To legally operate a vehicle in any state, you must have a current registration through that state’s DMV. A DMV vehicle registration usually expires 1-3 years after its initial issuance. Specific regulations and procedures vary by state, so be sure to consult your state’s DMV for more information.

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Here are some general guidelines for vehicle registration renewal:

Check the Status of Your Registration. The DMV will mail your renewal notice about a month prior to your registration’s expiration date. If you do not receive a renewal notice, contact your local DMV office.

Calculate Your Fees. Each time you renew your vehicle, you are required to pay a registration fee. Fees vary by state and depend on the year and classification of your vehicle. Similar to car insurance rates, expect higher renewal rates for newer or more valuable vehicles.

Renew. You can renew your vehicle registration online, in person, by mail, or by phone. Here is a list of important documents to have ready when you renew:

  • Vehicle Renewal Notice
  • Vehicle Title
  • Vehicle’s license plate number
  • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
  • Proof of financial responsibility
  • Address or name changes (if applicable)

If you renew online or by mail, the average processing period is around 5-10 business days. Some states require you to submit a smog certification. To avoid costly late fees and penalties, be sure to know your registration expiration date and renew as soon as possible.

Affix Your Stickers. Once you renew, be sure to properly place your new stickers on your license plate immediately. Follow the included instructions to see where exactly to place them.

Get a Tax Deduction. A small portion of your vehicle license fee may be deductible from your income tax. Locate the annual Vehicle License Fee on your Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice or your Validated Registration Card. To see if you are eligible for a tax deduction, Find a Tax Lawyer.

For specific laws and regulations by state, see the following links. 

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
D.C.
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas

 

Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland 
Massachusetts

Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico 
New York
North Carolina

 

North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina 
South Dakota

Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Get started Start Your Car Bill of Sale Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Start Your Car Bill of Sale Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.