NY Vehicle Registration

First-time registration in New York is required before a vehicle can legally be operated within the state. While there are registration renewal options online, first-time registration must be completed in-person within the DMV office to ensure that your identity is properly confirmed before these documents are provided for you. If you have just purchased, inherited or received a vehicle by gift, or if you have moved to New York with your vehicle, you will be required to register the vehicle in New York before you can drive it through the state.

Any new residents to the state have 30 days to register their vehicle with the NY DMV.

Get Your Auto Insurance Policy

Before you even visit the DMV office to register an NY vehicle, be sure that you have the adequate auto coverage, as you will be asked for proof of your policy before you can obtain registration. Even if there is coverage over the vehicle within another state, you will not be able to register the vehicle without first obtaining a valid New York insurance policy.

Use 4dmv.com's online insurance center to determine which insurance policy can offer the best rates for your budget and the best policy for the price you can pay. You will obtain FS-20, your New York insurance card once you have obtained a valid policy.

Getting Your Paperwork Ready

If you have purchased your vehicle from a New York dealership, you won't have much to do by yourself as the dealer is going to take care of most of the paperwork for you.

If you have gotten the vehicle through any other method, private sale, inheritance, or other, you will need to get all the paperwork together yourself, which includes the vehicle's title and other documents.

  1. Bring your title and Bill of Sale for proof of your ownership over the vehicle. If you or the seller has lost the title, you will need to first get a replacement before the transfer of the vehicle and registration can take place.
  2. Bring your NYS insurance card, which will have a bar-code that must be scanned.
  3. Provide the accurate odometer/damage statement on the rear of the title. If there is no section for this on your title, please have the previous owner complete Form MV-103.
  4. Bring appropriate proof of identification and your birth.
  5. Complete and submit Application for Registration.
  6. Bring proof of any sales tax paid, the actual purchase price of the vehicle, or a sales tax exemption form if applicable. DTF-802 must be completed for a private sale or inheritance of the vehicle.
  7. Complete inspection of the vehicle, which must be done before registration is issued.
New York Registration Fees

You won't know the cost for registering your vehicle in New York until you have visited the DMV and had the case evaluated. However, you can estimate just how much the registration will cost by visiting Registration Fees.

Your registration fees are based on the vehicle's weight, and can range between $26 and $140. You will also be required to pay any other applicable fees as you register, including sales tax and plating fees.

When you register the vehicle, you will also be given the opportunity to order any personalized New York plates, or simply choose the standard plates given to all vehicles in the state. These fees will be assessed with your registration fees.

Affixing Your Registration Stickers

Once registration has been issued for your vehicle, you are provided with the necessary stickers, which must be affixed to your license plates as soon as they are received.

Tax Credits for Registration

In many states, registration of your vehicle is based on the vehicle's value, which means that you will get a portion of these fees in return as a tax credit at the end of the year. However, New York bases registration fees on weight, which can void your eligibility for these tax credits.

If you did, however, pay registration fees based in part by the value of the vehicle, you can speak to a tax attorney in New York to determine whether you can expect a return or not.