Vehicle Registration in New York

To keep their vehicles in compliance with state law, New York residents must register their vehicles with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Residents in New York must submit the necessary documents for their car's registration in person at a NY DMV office. The following documents are required for registering a New York vehicle with the NY DMV:
  • Identification
  • A completed application for vehicle registration
  • Payment for applicable taxes and fees
Purchasing a car, truck, motorcycle, or boat is an exciting experience. This guide will assist you in registering your vehicle in New York with the New York State DMV and maintaining your vehicle's street legality.

First Time Vehicle Registration

To register a vehicle for the first time (car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle), you must bring:
  • Completed Registration Application, form MV-82
  • Completed Statement of Sale or Gift, form DTF-802
  • Proof of Ownership
  • Proof of Identity and Date of Birth
  • NYS Insurance Identification Card
  • Payment

Car Registration in New York

When a car is purchased from a dealership, some of the paperwork, such as the vehicle's documentation, is filed with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV). Following the submission of the vehicle's paperwork by the dealership, the owner is responsible for:
  • The vehicle must be registered at the DMV within 180 days of the effective date on your insurance ID card.
  • Visiting a DMV office in New York to pay the required fees and taxes
  • Providing documented proof of the vehicle's credentials, such as insurance and title
  • Pay the registration fees
To pay the taxes during the registration process in New York, drivers will need the bill of sale obtained from the dealer. Drivers will also need to know the vehicle's mileage because it is required when filling the vehicle's registration and title documents.

Motorcycle Registration in New York

Residents of New York who own a motorcycle must register it at their local New York State Department of Motor Vehicles office. When registering a motorcycle in New York, the following documents are required:
  • Motorcycle title and out-of-state registration
  • Valid NY driver's license
  • Valid motorcycle insurance
  • Current safety inspection (Only required if out-of-state motorcycle owners do not have a current inspection sticker from their previous state).
  • Completed motorcycle/vehicle title and registration (Form MV-82)
  • Claim for sales and use Tax Exemption (Form DTF-803)

ATV Registration in New York

Any ATV driven anywhere in New York State, even on private property, must be registered (except use for agricultural purposes or not-for-hire snowplowing). They may be operated on public lands designated for ATV use and private property ONLY with the landowner's permission. Bring the following documents with you:
  • Completed Registration Application, form MV-82
  • Completed Statement of Gift or Sale, form DTF-802
  • Proof of Ownership
  • NYS Driver's License, Permit, or Non-Driver ID
  • Proof of Sales Tax Payment, Sales Tax Exemption, or Purchase Price
  • Payment

Boat Registration in New York

All boats powered by a motor and used on public waterways must be registered. This also includes boats where the engine is not the primary means of propulsion. You must bring the following items to register:
  • Completed Boat Registration Application, form MV-82-B
  • Completed Statement of Gift or Sale, form DTF-802.
  • Proof of Ownership
  • NYS Driver's License, Permit, or Non-Driver ID
  • Proof of Sales Tax Payment, Sales Tax Exemption, or Purchase Price
  • Payment

Trailer Registration in New York

In general, the procedures for registering and titling a light-duty trailer are identical to those for registering and titling a vehicle. However, there are some distinctions:
  • Non-commercial trailers do not require insurance.
  • A custom or homemade trailer must meet specific requirements to be registered.
  • There are machines and other devices that are similar to or resemble trailers but do not require registration (MV-274)

Snowmobile Registration in New York

Each snowmobile must be registered UNLESS it is used exclusively on the owner's private property or on a property to which the snowmobile's owner has a contractual right. Bring the following documents with you:
  • Completed Snowmobile Registration Application, form MV-82SN
  • Completed Statement of Sale or Gift, form DTF-802
  • Proof of Ownership
  • NYS Driver's License, Permit, or Non-Driver ID
  • Proof of Sales Tax Payment, Sales Tax Exemption, or Purchase Price
  • Payment

4 Easy Step in Vehicle Registration in New York

One of the unavoidable facts of vehicle ownership is that it always entails some administration level. You'll need a license, insurance, and to make sure everything is in order and up to date, or you'll end up in hot water with the law. So, if you want to register your vehicle in New York State, here are the four simple steps you must take.

Step 1: Get Insurance

You must have insurance certified by the New York Department of Financial Services before you can register a car in New York. Your insurance company will provide you with two original barcoded NY State Insurance ID cards. They will also provide the DMV with electronic notice of insurance coverage. Both are required before the vehicle can be registered. You then have 180 days from the effective date on your insurance ID card to register the vehicle.

Step 2: Submit All Required Documents

Once you have a valid insurance policy, you must take all required documents to your local DMV office – this cannot be done online. These are the documents you must bring with you:
  • Original title (or other proof of ownership)
  • Current NY State Insurance ID card (auto liability insurance)
  • Bill of sale and proof of sales tax payment/sales tax form
  • Your NY State driver's license, permit non-driver ID, or other proof of identity.
  • Payment for fees and taxes (or proof of exemption)
  • Completed Vehicle Registration Application

Step 3: Recieve Your Documents

You will be given the necessary documents after you have dropped off the required documents at your local DMV office. Alternatively, you could get them by mail in about two weeks. Among them are the following:
  • 1 or 2 vehicle plates
  • Registration window sticker
  • Registration document
  • 10-day inspection extension sticker
If you transfer registration from another vehicle registered in New York, you will not receive the registration plates. The 10-day inspection extension sticker is only issued if the vehicle was not purchased from an authorized NY State auto dealer and allowed you 10 days to have the vehicle inspected. You will also receive a new title certificate within 90 days if necessary.

Step 4: Vehicle Inspection

When a vehicle's ownership changes, it must undergo a new inspection. This is the last step in registering your car in New York.

Smog Inspection

Vehicles registered in New York must have a car inspection and smog check every year. These inspections must be completed within 10 days of purchasing a car in New York. Drivers will be given a temporary dashboard sticker until the car passes both inspections. A permanent sticker is provided when the vehicle passes the required inspections. A smog inspection, also known as an emissions test, is a type of inspection that examines the pollution and exhaust control systems of a vehicle. All New York registered vehicles must pass this inspection to receive the initial registration or renew the registration.
If your vehicle meets the following criteria, it will not be required to undergo a smog test:
  • 25 years old or older
  • A brand-new vehicle that is less than two years old.
  • A battery-powered vehicle
  • A motorbike
  • A diesel vehicle weighs no more than 8,499 pounds.
  • A vehicle with historical license plates
  • A custom or homemade vehicle that has been restored in New York.

Damage Disclosure Statement

For all vehicles, regardless of age, the Damage Disclosure Statement must be completed on the back of the New York State Certificate of Title.

Odometer Disclosure Statement

The seller must complete the Odometer Disclosure Statement on the back of the title certificate if the vehicle is 10 model years old or newer.

Registering For Other Person

If you register a vehicle on behalf of another person, you must show your ID and bring a photocopy of the registrant's ID/license or their original document. The registrant must sign all forms.