How to Renew a Car Registration in Pennsylvania
Applying for car registration renewal in Pennsylvania is a process you must complete every one to two years, depending on the renewal period you choose when you first apply for a vehicle registration.
Not all vehicles are eligible for a two-year registration period. For instance, you cannot typically apply for a two-year DMV registration renewal period if you own a seasonal car, truck or minivan, or your motor vehicle is registered under the international registration plan.
To apply for a tag renewal in PA, you can choose to complete the process online, in person or by mail, depending on whichever application method you qualify for and prefer. However, online renewal is often the quickest and most convenient application method for most vehicle owners.
To learn more about the steps you must take to renew your vehicle’s registration credentials, review the information below.
Applying for a License Plate Renewal in Pennsylvania
You may choose to renew registration online, in person or by mail. However, it is important to renew your vehicle’s registration credentials well in advance of the expiration date, as driving without valid license plates is unlawful and may result in the incurrence of costly penalty fees.
As a reminder to renew your registration materials in a timely manner, PennDOT will mail you a renewal application before your license plates are scheduled to expire. However, you are still responsible for renewing your registration even if you fail to receive this notice from the department.
For helpful instructions about registration renewals, download our free guide.
If you wish to apply for your DMV car registration renewal in PA online, you must be able to provide some of the following information:
- Your vehicle’s license plate number
- Your odometer reading
- Your title number
Once you submit the required documents, you must pay the registration fee with a credit card and print the new registration card on your own. When you renew a registration online, you will not receive your new credentials in the mail.
Moreover, you may check vehicle registration status online before submitting your electronic application for renewal if you are unsure about your eligibility for an online renewal.
To do so, you must be able to provide your vehicle information, such as your license plate number and title number.
Typically, you cannot renew your license plates online if you are applying more than six months before your registration credentials are set to expire, or your name and address are not current with PennDOT.
If you cannot renew your Pennsylvania registration credentials online or you prefer to apply in person, you must visit a PennDOT messenger service office or a driver and vehicle service center near you. Before heading in, you can perform an online car reg check to search for local PennDOT offices in your area.
Additionally, you can download any required forms from PennDOT’s website prior to heading in to save time at the office.
Want more tips to make your renewal process quicker and easier? Download our free guide.
If you perform a car registration check and learn that you cannot apply online, you may choose to renew your license plates by mail. The auto registration renewal notice you receive from PennDOT will include instructions for renewing your credentials by mail.
If you do not receive a renewal notice and application, however, you must complete a request form before submitting your application materials to PennDOT.