Why is it important to have your car registered? One reason is so that your car is legal to drive on the streets. All of the states in America require your automobile to be registered with the state. If you are caught without a vehicle registration or an expired registration on your vehicle will get you a penalty such as a fine or even worse. It can be confusing if it is your first time but this article will walk you through getting your car registered.
Registration is defined as a document that is evident of a person having paid the registration tax and fees on their motor vehicle. In most states, this consists of a metal license plate, a validation decal, and a registration certificate. Though laws vary from state to state these are the basics to get your vehicle registered.
In all states, a motor vehicle is required by law to be registered within a certain amount of days of becoming an owner of a vehicle or of becoming a resident of that state. The amount of time can differ depending on the state but it can be as little as 10 days to as many as 30 days.
In most states, registering your vehicle is as easy as filling out an application, if it is your first time, or paying an annual renewal fee. If it is your first time registering a car, you will need to fill out a simple application and bring in a few legal documents. The documents might vary from state to state but usually include at least the vehicle's title, proof of insurance and your driver's license. The application typically requests you to fill in information about yourself, the vehicle and list any lien holders of the vehicle.
Once the application is filled out and you have your auto insurance, it as easy as going into the local DMV or tax collector's office and presenting all these materials. At this point, you should be able to register you car and get either metal plates or paper (temporary) plates.
Metal plates may be available when you register or might have to be sent to you in the mail. If you buy a car new from a dealership in many states they can issue you paper plates so that you can leave the dealership and go register the car.
Some states will require you to get new plates every few years; it seems to be around 5 years in most states. This is necessary so that plates do not become too dirty or corroded or lose their ability to reflect. All of these issues can cause visibility problems for law enforcement officers.
When you have registered your car you should have a metal license plate, a decal on which to affix to your license plate and a registration slip or receipt to keep in your car. When registering your vehicle you will have to pay a fee. In some states if you are registering a car for the first time there will be an initial registration fee. It can be as much as $100, but if you think about it, it is a bargain to get to use the state's highway system on a daily basis. This total fee paid will vary by state and is due for the taxes on your motor vehicle for a specific period, 12 months in most states.
After the specified period is over you will need to renew your registration with your state. In some states, the renewal date is your birthday to make it easier for you to remember each year. If you are uncertain to when your registration needs to be renewed the exact date should be listed on your registration slip.
Many states send out renewal notices to remind and give you an accounting of what you owe. If you do not receive a notice, it is up to you to remember and pay on time. If you are found with expired registration, you will get a penalty of a fine or possibly more depending on your state laws. The longer it takes you to renew your registration the larger the delinquent fee will become.
Once you have given your documentation to the DMV or tax collector's office you should receive your registration and be on your way. It is as easy as that. Remember to pay your renewal fee when it is time and it should continue to be easy to have your car registered in the state in which you reside.