NYS Registration Requirements
This was pulled directly from NYS DMV
With rare exceptions, the items or information listed below are all required to apply for an original vehicle registration in NYS. Details about the requirements are provided below or on other pages of this web site, and each link opens in new browser window.
Special requirements and information
Also see the additional special requirements or information for these specific situations:
Make sure that the legal owner of the vehicle can give you acceptable proof of ownership.
Get the statements from the legal owner that disclose the odometer reading and any previous damage. See "Odometer and Damage Disclosure Statements" below.
Get an acceptable proof of sales tax payment, sales tax exemption, or proof of the purchase price. If you do not get the acceptable proof of payment or exemption, the DMV collects the sales tax from you. The DMV uses the purchase price or the fair market value of the vehicle to calculate the sales tax that you must pay. The DMV determines the fair market value according to tables provided by the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.
Read the DMV brochure, "Let the Buyer Be Aware".
What to bring to the DMV office:
Odometer and Damage Disclosure Statements. The previous owner must complete the statements on the back of the NYS title certificate for a vehicle that is eight model years old or newer. If the NYS title certificate was printed before December of 1994, there are no statements on the back of the certificate. The previous owner must complete form MV-103 instead of the statements, and you must take form MV-103 to the DMV office. Get more information about vehicle disclosure statements.
A New York State Insurance Identification Card (FS-20). The Insurance Identification Card can be a copy or a fax, but the barcode must be readable by a DMV barcode reader. After you buy the vehicle, bring the proof of ownership to an insurance agent or broker authorized to do business in NYS, and get the card. The FS-20 must have the same name as the registration application and must have a barcode. The FS-20 must be presented within 45 days of the effective date of the insurance coverage. The DMV does not accept any out-of-state insurance documents. More information about insurance is available at the DMV Web site.
Proof of your identity and date of birth. You must be 16 years old or more to register a vehicle in NYS.
Form MV-82 (Vehicle Registration / Title Application).
Payment. Bring cash, a personal check, a credit card or a money order to pay the registration fees and sales tax. Do not enter the amount on your personal check until the DMV examines your application.
Proof of sales tax payment, sales tax exemption, or purchase price. You must pay the sales tax, prove that it was paid, or prove your exemption at the DMV office when there is a change of ownership, a lease agreement, or a new resident of NYS applies for a NYS registration or title certificate. You must get a sales tax receipt from the DMV even if the transaction is exempt from sales tax.
If you were not a resident of NYS when the vehicle was purchased, use form DTF-803 to receive a non-resident exemption from NYS sales tax. Form DTF-803 defines the terms "non-resident" and "resident".
If you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and you do not reside in NYS, you can defer your sales tax payment. Complete form DTF-803 if:
See form DTF-803 for the information and the definitions to defer your sales tax. You must pay the sales tax when you leave the Armed Forces or you return to NYS.
For more information about vehicle sales tax, contact the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance at 1-800-972-1233 or (518) 485-6800. You can see the current sales tax rates by jurisdiction at the Department of Taxation and Finance web site.
At the DMV office:
If another person brings your application to the DMV office, that person must follow the requirements for a second party registration application.
Bring the required documents and forms. A DMV representative examines your application and documents.
The DMV representative returns your proofs of identity and date of birth. The DMV keeps most of the other proofs and documents.
Pay the sales tax, the registration fee, the fee to transfer the vehicle plates or registration, the title certificate fee and automobile use tax. Determine the cost of your vehicle registration. Do not enter the amount on your personal check until the DMV representative examines your application.
Items you will receive:
Your vehicle must comply with the "California" motor vehicle emissions standards unless the vehicle is exempt. Your vehicle must comply with the California emissions standards if your vehicle has less than 7,500 miles on the odometer and the vehicle is:
To determine if a vehicle meets the California emissions standard, look for these words or similar language on the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO) and the emissions label under the hood:
If your vehicle complies with the California emissions standards, but the MCO does not indicate compliance or you do not have an MCO, you or the automobile dealer can certify compliance on form MV-74.
If your vehicle is exempt from the California emissions standards, you or the automobile dealer can complete form MV-74 to certify the exemption if:
Form MV-74 is available at DMV offices.
The web site of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has the regulations for the California emissions standards and other motor vehicle emissions standards (See Part 218).
How to Register an Out-of-State Vehicle
How do I register a vehicle in NYS that has a registration document or a title certificate from another state?
If you are a not a resident of NYS, a vehicle registration from your state of residence is valid in NYS. If you become a resident of NYS, you have 30 days after you become a resident to register your vehicle in NYS. If you are a resident of NYS and you get a vehicle from another state, you must register the vehicle in NYS.
Carefully read the information about how to register a vehicle. You must follow the same registration requirements for an out-of-state vehicle.
If you do not have an out-of-state title that displays your name:
If there is a lien listed on your out-of state title certificate:
If there is a lien listed on the out-of-state title certificate, the NYSDMV records the lien on your NYS title record and on your NYS title certificate. To remove the lien, you must provide proof that the lien is satisfied. Read these instructions to remove a satisfied lien from a title certificate.
If the original title certificate is in your name but is held by a lienholder:
To get a NYS registration, you must provide:
You must also provide a statement by the lienholder on the letterhead of the lienholder:
To get a NYS title certificate, you must send the original out-of-state title certificate to the NYSDMV when the lien is satisfied and you receive the out-of-state title certificate from the lienholder.
If you cannot get any of these documents or there are special conditions, contact the DMV. Examples of special conditions include vehicles purchased at an auction or imported from a foreign country, or the vehicle owner is deceased.
The vehicle does not meet "California" emissions standards:
Read the information about "California" emissions standards to determine if there is an exemption.
Register a Vehicle in NYS While You are not in NYS
Can I apply for a NYS registration and title certificate if I am not in NYS?
You can apply for a NYS registration and title certificate by mail from outside NYS. The following information is important:
If you understand the information above, see the instructions to apply by mail while outside NYS.
Register a Leased Vehicle
To register a leased vehicle, you must provide:
Get a complete explanation of the proofs that are required.
If you leased the vehicle from a dealer in NYS, the dealer normally provides all your proofs and your registration application to the DMV.
If the dealer does not provide the proofs to the DMV, you must provide the proofs and all of the documents listed below:
A copy of the title certificate. You will not receive the original title certificate as proof of ownership. The leasing company is the owner and holds the title certificate, which displays their name. To register your vehicle in NYS, you must provide a photocopy of the title certificate, certified by the leasing company as a true copy of the original document and the photocopied image of the document, the certification statement must be on the same side of one sheet of paper.
The authorization to register. The leasing company must authorize you to register the vehicle in NYS in your name. You can use any one of the following items as your proof of authorization:
Proof of sales tax payment. You must provide a copy of your lease agreement that shows the lease payments and the sales tax payments that you did make and the payments that you will make.
Registrant and Owner are not the Same Person
Can the registration document and the title certificate for a vehicle show two different names?
Yes. For example, one spouse can be the owner and the other spouse can be the registrant. When a vehicle is leased, the leasing company is normally the owner and the customer is the registrant.
When you apply for a vehicle registration, you must provide the original proof of ownership. If the proof is a NYS title certificate in the name of the current owner, the title certificate is examined and returned to you at the DMV office. If the proof is not a NYS title certificate in the name of the current owner, the DMV keeps the proofs and mails a NYS title certificate to the owner within 90 days. Carefully read the information about proof of ownership for all of the requirements.
The required liability insurance and NYS insurance ID card must display the name of the registrant, not the name of the owner.
Either the registrant or the owner can bring the application for the registration and the title certificate to a DMV office. The person who applies must show the original proofs of identity and date of birth for both the registrant and the owner. If you send the application by mail (see "Register Your Vehicle While You are not In NYS"), you can send photocopies of the proofs of identity and date of birth. If you apply by mail, all other proofs must be the original documents.
Vehicle Has More Than One Registrant or Owner
Can a vehicle have more than one registrant? Does the DMV issue registration documents that display more than one name?
Yes. There can be two or more registrants. Both registrants must sign form MV-82 (Vehicle Registration / Title Application) and provide their proofs of identity and date of birth. Both names must appear on the Insurance ID Card.
If there are more than two registrants, you must complete form MV-83T (statement of Partnership or Joint Ownership).
You cannot add a name to a current registration. You must apply for a new registration and new vehicle plates in the two names. You cannot transfer the vehicle plates or documents that are assigned to one registrant to a vehicle that you will register with two names.
If there is more than one name on the registration, you can apply for a registration amendment to remove one or more names from the registration. Complete form MV-82 with the names of the registrants that remain, and show proofs of identity and date of birth. There is no fee for the amendment.
If there are more than two registrants, you must complete form MV-83T (Statement of Partnership or Joint Ownership).
Can a vehicle have more than one owner? Does the DMV issue title certificates that display more than one name?
Yes, more than one person can own a vehicle, but to transfer ownership, only one of the owners is required to sign the title certificate.
You cannot add a name to a current title certificate. You must apply for a new title certificate that displays the two names. The current owner signs the title certificate to transfer the ownership to the two persons. The two persons must apply for a new title certificate. Learn how to apply for a title certificate only.
Vehicle Registration Fees
What is the registration fee for my vehicle?
The registration fee for most types of vehicles depends on the weight of the vehicle. When you register a vehicle for the first time, the total fees normally include: the sales tax, a vehicle plate fee or registration transfer fee, a title certificate fee, and vehicle use taxes in some counties.
For passenger cars, see the registration fees and use taxes for passenger vehicles. Remember that the amounts shown are only the registration fees.
For trucks, pick-up trucks and other commercial vehicles, see the registration fees and use taxes for commercial vehicles. Remember that the amounts shown are only the registration fees. Commercial vehicle registration fees are calculated from the maximum gross weight (MGW) of the vehicle. The MGW includes the weight of the vehicle added to the weight of the maximum load carried during the registration period. Your vehicle cannot exceed the registered MGW.
Get information about the differences between passenger class and commercial class vehicle registrations and learn how to register a pick-up truck with passenger class vehicle plates.
How to Replace Registration Items That Were Damaged, Lost or Stolen
Registration documents that are lost or damaged:
Apply on-line if you need to replace only a lost or destroyed current registration sticker, document or both items. If your documents were lost in a crime, read the instructions below.
Apply by mail. Carefully follow these instructions.
Apply in person at a DMV office.
Do not try to replace custom plates or personalized plates through a local DMV office or by mail. Call the Custom Plates Unit at 1-518-402-4838 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. weekdays. Call this number only if the vehicle plates you lost were custom plates or personalized plates.
Standard series plates or any registration items lost in a crime:
Standard series plate or plates lost — Use the instructions below to replace registration items at a DMV office. You cannot replace vehicle plates on-line, by phone or by mail.
Standard series plates or registration documents lost in a crime -- Go to a police station and have the police complete form MV-78B (Report of Lost or Stolen Motor Vehicle Items). This form is available only from the police, not from the DMV. If the police report indicates that the items were lost in a crime, there is no fee to replace the items. Bring form MV-78B to a DMV office and follow the instruction below. You cannot use form MV-78B to apply on-line, by phone or by mail. If you apply on-line or by mail to replace registration documents, you must pay a fee of $3.
What to bring to the DMV office: