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How to Register a Vehicle in Michigan

Vehicle Registration Online Services Guide

Michigan law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the Michigan Secretary of State 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 Michigan residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in Michigan. 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.

If you are a new resident of Michigan you must register your vehicle immediately.

INITIAL REGISTRATION

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

If you are buying the vehicle from an individual, you will need to:

  1. Bring the vehicle title.
  2. Bring proper identification.
  3. Present proof of Michigan no-fault insurance. Policies from another state are not acceptable.
  4. Visit your SOS Branch office, and bring the completed title/registration form with you, along with the inspection certification and the odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.
  5. 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.

If you are buying a vehicle from a family member you will need to:

  1. Bring the vehicle title.
  2. Bring proper identification.
  3. Present proof of Michigan no-fault insurance. Policies from another state are not acceptable.
  4. Visit your SOS Branch office, and bring the completed title/registration form with you, along with the inspection certification and the odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.
  5. 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.
  6. If the owner of the vehicle has passed away, the requirements for title and registration transfer will vary depending on the vehicle inheritance.

When you buy a vehicle from a dealer, he will handle all the necessary paperwork, pay fees etc. for you.
Temporary registration permits are available for 30 and 60 days.

REGISTRATION FEES

When registering your vehicle at the SOS Branch office, you will be required to pay certain fees, typically as follows:

  1. The registration fee, which varies depending on the manufacturer's model year or the vehicle's total weight.
  2. Title application fee which is $15.

There may be additional fees when you register, depending on your county. Contact the SOS Branch office for the specific requirements.

RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION

Owners of motor vehicles in Michigan 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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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