Car Registration in New York

COVID-19 Effects on Registration Services

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state DMVs nationwide have closed driver licensing offices, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. If possible, residents should use the DMV's online services to complete any relevant transactions. Follow the DMV's most recent updates for the latest information.

New York Vehicle Registration

How to register a vehicle with the New York DMV:

  • Visit your local DMV office.
  • Complete a Vehicle Registration/Title Application (Form MV-82).
  • Provide proof of identity, car insurance, and ownership.
  • Pay the $50 title fee, $25 license plate fee, and tax.
  • For more information, see below.

New to New York?

You must get your car registered with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV) when you move to New York. The car must be registered within 30 days of establishing residency, and you must get New York car insurance before you register the vehicle.

To register your car, go to your local NYSDMV office and:

  • Present a New York State Insurance Identification Card (Form FS-20), either printed or on your mobile device.
    • New York does not accept out-of-state insurance.
  • Complete the Vehicle Registration/Title Application (Form MV-82).
  • Present your:
    • Proof of identification.
    • Out-of-state proof of vehicle ownership.
      • See below if a lienholder currently has your vehicle title.
  • Fill out the Claim for Sales Tax Exemption (Form DTF-803) for a tax exemption if you purchased the car before you moved to New York.
  • Pay the registration fees, which are based on your vehicle's weight.

The New York DMV provides a comprehensive documents guide that will walk you through your specific circumstances and help you understand which items you need to bring.

Vehicles with Liens

If you have a loan on your car and a lienholder has your title, the New York State DMV will record this information on your registration and title.

Go to your local NYSDMV office and:

  • Provide a certified copy of your vehicle title from the lienholder (the copy of the vehicle title and the certification of the title must be on the same piece of paper).
  • Provide a statement from the lienholder on company letterhead that:
    • Identifies the owner.
    • Lists the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN).
    • Shows that the lienholder has possession of the original title and knows the owner of the vehicle is registering the vehicle in New York. The lienholder statement cannot request notification of registration from the NYSDMV, as they will not provide that service.
  • Present a New York State Insurance Identification Card (Form FS-20).
  • Complete the Vehicle Registration/Title Application (Form MV-82).
  • Fill out the Claim for Sales Tax Exemption (Form DTF-803) for a tax exemption if you purchased the car before you moved to New York.
  • Pay the registration fees, which are based on your vehicle's weight.

Registering a Vehicle in New York

All vehicles in New York must be registered to be on the road. There are different processes based on whether you have bought the vehicle from a dealer or from a private party.


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

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

Insurance is a requirement in New York for every vehicle, whether it is being driven or not. Whenever you are registering a vehicle, you must present proof of insurance in the form of the New York State Insurance Identification Card (form FS-20).

Go to our page on Car Insurance in New York for more information.

Vehicles Purchased from a Dealer

Buying a vehicle from a car dealership can make registering it very easy, because the dealership usually submits all of the information to the NYSDMV on your behalf. Most dealerships can also issue temporary vehicle registration certificates and license plates.

Be aware that dealerships are allowed to charge a fee to take care of the registration paperwork.

If you are registering the car yourself, go to your local NYSDMV Office with:

  • Paperwork received from dealership at time of purchase:
    • Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin.
    • Dealer's bill of sale (form MV-50).
    • Proof of payment of sales tax. If you did not pay sales tax with the dealer, you will be required to pay it when you register.
  • Present a New York State Insurance Identification Card (form FS-20).
  • A completed Vehicle Registration/Title Application (Form MV-82).
  • Proof of identification and date of birth.
  • Payment for all registration fees and taxes. Fees are based upon the weight of your vehicle.

Vehicles Purchased from an Individual/Private Party

You will be required to get a vehicle inspection when you are transferring a title from one party to another.

To register your vehicle, visit your local NYSDMV Office:

You will be given an inspection extension sticker to get your vehicle inspected within 10 days of registration.

Military Vehicle Registration in New York

If you are a resident of New York and are stationed in a different state, the NYSDMV recommends registering the vehicle in the state where you are stationed, not in New York. You can register the vehicle in New York when you return to the state.

If you absolutely must register your vehicle in New York, you can do so by mail or through a second party registration as instructed in below section on Absentee Registration in New York.

Military Vehicle Tax Deferment

Current members of the Armed Forces who are residents of New York state and are stationed in another state may defer taxes on vehicles, provided that you do not keep a residence in New York while you are out of state.

You must fill out a Claim for Sales Tax Exemption (form DTF-803) to qualify for the deferment. You will be required to pay the deferred taxes when you complete your military service.

Non-Residents Stationed in NY

Members of the military who are stationed in New York do not need to register their vehicle in the state, as long as they do not claim residency in New York.

Absentee Vehicle Registration in New York

Residents in New York who are out of state or absolutely cannot make it to the NYSDMV to register their vehicle can do so through a secondary party or by mail.

Registering Through a Secondary Party:

When the owner of a vehicle cannot go to the DMV themselves, they may have a secondary party (spouse, family member, friend) register the car for them.

  • The person whose name will be on the registration must fill out all the forms listed in the ‚ÄúRegister by Mail" section below.
  • The secondary party must then go to your local NYSDMV Office and present proofs of identification for the person registering car and the secondary party.
  • Pay all the required fees and taxes.

Register by Mail

If you are out of state, or extenuating circumstances require you to register by mail, follow the below steps.

Mail all the forms and the payment by express mail, certified mail, or registered mail to your local NYSDMV Office. You can have your registration items mailed to an address different from that which is on your registration document. Make sure to include a note clearly specifying the return address you wish them to be sent to.

Allow 2 weeks for the documents to be delivered, and once they are, allow an additional 90 days for the DMV to process the application.

When the car is registered, the NYSDMV will send:

  • A 10-day inspection extension sticker to be used when you return to New York.
  • Your registration documents.
  • Vehicle license plates.

If the application is rejected for any reason, it will be sent back to you with instructions to complete the form and return it.

New York Vehicle Registration Fees

Registering vehicles for the first time in New York requires payment of fees and taxes on the vehicle. These include sales tax, vehicle license plate fees, title certification fees, and vehicle use tax in some counties.

All first-time registrants must pay these NYS DMV fees:

  • $25 plate fee.
  • $50 title certificate fee.
  • Sales tax of your jurisdiction.

There is also a 2-year fee of $32.50 if you drive an electric vehicle, or a car with 6 cylinders or more. Other vehicle registration fees vary based on your vehicle's weight, and cover a period of 2 years. Go to the NYSDMV fees page to estimate a general figure for what it might cost to register your vehicle.

Custom-Built Cars

Registering your custom-built vehicle in New York follows a different process to registering a regular car. The NY DMV offers a convenient application package with all the documents you need, which you can request by calling (518) 474-5282 or mailing:

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Safety Technical Services
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 220C
Albany, NY 12228

Some of the steps you'll need to take to register your custom car include:

  • Obtaining a weight certificate.
  • Taking photos of your car.
  • Having your vehicle examined to obtain a vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Having your vehicle pass a safety inspection.

All of the information and forms you'll need will be included in your application package. For more information, refer to the NY DMV Instructions for Registering a Homemade Vehicle.

NY Vehicle Inspections

If you purchase your vehicle from a dealer, the dealer is responsible for getting the vehicle inspected within 30 days of sale.

If you purchase your vehicle from a private individual, you will be given an inspection extension sticker to get your vehicle inspected within 10 days of registration.

Out-of-state vehicles will be given an inspection sticker to be used when the vehicle is returned to New York.

Visit our page on Smog & Emissions Checks in New York for inspection requirements.

Registering a Vehicle Imported from a Foreign Country

To register a vehicle that you imported from another country, it will need to first pass U.S. Customs and Border Protection and pass all New York State emissions standards.

Contact your local U.S. C&BP port office to learn how to obtain the proper documents for registration. The state of New York accepts the following:

  • 368 Collection Receipt or Informal Entry.
  • CPB 3299 Declaration for Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles.
  • CPB 7501 Entry Summary.
  • CPB 7523 Entry and Manifest of Merchandise Free of Duty, Carrier's Certificate of Release.
  • CPB 3311 Declaration for Free Entry of Returned American Products.
  • CPB 6059B Customs Declaration.

After you receive the appropriate document from Customs and Border Protection, bring it to your local DMV office along with all other documents listed above, and follow the same steps for registration.

Registering a Homemade or Custom-Built Vehicle

If you have a homemade or custom-built vehicle, there is a separate process for establishing proof of ownership and vehicle registration.


Claim for Credit of Sales Tax Paid to Another
Application for NY sales and use tax credit concerning a vehicle you already paid sales taxes on in another state.
Vehicle Registration/Title Application
Application for NY title (original or replacement), registration (original, renewal, duplicate, or corrected), OR plate transfers.
Retail Bill of Sale
Collection Receipt or Informal Entry
Submit this form to the NY Department of Motor Vehicles when registering a car imported from another country. Must be obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Not available online.
Statement of Transaction
Submit this form to the New York Department of Taxation and Finance if a vehicle was sold OR gifted without collecting sales tax.
Registering/Titling a Vehicle in New York State
Instructions for using vehicle registration and title application, including a list of required documentation.
Notice of Lien
Notify the NY Department of Motor Vehicles of lien(s) placed on a car.
Claim for Sales and Use Tax Exemption - Title/Registration
Use this form if you have grounds for exemption from sales and use taxes on a vehicle you're titling/registering.
Certification of Disposition of Vehicle on Behalf of Absentee Owner
Complete this form to verify a member of the military (stationed outside of New York) has given you permission to sell their car.
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