Indiana law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the Indiana Bureau 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 Indiana residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in Indiana. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, and registration renewals must be done annually, either in person, online or by mail or telephone.
You are required to register and title a vehicle within 31 days of purchasing it or receiving it as a gift. If you are a new resident of Indiana, you have 60 days in which you must register and title it.
If you are registering a motor vehicle in Indiana for the first time, you must complete the following steps:
- Get your vehicle inspected if you live in Clark, Floyd Lake and Porter counties. Vehicle inspections must be performed at an inspection station or by an inspector that has been licensed by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Find out more about vehicle inspections in Indiana, or locate an inspection station near you. Once the vehicle passes inspection, you will be issued an inspection certification.
- If you are new to Indiana, provide the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin or current out of state title. If you have recently bought the vehicle provide the title and the Bill of Sale.
- Provide proof of your Social Security number.
- Visit your BMV Branch 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, and the odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.
- For vehicles that have been registered in another state, you must also bring the original, out-of-state title. If the title is unavailable, bring the registration document, along with proof of sales tax payment.
Make an appointment online to register your vehicle. Three vehicles can be registered during one appointment.
When registering your vehicle at the BMV branch 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. You will also have to pay a 7% sales tax if you have recently bought the vehicle. If you are new resident who is revising the current registration, the fee is not required.
- Title application fee which is $15.
There may be additional fees when you register, depending on your county. Contact the BMV Branch office for the specific requirements.
RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION
Owners of motor vehicles in Indiana 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.
- If you are a non-resident active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a non-resident full-time student attending an Indiana college or university, you are not required to title or register your vehicle.
- 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.
- Auto Insurance is needed to legally operate all vehicles in Indiana.
- See also Renewing Your Vehicle Registration.
- See also Title Transfers and Car Insurance.