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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

Submitted by rafael1971 on 10th May 2013

I am in the process to go

I am in the process to go back to the states, I am serving overseas( active duty and my next duty station is dretroit Michigan, and my car is an American car but I bought it here in Germany in 2008. to register in Michigan what do I need to show at the time I get there.

Submitted by most curious on 7th Jul 2012

unable to find information on

unable to find information on this website about how to register a vehicle purchased from an out of state dealer. Also does not include payment methods-does the Secretary of state take visa/mastercard/american express/debit for sales tax of vehicles and/or registrations etc. Please advise

Submitted by djnotbj@aol.com on 10th Apr 2015

would like to register our

would like to register our 24' Holiday Rambler. we bought in Las Vegas,Nev. we will have it in Twin Lakes, Mi in June. What the cost and what you need to get it Registered in Mich.

We stay in our summer home on Little Lake Gerald on Telephone road.

thank you Jack Luttinen

Submitted by Anonymous on 4th Mar 2011

I sold my auto to my sister

I sold my auto to my sister but because the title was in my husbands name she still had to pay the sales tax. That's just wrong, I was the primary driver of the car and my husband is her family!! What can I do to help her get her money back?

Submitted by Boxxman on 23rd May 2016

Should've put down a dollar

Should've put down a dollar for the price on the title. To help get the money back. You can't. Unless you give her the money and take a loss on the car

Submitted by flowers_in_hair2 on 11th Mar 2012

Your husband is NOT her

Your husband is NOT her family. When they are talking about family, they mean blood related and one step down from you.

Submitted by goldseal3234 on 4th Feb 2012

You said "I sold my auto".

You said "I sold my auto". If you sold it, you owe sales tax. Doesn't matter that you happen to eat at the same table at thanksgiving.