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How to Obtain a New Car Registration in Indiana

Car owners must complete an Indiana car registration prior to operating a motor vehicle on public roads and obtaining auto insurance. Car owners may request a car registration online or in person at a local Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) office. They may complete a new car registration for all vehicles purchased within 60 days online and must maintain and update registration to remain legal drivers. Motorists should obtain a DMV car registration as soon as possible to guarantee they do not incur any penalties. Drivers should understand Indiana motor vehicle registration requirements first before starting.

How to Register My Car in Indiana

Vehicle registration for IN residents is required of all car owners to establish vehicle ownership and ensure that vehicles driven on public roads meet certain safety standards. Additionally, drivers must get proper emissions testing and inspections at approved testing locations before they can register a vehicle. Following the initial motor vehicle registration process, motorists must conduct vehicle emissions tests every two years for vessels made after 1976 to monitor air quality. To receive a new car registration in Indiana, drivers are required to present the following documents to a local BMV office online or in person:

  • A valid certificate of title
  • Proof of a vehicle inspection for the vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Proof of address, such as a drivers license or a government-issued ID card
  • A Social Security card, W-2 form or another approved document issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA)

Additionally, car owners must submit a payment for registration fees and provide proof of car insurance coverage. If car owners cannot complete the registration of vehicle process by bringing their vehicles to a BMV location for inspection, then a law enforcement officer must submit a physical inspection application form to the BMV by mail or in person. To complete the DMV car registration process, drivers must either deliver title applications and inspection forms to a local BMV office or mail them to the BMV.

The BMV will deliver new car registration paperwork to applicants who register vehicles online once it receives and reviews their documents. Car owners should prepare to present their drivers license number and vehicle title information upon registration. Instead of submitting information online for car registration in IN, drivers may also bring all documents and information to a local BMV office.

Note: All vehicle registration costs may vary depending on factors such as license plates and titles (if car owners request them) or tax statements.

Registering My Car in Indiana as a New Resident

New state residents must complete Indiana vehicle registration within 60 days to avoid penalties. Drivers may get car registration in two different forms that grant them permission to operate vehicles. For instance, drivers may request temporary delivery permits for single trips, multiple trips or annual trips. Temporary driving permits are typically used by car owners who do not plan to remain in the state for an extended period. However, temporary delivery permits negate the need for car registration and the BMV may issue them to drivers while a vehicle title or registration is being processed. Usually, temporary delivery permits are issued for 96 hours to car owners who provide proof of insurance, evidence of ownership and a fee payment. Car owners who ask, “How can I begin registering my car?” must first determine if they require a temporary car registration to satisfy their current driving needs.

Eligibility for a full car registration requires new residents to apply for a certificate of title. To apply for a title, car owners should submit a title application form that requires them to explain the reason for the title request, the names of all current vehicle owners and lienholders and pertinent car information, such as the vehicle’s year, make and date of purchase. Additionally, BMV vehicle registration may involve requesting a new drivers license. To do so, new residents must relinquish all valid ID cards issued by other states and retake driving tests if necessary. If new residents have driving licenses from other countries, then they must provide another form of identification, like a passport, and pass vision and written examinations, as well as the driving skills test to become licensed in the state. Although drivers do not need a driver license to obtain car registration, they are encouraged to get a state license to facilitate the process of insuring their vehicle.

To get car registration as a new resident, car owners may not use online registration services. All new resident drivers must visit a BMV office branch to request a vehicle title and registration. Since getting car registration is an essential part of owning a vehicle, car owners must understand how to properly complete the process. To learn how to get car registration as a new resident, car owners may follow these steps:

  1. Apply for a vehicle title.
  2. Obtain an Indiana drivers license or other state-issued ID.
  3. Get the vehicle inspected (i.e., visit a BMV-approved location for emissions and general testing).
  4. Bring required documents to the BMV to request registration.

Documents for Indiana motor vehicle registration include a payment, form of identification, proof of insurance and a Social Security card.

When to Register a Vehicle in Indiana

For new IN residents, new car registration must occur no more than 60 days after the move. Also, car owners have 60 days to get car registration online after purchasing a vehicle. If car owners do not register a vehicle in Indiana within that period, then they must visit a BMV office to complete the registration. While drivers have ample time to complete a registration, they are advised to request vehicle registration as soon as possible.

Consequences of Not Registering My Car in Indiana

Operating a motor vehicle without proper car registration in Indiana is a Class C infraction per state statutes. Class C infractions can incur costly fines that may affect motorists financially. Moreover, lack of motor vehicle registration can cause misunderstandings if a driver is involved in a traffic stop and cannot provide the necessary paperwork a law enforcement officer usually asks for. Therefore, it is important to have new car registration completed as soon as possible.

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