticut

In Connecticut, your vehicle must be registered if you wish to drive it legally. Whether you have just moved to the state, or you have recently purchased a new car, we can help you register your vehicle for the first time.

You must have valid auto insurance before you can register your vehicle with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Visit our Insurance Center for help finding the best option for you.

New to Connecticut?

If you are bringing a vehicle to Connecticut from another state, you have 60 days to transfer your previous vehicle registration to the Connecticut DMV.

Before registering your vehicle, new CT residents will first need to have your vehicle identification number (VIN) verified and emissions tested at an emissions testing center. You may be exempt from emissions testing depending on the type of vehicle you own.

Once this is done, visit your local CT DMV office with:

NOTE: You must not have any outstanding property tax payments or parking tickets, or have previously had your registration privilege suspended.

In addition, as a new resident in Connecticut, you have 90 days to transfer your out-of-state driver's license to a Connecticut license.

How to Register Your New or Used Vehicle in CT

In order to register your vehicle in Connecticut, your vehicle must first meet the state's requirements for compliance.

You will not be able to register your vehicle in Connecticut if:

  • You have had your vehicle registration privilege suspended.
  • You owe property tax payments.
  • You have unpaid parking tickets.
  • Your vehicle does not comply with Connecticut emissions standards.

For more information about compliance requirements, see the Registration Renewal Compliance Messages and Other Requirements page.

Make sure you have an active car insurance policy when registering your vehicle.

Compare rates and buy your policy online: Visit the Insurance Center >>

New or Used Vehicles

Before you register your car, you must first:

Once you've passed the emissions test or verified your VIN, visit your local CT DMV office or a Limited Service Office with:

Just Moved?

Find all the information you need to finish your moving requirements with the DMV.

Buying a Vehicle from a Private Party

If you've purchased a vehicle from a private seller and want to drive the vehicle, the following may apply:

  • If the previous owner has already returned the plates and cancelled the registration, you, the buyer, will need to transfer the title and register the vehicle in your name before driving it.
  • If the previous owner has not yet returned the plates and cancelled the registration, there should be no problem driving the car. The title should be transferred and the vehicle should be registered in your name as soon as possible.
  • If the previous owner did not have the car registered for a while and it needs an emissions test, you, the buyer, should contact the DMV about applying for a temporary registration to get the vehicle inspected and fully registered.

Please contact the Connecticut DMV for more information.

Leased Vehicles

If you're registering a leased vehicle, follow the same steps above for registering a new/used vehicle. In addition, you will also need:

  • Your leasing license on file with the CT DMV.
    • Call (860) 263-5056 to verify the license and address of the leasing company prior to the registration process.
  • An original "Power of Attorney" document (faxes and copies are not acceptable) stating who has authorization to sign documents for the leasing company.

NOTE: Your Connecticut insurance identification card may be in your name or the name of the leasing company. If your vehicle will be used at any time for a driver test, your insurance card must be in the name of the leasing company.

The leasing company's name and address must be on the Application for Registration and Certificate of Title (Form H-13B). The power of attorney must also sign the form.

Expired Connecticut Vehicle Registrations

If your vehicle registration has expired, you will need to re-register your vehicle.

If your car's registration has been expired for more than the length of your previous registration, visit your local Connecticut DMV office and:

  • Provide your license plate number or registration renewal notice.
  • Show your CT driver's license.
  • Make sure your vehicle has no outstanding compliance issues, such as:
    • Emissions testing requirements.
    • Unpaid parking tickets.
    • Outstanding property taxes.
  • Pay your registration fee and $10 late fee. See Registration Fees in CT below.

If you registration has been expired for more than the length of your previous registration, in addition to the above, you'll need a completed Official Registration of a Motor Vehicle and Application for Certificate of Title (Form H-13B). You will be required to put new license plates on the vehicle as well.

Temporary Vehicle Registrations

If your car registration has expired but your vehicle needs a safety inspection or emissions test, you can buy yourself a little time by getting a temporary registration.

Follow the same steps above for registering your new or used vehicle, but be sure to specify that you're requesting a temporary Connecticut vehicle registration document for the purposes of having a vehicle inspection performed.

NOTE: Temporary registrations are not renewable, so you should complete your safety inspection or emissions test within the first 10 days of receiving the temporary registration.

Registration Fees in CT

Vehicle registration fees in Connecticut vary depending on the type of vehicle you own. Common registration fees include:

  • Passenger vehicle: $120 for 3 years.
  • Commercial vehicle: From $47 for 1 year.
  • Motorcycle: $63 for 3 years.
  • Trailer (personal use): $28.50 .
  • Snowmobile: $45 for 3 years.
  • Electric vehicles: $120 for 3 years.

You may also need to pay additional fees, including:

  • Federal Clean Air Act fee: $15.
  • Passport to the Parks fee: $15 per year.
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction fee: $15.
    • One-time fee if you're registering a vehicle with a Certificate of Origin.
  • Late fee: $10.
  • Contractor or municipality per transaction processing fee: Up to $8.

New residents will also pay:

  • Emissions test fee: $20.
  • VIN inspection fee: $10 (vehicles exempt from emissions test).

Visit the CT DMV website for a complete list of registration fees and additional charges.

Military Member Connecticut Vehicle Registrations

If you are an active-duty military member, you will be able to register your vehicle in CT while out of state, and you will also be exempt from certain registration fees.

Out-of-State Vehicle Registrations

If you are stationed outside of Connecticut, you can register your car by mail.

You'll need:

Send the above to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Customized Services Unit
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06161

NOTE: If you're registering a used vehicle, you must pass the emissions test at an emissions testing facility prior to registration, unless it is exempt.

Military Vehicle Registration Fee Exemptions

If you are an active-duty military member, you are exempt from paying the following fees:

  • New and renewal registration fees.
  • Temporary plate fee.
  • Safety plate fee.
  • Clean Air Act fee.

Replace a Lost Connecticut Vehicle Registration

If your Connecticut vehicle registration has been lost, stolen, or is damaged, you can request a duplicate either in person or by mail.

For more information, please refer to our Replacing a Lost Registration page.


Bill of Sale
Use this bill of sale as proof of purchase when you sell a vehicle or vessel in Connecticut.
Application for Registration and Certificate of Title
The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles' application for vehicle title and registration.
Out of State VIN Verification
You must submit this VIN verification to register your car with the Connecticut DMV if you're currently living out-of-state.
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