PA Car Registration
There are some general requirements that pertain to car registration in PA, which you must, at all times, follow precisely to ensure that you are able to complete your tasks appropriately and without any hiccups.
First-Time PA Registration
If your vehicle meets the following criteria, you will need to register the vehicle for the first time with the Department of Transportation:
- Recently moved to state
- Recently purchased
- Recently received as gift
You will be given 20 days from the date of your entry into the state as a new resident to register your vehicles, which can be done as you handle the titling process at the Driver and Vehicle Service Center in your county.
In order for the PennDOT to issue registration for your vehicle, you will have to prove that you have an adequate auto insurance policy—which you can get online with such great ease. A liability coverage policy is often the insurance that is obtained in order to get the cheapest rates possible with the state required insurance. Use 4DMV.com’s PA Insurance Center to see what type of insurance is required and how you can get your policy today.
Gathering the Paperwork Needed
If the vehicle is purchased from a dealership in PA, the dealer will do all the paperwork necessary to get your vehicle registered. If this is the case, just visit the Driver/Vehicle Service Center with the proof of your auto coverage, providing a money order or check for $36.
If this situation doesn’t apply to you, you will be required to collect the following:
- Vehicle’s Title
- Proof of Auto Insurance Coverage
- Form MV-1
- Form MV-4ST for registration of used vehicle in PA
- Form MV-904, Application for Special Registration Plate for personalized tags
- VIN Inspection Certificate for out-of-state vehicles
You will be notified by PennDOT if and when you are required to complete emissions inspection before registration is issued. You can review the information about emissions testing through 4DMV.com to be sure when you may be required to complete this type of testing.
- If you are still considering the purchase of the vehicle, it is definitely a wise decision to get a vehicle history report to see the history of the vehicle before making your decision.
PA Registration Fees
When you register a vehicle in PA, the cost is $36 for the first time. However, there are discounts offered to retirees on the road, who meet qualifications regardless of their age. These drivers are only charged a $10 fee.
- If you ever need replacement registration, tags, or decals, you must pay an Additional Fee, with a list offered.
When your paperwork and fees are prepared, it is time to visit the Driver/Vehicle Service Center, which is necessary for completion of new registration in PA.
PA License Plates
If you are okay with driving with the standard license plates on your vehicle, you will get your plates on the spot as your registration is completed in most cases. However, if a personalized, or vanity, plate is more suitable to your taste, you will be required to pay an additional $20, at which point there is an 8 to 10 week wait for the plates to arrive.
Stickers to the Plate
Once you receive your tag stickers, you must follow the instructions provided and affix them to the appropriate area of your tags.
Registration Tax Deduction
There are deductions offered for those who qualify based on the method by which the registration fees are calculated, but those drivers in Pennsylvania are not able to claim such a deduction. If you wish to receive more information as to why or what fees would qualify, you can contact a tax attorney for a free consultation.