The 3 Basics of Registering Your First Car

You’ve just gotten your driver’s license, obtained your first car, and you’re eager to start driving. Before you hit the road however, there is one more important thing you need to take care of first: registering your vehicle. Every car on the road is legally required to be registered, and there are significant fines for failing to register a vehicle properly.

To get you started, here are the three basic things you should know when registering your first car:

1. Your car needs to be insured. First of all, you are required to have your vehicle insured, and your name must appear on the insurance documents. If you do not have insurance, take care of this first, as you cannot register your vehicle without proof of insurance paperwork.

2. Where you bought your car matters. The paperwork you need to present for registration depends on how you acquired your vehicle.

  • New car from a dealer: New vehicles require a New Vehicle Information Statement (NVIS) from the dealer to be submitted along with proof of insurance.
  • Second hand from your local jurisdiction: You need to present a signed and dated bill of sale and proof of insurance.
  • Second hand from outside your jurisdiction: You need the car’s previous registration information to transfer it to your current territory or jurisdiction. (If you’ve lost your car’s previous registration documents, you can request duplicates from a motor vehicles office belonging to the jurisdiction where the car was registered.) Don’t forget to bring the signed and dated bill of sale and insurance documents.
  • Received as a gift: If you didn’t purchase your vehicle and just received it as a gift from a family member or friend, you still need to present paperwork stating that you received the car as a gift. Contact your local motor vehicle office for the relevant forms needed, as this may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

3. Renew your registration. Finally, remember to renew your car registration every year. You will receive a reminder in the mail so that you don’t forget. You can usually renew your registration online, through mail, or by visiting your local motor vehicles office.

Before hitting the road, make sure you are aware of your local rules and regulations regarding vehicle registration. All in all, if you’ve covered the three basics of car registration mentioned above, you should be good to go. Visit sites like The Registry Depot for more information.


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