5 Easy Steps to Register a Car in New York


Register a Car in New York

5 Easy Steps to Register a Car in New York

Register a Car in New York
Register a Car in New York

Buying your vehicle from an auto dealership located in New York means the dealership’s registration process will be carried out on your behalf. However, they will charge you a small fee for it. 

In this article i will show you how to register a car in New York and in the steps below i will show how i was able to register my car in New York, How much i paid and how easy it was.

If you’re trying to know how to register a car in N.Y. and you’ll prefer to do the registration yourself, i will show you how to go about it step by step. 


Step 1 – Insurance

The first thing you must do is getting your car insured and certified by the New York Department of Financial Services; if not, you won’t be able to register your car. 

After getting insured, you’ll be given two insurance I.D. cards. After getting the insurance I.D. cards, there is a date on them. Then, you must register your vehicle within 180 days from the stipulated date on the Insurance ID cards. 


Step 2 – Submit all the required documents and info at your local NY DMV office 

Here is a list of the documents you’ll need — 

  • N.Y. State non-driver I.D., driver’s license, driving permit (if you don’t have any, you’ll have to ask at their office for other identification methods available for you) 
  • Proof of vehicle ownership
  • N.Y. State Insurance Identity card 
  • Vehicle Registration Application (MV-82) (the completed one)
  • Sales tax payment proof, bill of sale, tax form. 
  • Proof of exemption or Payment for fees and taxes (as the case may be)

Note: the required documents can be subtracted from or increased at any time, so you can visit the NY DMV website for their registration guide and know what other documents you might need. Also, you can check the pages on their website to find other acceptable proof of ownership documents you can use. 

Once your insurance is valid, take all these documents and submit them to your local NY DMV office. 


Step 3 Wait for DMV to send you some necessary documents 

They will process those documents you submitted for about one to two weeks. Afterward, the DMV will send you some documents you need. The DMV might send these documents by mail. The documents you’ll receive are —

  • Registration document 
  • Registration window sticker 
  • 10-day inspection extension sticker (you’ll only get this if you didn’t buy your vehicle from an authorized auto dealer in New York. What this sticker means is that you must have the vehicle inspected within ten days) 
  • 1 or 2 vehicle plates (you’ll not get vehicle plates if you transfer a registration from a vehicle that has already been registered in New York) 

If you must receive a new title certificate, it will be sent to you within just 90 days. 


Step 4: Start the inspection.

It’s time to get your vehicle inspected according to the laws of New York, which makes it mandatory for all vehicles registered in New York to pass through a safety inspection. 

Also, when a vehicle’s ownership is transferred, an inspection must take place. 

The inspection will be done at a DMV-licensed inspection station. 


Step 5 — Your vehicle has successfully been registered 

If you pass the inspection, you can start driving your car on the roads of New York without issues if you abide by the rules. 


What documents do I need to register my car in New York? 

Register a Car in New York
Register a Car in New York

We have listed the documents you need above (we will relist them below), but certain circumstances require you to submit more documents. Here are the documents you might be told to submit and the reason why — 

  1. Bringing a new vehicle from outside New York — The DMV will request the (MCO) manufacturer’s certificate of origin. You’ll also need to submit the bill of sale alongside it. 
  2. Bringing a used vehicle from outside New York — you’ll need a transferrable registration transferred to the dealer, or you can present an out-of-state title certificate. A dealer’s bill of sale transferring ownership from the former owner to you will also be requested. 
  • Bringing a car you bought from a private seller (and not an auto dealer) — you’ll need to submit the transferable registration transferring the vehicle from its previous owner to you, or you can submit the title certificate instead. You’ll also submit the bill of sale alongside it. 

Necessary documents you’ll need —

  • N.Y. State non-driver I.D., driver’s license, driving permit (if you don’t have any, you’ll have to ask at their office for other identification methods available for you) 
  • Proof of vehicle ownership
  • N.Y. State Insurance Identity card 
  • Vehicle Registration Application (MV-82) (the completed one)
  • Sales tax payment proof, bill of sale, tax form. 
  • Proof of exemption or Payment for fees and taxes (as the case may be)


How much will you have to pay to register a car in New York? 


The New York Department of Motor Vehicle (NY DMV) has laid down laws for new and used car buyers. Below is a detailed list of the fees you’ll be charged and what they cost — 

  1. Registration fee 

Your registration fee will be charged based on what your car weighs. If it is under 1,650 lbs, then the fee will start at around $26/$27. For every additional 100lbs, you’ll have to pay $1.5 extra. The good thing about New York is that they charge a flat registration fee for electric vehicles. However, some counties might require you to pay an extra fee when registering electric cars. 

  1. Vehicle plate fee 

The vehicle plate fee policy of New York State is divided into three.

  • First option allows you to apply for new registration and vehicle plates.
  • Second option allows you to transfer the registration and vehicle plates of another vehicle to yours. 
  • Third option allows you to transfer the registration of another vehicle but with new vehicle plates. 

Each option attracts a different vehicle plates fee. 

  1. County/Vehicle use tax

Some counties in New York have local laws that allow them to collect vehicle use taxes. NY DMV has authorized the law, and it is divided into two –

  • counties outside New York City – every two years, a payment of $10 for cars that don’t exceed 3,500 lbs. If it exceeds this weight, you will have to pay double.
  • counties inside New York City – every two years, a payment of $30. 
  1. Sales tax 

Sales tax is paid upon registration. You can pay it at the DMV or show proof of it being paid already. A 4% sales tax is charged; however, it doesn’t include any county sales tax, which you may be expected to pay as well. So the county tax could be an additional 4.75% or more. 

  1. Title certificate fee 

The title certificate contains your name as the owner of the vehicle. If you bought a new car, you’d get this certificate from the NY DMV or the dealership. If you bought it from a private person, you would get it from the previous car owner who sold it. 

The NY DMV makes it mandatory to title most vehicles model of 1973, and the charge is $50. 

  1. MCTD fee

The NY DMV mandates several counties residents to pay a fee known as the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD) fee. The mandated counties are New York, Suffolk, Richmond, Putnam, Queens, Bronx, Westchester, Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, and Rockland. 

If your driver’s license is valid for less than eight years, every six months, you’ll have to pay $1. If your driver’s license is valid for eight years, then you’ll pay a one-time fee of $16 when registering your vehicle. 

Total price estimate

As you can see, it’s hard to come to a definite estimate due to variation in payment, but we can at least give an average total price estimate at $100.50, based on what some drivers have paid in the past. Of course, this can be a little bit higher, so make sure you visit NY DMV to know the amount you’ll be paying in total.  


Where to get New car keys made

The four main places to consider are –

  1. Auto locksmith

Auto locksmiths are the cheapest option available. They usually have all the keys making equipment for all car makes and models. 

  1. Car insurance provider 

Different insurance companies have their stipulated terms and conditions. For example, car keys might be covered by some insurance companies, while others won’t cover them. Also, you should know that claiming your insurance might affect any no-claim bonus you have. So this can be an expensive route to take. 

  1. Car dealership

You can visit your car dealership, however, if they accept to help you, they will charge you, and it might be a bit expensive compared to you visiting the auto locksmith. Besides, they might not have the necessary equipment to utilize the service of an auto locksmith as well. 

  1. Auto repair shop

You can visit auto repair shops if that is the option nearest to you. Some have the equipment necessary to make the key, while others don’t. However, they might not have keys making equipment for your car brand and model. Also, since car key replacement isn’t the only service they offer, unlike auto locksmiths, so you shouldn’t expect them to offer a key replacement for all kinds of vehicles. 


How To Register A Car In New York FAQs

Question: Do I have to register a motorized scooter?

Answer: New York State laws require you to register a scooter because you’ll need to have a driver’s license before you can operate it. Its registration fee will vary from cars registration fee because of its weight. 


Question: How can I renew my driver’s license?

Answer: There are three different methods you can use to renew your license — 

Online: you’ll visit the NY DMV website to go about the renewal of the license. There are several criteria you need to consider before you can renew it online. You’ll see the criteria on their website. 

Mail: if you want to use the mail, there are certain pieces of information you must share, and they are — a vision test report, a non-driver I.D. card or application for driver license, 82.50 dollar payment (with MCTD fee), or 72.50 dollar payment (without MCTD fee), A license renewal notice (completed). 

Physically, you’ll need the same documents you sent through the mail to do the renewal in person. However, you won’t send the documents via mail; you’ll submit them at their office in person. 


Question: How can I apply for a motorcycle license?

Answer: The same process used in getting a driver’s license is the same way you’ll get your motorcycle license. However, there are certain things you’ll be required to do — (1) Get yourself familiar with both a motorcycle manual and driver’s manual (2) take both a written motorcycle test and a written driver test. 

After getting yourself familiar with those, then you’ll head over to the local NY DMV office to submit a Non-Driver ID Card (Form MV-44) or Application for Driver License. Then you’ll pay a fee to get the original license. 

Afterward, you’ll get a learner’s permit of either a Class M.J. or a Class M. Before you can get the permit, you must pass these steps — practice riding in the presence of a supervisor, pass a driver’s education course, pass the exam on-road driving skills. 


Question: How can I change how my name is on my car registration?

Answer: To get your name changed, you’ll have to go to the local NY DMV to get it updated to the new name you want to bear on your car registration. You cannot do this change via mail, email, phone, or via their website. You’ll have to do it in person, and you must take appropriate proof of identification with you 

(I.D. card, U.S. Military ID card, Drivers License, U.S. Passport), and take along a certified document indicating proof of name change (Court order, Marriage certificate, Divorce decree document). You can take along your current/valid car registration with you. 

You should receive your new vehicle registration with the new name within ten days.


Question: Do I need to report to the police if my driver’s license gets lost or stolen?

Answer: The NY DMV doesn’t make it mandatory to report the incident. However, it is beneficial to you to report the case to the local authorities because your identity will be protected from fraud and theft. When you come for a driver’s license replacement at the DMV, you can submit a police report too. 



Knowing how to register a car in N.Y. correctly isn’t as confusing as you might imagine. Everything you need to get this done correctly is written about in a detailed manner to understand it better than how the same info is written on their website. 


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