Obtaining a Connecticut vehicle registration through the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is an important step for vehicle owners who have recently moved within the state or purchased a new or used vehicle. Motorists can apply for a new car registration in person through a nearby DMV office by submitting several types of documents and fee payments. The prerequisites to get an auto registration will vary to a certain degree depending on factors such as the applicant’s circumstances and the type of his or her vehicle.

When registering a car in CT, vehicle owners will have to complete several steps, which will also differ depending on whether they are existing or new state residents and whether or not they have purchased a new or a used vehicle. The applicable car registration fees may also vary depending on the type of vehicle due for registration. Continue reading the following sections to learn more about the state vehicle registration requirements and procedures.

Connecticut Car Registration Requirements

The state DMV will issue a car registration in Connecticut only to applicants who meet the full set of applicable requirements. The standard prerequisites to get vehicle registration documents are explored below:

  • You have the vehicle ownership document, such as a reassigned title or an out-of-state title certificate.
    • Vehicles older than 20 model years do not require a title.
  • You have obtained the corresponding vehicle insurance coverage, as required by law.
  • You have obtained Power of Attorney from your leasing company, if the vehicle is leased.
  • You have successfully paid the applicable property taxes and you do not have any unresolved traffic citations on record.
  • Your vehicle complies with the DMV emissions requirements.
  • Your vehicle has passed a vehicle identification number check, if required to do so.
  • You have collected the necessary paperwork and fee payments.

You must apply for a CT DMV registration within a certain time period after obtaining the vehicle or transferring within the state. For example, if you are a new state resident, you must complete the vehicle registration process within 60 days of moving from another state.

Car Insurance Requirements for Registering a Car in Connecticut

One of the more important car registration requirements in Connecticut is obtaining the mandatory liability insurance coverage. Per state law, vehicle registration applicants must obtain a car insurance policy that covers the following amounts:

  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one individual
  • $50,000 for the bodily injuries and/or deaths of all accident participants
  • $25,000 for property damages

When applying for your vehicle registration, you will be asked to furnish proof of insurance, such as an insurance card issued by an insurance company registered to conduct business within Connecticut. You must file this insurance proof at least once a year while your car registration is in effect.

Vehicle Inspection/Smog Inspection/VIN Inspection Requirements in Connecticut

Before issuing a Connecticut auto registration, the state DMV must verify whether or not the motor vehicle meets the state safety standards. For that purpose, the department requires applicants registering a car in CT to submit their motor vehicle to certain inspection procedures. For example, the majority of vehicles must comply with the state emissions inspection requirements on a biennial basis. Certain motor vehicles, such as newer model vehicles and vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds, are exempted from this prerequisite.

The state DMV may also require vehicle registration applicants to submit their vehicle to a VIN verification procedure. The VIN inspection must be completed if and when a new state resident transports an out-of-state vehicle within Connecticut that is exempted from the emissions requirements. Check with the state DMV whether or not you have to submit your motor vehicle to any inspections before making your office visit.

Registering a Vehicle in Connecticut

The process of registering a vehicle in Connecticut can be completed in person through a nearby DMV office. The procedure to register car, motorcycle, truck or another type of vehicle will vary slightly depending on factors such as whether you have purchased a new or a used motor vehicle and whether or not your vehicle was licensed outside of the state. Regardless of your circumstances, however, you will still have to submit several types of documents and pay car registration fees as required under your circumstances.

How to Register a New Car in Connecticut

If you are wondering how to register a car in Connecticut after purchasing a new vehicle from a dealership, note that dealerships will register the vehicle on your behalf, in most cases. You will only be required to pay the purchase price and the applicable sales and use tax. However, if you need an auto registration for a new vehicle purchased from an out-of-state dealership, you will be responsible for submitting the necessary paperwork and fee payments upon transferring the vehicle within the state. In such cases, you will need the out-of-state vehicle certificate of origin, the odometer statement and the bill of sale.

Registering a Used Car in Connecticut

To successfully register your vehicle in Connecticut after purchasing it from a private party, on the other hand, you will be required to both transfer the vehicle ownership and apply for registration documents yourself. To get a car registration in such cases, follow these steps:

  1. Submit the vehicle to an emissions test or a VIN verification, if required to do so.
  2. Pay any applicable property taxes and ensure that you do not have any outstanding issues with the department.
  3. Visit a nearby DMV office.
  4. Fill out the Connecticut Registration and Title Application (Form H-13B).
  5. Present an official form of identification, such as a learner’s permit, driving license or ID card.
    1. Present a Power of Attorney form, if the party named on the registration application is not present.
  6. Submit the corresponding vehicle ownership document, such as:
    1. A reassigned vehicle title, if the vehicle is newer than 21 model years.
    2. The vehicle registration and a Supplemental Assignment of Ownership, for vehicles older than 20 model years.
  7. Present a bill of sale, if available.
  8. Provide proof of insurance and the corresponding vehicle inspection report.
  9. Pay the applicable licensing fees.

Once the state DMV verifies that you meet the requirements for a CT vehicle registration, it will process your request and issue your new registration documents. The state DMV will later mail your title at your recorded address, in most cases. Your new vehicle registration will be valid for two years, after which, you will be required to complete the vehicle registration renewal procedure.

How to Register a Car in Connecticut as a New Resident

You will need to visit a nearby DMV office and submit the necessary items in person within two months of your move. Before applying for a car registration, however, you will have to submit your vehicle to an emissions test or a VIN verification and get an insurance coverage. Then, you will have to gather the necessary items, including a filled out application form, the out-of-state vehicle ownership document and the applicable fee payments. Once you meet all DMV prerequisites, you can proceed to a motor licensing office to submit your CT vehicle registration request.

Note: If your vehicle title is in the possession of a lienholder or a leasing company, you must request the corresponding institution to mail the title to the Connecticut DMV before making your office visit.

Vehicle Registration for Military Members in Connecticut

Military members who need to apply for a Connecticut vehicle registration after commencing their active military duty can submit their requests by mail. To get a car registration in such cases, members of the military will be required to collect the necessary paperwork and send it to the DMV Customized Services Unit in Wethersfield.

In addition to the above standard paperwork requirements active duty personnel will also need the Application for Waiver of Registration Fee – Active Service in U.S. Armed Forces (Form B-276). The state DMV will manufacture new CT car registrations for military members free of charge. However, the title and lien fees will still apply.

Temporary DMV Registration in Connecticut

The department also issues Connecticut temporary registration permits. These short-term registration documents are manufactured for applicants who need to transport their vehicles to locations such as safety inspection sites and emissions test stations. Various types of vehicles may qualify for a temporary registration at a different fee.

Note that, if you obtain a temporary car registration, you are encouraged to utilize it for its intended purpose within its first 10 days of validity to allow for sufficient time to finalize the car registration procedure.

Connecticut License Plates

After processing a Connecticut car registration application, the state DMV will usually manufacture and issue the corresponding registration documents and license plates during the same office visit. However, motorists obtaining a new car registration and certain vanity and/or specialty plates will receive their plates at a later date. In such cases, the department may require the submission of additional application forms and the payment of additional fees.

Note: You also have the option of transferring valid plates associated with an old registration to your new vehicle.

Connecticut Car Registration Fees

The last step when getting a vehicle registration in Connecticut is arranging payment for the applicable titling and registration fees. Note that the total car registration cost may vary depending on factors such as the applicant’s circumstances and the type and weight of his or her vehicle. The following list outlines a sample of the most common CT vehicle registration fees:

  • $80 two-year passenger vehicle registration.
  • $10 Clean Air Act fee.
  • $45 fee for a one-year registration for senior applicants.
  • $21 plate transfer fee, if applicable.
  • $25 title fee.
  • $5 license plate fee.
  • $21 temporary registration fee.
  • The applicable sales tax.
  • An emissions test and VIN inspection fee, if applicable.
Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.