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In the United States, you are not permitted to drive a car on public roads until the car is registered. Once you have acquired a car, the first thing you have to do is to register it. But how long does it take to register a car? In this post, you are going to learn about the procedure. 

When it comes to vehicle registration, you can usually rely on car dealers. They will do it for you. But if you are dealing with a private party, you may have to do the paperwork yourself.

How it works

As we have already mentioned, registering your vehicle is a must. You can also operate with the transportation agency. It depends on the state you live in. Now we are going to present some scenarios where you will have to register your car.

You will have to get the registration at the time of buying a new car. The dealers will handle it if you are buying the car from them. Registration is necessary when you are moving to a new state. But it can be done after you move if you are in the military or if you are a student.

Every few years, you will have to renew the registration. The number of years varies in different states. To know how often the registration is required, check the law of the state.

Once your car has been registered, the authorities will give you a registration card. They will also give you a license plate. You will need to attach the registration sticker to the license plate.

Required documents for car registration

Every state has a vehicle licensing agency and you can visit the agency’s website to learn about the registration of your car. From that website you can learn about the process of the registration. You will learn what documents the DMV office needs. You should also know how much fee you will have to pay. 

The process of a car registration becomes less onerous if you do not visit the DMV office on a busy day. The office gets really busy during lunch hours on Fridays and Saturdays. You should also avoid visiting the office at the beginning and the end of a month. It is common sense that you will have to stand in a queue if you visit the office before a holiday. 

Your car’s title is also known as a pink slip and you will have to bring it. This document proves that you are the owner of the vehicle. It has the owner’s name and address. Your vehicle also has an identification number and the title specifies it. The odometer States the mileage and you will have to provide this information. Other necessary information includes cars model, brand and size.  

When you purchase a car, you have to make sure that the sailor signs over the title. When you take possession, you have to make sure that you have information regarding the car’s VIN.

If it is a brand-new vehicle, you will not receive a title. Rather, you will receive a certificate of origin. If the title is held by the lender and you are financing the vehicle, you may need to bring the bill of sale and loan documents. Odometer disclosure statements are another requirement. It shows how many miles the car has run.

If it is a really old car, the car will have to pass the safety or emissions test. Another mandatory requirement is liability coverage. The amount depends on the state you live in. Let’s clarify it: how long does it take to register a car? If you have all the documents ready, the procedure is pretty straightforward and it does not take a long time.

Taxes, registration fees and renewals

If you are purchasing an old car, the seller will not give you the old plate. You will have to get a new license plate by paying a registration fee. The amount of the fee depends on the place you live in. If you need a rough estimate, here it is: the cost will not go beyond several hundred dollars. 

If your seller is a private seller, you will have to pay sales tax. The amount of the tax depends on the price of the car. You will not have to pay the tax if you are buying the car from a member of your family. 

Be prepared for paying taxes and fees when you are not buying a car from a person who is not a member of your family. Otherwise you will have to deal with unpleasant situations. When you are driving your car, make sure the insurance card and the registration card are with you.

The vehicle title should never be left in the car. To make sure it is always safe, you can use a fire proof container to store it. It will add another layer of security. In most states, the renewal of registration is required every couple of years.

How long does it take to register a car? It is clear that the time depends on how prepared you are for the process. Depending on the circumstances, the procedure may or may not be time-consuming.

When you have no title

If the vehicle’s title has been lost or destroyed by the previous owner, the vehicle can still be registered. Replacement title can be requested by the seller if the car is registered. Otherwise you will have to pay an additional fee for re-titling the car. Your car’s VIN will be required for this. 

Your car’s dashboard has a plate and you will find the number on the plate. The dashboard is usually on the side or at the windshield. You may be asked to submit an odometer reading and the bill of sale. 

As a legal instrument, a surety bond is also required. It ensures your financial responsibility, assuming that you are the owner of the car. Depending on your car’s value and age, you can get it for only $100. Application for a bonded title may be necessary in some cases.

In most cases this is what the process of registration looks like. How long does it take to register a car? Now you know that it depends on multiple factors. There are circumstances where people are not allowed to register their cars. For example, if the car has been stolen, you will not get a registration. But we can say that registration of a car is not a very complicated process.

How much does it cost?

The DMV fees are not the same in every state, and they are not calculated in the same way. In some states, they charge a flat fee for registration of all types of vehicles. In other states, the fees depend on several factors such as your vehicle’s age, current value, fuel efficiency, weight, and the number of vehicles registered in a person’s name.

The fees can vary wildly in state to state. For example, if you are living in Kentucky, you can get your vehicle registered for only $21. But you will have to pay up to $217 in Montana. To get a clear idea of how much you need to pay, you can visit the website of the transportation agency.

In conclusion

How long does it take to register a car? Now you know that the time depends on several factors. If you have the right preparation, you can get things done in a very short time. We hope you will make informed decisions and register your car successfully.

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