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How to Renew a Car Registration in Indiana

Car owners must perform a vehicle registration renewal in Indiana each year to continue driving legally. A DMV vehicle registration renewal involves paying a renewal and providing necessary information, such as vehicle identification numbers, license plate numbers and proof of a vehicle inspection or emissions test, if required. Car owners must renew car registration prior to the expiration date listed on original registration documents. The process of renewing car registration enables drivers to maintain their driving privileges. Learn how to renew car registration in Indiana to get started on the process.

Methods of Renewing Car Registration in Indiana

To complete a vehicle registration renewal, car owners in the state have multiple options. Residents may renew car registration online, in person, by mail or by phone through the IN Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Due to the restrictions of some situations, motorists should choose the renewal method that works best for their circumstances.

Renewing Online

Renewing car registration online can save car owners time. However, car owners may only use the online renewal system within 60 days of the registration’s expiration date. Additionally, many special group members cannot finalize car registration renewals online. Car owners requesting an online vehicle registration renewal must provide their drivers license numbers, VINs and license plate numbers. Car owners should also provide a credit or debit card number to pay the renewal fee.

Renewing in Person

To renew car registration and vehicle plates in person at a local BMV office, drivers should present the following documents:

  • A registration renewal notice
  • A method of payment
  • An acceptable form of identification

Every two years, an Indiana registration renewal requires documentation stating that the vehicle has passed all inspections and emissions testing. Inspectors should send this information to the BMV directly.

Renewing by Mail

Drivers may perform a vehicle registration renewal by mailing a renewal notice to the address printed on it. Drivers should also enclose a check or money order made payable to the IN BMV to cover renewal fees for license plates. Motorists can replace the expired car registration with the new paperwork that arrives in the mail approximately 14 days after the request is sent. When renewing car registration in Indiana, drivers must ensure that the new registration shows the correct address, names and vehicle information.

Renewing by Phone

Like renewing car registration by mail, car owners may call the BMV office number listed on their renewal notices to speak with a representative. Car owners should expect to give their full names, the names of the car owners (if different than the requestors’ names) and VINs for sufficient identification. Car owners should also have access to a valid credit or debit card to complete the renewal process.

Car owners may track the process of an auto registration renewal online to ensure that they receive a new registration and review prior renewals to help gauge if an updated inspection is required or not. However, a vehicle registration renewal will list all required documents and testing for each renewal period. Since an expired car registration can result in significant consequences, drivers should fully understand the steps involved in renewing it.

When to Renew Car Registration in Indiana

The date residents must renew expired car registration is listed in the upper right corner of license plate stickers. Additionally, the BMV delivers a car registration renewal notice to residents that indicates the amount they must pay based on the types of license plates they ordered and the county in which their cars are registered. All car owners are responsible for renewing vehicle registration on time, but they may choose to do so up to two months prior to its expiration. However, during online renewals, car owners may request a temporary registration if theirs will expire before a new one is delivered.

Requirements for Renewing Vehicle Registration in Indiana

No grace periods exist for late vehicle registration renewals in Indiana or for expired registrations. Therefore, all drivers must renew car registration before late fees begin. Additionally, all drivers must abide by BMV laws that determine if vehicles are safe to drive and are subject to extra registration renewal fees depending on the type of vehicle (i.e., hybrid or electric vehicles) and all vehicles must have current insurance to qualify for a renewal.

Penalties for not Renewing Car Registration in Indiana

If car owners do not renew car registration prior to its expiration in Indiana, then they may receive traffic tickets for insufficient registration or expired plates and may have to pay late renewal fees. Car owners with expired car registration cannot legally operate or park their vehicles on public roads or highways. If car owners do not renew auto registration before it expires, then the BMV may require them to re-register their vehicles.

Renewing Indiana Car Registration Outside of the State

If car owners have vehicles registered in Indiana but are out of state when DMV vehicle registration renewal is due, then they may ask a friend or family member to renew it on their behalf or complete the renewal online or by mail. However, if car owners have recently moved out of the state, then they should not perform a vehicle registration renewal and instead begin registering their vehicles in their new state of residence. However, some military members have the additional option to renew car registration from other states at an IN BMV office when they are stationed in the state.

Renewing Indiana Vehicle Registration as a Military Member

IN military members may renew car registration by completing a military affidavit form. The form reduces the amount of taxes military members pay for a vehicle registration renewal (no excise tax) and the member’s commanding officers must endorse it. Additionally, members should present a copy of their military leave and earnings statements and a valid military ID card. Military personnel can bring all these documents to a local BMV office with a renewal notice form and an acceptable form of payment to complete the process.

Note: The BMV does not charge military members late fees or administrative penalties for late renewals.

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