New Jersey law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Both new and second-hand vehicles must be registered, regardless of whether they are purchased from a dealer or an individual. In addition, New Jersey residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in New Jersey. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, and registration renewals must be done annually, either in person, online or by mail or by telephone.
If you have purchased a new vehicle you must register it within ten days of the sale. If you are new resident, you must register within 60 days. A new car registration is valid for four years; a used car registration is valid for a year. If you have leased a car, you will have to pay the registration fees for the entire lease period, at one time.
If you have bought the vehicle from a dealer, the dealer will handle all the paperwork required for registration.
If you are registering a motor vehicle in New Jersey for the first time, you must complete the following steps:
- If you have a lien on the title you will have to submit an application (ISM-SS 54) to the lien holder to release the title.
- If you have leased the vehicle, you will have to contact the leasing company to have the vehicle registered and titled in NJ.
- Proof of Social Security or exemption of it.
- The current odometer reading.
- Your current NJ driver's license or proof of identification if this is not available.
- Complete the titling (Form ISM/SS-7) and registration (Form BA-49) forms. These are available at MVC offices.
- Fill out the sales tax stamp on the titling form. This is required for to see if your vehicle is exempt from the sales tax.
- Visit your motor vehicle agency, and bring the above documents with you. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance.
- 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.
- You must have your vehicle inspected for emissions within 14 days of receiving the registration. Inspections can be carried out at either the State Inspection Stations or Private Inspection Facilities.
When registering your vehicle at the Motor Vehicle Agency, 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 Motor Vehicle Agency for the specific requirements.
You can also calculate the four year registration if you have purchased a new vehicle.
RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION
Owners of motor vehicles in New Jersey are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person, online or by mail or telephone. 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 Jersey college or university, you are not required to title or register your vehicle. You must carry your driving license and out of state registration documents on you.
- 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 Jersey.
- See also Renewing Your Vehicle Registration.
- See also Title Transfers and Car Insurance.