How to Register a Vehicle in Louisiana
If you have recently purchased a vehicle through a dealership or a private seller, you will need to apply for a car registration. All vehicles in your possession must be registered in your name to be driven legally in your state. You cannot typically apply for a new vehicle registration online or by mail. You must visit a DMV office in person to register a car. To make sure that you are fully prepared for the process, download our informative digital guide. Our guide contains everything you need to know to register your vehicle with ease. You will also learn how to replace or renew your car registration, and how to change your name or address.
2. By Mail
Some states allow residents to register cars by mail. However, these applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as temporarily residing out of state or having purchased the vehicle out of state. To obtain your new car registration by mail, you will need to send your completed application and all necessary documents (such as proof of ID, a bill of sale, an insurance card, etc.) to your local DMV office. You will also need to send in a check or money order for the full payment amount. Due to mailing and processing times, delays are common with the mail-in application method. It may take several weeks for you to receive your new car registration.
3. In Person at a DMV Office
In most instances, you will be required to get your car registration in person at a local DMV office. You must submit a filled-out application, proof of your identity, evidence of the car purchase and proof of auto insurance coverage for the vehicle. Additionally, you need to provide payment for all applicable fees, such as registration fees, titling fees and state taxes. Because many car owners are not sure which forms are required or which fees must be paid, application delays are common at the DMV. Additionally, any mistakes on DMV forms will add to your potential wait time for receiving your new registration.
Residents need a vehicle registration in Louisiana before they are able to drive their car on state roads. This registration proves ownership of the car, which means you will need to prove you own the car before the state allows you to register. The Louisiana DMV registration requirements vary based on whether the car is new or used, with new cars needing to be titled and used cars needing to get a title transfer. Though the processes are different, registration for both new cars and used cars takes place at the Office of Motor Vehicles.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about registering a car in Louisiana. This includes how much it costs, which documents you need to bring, whether you need to get your car inspected and how much insurance you will need to have.
Louisiana Car Registration Requirements
Before you can get a vehicle registration in Louisiana, you need to be a resident of Louisiana who has a Certificate of Title or Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin for the vehicle in question. Many of the requirements are different for new cars and used cars, but the deadline for registration is the same. You have 60 days to get the vehicle registered after you have bought the vehicle or become a resident of the state.
You cannot get a car registration online in Louisiana, because the state needs to inspect your documentation in person.
Car Insurance Requirements for Registering a Car in Louisiana
In order to register a car in Louisiana, you need to get liability insurance that covers at least:
- $15,000 worth of medical costs for each individual in the other car during the accident.
- $30,000 worth of medical costs for all individuals in the other car during the accident.
- $25,000 worth of property destruction costs.
Though you only need the above insurance in order to get your registration, your insurance company may offer other plans. These forms of insurance are not required by the state, but if you get a car loan they may be required by the lender. You will need to get your insurance plan from a company that is licensed to do business in Louisiana.
Vehicle Inspection/Smog Inspection/VIN Inspection Requirements in Louisiana
In order to get a vehicle registration in Louisiana, you will also need to get your car inspected. A safety inspection is required no matter where you live in the state, but if you live in East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Ascension or Livingston, you will also be required to get a smog inspection.
You will need to get a smog inspection every year, while safety inspection requirements can be fulfilled by bringing your car in for an inspection every other year.
To pay for the car registration inspection, you will need to bring $18.
Registering a Vehicle in Louisiana
Before determining how to register a car in Louisiana, you need to know which car registration process you need to go through. This is because new cars and used cars have different ownership documentation, meaning you will need to go through different processes. You can learn about both processes below.
Though vehicle registration details in Louisiana vary based on where you bought the car and whether it already has a Louisiana title, no matter which process you are going through, you will have the option of mailing your Vehicle Application in. You can do so at the following address:
Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections
Office of Motor Vehicles
Baton Rouge, LA 70896-4886
P.O. Box 648886
How to Register a New Car in Louisiana
A new car registration in Louisiana requires you to get three documents from the dealership:
- A Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin, which is signed over to you
- An Odometer Disclosure Statement
- An invoice that identifies the dealership and provides identifying details about the vehicle
Either the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin or the invoice needs to be notarized.
Along with those documents, you will need to fill out the Vehicle Application, which will ask you to provide basic information about yourself and the car. If you cannot determine any of the required details about the car, these details should be listed in the detailer’s invoice
You cannot register a vehicle online, because the Department of Public Safety needs to review your documents in person. As well, the office will ask to see a form of photo identification.
Registering a Used Car in Louisiana
Here is what you need to register a car in Louisiana that has previously been titled in the state:
- Proof of Insurance
- Certificate of Title
- Bill of Sale of a Motor Vehicle
The Title, Bill of Sale or Invoice must be notarized. The Proof of Insurance requirement is waived if you bought the used car from a dealership.
You will also need to bring a form of photo ID and the Vehicle Application. This car registration form will ask for basic information about yourself, your vehicle and the date that ownership was transferred over to you. It does not require the seller’s signature.
These documents can be submitted at an Office of Motor Vehicle in-person or via the mail. Acceptable forms of payment will vary between offices, so you will need to contact your office ahead of time before determining how to pay.
How to Register a Car in Louisiana as a New Resident
Car registration requirements in Louisiana are similar for out-of-state vehicles and in-state vehicles, which means most of the requirements will be listed in the new car or used car sections above.
If any of the documents you submit for the transfer are notarized, you will not need to provide additional documentation. If, however, you live in a state that does not require notarization, you will need to provide proof that the vehicle’s seller is from out of state.
This can be done by presenting an affidavit from the seller stating that they do not live in New Orleans. Alternately, the seller can go with you to the Office of Motor Vehicles and present their out-of-state driver’s license.
Vehicle Registration for Military Members in Louisiana
The Louisiana car registration cost is similar for active service members and civilians, with one important difference: so long as the service member can provide documentation showing they paid a sales tax when they originally bought a vehicle, they will not be required to pay the usage tax on it.
If you are an active service member who is serving in Louisiana, you will not be required to get your vehicle registered in the state. That said, you will need to keep your out-of-state registration up to date.
Louisiana License Plates
One of the most important vehicle registration services in Louisiana is the license plate issuing service. When you register your vehicle, you will also apply for these plates.
These plates state important information about your vehicle such as your vehicle registration renewal date, but they also allow law enforcement officers to look up information about the vehicle without pulling you over and asking for ownership documentation.
You will receive your license plate in the mail after you have registered. Until you receive these plates, you will need to outfit your vehicle with the temporary tags that will be issued to you at the office.
Louisiana Car Registration Fees
How much is car registration in Louisiana? The car registration fees vary based on the price of the vehicle.
- The title fee is $68.50
- The license plate fee is 0.1% of the vehicle’s value for every year the vehicle is registered. This fee is a minimum of $20.