Residents of the state of New York who own and operate a motor vehicle are required by state law to register this vehicle with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This law applies to all types of vehicles, including new and used cars, whether purchased from an individual or a dealer. Furthermore, new residents of the state who have their vehicle registered in another state are also required to renew the registration for the vehicle in New York as soon as they move to the state.
If it’s your first time registering your vehicle, you will only be able to register in person at the DMV. However, individuals who are renewing their registration can do so online, by mail or by telephone, in addition to the standard option of registering in person. New residents have up to 30 days after their arrival to officially register their motor vehicles.
For first-time registrations, vehicle owners must act upon the following:
- Provide proof of insurance. Note that your insurance must be from a New York auto insurance company. Auto insurance policies from any other state are invalid.
- Compile required paperwork. If your vehicle was purchased from a dealership, the dealer should have already sent the required paperwork to the DMV. If you did not purchase your vehicle from a dealership, you will be responsible for providing proof of ownership and Form MV-103 (only for vehicles purchased before December 1994).
- Complete an application for registration form.
- Provide proof of sales tax paid on the vehicle and proof that your vehicle meets the state-mandated emission standard.
- Have proof of identity on hand.
Registration fees will vary depending on a few different factors, including the weight of your vehicle and requirement of specialized license tags. Keep in mind that an initial registration fee will be a higher cost than a renewal. Registering a motorcycle has similar guidelines as those for registering a standard automobile; however, motorcycles are registered for one year only and all must be renewed on April 30th.