- your advisor for Pennsylvania DMV issues (not from Pennsylvania? Select another state)

Compare Auto Insurance Rates and Save - Exclusive

How to Register a Vehicle in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) 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 Pennsylvania residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in Pennsylvania. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, and registration renewals must be done annually, either in person, online or by mail.


If you are registering a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania for the first time, you must complete the following steps:

  1. All vehicles in Pennsylvania must be insured. When you register your vehicle you must provide proof of insurance. The easiest way to do this is to obtain auto liability insurance.
  2. Collect the necessary paperwork. If you bought your vehicle from a dealer, then the dealer will have sent the necessary paperwork to the Pennsylvania Department of Transport (PennDOT). In all other circumstances you will need to collect the following additional papers:
  3. Vehicle title.
  4. A completed form MV-1.
  5. If registering a used vehicle from Pennsylvania you will need a completed form MV-4ST.
  6. If you want personalized registration plates, you will also need a completed form MV-904.
  7. If registering an out of state vehicle, you will also need a vehicle inspection number (VIN) inspection certificate.
  8. Visit your Driver and Vehicle Service Center, and bring the completed forms with you.
  9. A vehicle newly registered in Pennsylvania must undergo a safety inspection within ten days of the registration date. Authorized PennDOT inspection stations (normally a service station with repair facilities) can perform inspections.


When registering your vehicle at a PennDOT service center, you will be required to pay the registration fee of $36 for a motor vehicle or $18 for a motor cycle. If you receive social security benefits or other retirement income and your total income is less than $19,200 per year, your registration will cost $10.


Owners of motor vehicles in Pennsylvania are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person, online or by mail. See our Registration Renewal section for complete details.


Reviews of How to Register a Vehicle in Pennsylvania

The State of Pennsylvania makes everything overly difficult! I moved here from Texas to live and work. My husband lives and works in Texas. I need to register my car here but can not to that because my husbands name is on the title and he has to be present to register the car with a PA license. Why would he have a PA license, he doesn't live here. I have been told I have to REFINANCE the car in only my name to be able to register it. That is absurd. I have moved to a different state before and was able to register both mine and my husbands vehicles with him no where in site. Doesn't make any sense and it is BEYOND frustrating why I am unable to register my car in the State of Pennsylvania.

We moved down from Canada. All of our customs forms are complete, and we have already registered our Canadian car in New York state. We are now in Pennsylvania, and need to re-register our car. What information do you require?

I have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited which I purchased in VA in 2010. It was not registerd in VA, since I exported it overseas within the 30 day window. State tax was not paid. I plan to bring it back to the U.S. this summer and register it in PA. Can I pre-register the car prior to it actually arriving in the U.S. (Baltimore)? I will have the required insurance and all the necessary paperwork, i.e., title, bill of sale, VIN, etc. Also, can you give me the approximate cost of the tax which will be levied on the car? Thank your for your assistance. Regards

I got my registration card but forgot the sticker was with it. so is there any way to get a new sticker without the card

I received my registration. The sticker is on the vehicle, but I misplaced the

registration card. I need another registration card.

I received my registration. The stiker is on the vehicle, but I misplaced the registration card. I need another registration card.

Juskowich Notary Service is not located at 3581 Washington Ave in Finleyville PA

Please call 724-348-7610 for the correct address.


Auto Insurance Comparison

Find the Best Rates
and save money