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How to Register a Vehicle in New York

New York Car Registration

There are various kinds of vehicles that you must get car registrations for in the state of New York. These include:

  • Vehicles imported from foreign countries
  • Trailers
  • New cars
  • Used cars
  • Out-of-state vehicles
  • Motorcycles
  • Custom-built vehicles
  • Motorhomes
  • Trailers
  • Off-highway vehicles
  • Rebuilt salvage vehicles

In addition, there are also various motorized devices that cannot be registered in the state of New York, such as:

  • Motorized scooters
  • Mini-bikes
  • Dirt bikes
  • Go-karts
  • Motor-assisted bicycle
  • Golf carts

Information Related to Vehicle Registration

How to Register a Car in New York

Registering cars if you want to drive in New York is a necessity. However, there are a number of different processes to do so depending on how you purchased your vehicle. For example, if you purchased your car from a dealership, then you don't have to worry about getting car registration in New York. Most dealerships will submit all of the necessary information to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles for you, providing you with a temporary title, license plates, and NY car registration. However, if you buy a car from a private party, then you are responsible for getting a vehicle inspection, getting car registration, and transferring car title on your own.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to register a car online. So if you must register car documents yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Complete a safety and emissions inspection of your vehicle
  2. Visit your local DMV office
  3. Show your New York Insurance ID card
  4. Complete the Vehicle Registration/Title Application
  5. Show proof of birth date and ID
  6. Pay auto registration fees
  7. If purchased from a dealership, you must provide:
  8. Paperwork from dealership transaction
  9. A bill of sale created by the dealer, which should include:
    • The year and make of the vehicle
    • The VIN
    • The date of the sale
    • The purchase price
    • The names and signatures of both parties
  10. Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin
  11. Proof that you paid sales tax
  12. If purchased from a private party, you must provide:
  13. Statement of Transaction Sales Tax Form.
  14. (Optional) A bill of sale created by you and the seller, including:
    • The year and make of the vehicle
    • The VIN
    • The date of the sale
    • The purchase price
    • The names and signatures of both parties
  15. Transfer title form

By Mail

In the event that you are currently out-of-state, you are still required to register your vehicle. However, while there is no register car online application, you may be able to do so by mail. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Download the following documents, which must be sent to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles office near you:
  2. Vehicle Registration/Title Application
  3. Instructions for Vehicle Registration Application
  4. Statement of Transaction Sales Tax Form
  5. Claim for Sales Tax Exemption
  6. Claim for Credit of Sales Tax Paid to Another State
  7. Notice of Lien, if necessary
  8. Get these documents together as well:
  9. Documents that prove vehicle ownership (originals)
  10. New York ID card
  11. Copies of documents that prove your ID
  12. Payment with check or money order

Once you have all of the necessary information, mail the documents to an NY DMV office and make sure that you put your return address in the envelope to receive your new car registration.

How to Register a Vehicle as a Non-Resident

If you are buying a car in the state of New York but plan on moving to a different state soon after, you can always apply to get temporary tags rather than a standard car registration.In terms of how to register cars temporarily, you simply have to visit your local county tax office and after you pay the state tax and prove that you hold New York's minimum amount of car insurance, you will receive your temporary registration tag.
If you have had your vehicle for a while and are moving to a different state, you will be required to surrender your plates before canceling your NY car insurance.

How to Obtain Handicap Placards

If you want to get handicap placards in New York, you will have to follow these steps:

  1. Verify that your disability qualifies for a handicap permit
  2. Complete the Application for a Parking Permit or License Plates for Persons with Severe Disabilities
  3. Feature a statement the describes your disabling condition
  4. Bring the form to the issuing agency nearby

Fortunately, there is no fee for a handicap tag, but it is important to remember that the NY Department of Motor Vehicles does not issue parking permits.

Vanity License Plates

Registering a car is the perfect time for you to get yourself personalized license plates. If you do not want to end up with the same old license plates that you cannot customize, getting your car registered at the DMV is your perfect chance to pick your letters, numbers and plate. You can choose one that features your favorite college, sports team, or cause.In addition, if you decide to pass on the opportunity, you will not be able to obtain custom license plates again until you renew car registration. So get your new license plates while you can.

How to Register a Vehicle as a Military Member

If you are a New York driver who is stationed out-of-state, the NY Department of Motor Vehicles recommends that you apply to register car documents in the state where you are currently stationed in. You always have the option of registering your car in New York once you get back. However, if you feel that you have to register your car in New York, then you can always do so by mail or through a second party car registration application.

Boat Registration

Boats must also be registered in the state of New York. To complete the process, you will be required to present proof of identity, proof of ownership, a Bill of Sale and a filled out Boat Registration/Title application. Your boat registered will remain valid for three years; thereafter you will be required to renew.

Suspended Vehicle Registration

Your vehicle registration can be suspended due to a number of reasons, including but not limited to a suspended driver's license or lack of car insurance. In order to reinstate your car registration, you will need to complete any requirements related to your suspension. For details pertaining to your specific case, contact your DMV and speak to a driver's license agent.

DMV Car Registration Fees

When you go to register a car for the first time, there are less than a handful of fees you must pay. These include taxes and certificate fees, which are as follows:

  • Plate fee: $25
  • Title certificate fee: $50
  • Sales tax depends on what jurisdiction you live in

In addition, if you drive an electric vehicle or a car that features six or more cylinders, you must also pay a two-year $32.50 fee.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

While you may be looking into buying a car at the moment, there is one very important step you must take before you do so. It is crucial that you obtain a VIN history report. A VIN report, or vehicle identification number report, provides you with all of the car's history, including past owners, accidents, and more. Checking VIN numbers is the best way to find out if the car you are purchasing is worth your money.

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