Register an out-of-state vehicle

Do I need to register my vehicle in New York State?

It depends

  • if you aren’t a resident of New York, the registration from your state of residence is valid here
  • if you move to New York and become a resident, you must register your vehicle here within 30 days of becoming a resident (moving)
  • if you are a resident of New York and you get a vehicle from another state which you will be driving on New York State roadways, you must register the vehicle here within 30 days

What do I need to bring to the DMV?

Before visiting a DMV office to register your vehicle, please complete the Document Guide to make sure you bring the correct documents with you. The requirements to register an out-of-state vehicle are generally the same as to register and title vehicle in New York.  However, there are exceptions. See the questions below.

Find your proofs for registration


See location, instructions and reservation information for your DMV

Can I register if I am currently out of New York?

Yes. See instructions to register a vehicle when you are out of state

The out-of-state title is not in my name. How can I provide proof of ownership?

It depends whether the vehicle was purchased new or used from a dealer, or from a private owner.

For a new vehicle purchased from an out-of-state dealer, provide

  • the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO)
  • the dealer's bill of sale

For used vehicle purchased from an out-of-state dealer, provide

  • an out-of-state title certificate or transferrable registration transferred to the dealer
  • the dealer’s bill of sale that transfers ownership to you

For a vehicle from a private owner, provide

  • the bill of sale
  • either the title certificate or transferable registration that was transferred to you from the previous owner

There is a lien on my out-of state title certificate. Is that OK?

Yes. If there is a lien on your out-of-state title certificate, the NYS DMV records the lien on your NYS title record and on your NYS title certificate. To remove the lien, you must provide proof that the lien has been satisfied (you paid your vehicle loan off). For more information, see remove or add a lienholder from a title

The out-of-state title is held by my lienholder.  How do I register in New York?

To register in New York, you must provide the following documents
  • a copy of the title certificate with your name on it from the lienholder
  • certification from the lienholder that title certificate is a copy of the original certificate - the copy of the title certificate and the certification of the lienholder must be on the same piece of paper
  • a statement with the following information on the letterhead of the lienholder
    • the owner, year, make, and VIN
    • that the lienholder holds the original title and knows the owner will use the documents to register in New York State
    • no request to notify the lienholder when the vehicle is registered in New York, as the New York DMV will ignore this request

My vehicle does not meet "California emissions standards."  What can I do?

Read the information about California emissions standards to determine if there is an exemption for your vehicle.