How to Register a Vehicle

How to Register a VehicleFirst, you need to determine whether this is a first time vehicle registration. Although that could mean you just purchased a brand new car, it could also mean that you bought a vehicle second hand or just recently moved from another state, which requires you to register your vehicle in your new state of residence. Depending on the state in which you live, you will likely face time restrictions on the number of days that can pass before you must register the vehicle by law.

In most states you’ll need to first purchase auto insurance before you can register a new vehicle. Your auto insurance must meet your state’s minimum liability coverage requirements, and you must be able to provide proof of coverage when you register the car. If you are not getting a first time registration and instead are merely renewing your coverage, you are still likely to have to provide proof of insurance coverage to maintain state registration.

How to Get Your Vehicle Registered

The easiest way to register your vehicle is to purchase it from a car dealer. Whether you purchase new or used, most car dealerships will handle the vehicle registration process for you and even roll the cost of your registration into the loan you use to finance your purchase.

However, if you are moving from another state or purchase the vehicle from a previous owner, you must provide your state’s registration issuance department with your proof of ownership of the vehicle. That may be a bill of sale or the vehicle’s title. You’ll also have to provide proof that you are licensed to drive the vehicle and provide proof of insurance. Some states also require a vehicle emissions inspection before granting a registration. Be prepared to pay a registration fee, which varies by state and according to the type of vehicle you drive.

Depending on the state you register your vehicle in, you may receive a registration sticker to go on your windshield or license plate. Some states, such as Connecticut, do not supply drivers with registration stickers, but instead provide a registration certificate that must be carried at all times in the same way a driver’s license or insurance card must.

Proof of Insurance and Financial Responsibility

Proof of Insurance & FinancialProof of your insurance will be available in the Motor Vehicle Division Database (MVD), but if there is no electronic record at all then you should be ready to show some other proof for your insurance

  • Insurance Card :
    Those cards which are under the International Registration Plan (IRP) or self insured are considered as valid proofs for the car insurance. But just the car insurance cards are not considered to be the proof of your car insurance, state requires the carriers to give them and the car owners should always carry with them while driving.
  • Self-Insured Information :
    As a proof of financial responsibility you can use the certificate of self-insurance and self insured information card from safety Fire Commissioner or Office of Insurance when you insure your car yourself.
  • Insurance Binder :
    Your District Of Columbia car insurance will be issued a binder if at all you are buying the car insurance for the first time. The binder will be valid only for 30 days and this is one of the way to show the proof of your insurance.
  • Bill of Sale/Declaration Page :
    If you have purchased a new car, copy of the bill along with insurance declaration page can be provided as proof of insurance just for 30 days.
  • Shop for Car Insurance :
    1. Do not take hasty decisions by just seeing one car insurance company. Keep shopping regularly and take your time to check all the car insurance companies.
    2. To get the best combination of price and quality, contact as many car insurance companies you can and also the insurance agents.
    3. Plan yourself what you want before buying because later you should not end up buying something you do not require.
    4. Take a look at each company’s financial stability, underwriting practices, claim handling practices and policyholder services.
    5. Check about the discounts.