How to Register Used Cars

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When you purchase a used car, you have to get the unit properly registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles in your area. You need to take the required information to the DMV and get everything put in your name before the car can be driven. Failure to properly register a car, even a used one, could result in tickets or fines from the local law enforcement.

  • Visit your local DMV office (or DMV.gov website) for car registration forms.

  • If you visit the DMV.gov website, select the name of the state you live in from the "Choose your State" drop-down menu. A page will appear containing specific instructions for registering a vehicle in your state.

  • Click the "Prepare the Paperwork" link. The information that loads will tell you exactly what forms are required to register a car in your state. Print this page out or write down the information, as you will need it when you make your trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

  • Click "Calculate the Fees" to view a list of the fees you will have to pay to register a car in your state.

  • To find a Department of Motor Vehicles location in your area, the DMV.org site has a location tool you can use by entering your zip code. You can also use the local phone book to find an address. Take two forms of identification (typically a drivers license and a social security card will work, though some states require additional information) to the DMV location and fill out the paperwork you learned about in "Step 3." Pay your fee to obtain your used car registration.

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