Vehicle registration in New Hampshire is a two-part process that is managed by the Bureau of Registration at the Division of Motor Vehicles. The first part of the NH car registration process takes place at the town or city clerk's office where the car owner resides, while the second part of the process takes place at the state level. In some car registry cases, the town or city clerk may also serve as an agent of the state and be able to complete both parts of the process for an additional fee. New and used car registration require different documents in the state of New Hampshire. Continue reading the sections below to understand what information you need to register your car.
New Hampshire Vehicle Registration Information Required
NH car registration documentation depends on which type of registration is taking place. The one car registry document that is required for every type of transaction is the car's title. All vehicles newer than 1996 must also pass safety and emissions inspections before receiving a registration. New residents getting car registration documents must provide the vehicle title and proof of residency. If the car is leased, has a lienholder or is title-exempt, registrants must provide the out-of-state Certificate of Registration, proof of residency and if applicable, the lease agreement or lienholder's name and address. For car registry purposes, applicants must prove identity by providing two of the following documents:
- A valid, non-expired New Hampshire driver's license or non-driver photo ID card.
- A valid NH Certificate of Car Registration issued to another vehicle or a title application prepared by an official Town or City Clerk or a Tax Collector.
- A signed rental agreement, lease or deed with the property address provided.
- A real estate or property tax bill for the current year.
- An official document bearing the auto registration applicant's address, such as a mortgage statement, utility bill, government check or payroll check dated within the past 60 days.
Where to Register a Car in New Hampshire for the First Time
Generally, applicants wondering how to get car registration documents should initiate the process by appearing in person at the town or city clerk's office where they live. Some New Hampshire DMV car registration locations permit car registration by mail or online, so it is worth contacting the local office to find out. The town or city clerk will begin the process and verify your residency. After that, the same clerk may continue the motor vehicle registration during the second step of the application, or you might be sent to a state agent to complete the process.
How to Register a New Car in New Hampshire
If you need to get car registration on a new car purchased from a New Hampshire dealership, you will show the city or town clerk your Certificate of Title or the blue copies of your title application along with your proof of residency. If your new car registration is for a vehicle purchased from an out-of-state dealership, you must present to the clerk the title provided by the dealership or a NH title application from the lienholder. Purchasers of brand-new vehicles must show a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO).
How to Register a Used Car in New Hampshire
If you are wondering, "How do I register my car if I purchased it through a private sale?" note that the process is basically the same as the others. Simply visit a NH DMV car registration clerk's office, present the properly assigned Certificate of Title and show proof of residency. If you are a new resident of New Hampshire, you will need to transfer the registration to your new address. As with other registration of vehicle transactions, the primary documentation needed is your car's title and your proof of residency. When used vehicles are registered in another state, tag transfer can only occur if the name on both registrations remains the same.
Temporary New Hampshire Vehicle Registration
Auto registration services in New Hampshire include the issuance of four types of temporary vehicle registration plates. Three of these car registration processes provide applicants with a 20-day temporary license plate. One type is supplied to dealers who later reissue the plates to New Hampshire residents who must drive a short time on state roads after purchasing a car deemed safe for travel. The second type of temporary auto registration is for buyers in private vehicle sales transactions. These serve the same purpose of proving road-worthiness while the driver waits for the permanent registration to arrive. The In-Transit 20-day Temporary Car Registration is for car buyers who live in another state but have purchased a car from a NH resident. It authorizes the purchaser to drive the vehicle back to his or her residence.
The last type of temporary NH DMV car registration is the New Resident 60-Day Temporary Plate, meant for new residents who drive a vehicle with an out-of-state lienholder or lease. This 60-day temporary vehicle registration permits them to drive their car or truck on state roads while waiting to obtain all the necessary documents for a permanent NH car registration. Note that temporary New Hampshire car registry plates cannot be issued to residents of Massachusetts.
NH car registration fees and taxes vary by location. For vehicle registration information, including fee estimates, contact your town or city clerk's office or call (603) 227-4030.