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Vehicle Registration Requirements


In order to drive legally, you must have your vehicle registered. Failure to do so subjects you to fines and penalties and could lead to the loss of your driving privileges. The requirements and procedures for vehicle registration are different in every state, but many are the same across states. Be sure to consult the specific requirements for where you live to learn exactly how to get your vehicle registered. This guide offers a general overview not specific to any state.


Why is Vehicle Registration a Requirement?


In the interest of public safety, it is vital to keep dangerous vehicles off the road. The purpose of vehicle registration is to ensure that more vehicles on America’s highways and byways meet minimum standards for quality and reliability. That way damage to persons and property is not caused for entirely preventable reasons. Meeting all vehicle registration requirements can be a hassle, but by taking it seriously you do your part to keep the roads safer for all.



Who Handles Vehicle Registration?


The answer is different in every state. The responsibility typically falls to the state Department of Motor Vehicles, the Secretary of State, the Department of Revenue, or the Motor Vehicle Division. It is generally very easy to find out what agency handles vehicle registration and what steps you are required to follow. Most states send drivers a notice in the mail before that driver’s registration expires. This notice will include details that can be used to get specific information and support.



What are the Requirements for Vehicle Registration?


Generally, you will need to provide the following documentation at a local branch of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV):


  • A vehicle title in your name
  • A completed registration application
  • A document certifying your vehicle has passed an emissions or smog check
  • A document certifying your vehicle has passed a safety inspection
  • A document certifying you currently have vehicle insurance
  • A document certifying you have paid any applicable property taxes

Again, these are general requirements. Some states may require you to supply additional documentation. Other states may require fewer documents. For instance, some older vehicles are not subject to smog/emission checks. Investigate your state’s exact requirements before heading to the DMV.



How Do I Get an Emissions or Safety Inspection?


These inspections are performed by a mechanic using specialized equipment and a standardized set of criteria. It is important that you visit a mechanic certified by your state to perform these inspections. An inspection performed by someone who is not certified cannot be used for vehicle registration. If you fail either of these inspections, you will need to have work performed on your vehicle to address the specific issues.



How Long Does Vehicle Registration Last?


Typically, you have the option to register your vehicle for either one or two years. The one-year registration is less expensive, but you will need to go through the renewal process sooner. It is important that you renew your registration before it expires because the day your registration runs out your vehicle becomes illegal to drive.



How Much Does Vehicle Registration Cost?


The cost you pay to the state varies, but in most places, it is around $50.00. You must also factor in the cost of the vehicle inspection. If you pass the first inspection, the cost is modest. But if your vehicle requires work in order to pass, the overall cost can quickly mount. There is also the cost of insurance to factor in, as well as any other fees or special charges your state may levy. In general, the cost of vehicle registration is not significant, but drivers should be prepared for the cost to be more than anticipated.



How Do I Prove Vehicle Registration?


The cost you pay to the state varies, but in most places, it is around $50.00. You must also factor in the cost of the vehicle inspection. If you pass the first inspection, the cost is modest. But if your vehicle requires work in order to pass, the overall cost can quickly mount. There is also the cost of insurance to factor in, as well as any other fees or special charges your state may levy. In general, the cost of vehicle registration is not significant, but drivers should be prepared for the cost to be more than anticipated.



What Happens to Vehicle Registration When I Move?


If you move to a different location in another state, your vehicle registration is not affected. If you move to a different state, there is a grace period, typically 30-90 days, during which you must go through the registration process again. Keep in mind that the vehicle registration requirements may be different in your new home state.



Can I Register My Vehicle Online?


Some states have made online registration available, but you still need to get vehicle inspections and provide copies of other official documentation. There is also typically an added cost for online registration. If you hate waiting in line at the DMV, be sure to investigate this option further.



How Can I Get More Information about Vehicle Registration?


Vehicle registration is a complicated and confusing process. Many people who have been through the process before still have questions about what forms and documents they must provide. There is lots of official information available online through government websites, but it is not always easy to comprehend. If you have specific questions or need in-depth assistance, your best bet is to call or email your local DMV. If they cannot provide the information you need, they should be able to direct you to someone who can.



How Can I Make Vehicle Registration Easier?


The simple fact is that vehicle registration is an equally cumbersome process for all people in all states. But the most annoying and most common setback that drivers encounter is going to the DMV, waiting in a long line, finally reaching the counter and then discovering that they are missing a required document. The single best way to make vehicle registration easier is to understand exactly what your state requires and to bring everything, including a means of payment, with you to the DMV.







DMV WYOMING REGISTRATION FEE CALCULATOR



  • Vehicle Fees
  • States Fees
  • Step By Step Instructions
  • Requirements