How to register a vehicle

 This page was updated for COVID-19.

Register and title a passenger or commercial car, truck, motorcycle or SUV

You must register your vehicle

You or your business must register and title any vehicle you own or lease. Registrations do not need to be in the owner's name, or for only one person. When you purchase a new vehicle through an auto dealership, the auto dealer can register and title the vehicle, and issue plates (and charge a fee for this).

See more information about registering different types of vehicles and special situations.

Step 1: Get your vehicle insured

You must register your vehicle at the DMV within 180 days of the effective date on your insurance ID card.

Learn more about NY State Insurance Requirements.

Step 2: Gather the required documents

See what documents you need to register

Complete DMV’s Document Guide for a full checklist of the correct proofs of identification and other documents you need before you come to a DMV office.

DMV Document Guide for Registrations

Here is more information about what you will need

  1. a completed Application for Vehicle Registration (PDF) (MV-82)
  2. a completed Statement of Transaction - Sale or Gift of a Motor Vehicle, Trailer, All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), Vessel (Boat), or Snowmobile (PDF) (DTF-802) 1
  3. your New York State License/Non-Driver ID (must be current or not expired for more than 2 years) or other acceptable proof for New York State vehicle registrations or title certificates. If you are not registering the vehicle or trailer in person at a DMV office, you must submit a photocopy of your proof of identity - do not include the original.
  4. Bill of sale and proof of sales tax payment/sales tax form 2
  5. Original title (or other proof of ownership) - see acceptable proofs of ownership
  6.  Payment of fees and taxes or proof of an exemption
  7. The current NY State Insurance ID card (auto liability insurance) - see NY State Insurance Requirements


Step 3: Submit your required documents to the DMV

Important: Make copies of all your documents before submitting them to DMV for processing.

Office procedures have changed due to COVID-19.

We recommend you conduct your DMV business at the office or by mail in the County where you are a resident.

See instructions and reservation information for your county


Step 4: Get these documents from the DMV

We will give (or mail within 1-2 weeks) these documents when you register

  • 1 or 2 vehicle plates (unless you transfer a registration from another vehicle registered in New York)
  • registration window sticker
  • registration document
  • 10-day inspection extension sticker (if you did not get the vehicle from a New York State auto dealer)


If applicable, we will also send you a new title certificate (within 90 days).


Step 5: Get your vehicle inspected

All vehicles registered in New York State must get a safety inspection at a DMV-licensed inspection station

  • every 12 months
  • when the ownership of the vehicle is transferred

Learn more about inspection requirements.


Fees and payment types


The fees depend on the vehicle's weight and where you live. First-time registration fees normally include

  • the sales tax
  • a vehicle plate fee or registration transfer fee
  • a title certificate fee
  • (in most counties) a vehicle use tax
  • either a 1 or 2-year registration fee, depending on the type of registration

You can estimate the registration fees you will need to pay.


We accept

  • cash
  • most credit, pinless debit or prepaid cards (American Express, Discover Card/Novus, MasterCard, VISA)
  • a personal check or money order payable to "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles"


You can split your payment between cash and check.


Additional information

Transfer the registration from another vehicle you own

After you sell or give away a vehicle, you can transfer the registration and vehicle plates to another vehicle you own. You must bring all of the documents required to register a vehicle, along with a completed Statement of Transaction (if this is a vehicle you have just purchased and do not currently have the title or transferable registration in your name), to a DMV office.