First Time Car Registration in Oregon
SUMMARY: How to Register Your Vehicle in Oregon
When registering your car or truck in Oregon, you will need to visit your local DMV office in person. If you are a new resident to the state, you'll be required to title your vehicle at the same time as registration. Make sure to have your proof of ownership (e.g. title) and proof of an emissions inspection, if required for your car.
Oregon requires vehicle registration to be done at the same time as titling. Whether you are buying a vehicle or you are moving to the state, the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV) requires you visit your local DMV office to get a valid title and registration.
If you already have a valid Oregon registration that needs to be renewed, you will want to visit our Oregon Registration Renewal page.
NOTE: For details about registration for special vehicle types, such as custom-built cars, RVs and motorhomes, and snowmobiles, please visit our guide to Other Vehicle Registrations.
New to Oregon?
New Oregon residents have 30 days to register and title their vehicles from the time they establish residency. A VIN inspection will be required when you visit the DMV office. You qualify as an Oregon resident if you:
- Rent, lease, or buy an apartment or home in Oregon.
- Work in Oregon.
- Stay in Oregon for 6 months or more, even if your permanent home is in another state.
- Enroll your children in an Oregon school.
- Declare residency in order to get in-state tuition for any type of school.
You'll need to fill out a Certification of Oregon Residency or Domicile (Form 735-7182) and provide documents to prove Oregon residency. Any Oregon state tax return document will satisfy requirements. If you do not have tax return documents, you can provide any 2 documents (or more) form the following list:
- Utility bills.
- Property tax record.
- Rental or lease agreement.
- Any type of receipts or documents showing that you have been in Oregon for 6 months of the year.
- Current bank/credit union account that has been active for at least 60 days.
- Receipts of Oregon public assistance.
- Oregon voter registration card.
Registering a Vehicle with a Lien
If you have a lien on your vehicle, Oregon will not be able to complete your registration until it has an actual title from the lending agency.
You'll need to:
- Complete the steps listed below to title and register your vehicle.
- Send the lienholder a Security Interest Holder Letter (Form 735-6603)
If your old registration will expire before you get your new registration, you can apply for a 21 day trip permit that will allow you to continue to drive.
Find all the information you need to finish your moving requirements with the DMV.
Oregon Vehicle Insurance
There is a mandatory auto insurance law in Oregon. Every driver must insure their vehicle or be subject to fines and/or license suspension.
Make sure you have your policy number or insurance card when you register in order to verify insurance. You will not be allowed to register the vehicle without it.
How to Register a Car in Oregon
Oregon requires you to register and title your vehicle at the same time. If you are buying a vehicle from a car dealership, they can do all the paperwork for you. If you are new to the state, or you are buying a vehicle from a private party, you will need to submit the paperwork yourself.
NOTE: Please see above for steps on how to register a vehicle with a lien.
To register your vehicle(s), go to your local DMV office and:
- Complete the Application for Title and Registration (Form 735-226). You may either:
- Submit your ownership documents:
- Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin for new vehicles.
- Title for vehicles purchased from a private party or from out of state.
- Bill of sale, if applicable.
- Lien release, if applicable.
- Provide proof of a passed emissions test, if applicable.
- Vehicles model year 2009 and newer must prove compliance with the low emissions vehicle requirement. Visit our page on Oregon smog and emissions checks for more information.
- Complete a VIN inspection, if applicable, and pay the $7 fee.
- Submit an odometer disclosure statement on the back of the title or on the application.
- Pay all title, registration, and license plate fees (see "Oregon Vehicle Registration Fees" below).
You will receive your license plates and registration as soon as you have completed your application.
If you need help filling out your application paperwork, you can use the Oregon DMV help sheet.
Registering a Foreign Vehicle
If you are bringing a vehicle into Oregon from another country, there are a couple of extra requirements. All the above documents must be completed and requirements met, as well as:
- Complete a Certification of Liens on an Imported Vehicle (Form 735-6436).
- Provide the foreign title and all other foreign ownership documents.
- Submit a certified translation of the vehicle title, if the language is not English.
- Show proof that your vehicle meets the requirements of the U.S. Federal Vehicle Standards .
Registering a Reconstructed Vehicle
A reconstructed vehicle, also known in Oregon as a salvage vehicle, is defined as a vehicle that:
- Has a salvage title.
- Is a replica built vehicle.
- Has been reconstructed.
- Is homemade.
If you wish to register a reconstructed or salvage vehicle, you must complete all the requirements listed above, and also:
- Complete the Assembled, Reconstructed, or Replica Vehicle Certification (Form 735-6511).
- Submit all the receipts or bills of sale for all major parts used in the rebuilding of the vehicle.
Oregon Vehicle Registration for Military Members
Members of the Armed Services have slightly different rules than civilians when it comes to Oregon vehicle registration.
OR In-State Military Residents
In-state resident members of the military will register their vehicles the same way as any other Oregon resident. Please see above for how to register your vehicle in Oregon.
Non-Resident Military Stationed in Oregon
Members of the military from another state who are stationed in Oregon do not have to register their vehicles with the Oregon DMV, as long as the vehicle is properly registered and insured in the service member's home state.
If you are from another state, but would like to register your vehicle in Oregon, you can do so following the same process as listed in the “New to Oregon?" section of this page.
Oregon Military Residents Serving Out of State
Members of the military stationed outside of Oregon can register their vehicle by mail. In addition to the documents listed above in “Registering a Vehicle in Oregon," you must also include a copy of your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), plus a check or money order for your applicable fees.
If you live in the Portland-Metro or Medford-Ashland areas of Oregon, you will need to call (877) 476-0583 for instructions on getting emissions requirements satisfied.
Please refer to the "Out-of-State Vehicle Registration" section below on how to submit your documents by mail to the Oregon DMV.
Out-of-State Vehicle Registration
If you are out of state, you can mail in all the required paperwork listed above in “Registering a Vehicle in Oregon," along with a check or money order for the title, registration, and license plate fees to:
1905 Lana Avenue NE
Salem, OR 97314
Be sure to include your current out-of-state address so the DMV can send you a registration card and license plates. Keep the Notice of Transaction Submitted page from your application with your vehicle while you wait for your new registration card.
Military members stationed out-of-state can mail their applications in to register their vehicle and get license plates.
Vehicle Registration Fees
Oregon has standard registration, title, and license plate fees. Oregon issues 4-year registrations and 2-year registrations.
All new vehicles with a Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin will pay for a 4-year initial registration. Used vehicles and renewals on 4-year registrations will likely be issued a 2-year registration, but check with your local DMV office for details specific to your model year.
If your vehicle has an initial 4-year registration, you will switch to a 2-year registration once your first registration period is complete and you renew. Each renewal will be a 2-year registration thereafter.
- Standard vehicle title: $93.
Initial Vehicle Registration Fees
- Passenger vehicles (gas-powered, electric or hybrid) and Light Trailers:
- 2-year registration: $112.
- Motorcycles & mopeds:
- 2-year registration: $78.
- Hybrid or electric motorcycles (2-year registration only): $78.
- Low-speed vehicles (2-year registration only): $116.
If you are registering your vehicle in Multnomah County, you will be required to pay an extra $19 for every year you are registering your vehicle.
If you need to have a VIN inspection performed, you should also be prepared to pay the $7 inspection fee.
Trucks or sport utility vehicles (SUVs) weighing over 10,000 lbs. must register as a heavy vehicle. Heavy vehicle registrations are based upon weight and are available on the fee schedule for heavy motor vehicles and buses.
License Plate Fees
- Single plate (motorcycles, trailers, etc.): $17.
- Two plates (cars, trucks, etc.): $29.50.
- Transfer plates: $6.
Emissions Inspection Requirements
If you live in the Portland-Metro or Medford-Ashland areas, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) requires vehicles to have emissions tests done prior to being registered.
- Any vehicle built since 1975 will need to be tested.
- Any vehicle up to 20 years old will need to be tested.
OR Emissions Inspection Exemptions
The DEQ only requires emissions testing in the two cities above. No other place in Oregon is required to get an emissions test. A few vehicle types are also exempt in Portland-Metro and Medford-Ashland:
- Diesel vehicles that weigh 8,501 lbs. or more.
- Low-speed vehicles (golf carts, mopeds, tractors, etc.).
- Vehicles built before 1975 in Portland-Metro.
- Vehicles more than 20 years old in Medford-Ashland.
If your vehicle is not in Oregon, and your address is in Medford-Ashland or Portland-Metro, call (877) 476-0583 for instructions on getting emissions requirements satisfied.
Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) Requirement
Vehicles model year 2009 and newer with less than 7,500 miles on the odometer must show compliance with the LEV requirement. A statement on the certificate of origin from the manufacturer can provide this proof as long as it says the vehicle is Oregon emissions compliant or legal for sale in Oregon.
If you do not have any statement showing compliance, you may be able to get an Oregon car dealer, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, or the DMV to check the under-hood label and certify that it meets the requirement.
Oregon License Plates
You will receive your license plates when you complete your vehicle registration. You can transfer plates from one vehicle to another if you want to get new ones.
When you get your plates, you will also get Oregon vehicle registration stickers. Oregon issues both month and year stickers. The month sticker goes in the bottom left corner and the year sticker goes in the bottom right corner. The stickers must be properly displayed on your license plates to show the vehicle is registered or you may be pulled over. You can also visit our guide on specialty license plates in Oregon for information on personalized or special-cause plates for your vehicle. Be aware that these license plates typically come with an extra fee.