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Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration

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Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration Summary

On our Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration page, you’ll find information about how to register a vehicle with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Office.

You will also learn about:

  • Car registration for new residents 
  • Registration renewals in Pennsylvania
  • Vehicle inspections
  • Replacements & changes
  • PA auto insurance requirements
  • PA military registration.

 Pennsylvania Car Registration Overview

Registering a Vehicle in Pennsylvania

You must register your vehicle at the PennDOT BMV in person. Find a nearby DMV office.

Read below for details about registering your vehicle in Pennsylvania. The process varies depending on whether you purchased the vehicle from a Pennsylvania car dealer or from a private-party seller, and whether you currently reside or recently moved to Pennsylvania.

What to bring to the PennDOT:

Continue reading below for more information about vehicle registration in Pennsylvania.

DMVGO eTags and Title Services in Pennsylvania

PA Vehicle Registration for New Residents

New to Pennsylvania?

If you are a new resident, the Pennsylvania DMV requires you to transfer your vehicle title and registration within 20 days of establishing residency.

Before you can register your vehicle you must first obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s license. Then, you will need to visit your local DMV office and present the following:

    • Proof of identification (e.g., a valid PA driver’s license).
    • A valid out-of-state certificate of title.
      • When applying for a PA title you must surrender your out-of-state title.
    • A completed Application for Lessee Form (Form MV-1L). You will only need this form if you lease your vehicle. Also, the leasing company must complete the form.
    • A completed Application for Certificate of Title Form (Form MV-1). This form is not available online. You must obtain and complete one at the DMV.
    • A VIN verification carried out by an inspection mechanic or notary public.
    • Payment for PA title and registration fees, and the applicable sales tax. Current vehicle sales tax is 6% (8% in Philadelphia).

NOTE: Importantly, Pennsylvania requires newly registered vehicles to obtain a safety inspection from an official inspection station within 10 days of the registration date.

Registering Vehicles Purchased from a PA Dealer

When you purchase either a new or used vehicle from a licensed PA car dealership, they will handle the title and registration process for you. Generally, your dealer will submit all necessary documents to PennDOT on your behalf.

In addition,you can view more information about Buying a Vehicle in Pennsylvania.

Vehicles Purchased from a Private Party

To register your vehicle in Pennsylvania, please visit your local PennDOT office and present:

  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title Form (Form MV-1). An authorized PennDOT agent must complete this form. It applies to new vehicles only.
  • A Manufacturer Certificate of Origin (MCO) if the vehicle is new.
  • Proof of vehicle inspection. Pennsylvania requires inspections within 10 days of the sale unless your vehicle already displays a valid inspection sticker.
  • Proof of identification (e.g., a valid PA driver’s license).
  • Proof of vehicle insurance.
  • The vehicle title, properly assigned from the seller to the buyer.
  • A vehicle odometer statement.
  • Proof of inspection within 10 days of purchase, if applicable.
  • A completed Vehicle Sales and Use Tax Return/Application for Registration (Form MV-4ST) for used vehicles.
  • Payment for PA title and registration fees, and the applicable sales tax.

NOTE: If you already have a Pennsylvania registration plate, an authorized PennDOT agent can transfer and assign it to the vehicle you are buying.

In addition, you can read more about Buying and Selling a Vehicle.

PA Registration for Military Drivers

Pennsylvania residents who are military members can maintain valid Pennsylvania vehicle registration while stationed outside of the state.

First, military drivers can also title and register vehicles where they are stationed. They may also renew their vehicles for either a 1 year or 2 year registration period.

To maintain Pennsylvania registration and renew online you’ll need to:

If your insurance lapses during military duty, you must return your registration plates to PennDOT as soon as your insurance company cancels your policy. Mail your plates to:

Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Return Tag Unit
PO Box 68597
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8597

Upon returning to Pennsylvania to title and register your vehicle, you must register your vehicle according to the section above, Registering a Vehicle in Pennsylvania.

Need to handle any DMV business in person? Find and visit your closest PA BMV office.

Renewing Your Registration in Pennsylvania

You must renew your vehicle registration annually in Pennsylvania. However, some vehicles are eligible for a renewal period of 2 years. Before your registration expires, PennDOT will mail you a renewal notice.
You can renew your vehicle registration with the Pennsylvania BMV online, in person, or by mail.

Online Registration Renewals in PA

To renew your PA vehicle registration online, go to the PA DMV’s online registration renewal portal.
You may renew online if your current address is on file with PennDOT and your current registration card expires in 6 months or less.

Before you begin your PA registration renewal, you must have the following:

  • A PA registration renewal notice.
    • If you did not receive a renewal notice you must complete a Request for Registration (Form MV-140). Send the completed form and payment to the address on the form.
  • Your registration plate number.
  • The first 8 digits of your title number.
  • Your vehicle’s odometer reading.
  • Your insurance information including effective and expiration dates.
  • Acceptable payment methods for the required PA registration renewal fees.

Once you complete the process, please print your valid registration document. As of December 21st, 2016 PennDOT will no longer mail a registration card for registrations renewed online.

PA Registration Renewals by Mail

To renew your PA vehicle registration by mail with the PA BMW, please follow the instructions on your renewal notice.
Then mail it to the address indicated on your notice along with payment for your listed renewal fees.
If you do not have your PA renewal notice or did not receive one, you must complete a Request for Registration (Form MV-140).

NOTE: You will receive your permanent registration card in the mail within 10 days.

Registration Renewals In Person

To renew your Pennsylvania vehicle registration in person, visit your local PennDOT agency and bring:

  • Your PA registration renewal notice.
  • A completed Request for Registration (Form MV-140), if you do not have your renewal notice.
  • Payment for your registration renewal fees (shown on your Pennsylvania renewal notice).

NOTE: You may also renew your PA registration via PennDOT Online Messenger services. Additional service fees may apply.

Replace a Lost or Damaged Registration

If your PA registration card has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can apply for a duplicate online, by mail, or in person at your nearest PennDOT BMV office.

PA Registration Replacements Online

To replace your PA registration online, visit the PennDOT Vehicle Services Page and have the following information ready:

  • Your registration plate number.
  • The first 8 digits of your title number.
  • Your vehicle’s odometer reading.
  • Your insurance information including effective dates and expiration.

There is no fee for replacement PA vehicle registration cards when purchased online. Simply print your replacement registration document at the end of your transaction.

Registration Replacements In Person

To replace your PA registration card in person, you’ll need to present the following during your visit:

Registration Replacements By Mail

To replace your PA registration card by mail, complete an Application for Duplicate Registration Card, Replacement of Registration Plate or Weight Class Sticker (Form MV-44) and mail together with the $6 replacement fee to:

Bureau of Motor Vehicles
1101 South Front St.
Harrisburg, PA 17104

NOTE: Checks for fees should be made payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Changes to Your PA Car Registration

Name Changes on PA Registration

You can make changes to your name on your PA vehicle registration by mail or by visiting PennDOT in person. Depending on the reason for your name change, the process for the name change will vary.

For changes due to marriage or divorce you must submit:

For changes due to court order or common law name change, please be ready to submit:

Address Changes on PA Vehicle Registration

You can change your address with PennDOT online, by mail or in person. Pennsylvania requires you to report your address change to PennDOT within 15 days of moving.

Online Address Change in Pennsylvania

To change your address online, please visit PennDOT’s Vehicle Services Page.

To complete the address change process in Pennsylvania, you will need:

  • Your registration plate number.
  • The first 8 digits of your title number.
  • Your vehicle’s odometer reading.
  • Your car insurance information including effective and expiration dates.
  • Your license/ID number.

You can print your temporary PA vehicle registration card once you complete the transaction.

Pennsylvania Address Changes in Person

To change your address in person, please visit any PennDOT office or any Online Messenger services. Additional service fees may apply when visiting an Online Messenger Service.

You will need to complete a Change of Address (Form MV-63).

Pennsylvania Address Changes By Mail

To change your address by mail , please complete a Change of Address (Form MV-63) and mail to the address specified on the form.

Vehicle Registration Fees in PA

In Pennsylvania, vehicle registration fees depend on the vehicle type.

You must renew your PA registration annually or every 2 years for eligible vehicles.

Below are some of the initial registration fees for a standard vehicle:

  • Certificate of title: $58
  • Certificate of title with a lien: $86
  • Replacement registration plate: $11
  • Duplication PA vehicle registration card (at time of initial registration or renewal): $2
  • Duplication PA vehicle registration card (if done online): $0
  • Transfer of registration plate: $9
  • Sales tax – You must pay 6% sales tax (8% in Philadelphia) on all vehicle sales, new or used.
  • County fees. Certain counties have a $5 per year registration fee. See the complete list of counties here.

Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration Fees

Registration fees for passenger vehicles depend on vehicle type with the Pennsylvania BMV. View a list of current PA vehicle registration fees:

  • Passenger vehicles: $39
  • Motorcycles: $21
  • Regular trucks 5,000 pounds or less: $67
  • Regular trucks 5,001-7,000 pounds: $92
  • Regular trucks 7,001-9,000 pounds: $177
  • Taxis: $86
  • RV 8,000 pounds or less: $73
  • Recreational trailer 8,000 pounds or less: $12

For a complete schedule of registration fees in Pennsylvania, visit the PA DOT website.

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Last Verified:
Oct 10, 2022