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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.


In New Hampshire, car registration and titling needs are handled by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). All vehicle owners are required to apply for a vehicle registration and title upon purchasing a new or used vehicle or moving to New Hampshire from another state. Specific application guidelines apply to some classes of drivers and vehicles, such as NH residents who are members of the military or vehicles being used for commercial purposes.

Applications for a DMV registration must be submitted in person to a nearby town clerk or municipal agent to be correctly processed. Requests for new and renewal registration must be accompanied by the necessary supporting documentation and application fee. The DMV issues registration documents and license plates only after the vehicle owner has completed the two major parts of the registration process. Keep reading to learn more about applying for a registration and title in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Car Registration Requirements

When registering a car in New Hampshire, the specific application requirements depend on a few different characteristics. Most NH vehicles owners, however, are required to provide the following documentation during registration:

  • Proof of ownership, such as the car’s previous title, copies of the title application or the Manufacturers Statement of Origin (MSO)
  • Proof of residency, if not already established
  • Any lienholder information, if applicable

Car Insurance Requirements for Registering a Car in New Hampshire

Apart from the car registration cost, NH vehicle owners must buy adequate auto insurance coverage to meet the state’s minimum liability requirements. The NH DMV follows the 25/50/25 policy, requiring that all vehicles seeking DMV registration in the state be protected by at least:

  • $25,000for bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident
  • $25,000for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident

Safety Inspection Requirements in New Hampshire

Car registration online is not usually possible for first-time registration and title applications in New Hampshire, partially because of all of the various application requirements that must be met by drivers. Before a driver can pay car registration costs and successfully submit a registration application, he or she must pass a state safety inspection. These inspections are carried out at Official Authorized Inspection Stations across the state and should be conducted within ten days of submitting the registration application. Automobiles made in 1996 or after must also undergo vehicle emissions testing. The cost for these safety inspections vary from location to location but generally cost between $20.00 and $50.00.

Registering a Vehicle in New Hampshire

How to register a car in New Hampshire depends on how the driver acquired the car and whether he or she is new to the state or an established resident. The basic application procedure to register a car for any type of driver, however, can be divided into two main parts. During the first step, the vehicle owner must take the registration application to the County Clerk to pay local fees. During the second step, the owner is required to pay state fees.

How to Register a New Car in New Hampshire

Unlike in some states, the registration application and car registration fees must all be submitted by the new vehicle owner directly to the DMV without the help of the dealer who sold the car. Drivers who have recently purchased a new car can receive temporary tags from the dealer, however, to allow for enough time to apply for a permanent registration and license plate. After purchase, owners of new vehicles can take the following steps to register their new cars:

  1. Gather the necessary proof of ownership and residency.
  2. Prepare the appropriate application fee.
  3. Bring the application material to your nearest County Clerk to submit the request and pay the necessary fees and taxes in-person.
  4. Pay the local and state taxes.

Note: In most cases, vehicle owners can pay both local and state taxes at the same time. If not, he or she will have to head to a state agency to pay remaining fees.

Registering a Used Car in New Hampshire

How much is car registration for owners of recently purchased used vehicles resident in NH? There are usually similar car registration fees for owners of both new and used vehicles, though taxes will differ. The process of applying for registration for owners of used vehicles is the same as that for owners of new vehicles, except that drivers in this situation are required to provide a properly transferred title certificate as proof of ownership. Some vehicle owners may be asked to complete a VIN verification form as well.

How to Register a Car in New Hampshire as a New Resident

New residents to New Hampshire looking to get a vehicle registration and title from the DMV must follow the same basic application process as other types of drivers. These vehicles owners have 60 days to request a new registration from the day they established residency in the state. New resident vehicle owners should bring their current car titles as proof of ownership. Submitting late registration and title applications will incur fees.

Vehicle Registration for Military Members in New Hampshire

The DMV does not offer specific car registration services for NH residents who are on active duty in the military or military personnel temporarily stationed in New Hampshire. Vehicle owners who are in the military should try to follow the same registration and titling guidelines as other NH drivers.

Temporary DMV Registration in New Hampshire

Many vehicle owners meet car registration requirements to receive a temporary permit to operate their vehicles for 20 or 60 days. These temporary registration documents can be issued by authorized dealers and the DMV when requested by the purchaser of a used vehicle. Owners who are only in transit through New Hampshire can also petition the DMV for a temporary transit registration permit. The four types of temporary permits for registration currently issued in New Hampshire include:

  • Dealer 20-Day Temporary Plate.
  • Private Sale 20-Day Temporary Plate.
  • In-Transit 20-Day Temporary Plate.
  • New Resident 60-Day Temporary Plate.

New Hampshire License Plates

According to state vehicle registration details, a car owner in New Hampshire is issued one license plate to affix to his or her car. The plate must include validation stickers that are properly placed on the vehicle. Vehicle owners requesting new plates with a vehicle registration renewal application completed in any method other than in-person submission will usually receive their permanent documents in the mail. Most drivers should be able to receive their registration documents and license plates in-hand after successfully submitting a complete registration application packet, though some requests may take longer to process.

New Hampshire Car Registration Fees

An important part of what you need to register a car in New Hampshire if the proper application and processing fees. New Hampshire does not have a set car registration fee and prices range from county office to county office. Vehicle owners must contact their local County Clerk to find out about expected registration fees in their area.

That being said, most vehicle owners can expect to pay a registration fee based on the weight of their vehicles. These are as follows:

  • Between zero to 3,000 pounds: $31.20
  • Between 3,001 to 5,000 pounds: $43.20
  • Between 5,001 to 8,000 pounds: $55.20

Vehicles ranging in weight from 8,001 pounds to 73,280 pounds will be charged a fee of $0.96 for every hundred pounds the vehicle weighs.

Last updated on Tuesday, December 4 2018.

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