How to Apply for a Car Registration in Pennsylvania
After purchasing, acquiring or inheriting a vehicle, applying for Pennsylvania vehicle registration credentials is one of the first tasks you must complete. However, the specific application process varies slightly depending on whether you purchase your vehicle from a dealership or private seller.
When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, the dealer will submit your application materials directly to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). However, if you purchase a vehicle from a private party, you must apply for new registration materials on your own.
Moreover, the DMV registration application materials you must submit as a new vehicle owner will depend on several factors. Once you register your vehicle, you must complete the registration renewal process every year thereafter.
To learn more about the PA DMV car registration application process, review the information below.
How to Get New Vehicle Registration Records in Pennsylvania
To obtain a new car registration in PA, you must provide PennDOT with an acceptable proof of automobile ownership, such as a manufacturer’s certificate of origin (MCO) or an original certificate of title.
However, the specific types of documents you must submit when registering a newly acquired vehicle will vary depending on the situation. For instance, the documents you must present as proof of vehicle ownership are different for new versus used automobiles.
Download our free guide for tips on how to get your Pennsylvania auto registration based on your specific circumstances.
To obtain new vehicle registration credentials after purchasing a new vehicle from a licensed dealership, the dealer will forward your application materials directly to PennDOT. These documents must include a completed application for a certificate of title and a copy of your state-issued photo ID.
Additionally, the PennDOT must receive a copy of your current automobile insurance card in order to issue your new car registration materials.
For an automobile that was manufactured after the 2008 model year, the vehicle owner must also comply with the Pennsylvania Clean Vehicles Program to obtain a PA vehicle registration.
Typically, the vehicle’s certificate of origin or MCO will specify whether an automobile meets this requirement.
“Where can I apply for a car registration near me if I have a used vehicle?” you may wonder. If you purchase a previously owned vehicle from a private seller, you must visit a PennDOT office to manually submit your application materials and pay the applicable fees.
During your visit, you must submit some of the following documents:
- A completed DMV registration application
- Proof of vehicle ownership
- Photo identification
- A current insurance identification card.
If you received the motor vehicle as a gift from another individual, you must also submit an affidavit if you wish to qualify for a fee exemption.
Note: If you wish to obtain PA DMV vehicle registration documents after purchasing an out-of-state automobile, you must meet several additional requirements. For instance, your vehicle must pass a VIN verification and you must provide PennDOT with the automobile’s out-of-state certificate of title as part of the registration process.
Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration Fees
You must pay car registration fees and sales tax when registering a new or used vehicle in the state of Pennsylvania. However, specific fees vary depending on the county where you live and the purchase price or market value of your vehicle.
If you receive the car, truck or SUV as a gift from another motorist, you may apply for an exemption from paying sales and use tax on the motor vehicle.
Want more information on the fees you will have to pay? Download our free, helpful guide.