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How to Obtain a New Car Registration in New Jersey

Residents must obtain New Jersey car registration for new, used or leased vehicles. Residents may not request a car registration online and must visit an NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) office location in person. Because new car registration serves as a vehicle’s proof of vehicle insurance and proof of inspections for some vehicles, residents must present documents indicating their possession of insurance and perform an inspection at an approved location. However, DMV car registration is not always required. To learn more about motor vehicle registration, residents should review the sections below.

Getting Car Registration in New Jersey as a Current Resident

Registration of vehicle types such as motorcycles, farm equipment and some military vehicles do not involve inspections. However, before qualifying for car registration, most vehicles must pass inspections and other screenings such as emissions testing. For residents, used or new vehicles must be registered with the MVC as soon as possible. Vehicle registration must be purchased for a minimum of one year. Leased vehicles may require registration that extends after the lease period ends to guarantee that the vehicles will remain registered. Many dealers will manage the titling and registration processes for new, used or leased vehicles, but car owners are responsible for registering vehicles independently if they have purchased vehicles from a private seller or are required to participate in the processes for other reasons.

Car owners asking, “How do I register my car?” or “What is involved in registering my car?” can follow the simple steps provided below:

  1. Complete a car registration application request.
  2. Collect all required documents and information.
  3. Bring completed application and required documents to the MVC.
  4. Pay registration and titling fees.
  5. Receive new car registration.

To get car registration in NJ, required documents may include the following:

  • An endorsed and completed car title listing the date of the sale, the price of vehicle and the buyers’ drivers license numbers
  • Vehicle registration application located at MVC agencies
  • A Power of Attorney if applicants are not the new vehicle owners
  • A valid drivers license or other form of identification depicting the buyers
  • Proof of vehicle insurance
  • All lienholder information such as financing statements and identifying details

Odometer readings and car owners’ Social Security Numbers may be required as well. Getting car registration also necessitates residents to understand how to complete the application form. A separate application form is required for residents requesting New Jersey vehicle registration or titles while temporarily out of the state. Both car owners residing within and out of the state may submit their applications and all required documents (originals or photocopies) to the MVC. However, out-of-state residents at the time of the request must send their applications and supporting documents to the following address:

State of New Jersey

Out of State/Government Unit

P.O. Box 016

Trenton, NJ 08666-0016

For a car registration application to be processed, all applicants must ensure that they include their driver’s license numbers on the registration application. The motor vehicle registration fee will include sales tax. The cost of registration and titling fees may vary depending on the type of vehicle. For instance, vehicles with multiple lienholders will cost more to register than vehicles with one or no lienholders.

Note: Registering a vehicle classified as a commercial motor vehicle may involve a different registration process.

How to Obtain New Jersey Car Registration as a New Resident

According to state law, car registration documents and titles must be transferred within 60 days of a move, regardless of existing lienholders. To understand how to get car registration in NJ as a new resident, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Complete a certificate of ownership and vehicle registration application form.
  2. Bring completed applications and required documents to a MVC agency.
  3. Pay the transfer title and registration fees.
  4. Receive car registration and title.

In addition to the required documents listed in the previous section for obtaining a new car registration, new residents will also need to provide the following documents to the MVC:

  • Dealer reassignment document
  • Purchase order
  • Certificate of ownership application

These documents will be used to verify the legitimacy of purchased vehicles and affirm that the vehicle and its owners are current residents of the state. However, to transfer motor vehicle registration from a state that does not issue titles, new residents must also present a copy of the vehicle identification number (VIN) and the last vehicle registration card indicating that the vehicle was registered and owned by the seller. Because a New Jersey DMV car registration assures local law enforcement that the vehicles have adhered to state guidelines and have been properly documented and recorded by the MVC, new residents are encouraged to register vehicles before they are susceptible to late fines or penalties.

When to Register a Vehicle in New Jersey

The car registration process is required for all vehicle owners. Car owners must get car registration in NJ once a title is obtained. New residents moving to the state for a minimum period of six months must transfer their registration and titles within 60 days of the move. However, obtaining new car registration may demand extra work for new residents. For instance, new residents are advised to transfer their driver’s licenses or learners permits to the state and find appropriate vehicle insurance. Following a successful car registration, new and current residents may be required to inspect their vehicles for emissions and mechanical defects. For new residents, an inspection is required within 14 days of the registration. For current residents, vehicle inspections are performed annually or every five years for most used vehicles. Although current and new residents may transfer vehicle registration and plates to a new vehicle to avoid additional paperwork and stress, the transfer must be completed within the similar time restrictions. Residents should register a vehicle immediately after acquiring it to ensure they meet all registration deadlines.

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