In order to register a vehicle with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ MVC), residents of the state of New Jersey need to provide the vehicle title, proof of insurance, their social security number, an odometer reading, and payment for their registration fee and sales tax. Residents who are new to the state also need to have their car inspected after they register.

Registering a Vehicle in New Jersey

New to New Jersey?

Anyone moving to New Jersey for at least 6 months is required to transfer their title, register their vehicle, and get a NJ driver’s license. New residents of NJ have 60 days after establishing residency in New Jersey to register their vehicle. Before registering, NJ residents must obtain New Jersey liability insurance (see Insurance Requirements below).

To register an out-of-state vehicle, go to a local MVC Agency and request an “Initial Packet” that contains all forms required to title and register a car in New Jersey. Then follow the steps below:

  • Present a New Jersey Insurance Identification Card, or the name of the insurance company and policy number.
  • Give proof of Social Security number.
  • Present a New Jersey driver’s license number. Residents who do not have an NJ driver’s license, present 6 points of identification (the MVC provides an explanation of identification documents that meet the point total).
  • Provide the vehicle odometer reading.
  • Submit the appropriate application for titling. If there is a lien on the vehicle, fax the (Form CS-54) from your Initial Packet to your lienholder. They will send the title to the MVC, who will then mail the resident a postcard stating they have received the title.
  • Submit the Application for Vehicle Registration (Form BA-49).
  • Pay the registration fees (based on the age and weight of the vehicle -see the MVC’s full list of fees).

New Jersey residents must get their vehicle inspected within 14 days after registering their vehicle.

Registering a Vehicle in New Jersey

The registration process varies based on whether residents of this state are purchasing their vehicle from a dealership or from a private individual.

NJ residents may also transfer their registration from an old vehicle to a new one, while still using the same license plates (see below).

Vehicles Purchased at a Dealership

The dealership will handle the titling and registration of a newly purchased vehicle, regardless of whether it is new or used. The payment of sales tax will be included in the purchase price of the vehicle.

Vehicles Purchased from a Private Individual

New Jersey residents who have purchased a vehicle from a private individual have 10 business days to register the vehicle or pay a $25 late fee. Fill out the back of the title with the seller, providing a signature and driver’s license number. NJ residents will also need to complete the sales tax information section on the title and pay the appropriate amount.

Once residents of New Jersey have the title prepared, visit a local MVC Agency and submit the following:

  • The vehicle title.
  • Proof of insurance, or the name of the insurance company and policy number.
  • Proof of Social Security number.
  • New Jersey driver’s license number. Residents who do not have an NJ driver’s license must present six points worth of identification.
  • Vehicle odometer reading. NJ residents will be required to pay a $25 late fee if they fail to provide the proper odometer reading within 10 days of purchasing the vehicle.
  • Application for registration (Form BA-49).
  • Payment for the sales tax and $60 title fee ($85 if the vehicle has a lien).
  • Payment for the New Jersey vehicle registration fees (based on the age and weight of the vehicle; see the MVC’s full list of fees).

If it has been 2 years and the vehicle is ready for inspection, NJ residents must make sure to have it inspected before its expiration date. Learn more in the “NJ Vehicle Inspections” section below.

Transferring Your New Jersey Car Registration

Garden State residents may transfer their existing vehicle registration and license plates to a new vehicle; however, the name and code on the new registration must match that of the old registration exactly. There is an additional $4.50 charge for this transaction. The registration fees may be prorated if residents have time left on the registration they’re transferring.

Vehicle Registration Refund

NJ residents who are stationed out of state and required to register their vehicle there are eligible for a refund of the remainder of your NJ registration period.

Residents of NJ must send in the following:

  • A letter explaining why you are requesting a refund.
  • Proof of active out-of-state military service.
  • A Refund Application (Form RU9). You can obtain a form at an MVC agency, or by calling:
    • (609) 292-6500 (toll-free).
    • (609) 292-6500 (MVC direct line).
  • A copy of your military orders.
  • Your original New Jersey registration and license plates.
  • A copy of your out-of-state registration.

Mail the above documents to the address on the form.

Registering a Foreign Vehicle

New Jersey residents who have purchased a vehicle overseas while on active duty, must get it properly titled with the state before they can register it. Once the vehicle is titled, residents of this state can register the vehicle using the same processes outlined above.

NJ Vehicle Inspections

All vehicles registered in New Jersey are required to get inspected, generally every 2 years, however, the initial inspection period may vary depending on whether the vehicle is new or used, or if they are new to the state.

New to State

New residents of New Jersey need to get their car or truck registered with the New Jersey MVC before they get their vehicle inspected. During registration, they’ll be issued a (Form SS-19), which residents should take along with the New Jersey registration, NJ insurance card, and driver’s license to an inspection station within 14 days after getting a car registered.

New Vehicles

Brand new vehicles that have never been titled and registered before will get an inspection sticker good for 5 years from the dealer at the time of purchase. NJ residents will not need to get the vehicle inspected until the date on the inspection sticker.

Used Vehicles

Used vehicles purchased either in or out of state are not required to be inspected until they are 5 model years old. NJ residents who purchased a used vehicle from a car dealership, the dealer can affix an inspection sticker dated to expire once the vehicle is 5 years old.

New Jersey residents who purchased a vehicle from a private individual can get a (Form SS-19) when they register the vehicle to get an inspection sticker that covers the vehicle until it is 5 years old. NJ residents will need to take the (Form SS-19) with them to the inspection station within 14 days of receiving it.

Annual Inspections

Certain classes of vehicles are required to complete a safety and emissions inspection annually, instead of every 2 years. These vehicles include, but are not limited to:

  • Taxis.
  • Limousines.
  • Buses.
  • Commercial gas or bi-fueled vehicles.
  • Commercial diesel vehicles 18,000 lbs and greater.

Vehicle Registration Fees

Registration fees for used vehicles are based on the age and weight of the vehicle and are renewed annually. New vehicles (including leased vehicles) require an extended registration period for the initial registration.

Extended Vehicle Registration for New Vehicles

Drivers of brand new vehicles must pay 4 years of registration fees when they first register the vehicle. Refunds will not be given if residents sell, crash, or lose the vehicle to theft or loan default before the end of the registration period.

Extended New Jersey Vehicle Registration for Leased Vehicles

NJ residents must pay a registration fee for the full term of the lease on new vehicles that have not had any earlier sales or leases. If the lease does not expire within a normal calendar year period, you must pay the registration for the next 1 year.

For example, a lease for 38 months requires registration for a full 48 months; whereas a lease for 36 months only requires registration for 36 months.

New Jersey License Plates

Generally, NJ residents who own their vehicle outright without any liens on it will get their license plates immediately when they register. If a lienholder has the vehicle title, residents will have to wait to get their plates until the NJ MVC gets the title information. NJ residents will be notified by mail to return to their local MVC office to pick up their license plates and registration.

Transferring NJ License Plates

NJ residents can transfer their existing NJ license plates to their new vehicle during registration. The registration and license plates must have the exact same information as the old vehicle. There is a $4.50 fee plus the prorated registration fee if there is a change in the weight class.

If the information on the registration changes, residents will be required to surrender their license plates and get new ones for their new vehicle. Any NJ license plates residents are not using must be given back to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

New Jersey Insurance

New Jersey requires all drivers to obtain 3 types of insurance:

  • Liability Insurance: Covers individuals if they are in an accident that is their fault.
  • Personal Injury Protection: Covers medical expenses for residents or anyone else on the policy, whether the accident is their fault or not.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Covers residents if they are in an accident with a driver who does not have proper car insurance.

NJ residents will not be allowed to register a vehicle until they have a New Jersey Insurance Identification Card from their insurance provider.

Motorcycle Registration in New Jersey

New Jersey residents must register their motorcycle with the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) before operation on roadways is allowed. On this page, NJ residents will learn about registering a bike if they’re new to NJ AND a current resident who just bought a motorcycle.

New to New Jersey

In New Jersey, residents need to register their motorcycle within 60 days of establishing residency OR before their out-of-state registration expires—whichever is sooner. Residents who lease their motorcycle can contact the leasing company to have them register their bike with the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission.

NJ residents who aren’t leasing, register their motorcycle themselves by visiting their local New Jersey MVC office and providing the following:

  • The motorcycle’s out-of-state title.
  • If there’s a lien on the title, the lienholder will need to complete an application to release the title (Form OS-SS-54). Contact a local MVC to request this form.
  • A completed Application for Vehicle Registration (Form BA-49).
  • This form is available upon request at your local MVC.

Proof of:

  • New Jersey motorcycle insurance.
  • Social Security number OR proper SSN exemption document.
  • Identity and residency totaling 6 points. See the state’s list of acceptable documents.
  • A current odometer reading for the motorcycle.
  • The completed sales tax stamp section on your Universal Title Application (Form OS/SS-UTA), if you qualify for NJ sales tax exemption. The MVC has qualification guidelines to read.
  • The titling application is available at your local MVC office.
  • The $65 base registration fee for motorcycles PLUS all other applicable fees and taxes.

Once the motorcycle is registered, it’s up to the resident to inspect their bike; refer to the MVC’s motorcycle self-inspection criteria when checking things over.

NJ Motorcycle Registration

The steps required for New Jersey motorcycle registration vary slightly depending on whether residents purchased the motorcycle from a dealership OR from a private seller.

Before finalizing the sale on a motorcycle, make sure the make and model the resident is interested in is approved by the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission. If it’s not, NJ residents may need to collect additional documentation.

Manufacturer Approval List

To register a bike, the manufacturer must be on the MVC approval list, which contains motorcycle makers who meet federal safety standards.

If the motorcycle is not on the approval list, the dealer (if applicable) where the motorcycle was purchased must contact the New Jersey MVC and request approval to license and register motorcycles within the state.

NJ residents may also be required to submit color pictures of the following items in addition to the documents required to register an MVC-approved motorcycle:

  • The NHTSA label.
  • The EPA Emissions label.
  • The EPA Exhaust Emissions label.
  • A side profile picture of the motorcycle.

Contact your local MVC office for more information about registering motorcycles that are not on the MVC approval list.

Dealer-Bought Motorcycles in New Jersey

When NJ residents purchase a new or used motorcycle at a dealership, the dealership agent will handle the registration process. Sales tax and the cost of titling and registration are generally included in the purchase price.

Before leaving the dealership, inquire about additional steps that are required on the resident’s end to complete the process. NJ residents should receive temporary motorcycle registration from the dealership until their permanent title and registration documents arrive in the mail.

Private Motorcycle Sales

After buying a used motorcycle from a private seller, NJ residents must complete the registration and titling process within 10 business days of the sale date.

Submit the following at a local MVC agency:

  • A completed Application for Vehicle Registration (Form BA-49).
  • This form is only available at your MVC office.
  • Any of the following proof of ownership documents:
  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin.
  • Title signed by the buyer AND seller.
  • Previous registration along with a notarized bill of sale.
  • Proof of New Jersey motorcycle insurance.
  • The NJ motorcycle license OR proof of identity to total 6 points.
  • If there’s a lien on the bike, the lienholder’s information AND a Universal Title Application (Form OS/SS-UTA).
  • Payment for the $65 base motorcycle registration fee AND all other applicable fees and taxes.

Motorcycle Registration Fees & Taxes in NJ

Residents of New Jersey may be required to pay the following fees and taxes when they register their motorcycle with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission:

  • Motorcycle registration: $65.
  • Moped registration: $15.
  • Dirt bike registration: $34.
  • Registration transfer fee: $4.50.
  • Sales tax: 6.625% of the purchase price.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) oversees all vessel registrations and titles.

Registering a Boat in New Jersey

Vessels to Title & Register in NJ

All vessels (regardless of having a motor) over 12 feet in length MUST be titled with the New Jersey MVC. Watercraft exempt from this rule include:

  • Ship lifeboats.
  • Canoes and kayaks.
  • Inflatable boats.
  • Surfboards.
  • Rowing sculls and racing shells.
  • Dinghies used as transportation between boats and the beach.
  • Boats that are 12 feet or shorter.

The NJ Motor Vehicle Commission requires a majority of vessels to be registered, with the following exceptions:

  • U.S. public vessels.
  • Foreign vessels.
  • Ship lifeboats.
  • Non-motorized watercraft restricted to small lakes and ponds on private property.
  • Any racing vessel with a permit from the New Jersey State Police’s Marine Services Bureau.
  • Any vessel registered in another state operating on New Jersey waters for fewer than 180 days.


  • Watercraft under 12 feet long.
  • Inflatable devices.
  • Surfboards.
  • Dinghies.
  • Racing shells.
  • Canoes and kayaks.

Residents who aren’t sure whether their vessel requires a title and/or registration can contact the MVC at (609) 292-6500.

Titling a Vessel in New Jersey

BEFORE turning in a title application, residents of this state need to make sure their vessel has a valid hull identification number (HIN). If the boat is missing a HIN, head to a New Jersey Marine Services Bureau office location to have it inspected AND assigned a hull identification number, which residents will need to fill in on their title application.

Keep in mind, NJ residents have 10 business days from the purchase date to title their boat by providing the following items at your local MVC office:

  • A completed Universal Title Application (Form OS/SS-UTA).
    • If the vessel has a lien, residents need to provide the corporation code of the company providing the lien.

Any of the following notarized proof of ownership documents:

  • Bill of sale.
  • Statement of receipt from the boat’s seller.
  • Affidavit of certificate of ownership.
  • The Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin.
  • A valid vessel registration.
  • The out-of-state boat title.
  • Payment for the necessary vessel titling fees.

Boat Registration Procedures

The steps to registering a boat with the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission will differ depending on the length.

To register a boat longer than 12 feet, NJ residents need to visit their local MVC office branch and submit:

  • The acceptable documents to prove your age and identification.
  • A completed Application for Boat Registration (Form BA-51), which is only available at the NJ MVC office.
  • The applicable vessel registration fees.

To register a vessel that’s 12 feet long or shorter (including jet-skis and vessels not requiring a title), residents must present the following items at your local NJ MVC agency:

  • The MVC-approved documents to prove your identity, age, and Social Security number.
  • A filled-out Application for Boat Registration (Form BA-51), which residents can only obtain at the MVC office.

At least 1 document to prove ownership, such as:

  • A notarized receipt statement from the vessel’s seller.
  • A notarized bill of sale.
  • An out-of-state registration card AND certificate of ownership.
  • A sworn affidavit for certificate of ownership (signed before a notary public).
  • Payment for the appropriate boat registration fees.

New Jersey boat registrations are valid for 1 year.

NJ Vessel Title & Registration Fees

The costs to title and register a boat with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission are as follows:

Original/renewed boat registration (depends on the length of your boat):

  • Less than 16 feet: $12.
  • 16 ft to under 26 ft: $28.
  • 26 ft to under 40 ft: $52.
  • 40 ft to under 65 ft: $80.
  • 65 ft or longer: $250.

Title for a vessel:

  • Without a lien: $60.
  • With a lien: $85.


  • Boat registration: $5.
  • Vessel title: $60.
  • Boat license: $18.

Renew Your NJ Boat Registration

The NJ MVC will send residents a registration renewal notice before the boat’s expiration date. NJ residents can renew their vessel registration by providing information about your watercraft AND the necessary renewal fees:

  • Using the MVC’s online portal.
  • By mail, using the envelope enclosed with your renewal notice.
  • In-person at your local MVC office branch.

Replacement Boat Title & Registration

If the boat’s title or registration is lost or destroyed, NJ residents need to request a duplicate from the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission.

Duplicate Boat Title

To apply for a duplicate vessel title, submit the following at any MVC office:

  • A completed Universal Title Application (Form OS/SS-UTA).
  • The boat’s registration card (valid or expired) OR registration record.
  • If the vessel has a lien, a letter from the lien holder that includes:
  • The lien holder’s name.
  • The boat’s hull identification number.
  • A statement verifying, they are not in possession of the title.
  • The $60 duplicate title fee.

Duplicate Boat Registration

To request a duplicate vessel registration, provide the following at any MVC office branch:

  • The required documentation to prove the resident’s age and identity (such as your NJ driver’s license).
  • A completed Application for Vehicle Registration (Form BA-49).
  • A receipt from a past registration OR title transaction.
  • If residents are leasing the boat, a power of attorney statement that includes:
    • The leaser’s name.
    • Authorization for you to sign the duplicate registration application.
    • The vessel’s HIN.
  • The $5 boat registration replacement fee.

NJ Boater License & Safety Courses

To operate certain vessels (unsupervised) on New Jersey waters, residents may need to have a boat license AND/OR Boat Safety Certificate.

NJ residents can get their Boat Safety Certificate by completing a boater education course AND passing an exam:

  • In the classroom—check your local listings for approved education providers.
  • Online—make sure the provider you choose offers an in-person final exam in your area.

NJ residents need to have a boat license to operate motorboats and jet skis on NJ’s fresh, non-tidal waters. To apply for a boat license, residents of New Jersey must be at least 16 years old and submit the following items at a local MVC agency:

  • The Boat Safety Certificate.
  • The acceptable documentation to fulfill the MVC’s ID criteria of 6 points.

Payment for the boat license:

  • $18 if added to a valid drivers license
  • $24 if no NJ driver’s license.

Boater Age Restrictions

In addition to having the correct certifications above, NJ residents need to abide by the following age restrictions listed below.

Residents Who Are:

  • Younger than 13 years old, you CANNOT operate motorized vessels of any kind.
  • 13 to 15 years old, you’re RESTRICTED to operating the following types of vessels AND must hold a Boat Safety Certificate:
  • Boats powered by trolling motors.
  • Watercraft 12 feet in length or more with less than 10 HP.
  • At least 16 years old, can operate ANY motorized watercraft as long as residents have a boat license (if operating on non-tidal waters) AND a Boat Safety Certificate.

For more information on boater education and licensing requirements, call the number applicable to the inquiries:

  • Boating safety certificates: (609) 882-2000 ext. 6173.
  • Boater safety courses: (207) 287-5220.
  • Boat licenses: (888) 486-3339.

Remember, completing a boater safety course won’t only make NJ waters safer, but could also qualify NJ residents for a discount on boat insurance!

Accepted Forms of Payment:

Accepted forms of payment at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission are:

  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • American Express
  • MasterCard
  • VISA
  • Discover Card
  • Check
  • Money order
  • Cash (at agency locations)

Residents of New Jersey need to make sure they have the proper form of payment before heading to an NJ MVC location.

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