If you want something, usually you have to give something in return.
For example, if you want to pursue a side hustle, you need to put in the effort. If you want to park at a meter, you need to give it money. And if you want good relationships, you have to spend time with the people who matter most.
When it comes to certain things in life, sometimes you just don’t have a choice — you have to give in order to get. And the same concept applies to registering a vehicle.
While a mundane task, you have to provide several things for vehicle registration. It doesn’t matter if it’s a motorcycle, motor home, SUV, or two-door car. If you’re riding around in something with wheels, you need to register it, and you need to provide the right information to do so correctly.
Surprisingly, though, most people don’t know what to bring. While many consumers have at least one vehicle, they don’t know what information they need to provide to register it. In fact, even if someone has registered a car before, it’s likely they’ve already forgotten what they had to bring to do it.
And that’s no one’s fault. Vehicle registration just isn’t top-of-mind. People don’t think about it on a regular basis, so the details can get a little blurry.
However, that’s why this article is here for you to read. If you’re wondering what you need to register a motor vehicle, you’ve come to the right place.
When you need to register a vehicle
It’s important to start with the basics.
Before you learn what you need to register a vehicle, you should know whether you need to register it at all. There are certain times where you need to apply for vehicle registration. And depending on your situation, you may not have to do it that often.
For example, here are three specific times when you’ll need to register your motor vehicle.
1. When you move to a new state
Moving to a new state is expected. When you graduate from college, you might decide to move. When you get a job out of state, you usually have to move. And when you retire, you may want to move somewhere that has great weather, sunshine every day of the week, and a beach.
Research suggests that if you’re living in the U.S., you can expect to move 11.7 times in your lifetime. That’s a lot of relocating. And while it’s easy to get swept up by the adventure in it all, you don’t want to get so excited that you forget to do one crucial thing: register your vehicle.
That’s right—every time you move to a new state, you need to register your motor vehicle. And you need to do it within a specific timeframe. Every state is different, so the timeframes will vary. But as long as you check with your state’s requirements, you should be good to go.
2. When you buy a new or used vehicle
Getting a car, truck, or another type of motor vehicle is always exciting. Whether it’s new or used, it’s easy to fall in love with your new whip. However, before you grab the keys and take off without a second thought, you need to register your vehicle.
If you get a vehicle from a dealership, the company will likely handle this task for you. Most dealerships will take care of the registration, regardless of whether the vehicle is new or used.
But if you’re getting a vehicle from someone who doesn’t work for a dealership, then you’ll need to register the vehicle on your own.
3. When you need to renew your registration
Maybe you’ve already registered your vehicle. If that’s the case, you’ll need to do it again. However, you won’t have to do it often.
Most states require you to renew your vehicle registration every 1-2 years. But again, every state is different. If you want information that’s specific to you and your vehicle registration, you should look up your state’s requirements. Then, you’ll know exactly when it’s time to renew your registration.
What you need for vehicle registration
When it’s time for you to register your vehicle, you need to approach the task prepared. Doing this requires you to know everything that you need. And luckily, the list of items is simple.
If you need to register your vehicle, most states will require the following:
1. Money to pay the fees
As with most things that deal with your vehicle, you need to pay a registration fee to register it. The price will differ depending on the state you live in, so make sure you do some research to determine the exact costs.
2. The car title
Before you can register a vehicle, you need to prove that it’s actually yours. Without proof of ownership, you can’t register any motor vehicle in your name, so make sure you have the car title with you. And if you’re leasing a motor vehicle, bring a copy of the lease agreement.
3. Proof of ID and residence
Registering a vehicle with a state requires you to prove that you indeed live in the state. Typically, your license can work. It’ll prove your identity and residence.
However, if you just moved to a new state, your license will not work. In this case, you need to find something else to bring, like a utility bill.
4. A bill of sale or certificate of origin
Are you the first person to own your vehicle? If so, you need to provide the certificate of origin to prove it, which you’ll get from the car dealer.
If you’re not the first person to own your vehicle, then you need to provide something else: the bill of sale. You should get this document from the private seller who sold you the vehicle.
5. Information about the vehicle
Most of the general information about your vehicle will be on the title. However, in case something’s missing, you want to be prepared.
Before registering your vehicle, make sure you jot down important information, including your vehicle’s make, model, model year, color, odometer reading, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
6. Proof of insurance
Car insurance is essential. It protects you and helps you register your vehicle with the state. When you get car insurance, make sure to provide proof of it when you’re registering your vehicle. You should also ensure that your insurance follows state requirements because these guidelines can vary depending on where you live.
7. Emission and safety certificates
If you have a used car, some states will want proof that your vehicle meets certain criteria. These specific guidelines are usually in regards to emissions and whether your vehicle is mechanically sound.
How to register your vehicle
Once you have everything you need to register your vehicle, all you have to do is complete the task. You can do this in one of two ways.
You can either go to the DMV or use a credible transportation agency like Barry Risk Management, Inc.. The ladder option is the best because good transportation agencies don’t require you to go through a long, arduous process like the DMV does.
For example, Barry Risk Management, Inc. lets you register your vehicle online. And you get access to a representative who knows your state’s requirements for vehicle registration, allowing you to skip a lengthy research process.
The best part is that Barry Risk Management, Inc. is just as skilled as any DMV office. Their team has 30 years of experience in the DMV industry, making them an excellent choice if you want DMV services without all of the hassles.
So, if you want to register your vehicle, use Barry Risk Management, Inc. Then, you can check this task off your to-do list quickly and easily.