How to Register Your Vehicle as a New Resident: Simple Steps From blog: How to Register Your Vehicle as a New Resident: Simple Steps From

Moving to a new state can be stressful, time-consuming and expensive, but if you intend to operate a motor vehicle, you will need to register your vehicle in your new home state. Depending on the state you move to, this can be a relatively difficult task, requiring motorists to complete numerous forms and register within a relatively small timeframe. If you need to register your car in a new state, the team at has provided you with the information you need below.

Registering Your Vehicle on Time

In the vast majority of states, you will have 20-30 days to register your vehicle after your arrival. You will need to obtain a new driver’s license from your new home state, which will serve as a form of identification. If you possess an out-of-state title, you will need to give it to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your new state when you apply for a new title. If the lienholder of the vehicle resides outside of the state, you may have to refinance through a new lending company or pay the lienholder in full before your new home state provides you with a new title. The team at notes that, to obtain a new title and registration, you will have to fill out specific title and registration applications.

Documents You Will Need

When the time to register and title your vehicle arrives, you will need to provide the DMV with the following:

  • Documents proving that you have transferred your title to your new home state
  • A copy of your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
  • Proof of liability insurance coverage
  • A credit card, check or money order to pay any applicable registration fees (most state DMVs do not accept cash payments)
  • A certificate from the leasing company (if the vehicle is leased)

The team recommends you visit your state DMV website before attempting to re-register your car. Depending on the state you live in, you may need to provide additional documentation before you can re-register. You will also have to present some form of identification when you visit the DMV.

Pass the State-Mandated Vehicle Inspection

Once your vehicle is registered, your state may give you a specific amount of time to get your vehicle inspected. Your vehicle may only be inspected at an official inspection location, and most of the major parts of your vehicle will be examined. If a serious defect is detected, you will need to have it repaired before your car can pass the inspection. If you fail to get your car inspected within the specified period, your registration will be invalid, and you will not be allowed to operate your car.

Pass the Emissions Inspection & Maintenance Test

Some states require all licensed drivers to pass an emissions inspection and maintenance test before they can register their vehicle. This test is regulated by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, whose primary goal is to reduce pollution and improve air quality. This will more than likely not be a problem for owners of newer vehicles, as air quality and emissions are taken into consideration by car manufacturers. However, if you are the owner of an older vehicle, the team recommends contacting your local DMV to learn more.