New Hampshire law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles 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 Hampshire residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in New Hampshire. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, and registration renewals must be done annually, either in person, online or by mail.
If you are registering a motor vehicle in New Hampshire for the first time, you must complete the following steps:
- If you own the vehicle, you will have to submit the title.
- If you have purchased the vehicle from a New Hampshire dealer, you will have to submit the blue copy of the Title Application (TDMV 23A).
- If you purchased the vehicle from a private party and it is a previously titled vehicle (1993 or newer), you will have to submit the properly assigned title.
- If it is a title exempt vehicle, you will have to provide the Bill of Sale instead of the title. You will also have to present a previously issued NH registration, the NH or out of state title or a completed Verification of Vehicle Identification (TDMV 19A).
- Submit proof of residency.
- If the vehicle is leased, there is a lien holder, or the vehicle is title exempt you will have to submit the following:
- The out of state registration.
- If applicable, the lease agreement.
- Lien holder's name and address.
- Proof of residency.
- Visit your Registration locations (substations), and bring the above documents with you. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance, and the odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.
- 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.
- Once your vehicle has been registered you have 10 days in which you must have it inspected and an emission test carried out. More information on the emission testing program in NH is available here. These tests are only applicable to 1996 or newer models.
When registering your vehicle at the Registration locations (substations), you will be required to pay certain fees, typically as follows:
- The registration fee, which varies depending on the manufacturer's model year or the vehicle's total weight.
- Title application fee.
There may be additional fees when you register, depending on your county. Contact the Registration locations (substations) for the specific requirements and the exact amount.
RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION
Owners of motor vehicles in New Hampshire are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person, online or by mail. See our Registration Renewal section for complete details.
- If you are a non-resident active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a non-resident full-time student attending a New Hampshire college or university, you are not required to title or register your vehicle.
- The process for registering a motorcycle is generally the same as a car registration; however, there are different procedures for boat registration and custom car registration.
- Auto Insurance is needed to legally operate all vehicles in New Hampshire.
- See also Renewing Your Vehicle Registration.
- See also Title Transfers and Car Insurance.