How to register a vehicle
Register and title a passenger or commercial car, truck, motorcycle, or SUV
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 (for example ATVS, boats, snowobiles, trailers)
- special situations
- additional registration information and resources
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: Submit your documents, application and payment to the DMV
Follow the instructions for how to register a vehicle in the County you live in. Use the DMV Registration Guide to determine what documents you need to apply.
Step 3: 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 4: 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
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
- 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.
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.