A Connecticut vehicle registration is a document that ties vehicles to CT residents. This documentation is required to legally operate a motor vehicle on Connecticut roadways and highways.

Registering a Vehicle in Connecticut

In Connecticut, residents of this state must register their vehicle if they wish to operate it legally. Whether individuals have recently moved to the state, or have recently purchased a new vehicle, they are required to register their vehicle.

CT residents must have a valid CT auto insurance policy before they can register their vehicles with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

New Residents of Connecticut

Individuals who are bringing a vehicle to Connecticut from a different state have 60 days to transfer their previous vehicle registration to the CT DMV.

Before registering a vehicle, new residents of Connecticut must have their vehicle identification number (VIN) verified and emissions tested at any Connecticut emissions testing center. Some residents may be exempt from emissions testing depending on the type of vehicle they want to register.

Once the emissions test is complete and the VIN is verified, visit your local CT DMV office with:

  • The out-of-state Certificate of Title as well as the vehicle registration certificate.
  • The vehicle’s emissions report or VIN verification report.
  • Proof of a valid Connecticut auto insurance policy
  • An acceptable form of identification, including a Connecticut resident’s:
    • Driver’s license.
    • ID card.
    • Military ID card.
  • Payment for all applicable registration fees

Connecticut residents can’t owe property tax, parking tickets, or have previously had their registration privileges revoked.

New residents of Connecticut have 30 days to transfer their out-of-state driver’s license to a CT license.

Step-by-Step Guide to Registering a Vehicle in Connecticut

To register a vehicle in Connecticut, vehicles must meet the state’s compliance requirements.

Connecticut residents will not be able to register their vehicle in Connecticut if:

  • They have had their vehicle registration privilege revoked or suspended.
  • Property tax payments are owed.
  • There are unpaid parking tickets on file.
  • The vehicle does not comply with Connecticut emissions standards.

For more information regarding compliance requirements, view the Registration Renewal Compliance Messages and Other Requirements page.

Registering New and Used Vehicles in Connecticut

Before CT residents can register their car, they need to:

  •   Schedule an emissions test at an emissions testing facility to have an emissions test performed, and pass.


Once the vehicle passes the emissions test or verifies the VIN, visit a local CT DMV office or a Limited Service Office with:

  •  A completed Application for Connecticut Registration and Certificate of Title (Form H-13B).
  • Current Certificate of Title and registration certificate, ONLY if residents are registering a used vehicle.
  • The Bill of Sale.
  • A valid Connecticut auto insurance policy.

(This proof of insurance can be obtained from the individual’s insurance provider. The Connecticut auto insurance policy must be in the resident’s legal name.)

See Registration Fees in Connecticut below.

Purchasing a Vehicle from a Private Party in CT

Connecticut residents who purchased a vehicle from a private party and wish to operate the vehicle must follow these steps:

  • If the previous owner has returned the vehicle plates and canceled the registration, Connecticut residents, need to transfer the vehicle’s title and register the vehicle in their name before the vehicle can be driven.
  • If the previous owner of the vehicle has not returned the plates or canceled the registration, the new owner can operate the vehicle on Connecticut highways and roadways. The vehicle’s title should be transferred and be registered in the new vehicle owner’s name as soon as possible.
  • If the previous vehicle owner didn’t register the car for some time, and an emissions test is required, the new vehicle owner needs to contact the CT DMV to apply for temporary registration and have the vehicle inspected and registered.

Residents of Connecticut can contact the Connecticut DMV for more information regarding temporary registration.

Registering a Leased Vehicle in Connecticut

Connecticut residents who are registering a leased vehicle, need to follow the above steps for registering a new or used vehicle in their state. In addition to the above-stated documentation, Connecticut residents also need:

  • The leasing license on file with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.
    • Residents of Connecticut can call (860) 263-5056 to verify the license and address of the leasing company before they attempt the registration process.
  • Original “Power of Attorney” documentation (faxes and copies are not acceptable in the state of Connecticut.)

The current leasing company’s name and address need to be on the Application for Registration and Certificate of Title (Form H-13B). The legal power of attorney also needs to sign the form.

Expired Vehicle Registrations in Connecticut

CT residents who have a vehicle with an expired registration, need to re-register their vehicle with the state of Connecticut.

If the CT vehicle’s registration has been expired for less than 2 years, Connecticut residents can visit their local Connecticut DMV office and submit:

  •  Their vehicle’s license plate number or registration renewal notice document.
  • Their valid Connecticut driver’s license.
  • Ensure their vehicle doesn’t have any outstanding compliance issues, including:
    • Failed emissions test requirements.
    • Owed parking tickets.
    • Owing money for property taxes.

Connecticut residents are required to pay the state’s registration fee and a $10 late fee.

Connecticut vehicle registrations that have been expired for longer than 2 years, in addition to the steps listed above, residents of this state need to submit a completed Official Registration of a Motor Vehicle and Application for Certificate of Title (Form H-13B). New license plates will be issued for the vehicle.

Registration Fees for the State of Connecticut

The vehicle registration fees associated with the state of Connecticut vary according to the type of vehicle each resident is registering. Standard Connecticut registration fees are as follows:

  •  Passenger vehicles: $120 for 3 years.
  • Commercial vehicles: starting at $47 for 1 year.

(This vehicle price varies according to the vehicle’s weight.)

  • Motorcycles: $63 for 3 years.
  • Trailers for personal use in CT: $28.50.
  •  Snowmobile: $20 for 3 years.
  •  Electric vehicles: $57 for 3 years.

Residents of Connecticut may also be required to pay additional fees, such as:

  •  Federal Clean Air Act fee: $10.
  • Passport to the Parks fee: $5 per year.
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction fee: $5.

(One-time fee if you’re registering a vehicle with a Certificate of Origin.)

  • Late fee: $10.
  • Contractor or municipality per transaction processing fee: Up to $8.

New CT residents will also pay:

  • Emissions test fee: $20.
  • VIN inspection fee: $10 (vehicles exempt from emissions test).

Connecticut residents who wish to learn more about their state’s registration fees can check here.

Motorcycle Registration in Connecticut

Connecticut residents are required to register their motorcycle with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before they can legally operate it on Connecticut roads and highways.

Whether individuals are new to the state of Connecticut, they want to renew their registration, or they have recently purchased a new motorcycle, they can follow these steps to make the process quick and simple.

New Residents of Connecticut

Once individuals have established residency in Connecticut, they have no more than 60 days to register their motorcycle with the CT DMV. New residents need to have their motorcycle’s vehicle identification number (VIN) verified at an approved inspection station.

New Connecticut residents can visit their local CT DMV office and present:

  • Proof of identity.
  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title or Registration (Form H-13B).
  • Proof of ownership of the vehicle.

(If Connecticut residents own a motorcycle that was purchased outside the state of Connecticut, they need to bring their out-of-state registration and title. If the vehicle is leased, CT residents need to provide a copy of the vehicle title from the lienholder.)

  • The VIN verification for the vehicle.
  • Proof of a valid Connecticut motorcycle insurance policy.
  • A copy of the bill of sale.
  • Payment for the $63 registration fee, $10 administration fee, and any other additional applicable fees and taxes.

If the motorcycle was registered in the resident’s name for at least 30 days in their previous state, they do NOT have to pay sales tax on their transaction.

Vehicles that exceed 20 years old do not require a Connecticut title.

CT Motorcycle Registration & Exemptions

New Motorcycles

Residents who purchase a new motorcycle in Connecticut from an authorized dealer, often do not have to worry about registering their motorcycle because the dealership will register it for them. Sales tax and other registration fees may be applied to the motorcycle’s purchase price.  Connecticut residents need to ask the motorcycle dealer if they require additional information to complete the registration process.

In most situations, the dealership will issue temporary Connecticut registration and tags until all paperwork has been submitted to the CT DMV. New motorcycle owners will receive their permanent registration documents in the mail.

Used Motorcycles

CT residents who purchase a used motorcycle from a private CT seller, are required to complete the registration in person at their local CT DMV office.

Residents of Connecticut need to submit:

  • A VIN verification from an authorized VIN inspection station
  • A completed Bill of Sale (Form H-31) that is signed by the seller
  • Your Connecticut motorcycle license
  • Proof of a valid CT motorcycle insurance policy
  • The motorcycle’s current title and registration.

(The title and registration need to be signed by BOTH the buyer and seller.)

  • An Application for Certificate of Title or Registration (Form H-13B).
  • Payment for the $63 base registration fee, $10 administration fee, and any other applicable taxes and fees.

The state of Connecticut does not require its residents to title motorcycles that are models that are over 20 years old.

Connecticut Motorcycle Registration Renewals

Residents who have a current mailing address on file will be mailed a renewal notice for their Connecticut motorcycle registration 45 days before their motorcycle’s registration’s expiration date.

The motorcycle registration renewal notice will contain specific information, including:

  • The registration’s expiration date.
  • Exact registration fees and taxes
  • Any unpaid fees that may prevent renewal, such as:
    • Parking tickets.
    • Taxes.
    • A registration certificate (to be retained).

Residents who do not receive a renewal notice can contact the Department of Motor Vehicles through the online renewal request form.

In most counties in Connecticut, residents will be allowed to renew their CT motorcycle registration:

  • Online.
  • In-person.
  • By mail.

Residents of Connecticut are allowed a grace period of 5 calendar days after the expiration of their registration before they are assessed a $10 late fee. Once the registration has lapsed for 2 years or longer, CT residents will be required to submit a new Connecticut registration application.

Motorcycle Registration Fees in Connecticut

The exact fees to register a motorcycle in the state of Connecticut will be listed on the resident’s renewal notice. Below is a list of the possible fees that are due during registration:

  • Registration fee: $63.
  •  Title fee (if required): $25.
  •  Motorcycle license plate: $5.
  •  Administrative fee: $10.
  •   Clean Air Act fee: $10.
  • Passport to the Parks fee: $5 per year.
  •  Lien fee (if applicable): $10.
  •  Sales and use tax: Vary according to the purchase price.
  •  Late fees (for expired registrations after the grace period of 5 calendar days):
    • Expired less than 3 years: $10.
    • Expired 2 years or longer: Re-registration is required

Boats That Require a Title and Registration in CT

In Connecticut, residents are required to title (if required) and register the following types of vessels:

  • All boats with a motor.
  • Sailboats that are 19 1/2 ft or longer.
  • Personal watercraft (e.g. Jet Skis, Wave Runners, Sea-Doos, etc.)

Connecticut Boat Exemptions

CT residents aren’t required to register their boat if it is currently registered in a different state and used for up to 60 days on the Connecticut waterways.

Boats exempt from the new titling laws in CT include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Vessels documented with the U.S. government.
  •  Boats powered by oars or paddles only.
  •  Vessels used as lifeboats only.
  • Vessels with the model year 2016 or earlier.

Here is the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles’ full list of boat exemptions for titling requirements.

Boat Registration in Connecticut

To title (if required) and register a boat in Connecticut, residents of this state can present the following items at their local DMV office:

  •  A completed Application for Vessel Registration and Certificate of Number Decal (Form B-148).
  • The vessel’s Bill of Sale (Form H-31)
  • Any of the following documents to verify identity:
    • Connecticut-issued driver’s license or identification card.
    • Foreign driver’s license accompanied by an International Driving Permit
  • Any of the following ownership documentation:
    • Manufacturer’s certificate of origin.
    • Out-of-state title.

 If the CT resident’s previous state of residence didn’t issue boat titles, Individuals can bring their out-of-state registration with a print-out from that state’s boat registration agency stating they don’t title vessels.

Vessel registrations administered as of January 1 will expire on April 30 of the following year.

Boat Registration Fees in Connecticut

The fees associated with titling and registering a boat with the Department of Motor Vehicles are as follows:

  • Registration/renewal fees: Varies depending on the boat’s length, building materials, and type. See the Connecticut DMV’s chart of registration fees for details.
  • Titling fee: $25.
  • Lienholder fee: $10.
  •  Aquatic Invasive Species: $5
  • Duplicate boat registration: $20.
  • Connecticut sales and use tax: 6.35% of the purchase price.
  • The vessel registration number.
  •  The name, address, and signature of the owner.
  • The $20 fee for replacement registrations.

Residents of Connecticut can submit the required items above:

  • In-person at their local DMV office


  • By mail at:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Marine Vessel Section
60 State St.
Wethersfield, CT 06161

Boater Qualifications in Connecticut

Connecticut residents need a proper boating certificate if they wish to operate any motorized boat or sailboat 19 1/2 ft or longer and they:

  • Are a Connecticut resident.
  • Own property in Connecticut.
  • Intend on operating the vessel on Connecticut waters for over 60 days.

CT residents that qualify need to carry certification applicable to the watercraft they operate. The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) acknowledges the following types of boating certificates:

  • Safe Boating Certificate (SBC).

For all recreational vessels except personal watercraft.

  • Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO).

Needed to operate Sea-Doos, Jet Skis, and Wave Runners.

  • CPWOs from New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island are valid on Connecticut waters.
  •  Vessel operator’s license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard.

To apply for a Connecticut CPWO or SBC, CT residents need to (in order):

Once these steps are complete, individuals can take their certificates AND exam completion along with the boating certificate fee of $50 to a DEEP boat certificate processing office.

Boating Age Restrictions in California

In Connecticut, there are certain age restrictions concerning the operation of boats. If CT residents are:

  • Under 12 years old and hold a boating certificate, they cannot operate a boat that exceeds 10 HP unless they are accompanied by someone who’s at least 18 years old and holds a valid boating certificate of their own.
  •   Individuals younger than 16 years old and who hold a CPWO,  can’t operate a personal watercraft without the supervision of someone who is at least 18 years old and holds a valid CPWO.
  •  Individuals less than 16 years old can’t operate boats involving tubing or water-skiing.
  •  Individuals Under 16 years old are allowed to operate a vessel (other than personal watercraft) without a boating certificate as long as they’re supervised by someone who’s at least 18 years old and has held a Connecticut boating certificate for at least 2 years.

 Accepted Forms of Payment

Most Connecticut DMV offices accept cash payments while other CO DMV locations accept cash and:

  • American Express
  • Visa
  • Master Card

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