How to Register a Vehicle in New York
New York law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before taking it on the road. Both new and second-hand vehicles must be registered, regardless of whether they are purchased from a dealer or an individual. In addition, New York residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in New York. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, but registration renewals can be done in person, online or by mail or telephone.
If you are new to New York State, you must register your vehicle within thirty days of arrival.
If you are registering a motor vehicle in New York for the first time, you must complete the following steps:
- New York requires you to show proof of insurance when you register your vehicle. Your insurance must be taken out in New York - insurance from another state is not valid in New York.
- Collect the necessary paperwork. If you bought your vehicle from a dealer, then the dealer will have sent the necessary paperwork to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. In all other circumstances you will need to collect the following additional papers:
- Proof of Ownership. In New York this consists of a Bill of Sale and the vehicle title.
- If your vehicle title certificate was printed after December 1994, it will show your odometer and damage disclosures on the back. Otherwise, you will need the previous owner to fill out Form MV-103.
- An Application for Registration form.
- Proof of Sales Tax paid ( Form DTF-804), purchase price or Sales Tax Exemption (Form DTF-803). If you have bought your vehicle privately, you will need to complete form DTF-802.
- You must provide proof that your vehicle meets the "California" emission standard, or provide proof of exemption.
- Proof of your identity.
- Visit your local DMV Office with your completed forms.
- You can claim a tax deduction for that portion of your registration fees that are based on the vehicle's value. It is best to consult a tax attorney to determine exactly how much you may claim.
Registration fees in New York are based on the vehicle weight and whether you require specialized license tags. Remember that the initial registration fee will be higher than renewal, as you may need to pay sales tax the first time you register a vehicle.
RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION
Owners of motor vehicles in New York are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person, online or by mail or telephone. See our Registration Renewal section for complete details.
- The process for registering a motorcycle is generally the same as a car registration, except that motorcycles are registered for one year and are all renewable on the same date - April 30. Motorcycles are not required to undergo an emission control test, but they must have a safety inspection every year.
- There are different procedures for boat registration and custom car registration.
- Auto insurance is needed to legally operate all vehicles in New York.
- See also Renewing Your Vehicle Registration.
- See also Title Transfers and Car Insurance.