If you own a vehicle, you are likely required by law to keep it properly registered within the state in which you are licensed. The exact rules and regulations can vary by state, but you should expect to get a renewal notice at least once per year. If you want to make sure the renewal process goes smoothly, here are a few tips that may help.
Have All Documentation Ready to Go
While vehicle registration is itself a form of documentation, many states will require you to have other documents ready to go before you can renew registration on your vehicle. It varies by state but you may be asked to prove that you have passed a recent emissions test, received a vehicle inspection and/or have current insurance on the car. Other documents that will come in handy could include your driver's license number or vehicle VIN number. If you plan on renewing your registration in person somewhere, make sure you take all required documents with you.
Make Sure You Have the Right Payment Type
If you will be renewing your vehicle registration at a government-run office, there may be specific restrictions on how you can pay. For example, some offices might not accept cash or money orders. Some states might require payment by check to a specific entity or may charge an extra fee for using a credit card. If you plan to renew your registration, license or other driver requirements at a state-run office, call ahead to get the details so you are prepared for a smooth transaction.
Consider Third-Party Registration Options
While it may be possible to renew your vehicle registration at a government run office or website, there are also likely some notaries or other businesses in your area that offer on-site registration. You will likely still need all required documents like a passed emissions test or inspection but these third paty sites may be more lenient than the government when it comes to payment options.
If your vehicle registration is up for renewal, don't wait to the last second to take care of it. Reach out to your local transporation office or a third-party business that handles vehicle registration for more information. Be sure to show up for your appointment with all documentation and an accepted form of payment ready to go, and you'll be back on the road for another year of legal driving in no time.