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.

Applying for a title and car registration documents is necessary for all vehicle owners living in New Jersey. The NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) oversees vehicle registration and titling in New Jersey along with other important services for drivers. All vehicle owners must meet the state’s application requirements in order to qualify for an NJ title and registration for their vehicle. Applications for registration must be submitted in-person to the vehicle owner’s nearest MVC customer services location.

The DMV registration procedure in New Jersey varies for owners of recently purchased new cars and used cars. NJ residents who are away on active duty also have particular registration policies that they can follow in New Jersey. Once a vehicle owner has submitted a complete application packet, he or she should receive a registration certificate and the license plates for the car. Read on to find out more about how to register vehicles in New Jersey.

New Jersey Car Registration Requirements

The requirements for registering a car in New Jersey vary based on where and how the vehicle owner acquired the car. Most vehicle owners will have to provide the following documents to successfully register a car in New Jersey:

  • The vehicle’s previous title (including the seller’s and buyer’s name, address and signatures, the date of sale, the purchase price and the buyer’s driver’s license number).
  • The vehicle owner’s driver’s license or another ID A completed and signed Vehicle Registration Application (found only at NJ motor vehicle agencies).
  • Proof of adequate New Jersey auto insurance.
  • A Power of Attorney (POA) form, if applicable.
  • Lienholder information, if applicable.
  • Payment of the necessary registration and sales tax fees.

Drivers who would like to pay the car registration of a used vehicle purchased outside of New Jersey must provide additional documentation. Vehicle owners in this situation must also gather the following documents:

  • A completed Application for Certificate of Ownership (Form OS/SS-7).
  • Dealer reassignment documentation, if applicable.
  • A purchase order (if no New Jersey Dealer Tax Stamp on current title).

Car Insurance Requirements for Registering a Car in New Jersey

An important part of how to register a car in New Jersey is having adequate auto insurance coverage. All owners must be able to demonstrate meeting the state’s minimum requirements for auto insurance, including having the following types of coverage:

  • Liability Insurance
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Emissions Inspection Requirements in New Jersey

In addition to the standard car registration fees that all vehicle owners must pay when submitting an application, owners of certain classes of vehicles are also required to pay for an emissions inspection. An emissions inspection is not required for the MVC registration of vehicles manufactured less than five years ago. Most other types of vehicles will require an emissions inspection every annually or every couple years, ideally within two months of registration or renewal.

Registering a Vehicle in New Jersey

Unlike in some states, car registration online is not possible in the state of New Jersey. Instead, owners of both new and used vehicles in addition to new residents to New Jersey must submit car registration and title requests in-person to an MVC agency. In most cases, the registration process is much simpler for owners of new cars than for owners of used cars. All types of vehicle owners must pay the appropriate fees for the application to be correctly processed.

How to Register a New Car in New Jersey

The car registration cost is generally incorporated into the total cost of the vehicle by the dealer selling the car. In fact, most drivers buying a new car from a dealer in New Jersey can expect the dealer to take care of the entire titling and registration process.

Dealers can only issue temporary tags to new vehicle owners whose residency is outside of New Jersey. In case the dealer is not authorized to submit the necessary paperwork, the vehicle owner will have to following the same registration procedure as owners of used vehicles by visiting the MVC in-person.

Registering a Used Car in New Jersey

To get a vehicle registration for a recently purchased used car in New Jersey, drivers must visit the MVC in-person with the abovementioned application materials. NJ vehicle owners can take the following steps to submit a car registration form:

  1. Gather the required application documentation, such as the vehicle’s previous title, proof of adequate auto insurance and your ID.
  2. Head to your nearest MVC licensing office with your supporting material. Pick up a Vehicle Registration Application (Form BA-49). Complete and sign it.
  3. Prepare the appropriate application fee and sales tax payments.
  4. Submit the application and receive your registration receipt.

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

Drivers who recently moved to New Jersey must apply for a new car registration for any vehicles they have in their possession, even if their current registration is still valid in their previous state of residence. New residents have 60 days to update their car registration details with the MVC before they will face late penalties. Drivers in this situation can take the following steps to register their vehicles in New Jersey:

  1. Gather the required application documentation, such as the vehicle’s current title, proof of adequate auto insurance and your ID.
  2. Complete an Application for Certificate of Ownership (Form OS/SS-7).
  3. Head to your nearest MVC licensing office with your supporting material. Pick up a Vehicle Registration Application (Form BA-49). Complete and sign it.
  4. Prepare the appropriate application fee and tax payments (if applicable).
  5. Submit the application and receive your registration receipt.

Vehicle Registration for Military Members in New Jersey

Car registration services for members of the U.S. military are somewhat different than those for other state citizens. NJ residents who are away on active duty receive automatic extensions on their vehicle registration, driver’s license and inspection requirements. One the military personnel member has completed his or her tour of duty, he or she will have 90 days to complete any necessary renewals before any late penalties will be assessed. Vehicle owners who have paid for registration but get sent away on orders can apply for a refund of the unused portion of their registration.

Temporary DMV Registration in New Jersey

Car registration requirements are different for buyers coming from out-of-state to purchase a vehicle in New Jersey and take it back to their home state. Drivers in this case can usually qualify for a temporary registration issued by the DMV if they can meet the state’s eligibility requirements. These permits are generally valid for a period of 30 days. Vehicle owners from out-of-state must follow a similar application process as resident vehicle owners, in addition to providing the following documentation:

  • An original New Jersey Certificate of Title assigned to you and reflecting your out-of-state address
  • Proof of your out-of-state address
  • Proof of adequate auto insurance
  • Valid ID of the vehicle owner

New Jersey License Plates

After completing the vehicle registration and titling procedures in New Jersey, vehicle owners will receive a registration certificate and two license plates. Drivers can request new plates during a vehicle registration renewal if they need to by completing additional application requirements. One license plate must be affixed to the front of the vehicle, the other to the rear.

New Jersey Car Registration Fees

New Jersey car registration cost is standard across MVC licensing locations. Drivers can submit the necessary payment by cash, check, money order or credit or debit card. Standard NJ car registration fees include:

  • Standard vehicle: $60.00
  • Financed vehicle with one lien: $85.00
  • Financed vehicle with two liens: $110.00
  • Temporary non-resident registration: $5.00
Last updated on Monday, December 3 2018.

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