Unlike in other states around the U.S., a vehicle registration sticker not received in Pennsylvania is not a problem for vehicle owners whatsoever. A vehicle registration DMV sticker is not received by any driver who registers in Pennsylvania, as the state no longer issues registration stickers for PA license plates.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), which oversees driver and vehicle services in Pennsylvania, decided to eliminate registration stickers in November of 2013. Since then, new and previously registered drivers alike throughout the state have not been given registration stickers or required to display any decals on their vehicle to demonstrate vehicle registration compliance.

Common Reason for a Registration Sticker Not Received in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of the few states where a license plate sticker not received is not a sign of a problem with the vehicle owner’s PennDOT registration application or mailing address. While a car sticker not received may initially concern new residents or visitors to PA, they can rest assured that no registration stickers are currently required in Pennsylvania. As a result, no drivers will be penalized in Pennsylvania for not displaying registration stickers or having misplaced or expired stickers on their vehicle.

While a DMV registration sticker is no longer needed in Pennsylvania, all drivers must still have current vehicle registration documents on them at all times. PA drivers cannot replace a sticker online, but they can completed the replacement registration process online or by paper through the PennDOT. When a PA driver does not receive an updated registration card in the mail and does not have other permission from PennDOT to operate his or her vehicle, he or she cannot legally use his or her car until the expected documents arrive.

Pennsylvania drivers used to the old system due to registering vehicles before 2013 may be concerned about renewing or replacing old car decals but can simply remove the expired stickers.

Why is there no DMV registration sticker in Pennsylvania?

When a DMV registration sticker is not received or used by drivers, it makes little difference on the vehicle registration compliance of the vehicle owner, according to a Penn State University research study. These findings helped influence the creation and passing of Act 89 which eliminated the usage of vehicle registration stickers as an element of the vehicle registration renewal process.

Registering a vehicle is still legally required before an owner can operate it in PA, but the elimination of decals saves taxpayers money from sticker issuance and mailing costs. More information about the Pennsylvania vehicle registration process can be found online or in-person at your nearest PennDOT location.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.