Car Registration in Delaware

Summary: How to Register Your Vehicle in Delaware

In order to register your car with the Delaware DMV, you must have it titled, and show proof of identification and Delaware car insurance. You'll also need to have a safety and/or emissions check performed before you attempt to register.

This page contains the steps for registering your car with the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Information for new DE residents, vehicle titling (which you must do before you can register), insurance requirements, fees, and transferring registration between vehicles may also be found below as well.

If you have already registered a vehicle in Delaware and want to renew your car registration, check out our DE Registration Renewal guide.

NOTE: For registration requirements related to special vehicles, such as ATVs, motorhomes, and trailers, please visit our Other Vehicle Registrations page.

New to Delaware?

Upon establishing residency, you have 60 days to apply for a DE vehicle registration certificate with the DMV. You must title and register your vehicle in person at your local DMV office.

Before registering, you first need to have the following:

  • Proof of Delaware auto insurance.
    • Your coverage must meet the following minimums:
      • Bodily injury for one person: $25,000.
      • Bodily injury for one or more persons: $25,000.
      • Damage or destruction to property: $10,000.
  • Proof of passing a vehicle inspection.
    • After passing the inspection, a safety technician will hand you a Certificate of Title application (Form MV-212) for you to complete and bring, in person, to your local DE DMV office.

Once you meet these tasks, you're ready to apply for a Delaware car registration certificate.

To do so, visit your local DMV office with:

You will have the option to register your vehicle for 1 year or 2 years.

Registering a Vehicle in Delaware

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

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

Vehicles Purchased from a Dealer

If you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, the dealer will usually submit the paperwork for titling and vehicle registration for you. It's always wise to confirm this before leaving the dealership.

Note that a brand new passenger vehicle that has never been titled or registered before may qualify for a registration that spans longer than standard registration. Your dealer will be able to handle this option for you.

Vehicles Purchased from a Private Party

You must register the vehicle within 30 days of the purchase date. Before applying, the vehicle first needs to pass a vehicle inspection.

After your vehicle passes inspection, visit your local DE DMV office and present:

  • Proof of DE auto insurance.
  • A Delaware driver's license.
  • The vehicle's signed-over title.
  • Payment for all fees (see “Vehicle Registration Fees" below).

You will have the option to register your vehicle for 1 year or 2 years, depending on the model of your vehicle.

Vehicles Purchased Out-of-State

If you're a Delaware resident and purchased a vehicle out-of-state, you must meet the same requirements for registering the vehicle just as if you purchased it in-state.

Therefore, you must:

  • Buy car insurance from a provider licensed to operate in Delaware.
  • Complete a vehicle inspection (an inspection technician you will give you a Certificate of Title application (Form MV-212) after your vehicle passes inspection).

If the current out-of-state registration has expired on the vehicle, you may purchase a 5 day temporary tag from the DE DMV. This will allow you to drive the vehicle into the state and take it to inspection.

To purchase a temporary tag, go to any DE DMV office and present:

  • Proof of car insurance.
  • Bill of sale or vehicle title.
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Vehicle make, model, and year.
  • Payment to cover $20 fee.

Transferring a Car Registration

To transfer your registration (i.e. license plates) between two vehicles, visit your local DE DMV office and:

  • Present the titles for both vehicles that you will be transferring registration between.
  • Provide odometer disclosures for both vehicles on their respective titles.
  • Sign and print your name on the vehicle title you will be transferring your registration to.
  • Pay all necessary title and registration fees.

Military & Out-of-State Vehicle Registration

Military Members & Vehicle Registration

DE Resident Military Members

There are no registration fee exemptions or waivers for DE military members residing in the state. Simply register your vehicle according to the steps outlined above.

DE Military Stationed Out of State

If you're stationed outside of a 250 mile radius of a Delaware DMV office, you'll need to request an Out-of-State Inspection Packet from the DMV's Registration Correspondence office. Refer to “Registration for Out-of-State Residents" below for step-by-step details.

Non-Resident Military Stationed in Delaware

If you're a non-resident military member stationed in Delaware, you are allowed to drive with your out-of-state license plates provided you keep the car registration current.

However, if you retire from the military and remain in Delaware, you and all dependents have a grace period of 60 days before you must register your vehicle(s) with the DMV.

Delaware Vehicle Registration for Out-of-State Residents

If you're living outside of a 250 mile radius of a Delaware DMV office, you'll need to request an Out-of-State Inspection Packet from the DMV's Registration Correspondence office. You can request a packet by phone, live chat, or email.

In the packet, you'll find a safety inspection checklist and emission test requirements. Take the packet and your vehicle to a mechanic or dealership. Ask them to inspect your vehicle as instructed in the Out-of-State Inspection Packet.

After the inspection, you'll need an endorsement from the inspecting mechanic that your vehicle conforms to Delaware's emission and safety requirements.

Mail the following to the address provided in the Out-of-State Inspection packet:

  • Photocopy of your DE driver's license and insurance card.
  • Inspecting mechanic's endorsement.
  • A self-addressed envelope for your current address.
  • Payment for DE car registration fees (see “Vehicle Registration Fees" below).

Vehicle Registration Fees

The cost to register your vehicle in Delaware is as follows:

  • Vehicle registration fee per year: $40.
  • Duplicate license plates with sticker: $10.
  • Duplicate plates without sticker: $5.
  • Duplicate Delaware car registration card: $10.
  • Vehicle inspection: Free.

You may review the DE DMV's auto registration fee chart or use the fee calculator to estimate the registration/title fees you will be expected to pay to title and register your vehicle. DMV offices accept the following forms of payment:

  • Cash.
  • Check or money order.
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express credit/debit cards.

Vehicle Inspections in Delaware

The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires vehicles to undergo regular vehicle inspections, which consists of two parts:

  • A safety test.
  • An emissions and smog check.

If you are new to the state and registering for the first time, you will have to complete a vehicle inspection.

There are exceptions for vehicles currently registered in the state based on such things as:

  • The year of the vehicle.
  • When the last inspection was completed.

Check out our DE Smog & Emission Checks page for more information.

Delaware License Plates

While registering your vehicle, the DE DMV will give you a wide range of license plate designs to choose from, including vanity plates. To learn more, visit our License Plates & Placards page.

Replace Lost or Stolen DE License Plate

Go to your local Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles office with:

  • Proof of car insurance.
  • You car's title.
  • Payment to cover the $10 fee for plate with sticker.

The DE DMV strongly suggests reporting this to the police if you suspect the plate was stolen.


Certificate of Title Application
Title your vehicle with the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles.
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