Missouri car registration is a process in which the Motor Vehicle Bureau (MVB) under the state Department of Revenue (DOR) oversees. Motorists who need to get car registration documents must visit one of the many Motor Vehicle and Driver License offices located throughout the state. Applicants must complete all auto registration services, including the titling and registration of the vehicle, within 30 days of the vehicle purchase date. Failure to obtain registration of vehicle documents within 30 days results in titling and registration penalties. To learn more about getting car registration documents, review the sections provided below.
Missouri Vehicle Registration Information Required
The process of how to get car registration documents varies depending on whether a motorist is a current or new state resident. To obtain MO car registry documents as a current Missouri resident, motorists must submit the following information:
- The vehicle current Certificate of Title (signed by the seller) or the vehicle Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO). An MSO is accepted when motorists purchase a vehicle brand-new from a dealership.
- A Missouri Vehicle Registration Application for Title and License (Form 108).
- Proof of auto insurance or financial responsibility.
- If applicable, motorists must submit a notarized lien release (Form 4809).
- An Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form 3019), unless the vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) exceeds 16,000 lbs, or the vehicle is 10 years of age or older. Motorists must submit an Odometer Disclosure Statement along with the registration of vehicle application if there is not room on the Missouri vehicle registration application for the odometer information and the names and signatures of the seller(s) and buyer(s).
- Registrants must pay titling and auto registration fees, plus state tax and local sales tax.
- Residents completing out-of-state (or out-of-country) title transfers must submit proof of a vehicle identification number (VIN) and odometer inspection.
Where to Register a Car in Missouri for the First Time
Current residents who need to obtain car registry documents must visit a Motor Vehicle and Driver License office within 30 days of the vehicle's purchase. Registrants must submit all vehicle registration information listed above.
"How do I register my car in Missouri if I am a new resident?", motorists may ask. New residents must submit DMV car registration documents at a Motor Vehicle and Driver License office within 30 days of obtaining state residency. During this time, all auto registration and titling fees, as well as state sales tax must be paid. In some cases, registrants must pay local sales tax.
To complete MO auto registration services as a new resident, motorists must visit a Motor Vehicle and Driver License branch to submit the following: the vehicle ownership document; an Auto Registration Application for Title and License; proof of current auto insurance or financial responsibility; a current safety inspection (performed in Missouri); a VIN and odometer inspection, and a statement of non-assessment, which motorists can obtain from a County Assessor's office. However, new St. Louis residents who need to get car registration certificates must visit the City Collector's office. Additionally, new car registration applicants who live in counties such as St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin must complete an emissions inspection.
Note: Acceptable registration of vehicle ownership documents include an out-of-state title or current registration certificate. Applicants must submit the vehicle title along with the MO car registration application, even if there is an active lien on the vehicle. If motorists cannot obtain the title, they must contact the MVB.
How to Register a New Car in Missouri
The new car registration application process is the same whether a motorist purchases a vehicle from a dealership, family member or other private party. Dealerships are exempt from handling most auto registration services in Missouri; however, they do issue temporary motor vehicle registration permits for a 30-day period. In some cases, dealers may issue a 90-day permit. When motorists purchase a new vehicle, they may transfer their current license plates to the new vehicle (if applicable) or they may purchase new license plates, including disability plates.
How to Register a Used Car in Missouri
The Missouri motor vehicle registration process is the same for new or used vehicles, regardless of the place of purchase. To obtain new car registration documents and pay registration fees on new or used vehicles, motorists must visit a Motor Vehicle and Driver License branch and submit all required vehicle registration information, documentation and applicable payments. If drivers cannot transfer their current license plates to the new vehicle, they may purchase a temporary permit while registering a vehicle.
"Before I register my car, do I need an emissions inspection?", drivers may ask. Motorists who live in areas such as St. Louis County, St. Louis City, Franklin County, Jefferson County or St. Charles County must complete an emissions inspection through the Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program before they may register a vehicle. Upon completion of the inspection, motorists receive a Vehicle Inspection Report.
Additionally, motorists can only obtain DMV car registration documents if they complete a safety inspection through the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP). Approximately 3,491 vehicle inspection stations are located through the state. Registrants must submit a Certificate of Inspection and Approval as part of the MO vehicle registration process.
Temporary Missouri Vehicle Registration
Drivers may purchase temporary car registry plates directly from their car dealership if they do not have current license plates to transfer over to their new vehicle. Motorists may purchase temporary registration of vehicle permits for a period of 30 days or 90 days. However, only certain dealers sell 90-day auto registration permits and specific conditions must be met to obtain them. Alternately, motorists may visit a Motor Vehicle and Driver License to purchase a temporary 30-day permit.
Note: In some cases, drivers may transfer old license plates to their new vehicle, unless a complete change of ownership occurs. If drivers cannot transfer their plates, they may purchase a temporary permit.
Motorists who have questions regarding the vehicle registration process or who cannot obtain their vehicle's current title must contact the MVB Motor Vehicle Titling and Car Registration division using the telephone number listed below: