Whether you just moved to Connecticut or you're a new driver in the Constitution State, your vehicle must be registered. Connecticut has certain requirements that must be adhered to before you can head to the DMV.
Here’s a look into the fees, required documents, and overall process to register your car in Connecticut.
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Registering your car in Connecticut
Did you know? If you just moved to Connecticut, you'll need to get a new auto insurance policy. Insurance coverage doesn't transfer from state to state.
To drive in Connecticut, all vehicles must be registered through the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. If you just moved to Connecticut, you have 60 days to register your vehicle.
To register a vehicle in Connecticut, it must pass an emissions report or have a VIN verification. Also, you’ll need to show proof of a Connecticut auto insurance policy and photo ID such as a driver's license or military ID.
You will not be able to register your car if:
Your vehicle failed an emissions test or you don't have your emissions test results.
You have unpaid parking tickets.
You owe property taxes.
Your vehicle registration privileges were suspended.
Your vehicle may not have to go through an emissions test if you only require VIN verification, which is for vehicles that are exempt from emissions testing.
Costs to register a car
It typically costs $125 to $132 plus additional fees to register a passenger vehicle in Connecticut. This depends on whether you have classic or combination usage, however.
Types of vehicle usage
Connecticut asks drivers to declare usage for their vehicle at time of registration. If your vehicle is combination or commercial, you may have to pay additional registration fees.
Personal: This is a vehicle used by a private resident. It's the most common and likely usage for your vehicle.
Classic: If your vehicle is more than 20 years old.
Combination: If you have a vehicle that weighs less than 12,500 pounds and is operated for personal and commercial uses.
Commercial: This is a vehicle used for business purposes only.
Connecticut motor vehicle registration fees
Here is a breakdown of fees for passenger cars, SUVs, trucks, truck tractors, vans, buses, and motorhomes.
These fees depend on the usage type, weight, and model year of the vehicle. You should bring up to $200 with you to register a typical passenger car in Connecticut.
$120 Registration Fee
$7 Plate Fee
$10 Administrative Fee
$10 Greenhouse Gas Fee
$15 Clean Air Act Fee
$15 Passport to the Parks Fee
Additional Fees Assessed
Combination usage passenger vehicles have $132 registration fee
$40 Emissions Exemptions fee (if vehicle four years old or newer)
$10 Greenhouse gas fee
Requirements to register your car in Connecticut
It's important that you bring everything you need to register your car successfully in CT. Here is a list of required documents if you plan to visit the CT DMV for vehicle registration.
Photo ID: Driver's license, learner's permit, U.S. Passport, or State ID
An Application for Registration and Title
Proof of Ownership: Your car's title is required, and previous owner's registration is necessary if no title is available for vehicles more than 20 years old
Proof of Emissions Test or VIN Verification (if exempt from emissions testing)
Proof of Insurance: Must be insured in Connecticut
Bill of Sale
Payment: You'll need to bring $190+ for gas vehicles.
It's best if you make an appointment at your local CT DMV to avoid wait times.
Steps to register your vehicle
Now that you know about the registration fees and required documents, we want to provide you with the best way to visit and register your vehicle in your CT.
- Start Online
Connecticut's DMV recommends that all drivers check their registration status online first. You may need to resolve issues like unpaid property taxes or correct an out-of-date emissions test. You don't want any surprises when you visit the DMV.
- Gather all documentation
All of the above required documents, as well as a photo ID, are necessary to register a new car or renew your registration in CT.
However, there may be special ID rules if your vehicle is registered in your business' name or if you have a leased vehicle. See here for acceptable forms of ID for CT car registration.
Additionally, you must prove that the car belongs to you through proof of ownerships and Bill of Sale. If you're a new resident to Connecticut, you also must have a Connecticut auto insurance policy and bring proof with you to the DMV.
- Assess registration fees and bring payment
Connecticut has various registration fees for different vehicles, but it's typically $190 to register a gas vehicle. If you have a personal car that is electric, the registration fee drops to $122. However, you may be assessed a $10 fee if there is a lien on the vehicle.
Sales tax, greenhouse gas fees, and emissions test exemption fees may also be assessed, adding on $20 to $60 more to the cost. You should be prepared to pay at least $190 but bring over $240 to ensure that your costs are covered if you haven't done an emissions test.
- Make an appointment
You can make an appointment online at the CT DMV to avoid wait lines and additional hassle.
What happens if you lose your car registration?
To obtain a duplicate car registration if yours is lost, you can order and reprint your registration online for free. There is no fee to reprint your registration online, so it's the easiest way to get back on the road.
Registering a specialty license plate
Specialty license plates or vanity plates are available to order online through the state DMV website.