How to Register a Car

Posted: Thursday, March 14th, 2019

If you’ve leased or purchased a new or used car around St. Louis recently, you know you’re legally required to register in the state in which you live. If you find yourself asking “what do I need to register my car,” we’re here to help. While the process may vary a bit state to state, in general registering a car can be done using the following steps.

Registering Your Car Step By Step

  • Contact your local licensing office. Every state has an agency responsible for handling vehicle registration. To find yours, complete a quick Internet search using the term “car registration” followed by the name of your state.
  • Review the requirements. The website should tell you what paperwork you’ll need to fill out, what fees will need to be paid, and whether your vehicle is required to undergo an emissions inspection. If you can’t find this information on the website, contact the local office either in person or by phone.
  • Gather your documents. In addition to any specialized documents, you’ll be required to bring in proof of ownership, proof of insurance, proof of identification, and proof that any required inspections have been completed.
  • Complete the application for title. If you financed or leased your vehicle, then the bank or dealership has the legal right to the title, and you will likely have filled out this paperwork there. If you’ve paid for the vehicle in cash, however, you’ll need to apply to have the title switched from the previous owner’s name to yours.
  • Submit your paperwork. In most cases, you will need to complete the paperwork and submit it in person at your local licensing office.
  • Pay your fees. When you submit your paperwork, you’ll be required to pay any licensing fees required by your state. These could include but are not limited to sales tax, tabs, city, state, and local taxes, plate fees, and paperwork fees.

Once you’ve completed the above steps, you should have fresh new license plates and registration certificates for your vehicle. Attach them to your car as soon as you’re able to avoid the chances of being pulled over or cited by local law enforcement.

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