Whitney Russell
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How Does Online Vehicle Registration Work?

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Most states make it easy to renew your car online via your local DMV office’s website

Can’t get to the Department of Motor Vehicles to register your vehicle in person? Don’t worry. Save yourself time and hassle by completing this process online. Though some states differ a bit on their online vehicle registration processes, most of them involve the following steps.

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Navigating the online registration process

Using a secure internet connection, access your state’s DMV website. Next, navigate to the part of the website that says “renew registration” or something similar.

If you haven’t used online services with your state’s DMV, you’ll usually have to create an account before you can renew your car’s registration. If you’ve used this service in the past, however, enter the login credentials associated with your account.

Next, the website will usually prompt you to enter a code or PIN from your renewal notice that you received via snail mail or email. It might also request you to give your last name, along with your VIN or vehicle plate number.

You should see a screen that lists your vehicle along with your mailing address. Verify that your vehicle’s information and address are correct, then proceed with paying for the registration.

Most online payment methods for vehicle registration let you pay by either electronic check or credit card. Finally, select a delivery method for your registration, stickers, and plates (if you’re getting new plates).

Save a copy of your renewal receipt for your records. You can either print out a hard copy or save a PDF of the receipt to your laptop or other electronic document storage system.

Some things to keep in mind

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Minimize your visits to the DMV by renewing your registration from home

Since each state does online vehicle registration a bit differently, it’s important to consult the right DMV website for the county you live in. That way, you can verify that you’re registering your car in the right county and that you get the correct answers to any questions you have during the process.

If you’re not sure which DMV office to obtain your registration through, use the DMV Office Finder tool available on DMV.org’s website to find a DMV near you.

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