Connecticut law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles 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 Connecticut residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in Connecticut. 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 Connecticut for the first time, you must complete the following steps:
- Get a temporary registration if your car is used or an out-of-state vehicle. For a temporary registration, visit any full service DMV office and bring the following documents along with the sales tax fee of 6 percent:
- Take your vehicle for emissions testing. Emissions tests must be performed at an inspection station or by an inspector that has been licensed by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. Find out more about vehicle inspections in Connecticut, or locate an inspection station near you. Once the vehicle passes inspection, you will be issued an inspection certification.
- Application for Registration and Certificate of Title, which you can request by e-mailing the DMV or calling their phone center.
- Visit your nearest full service DMV office, and bring the completed title/registration form with you, along with the inspection certification. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance.
- Some vehicles might require an additional safety inspection, which is different from emissions testing. Contact your full service DMV office to check if your vehicle needs one.
When registering your vehicle at the DMV office, you will be required to pay certain fees, typically as follows:
- The registration fee, which varies depending on the manufacturer's model year or the vehicle's total weight. Generally, the registration fee will be between $38 and $100.
- Title application fee.
There may be additional fees when you register, depending on your county. Contact the full service DMV office for the specific requirements.
RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION
Owners of motor vehicles in Connecticut 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.
- If you are a non-resident active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a non-resident, and would like to register a new vehicle, you will need to mail all the above registration documents along with an Application for Waiver of Registration fee for Someone in the Military, an Emissions exempt form if the vehicle is older than four years (there is then a $40 fee) and acceptable identification documents to:
Department of Motor Vehicles Customized Services Unit 60 State Street Wethersfield, CT 06161-5049
- The process for registering a motorcycle is generally the same as a car registration; however, there are different procedures for boat registration and custom car registration.
- See also Renewing Your Vehicle Registration.
- See also Title Transfers and Car Insurance.