Licensing, titling, registration, and other vehicle services in New Jersey are handled by the state's Motor Vehicle Commission.

Here's everything you need to know about registering your vehicle in New Jersey.

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Can you register a car online in New Jersey?

The state requires that you handle your car registration online if you qualify for online renewal, and then your registration is active and valid as soon as you complete the transaction online. Individuals who don't qualify for online registration will visit a state Motor Vehicle Commission agency site. 

How much does it cost to register a car in New Jersey?

Titling a car in New Jersey costs $60 for standard registration, $85 for financed vehicles that have a single lien, and $110 for vehicles that are financed and have two liens. 

For registration fees, the state charges a variable fee that depends on the type of vehicle being registered. The state's registration fee includes license plates, so there's no need to purchase license plates separately when registering a car.

In addition to a titling fee and the registration fee, New Jersey vehicle owners will also need to pay a sales tax fee, and the state's registration information page indicates that residents should contact the New Jersey Division of Taxation for assistance on calculating the sales tax on their vehicle. Registration fees may be paid with a credit card, cash, or check.

How to register a car in New Jersey

When you visit an office of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, the first thing you'll need to do is fill out Form BA-49, which is the official Vehicle Registration Application. If you're transferring your vehicle's title from another state to New Jersey, you'll also need to fill out the Application for Certificate of Ownership.

Once those forms are filled out, you'll present them at the titling and registration counter at the agency. There are almost 40 offices around the state where residents may title and register their vehicles. 

The state encourages residents to make an appointment before visiting their MVC office.

If you purchase your vehicle from a dealership, that entity will handle the registration for you. 

However, if you purchase a used vehicle from a private citizen or at an auction, you'll need to register the vehicle on your own at one of the state's vehicle agencies. If you purchase a vehicle outright from a dealership without the help of a financing company, you may need to handle the registration on your own, but you'll need to confirm this with your dealership.

Car registration requirements in New Jersey

In addition to filling out the necessary forms and bringing the appropriate funds to pay for the transaction, vehicle owners must also bring a variety of other documents with them to the agency when they register their car in person. 

  • Old car title

  • Proof of identity

  • Power of attorney (for leased vehicles or those owned by someone else)

  • Dealer reassignment documents (if applicable)

  • Lienholder details and finance statement

Some residents may also need to bring their Motor Vehicle Commission EIN (Entity Identification Number) if the vehicle was purchased by a business or company. 

If you purchase a vehicle at an auction, you may also need to bring a pencil tracing of the VIN number, a notarized bill of sale, and the vehicle's last registration document.

Renewing car registration in New Jersey

The state sends residents a car registration renewal notice about three months before the vehicle's registration expires. You may still renew your registration even if you lose your renewal notice. The state has a pin request tool to help you find your registration details.

3 options to renew your registration

  1. Renew online

  2. Renew in-person at an agency

  3. Renew via mail

Renewing online requires that you have your registration renewal form, your social security number (SSN), a valid car insurance policy number, and a credit card. New Jersey requests that residents confirm that the address listed with the state is correct before they submit their registration online.

Residents who want to mail their car registration to the state will need to pay with a check or money order payable to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. The state requests that residents mail their registration renewal form well in advance of their registration expiration date.

What happens if you lose your car registration in New Jersey?

Replacing your car registration in New Jersey requires the same process as regular registration. The state allows replacement registrations online and at its state agencies. Fortunately, the state only charges a few small fees for duplicate registration cards. 

  • The passenger/commercial registration replacement fee is $5.

  • The four-year accelerated registration fee is $5 during the last year of registration.

  • The accelerated registration fee for the first three years of registration is $11.

If your car is leased and you need a new registration card, you'll need to contact your leasing company to get a Power of Attorney (POA) form. The form must include three pieces of information.

  1. Name of the lessee

  2. Statement of authorization

  3. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

You'll also need to provide the basic details about the car that include its model, make, and year.

Getting a specialty license plate in New Jersey

New Jersey offers dedicated plates, which allow vehicle owners to support various charitable causes, as well as personalized plates that feature a series of three to seven characters. 

Dedicated plates include those for law enforcement, organ donors, NJ history, wildlife conservation, and friends of the animals.

The state charges an additional $10 per year for dedicated plates, as well as a one-time fee of $50 when the plates are first ordered. Personalized license plates are sold for a one-time fee of $50.

Summary

Don't let your vehicle ownership experience in New Jersey cost an arm and a leg. Some quick comparison shopping for car insurance might help you save hundreds of dollars a year when you change your company or update your policy details.

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