What do I need to register a car?


Car registration requirements vary by state. And, even within a state, you may find different requirements based on where you live, the type of vehicle you're registering, if the vehicle was purchased outside your state, if a lien is involved, if you're a new resident, and other factors.

That's why it's not possible to give a single answer about what you need to register a car. However, below you'll find a list of some of the most common requirements for each state. The vehicle registration requirements listed are for those who purchased a car from a private seller. That's because, in most cases, if you purchase a new car from a dealer, the registration process will be handled for you by the dealer.

Regardless, it's certainly a smart idea to know what you need to register your car before you head to the motor vehicle agency. Keep in mind that registration fees can vary, too, depending on the vehicle's age, weight, and type, and where you live. So, you might want to check this out before you go, unless you don't mind surprises.

Again, remember these are general requirements; additional paperwork may be required.

Title Personal Identification Proof of Insurance Bill of Sale Emission Certificate
Alabama
x
x
x
Alaska
x
x
Emission certificate only needed in Anchorage and Fairbanks
Arizona
x
Arkansas
x
x
Proof of paid property taxes required
California
x
x
Colorado
x
x
x
x
x
Emission certificate required for selectareas
Connecticut
x
x
Delaware
x
x
x
Florida
x
x
Georgia
x
x
x
x
Hawaii
x
x
Vehicle must be weighed and have passed a safety inspection prior to registration
Idaho
x
Illinois
x
Indiana
x
x
x
x
Emission certificate required only for select areas; proof of Social Security number also required
Iowa
x
Kansas
x
x
Proof of paid personal property taxes required
Kentucky
x
x
Louisiana
x
x
x
Maine
x
x
Maryland
x
x
Safety inspection certificate required
Massachusetts
x
Michigan
x
x
x
Minnesota
x
x
Mississippi
x
x
Missouri
x
x
x
Emission and safety certificate required for select vehicles
Montana
x
x
Nebraska
x
x
Proof of paid sales tax required
Nevada
x
x
Emission certificate required for select areas
New Hampshire
x
Proof of residency required
New Jersey
x
x
x
Proof of Social Security number required
New Mexico
x
x
x
Emission certificate required for Bernalillo County
New York
x
x
x
x
Proof of paid sales tax required
North Carolina
x
North Dakota
x
Ohio
x
x
x
Emission certificate required for select areas
Oklahoma
x
x
x
x
Three forms of personal identification required
Oregon
x
x
x
Emission certificate required for select areas
Pennsylvania
x
x
Rhode Island
x
x
x
South Carolina
x
x
x
Proof of paid property tax required
South Dakota
x
Tennessee
x
Texas
x
Utah
x
x
Emission certificate required for select areas
Vermont
x
Virginia
x
x
x
Emission certificate required for select areas; safety inspection required for all vehicles
Washington
x
x
x
Emission certificate required for select areas
West Virginia
x
x
Wisconsin
x
x
Wyoming
x
x
x
Washington DC
x
x
x
x

Visitor Comments

No visitor comments posted. Post a comment

Post Comment for "What do I need to register a car?"

To post a comment for this article, simply complete the form below. Fields marked with an asterisk are required.

User Opinions

75% thumbs up 25% thumbs down (4 votes)

How would you rate this answer?



Thank you for rating this answer.

Continue
DMVAnswers.com (the Site) is a privately owned, for-profit Web site owned by OnlineGURU, Inc. The Site specifically disclaims any and all connection with any state bureau, division, or Department of Motor Vehicles, or any state or federal government agency. DMVAnswers.com does its best to get the correct information but does not claim responsibility for the accuracy of the information displayed herein. It is not complete or certified information. The information provided on DMVAnswers.com is not legal advice, DMVAnswers.com is not a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or should be formed by use of the site. Additionally, the Site expressly disclaims any and all liability for third party links or resources on the Site and any claims of negligence arising from same. For official information, please consult your state motor vehicle department.