Vermont law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before taking it on the road. Both new and second-hand vehicles must be registered, regardless of whether they are purchased from a dealer or an individual. In addition, new Vermont residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in Vermont. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, but registration renewals can be done in person at a DMV office, on-line or by mail.
If you are registering a motor vehicle in Vermont for the first time, you must complete the following steps:
- All vehicles in Vermont must be insured. When you register your vehicle you must provide proof of insurance. The easiest way to do this is to obtain auto liability insurance.
- Collect the necessary paperwork. If you bought your vehicle from a dealer, then the dealer will have sent the necessary paperwork to the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles. In all other circumstances you will need to collect the following additional papers:
- A completed Vermont Registration Tax and Title Application form.
- Your vehicle title.
- A Bill of Sale if you are registering a used car purchased (and previously registered in Vermont).
- A current odometer reading. If the vehicle is less than ten years old you must also obtain an Odometer Disclosure Statement - this is the same form as the Bill of Sale above.
- If you are registering an out-of-state vehicle, you will need proof of the amount of taxes you have paid for the vehicle to another state and a visual verification of the vehicle serial number.
- Visit any DMV office with your completed forms.
- Once your vehicle is registered, you have 15 days to have it inspected at a Vermont Licensed Inspection Station, unless the vehicle already has a valid Vermont Inspection Sticker on display.
Registration fees in Vermont are based on a number of factors, such as type of the vehicle, the type of fuel it uses, where you live and whether you require specialized license plates.
Full details of the fees can be found here, but typically the fees will include some or all of the following:
- The registration fee itself.
- Sales tax and/or use tax, if your vehicle is new.
- License plate fees if you want personalized license plates.
RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION
Owners of motor vehicles in Vermont are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person, online or by mail. See our Registration Renewal section for complete details.
- The process for registering a motorcycle is generally the same as a car registration. There are different procedures for boat registration and custom car registration.
- If you have purchased a used vehicle already registered in Vermont, the registration will still be current in many cases. All you need to do in this case is transfer the registration to your name.
- Auto Insurance is needed to legally operate all vehicles in Vermont.
- See also Renewing Your Vehicle Registration.
- See also Title Transfers and Car Insurance.