The Process for Replacing Car Registration in New Jersey
The process of replacing car registration differs slightly for owned and leased vehicles. How to replace your car registration in NJ depends on whether your vehicle is owned or leased. For owned vehicles, a lost car registration may be replaced without permission from a third party. Although you cannot replace car registration online, you may visit a local Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) agency to request the replacement. Applicants must present the following identifying information to MVC agents:
- Proof of insurance such as an insurance card or receipt
- Completed vehicle registration application
- A valid drivers license
A notarized statement of consent is required for applicants as well, if they are not authorized to replace vehicle registration (i.e., if they are not the owners or co-owners of the vehicles). A DMV copy of registration will also require you to pay a duplicate registration fee. The registration fee may vary depending on the type of vehicle and the duration of the vehicle registration you request (i.e., for one, three or four years). A duplicate car registration application may only be obtained at an MVC agency and must contain the signatures of all vehicle owners to be processed. You must bring the completed application and all required documents to the MVC to request a registration replacement.
To receive a copy of car registration for a leased vehicle, you must contact and receive legal permission from your leasing company. Permission must be obtained in the form of a Power of Attorney (POA) and should include the following information to be considered effective:
- Your name or the name of the person leasing the vehicle (lessee)
- A statement granting you or the lessee the authority to sign the registration application
- The vehicle identification number (VIN), year, make and model of the leased vehicle
Applicants replacing lost car registration for leased vehicles should present the POA and required documents at a local agency to complete the request. Required documents to replace car registration include those listed above for replacing owned vehicle registration and the original copy of the POA. Car registration replacement fees for leased vehicles are determined the same way as they are for owned vehicles.
Note: All registration documents and license plates that are no longer in use must be surrendered to the MVC immediately if you choose not to replace car registration and let the registration expire for unused vehicles.
When to Replace Your Registration in New Jersey
If you lose your car registration in NJ, you are required to replace it. Under state law, all vehicle owners are required to replace car registration to maintain their registration and lawfully operate their vehicles. Additionally, you should request a duplicate car registration document if your registration has been stolen, damaged or destroyed. Not replacing illegible car registration is just as dangerous as not replacing missing registration because local law enforcement can penalize you for not providing legible documentation.
Not only do you need to replace car registration when your current registration is missing or illegible, but you should also obtain new car registration when your personal information changes. All your driving and vehicle records with the MVC must be up to date and accurate, so you are required to report any significant changes such as name or address changes. While reporting a name and address change involves additional steps, the most important is obtaining a replacement registration. A new copy of your car registration credentials must be ordered following these changes to adhere to state law and guarantee your records remain correct and updated. This information must be replaced on car registration within one week of the change.
You are advised to check the condition of your car registration regularly to quickly recognize if you have lost car registration, if it is at risk of becoming illegible or if your registration is incorrect.
The Importance of Filing a Police Report for Stolen New Jersey Registration
Although a DMV lost registration incurs the same penalties as a stolen registration, a stolen registration can pose additional problems that demand police involvement. While both situations require you to request a DMV registration copy to keep your vehicle registered properly, a stolen registration might imply that another resident has taken possession of the document. If another resident obtains your car registration, they may have access to your personal information, your driving records and your identity. According to state law, you must report all incidences of stolen car registration to the local police and file police reports. Not only will the local police be able to better protect you and other car owners from identity theft and the dangers of stolen information, but they can also assist in the recovery of stolen registration. The process of replacing stolen or lost car registration is increasingly more stressful when the risk of stolen information is involved, but law enforcement officers can facilitate the process and give you peace of mind.
Because replacing car registration cannot solve issues associated with stolen registration, you should always report stolen car registration and file police reports if you suspect that your registration could have been stolen.