Car Registration Renewal: A How-To Guide

February 23, 2012

An overview of what you need to renew your registration, and the criteria for getting a car registration renewal online.

In the majority of US states, car owners can obtain a car registration renewal through online services, mail or in person. Here are some car registration renewal procedures you need to follow.

Car Registration Renewal Procedure

Check your Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice to see whether it is necessary for you to submit a smog certification and also to know the fee amount for the renewal. If you have not received the notice, or have misplaced it, call the DMV office to find the required information.

If the notice asks for a smog certification, you have to get your car tested in order to acquire the smog certificate. To avoid late payment of renewal fees, you can pay the renewal registration fees before getting the smog certificate, but you will not be sent the new tags until the smog certificate is sent to the DMV.

It is necessary to have the proof of your car insurance policy with you when going to the DMV office. Make a prior appointment and to carry all the necessary documents along with required fees amount in cash, check or money order to the DMV office. Payments through credit cards are not recognized for walk in payments.

Car Title Transfer Procedure

In the majority of states, it is necessary for the vehicle owner to produce an Odometer Disclosure Statement for a title transfer, if the car is less than 10 years of age. If the vehicle has a lien, then relevant documents needs to be produced. In case of a title transfer for a commercial vehicle, contact your state DMV. Different states have different requirements for commercial transfer procedures.

Renewal Identification Number (RIN)

A Renewal Identification Number (RIN) is provided to a vehicle that is eligible for registration renewal via the Internet. It serves as a unique identifier for all kinds of online transactions. The assigned Renewal Identification Number comes on the Vehicle Registration Renewal Billing Notice of the eligible vehicle. You must have proof of insurance and a smog certificate to be eligible for a RIN.

Related Questions and Answers

Do You Have to Do a Motor Vehicle Registration Renewal through the DMV?

Yes, motor vehicle registration renewal is handled by the DMV and must be done through them. In many states, registration renewals can be done online. This policy varies by state, so check with your local DMV in regards to their polices and procedures. There are numerous states that still require you to come down to the local office to renew your registration. There are fees for not renewing your registration in a timely manner, so make sure you get the payment in on time. Some states require that your vehicle passes an emissions test before you can renew your registration.

Can You do a Car Registration Renewal Online for Every Type of Car?

Car registration renewal online is not available in every state. There is no federal oversight of vehicle registration. Each state handles it on their own, so the answer to this question will vary depending on the state you live in. You should contact your local DMV in regards to their policies and procedures. In many states, it is possible to renew your registration online for all types of cars. In other states, online registration is not possible for any type of vehicle. With other states, it is possible to register some vehicle types online while others must be registered at the local office. Many states require an emissions test before a registration can be renewed.