Drivers find that replacing car registration in New Jersey is necessary in many different situations. Damaged, stolen or lost car registration documents need to be replaced as soon as possible following the incident because it is against state law to operate a vehicle without one. Motorists who do not apply for a duplicate car registration in a timely manner can find themselves facing certain penalties or fines. Car owners must replace NJ DMV lost car registration certificates promptly, and are also responsible for quick replacement of license plates or registration decals that are vandalized, lost or stolen. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) issues a DMV registration copy or replacement plates only to vehicles that already have a current NJ car registration, and the process is slightly different for owned versus leased vehicles. Continue reading to learn how to replace car registration in NJ and find out where you may do so.
When You Need to Get a Duplicate Car Registration in New Jersey
The best time to order a replacement copy of car registration is when you first notice it missing. Do not wait to replace car registration, as doing so can leave you vulnerable to double police citations if you happen to be stopped for a moving violation. If you know, or strongly suspect, that your NJ DMV registration copy was stolen, it is important to file a report with your local police department immediately.
Motorists sometimes need a replacement DMV copy of registration because the original document was destroyed, damaged or accidentally thrown away. Replace car registration documents if any portion of the text is illegible or missing. Most recent vehicles include a locking console, storage bin or glove compartment and all of these are excellent places to protect your car registration certificate from damage or theft.
Replacing Car Registrations in New Jersey Online
Car owners frequently ask the MVC if they may replace car registration online in NJ because of the ease and convenience of doing business electronically. Although many DMV services are available via the internet, lost car registration replacement is not currently an online option in New Jersey.
Replacing Vehicle Registrations in New Jersey in Person and by Mail
All duplicate car registrations in New Jersey must be requested in person at your local motor vehicle agency. If the vehicle with a lost car registration is owned by two drivers, the co-owner must also sign the application. The owner must bring proof of age and identification, usually by presenting a valid NJ driver's license. Complete Form BA-49 â available only at MVC offices â and show proof of insurance or a previous registration receipt. If your current DMV registration copy is simply damaged instead of lost, attach the damaged document to the application. The MVC agent will then process the application and provide you with your new copy of registration.
The NJ lost car registration replacement process is slightly different for drivers who have leased vehicles. The driver must first tell the leasing agent that a duplicate car registration is needed and request a power of attorney that will provide legal permission to apply for it. The power of attorney (POA) must include the lessee's name, the vehicle identification number (VIN), the year, make and model of the car and a statement authorizing the lessee to sign the registration application. After obtaining the POA, the driver may go to their local MVC office and complete form BA-49, show proof of insurance and their NJ driver's license. If the leasing agent prefers, he or she may fax permission to the NJ MVC at (609) 292-6500.
For fees associated with replacing car registration documents, the NJ MVC accepts American Express, MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards. Motorists may also pay for their duplicate car registration transactions with cash, check or money order. At this time, the NJ MCV does not offer car registration replacement services by mail.
Replacing License Plates and Registration Stickers in New Jersey
In addition to replacing car registration services, the MVC can replace damaged, lost or stolen license plates and registration decals. As with a stolen NJ copy of car registration, you should file an official police report in the municipality where the plates were stolen and keep a copy of the report for your records. For replacing license plate registration that is damaged, visit your local MVC agency and present your current registration certificate and a valid state driver's license. Pay the current fee and you will be issued a set of replacement plates. If you have one or both of the damaged plates in your possession, you must surrender them at this time. You can also surrender old plates to the MVC by mail. Send them to:
Motor Vehicle Commission
Trenton Regional Service Center
P.O. Box 129
Trenton, NJ 08666-0129
How to replace license plate registration that has been lost or stolen involves completing Form BA-1, Vehicle Registration/Plate Status to report the license plates lost or stolen. Keep a DMV registration copy of this verification of registration/plate status in a safe place in case you need to prove later that you notified the MVC of the incident. If only one license plate was stolen, you must surrender the remaining one at the time of your replacement application. If you need to replace damaged registration decals on your license plates, your local MVC agency can handle this in person for a minimal fee.