Buying a car, truck, motorcycle or boat is an exciting time. This guide will help you register your vehicle in New York with the NYS DMV, keep your vehicle street legal and get answers to common vehicle registration questions.

What is a New York Car Registration?

New York residents are required to register their vehicles to with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to keep their vehicles compliant with state law. In the state of New York, residents are required to submit the necessary documents for their car’s registration in person at a NY DMV office.

Standard documentation for registering a New York vehicle with the NY DMV include:

  • Identification
  • A completed application for vehicle registration

You will also need payment for applicable taxes and fees. The steps below provide more details regarding registering a vehicle in New York.

Step-by-Step New York Car Registration Guide

The vehicle registration process is different depending on if you are registering a new or used car.

However, regardless of the vehicle is purchased new or used, the owner has 30 days to register the vehicle with the NY DMV.

The documentation required by the state of New York to register a vehicle is proof of:

  • Original title (or other acceptable proof of ownership)
  • Valid NY license or photo ID
  • A NY State insurance ID card (FS-20)
  • Vehicle inspection credentials (if the registration/title is being transferred to another person)
  • Completed vehicle registration form or title application (MV-82)

Registering New Cars in New York

Cars that are purchased from a dealership have some of the paperwork filed by the dealership, such as the vehicle’s documentation, to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV). After the dealership submits the vehicle’s paperwork, the owner is responsible for:

  • Registering the vehicle at the DMV within 180 days of the effective date on your insurance ID card
  • Visiting the New York DMV office to pay the necessary fees and taxes
  • Providing documented proof of the vehicle’s credentials, such as proof of insurance and title
  • Paying the registration fees (See below for a list of vehicle registration fees)

New York drivers will need the bill of sale to pay the taxes during the registration process, which can be obtained from the dealer. Drivers will also need to know the vehicle’s mileage as this information is requested when filing the car’s registration and title documents.

Registering Used Cars in New York

Registering a used car with the New York DMV is similar to the registration process of new cars. Individuals who buy a used car are required to have the vehicle inspected when the title of ownership is transferred.

The seller must put the title in the buyer’s name by signing over the title. The buyer and seller need to sign the Statement of Transaction Sales Tax Form (DTF-802).

Once the necessary paperwork is signed, the buyer needs to bring:

  • A NY state valid driver’s license or valid photo ID
  • Vehicle title
  • Proof of insurance (FS-20)
  • A valid NYS DMV vehicle inspection certificate.

The next step is to submit the title application and vehicle registration forms. The last step of registering a used vehicle is paying the fees, such as the registration, sales tax, and license plate fees.

Once the fees are paid, the driver will receive a copy of the transaction, the registration sticker, and the license plate immediately from the DMV

New York Vehicle Inspections

Vehicles that are registered in New York require a car inspection and smog check each year. New York drivers need to have these inspections completed within 10 days of purchasing a car. Drivers will receive a temporary sticker for their dashboard until the car passes both inspections. When the vehicle passes the required inspections, a permanent sticker is provided.

A smog inspection, also known as an emissions test, is a type of inspection that checks a car’s pollution and exhaust control systems. All New York registered vehicles must pass this inspection to receive the initial registration or renew the registration.

Smog Inspection Exemptions for New York Drivers

Your vehicle will not require a smog test if your vehicle is:

  • 25 years old or older
  • A new model vehicle less than two years old
  • An electric vehicle
  • A motorcycle
  • A diesel vehicle that weighs 8,499 pounds or less
  • A vehicle that has historical plates
  • A custom or homemade vehicle that is refurbished in New York

New York Vehicle Registration Fees

Initial/original registration fees:

  • Vehicle plates: $25.00
  • Title certificate: $50.00
  • Sales tax: $32.50 (two-year fee)

Vehicles with at least six cylinders and electric vehicles require a $32.50 two-year fee.

The chart below specifies the New York DMV two-year registration fee for vehicles by weight.


Vehicle WeightTwo-Year Registration Fee
0000 – 1,650 lbs.$26.00
1,651 – 1,750 lbs.$27.50
1,751 – 1,850 lbs.$29.00
1,851 – 1,950 lbs.$31.00
1,951 – 2,050 lbs.$32.50
2,051 – 2,150 lbs.$34.00
2,151 – 2,250 lbs.$35.50
2,251 – 2,350 lbs.$37.50
2,351 – 2,450 lbs.$39.00
2,451 – 2,550 lbs.$40.50
2,551 – 2,650 lbs.$42.00
2,651 – 2,750 lbs.$43.50
2,751 – 2,850 lbs.$45.50
2,851 – 2,950 lbs.$47.00
2,951 – 3,050 lbs.$48.50
3,051 – 3,150 lbs.$50.00
3,151 – 3,250 lbs.$52.00
3,251 – 3,350 lbs.$53.50
3,351 – 3,450 lbs.$55.00
3,451 – 3,550 lbs.$56.50
3,551 – 3,650 lbs.$59.00
3,651 – 3,750 lbs.$61.50
3,751 – 3,850 lbs.$64.00
3,851 – 3,950 lbs.$66.50
3,951 – 4,050 lbs.$69.00
4,051 – 4,150 lbs.$71.00
4,151 – 4,250 lbs.$73.50
4,251 – 4,350 lbs.$76.00
4,351 – 4,450 lbs.$78.50
4,451 – 4,550 lbs.$81.00
4,551 – 4,650 lbs.$83.50
4,651 – 4,750 lbs.$85.50
4,751 – 4,850 lbs.$88.00
4,851 – 4,950 lbs.$90.50
4,951 – 5,050 lbs.$93.00
5,051 – 5,150 lbs.$95.50
5,151 – 5,250 lbs.$98.00
5,251 – 5,350 lbs.$100.50
5,351 – 5,450 lbs.$102.50
5,451 – 5,550 lbs.$105.00
5,551 – 5,650 lbs.$107.50
5,651 – 5,750 lbs.$110.00
5,751 – 5,850 lbs.$112.50
5,851 – 5,950 lbs.$115.00
5,951 – 6,050 lbs.$117.00
6,051 – 6,150 lbs.$119.50
6,151 – 6,250 lbs.$122.00
6,251 – 6,350 lbs.$124.50
6,351 – 6,450 lbs.$127.00
6,451 – 6,550 lbs.$129.50
6,551 – 6,650 lbs.$131.50
6,651 – 6,750 lbs.$134.00
6,751 – 6,850 lbs.$136.50
6,851 – 6,950 lbs.$139.00
6,951 lbs. or more$140.00

Registering a Motorcycle in New York

Residents of New York who own a motorcycle must have it registered at the local NY State Department of Motor Vehicles office.

New Residents of New York

New residents of New York must register their out-of-state motorcycle within 30 days of moving to NY.

Required Documents

When registering a motorcycle in New York, required documents include:

  • Motorcycle title and out-of-state registration
  • Valid NY driver’s license
  • Valid motorcycle insurance
  • Current safety inspection (Only required if out-of-state motorcycle owners do not have a current inspection sticker from their previous state).
  • Completed motorcycle/vehicle title and registration (Form MV-82)
  • Claim for sales and use Tax Exemption (Form DTF-803)

Motorcycles That Are Leased or Financed

Motorcycles that are leased or financed require:

  • A copy of the Title from the lienholder
  • A statement from the lienholder verifying the motorcycle’s:
    • Year
    • Make
    • Model
    • VIN (vehicle identification number)

New York motorcycle registrations are valid for one year. Motorcycle registrations in New York expire on April 30.

Motorcycle Purchased from a Dealer

Most New York motorcycle dealers provide temporary motorcycle registration paperwork and license plates. The permanent registration is sent by mail once the dealer submits the required information to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.

Some dealerships assess a fee for the completion of registration and titling paperwork. Motorcycle owners in New York who choose to complete the registration process on their own must complete the steps of purchasing a motorcycle from a private seller.

Motorcycles Purchased from a Private Dealer

Motorcycles that are purchased from a private seller in New York must also be registered at the local NY Department of Motor Vehicles.

Required Documentation

Required documentation for private dealer motorcycle purchases include:

  • Motorcycle title
  • A valid NY driver’s license
  • Completed documents:
    • Bill of Sale (Form MV-912)
    • Statement of Transaction
    • Motorcycle registration

New York Motorcycle Registration Fees

The motorcycle registration fees for New York are as follows:

  • Registration Fee: $17.50 (annually)
  • Motorcycle plate: $25
  • Title certificate: $50
  • Inspection fee: $6

Before heading to the New York DMV, drivers need to make sure they have the necessary paperwork to register their vehicles to avoid unnecessary fees and penalties.

Registering a Boat in New York

All boats that are fully or partially motor-driven must be a registered vessel to legally travel on New York State’s public waterways, but there are exceptions.

Vessels that are excluded from New York registration include:

  • Kayaks, canoes, lifeboats, and other non-motorized vessels
  • Unregistered out-of-state boats that are not used in the state of New York for over 90 consecutive days
  • Commercial boats with foreign or U.S. documentation
  • Watercrafts used for competition racing

For the New York DMV to issue a title, boats must meet all below criteria:

  • Manufactured in 1987 or later
  • Be at least 14 ft. long
  • Be a registered boat in New York

Required Documentation

Registering a boat in New York requires the following documentation:

  • A completed title application/boat registration (Form MV-82B)
  • Acceptable documentation of proof of ownership of the boat, such as the boat title and NY driver’s license
  • Identity verification (documents that disclose your name and date of birth)
  • A completed Notice of Lien, if there is a current lien (Form MV-900)
  • Bill of Sale if the boat was purchased from a dealer (The Bill of Sale document can also serve as proof of the paid sales tax).

Any resident of New York who did not purchase the boat from a dealer can receive a title and register their boat or choose to only register their boat by submitting a completed Statement of Transaction. NY residents can also choose to get a title for their boat by using a Sales Tax Clearance document (Form FS-6T).

NY residents requesting to receive a title and register their boat or only register their boat can do so in person at a local NYS DMV office branch.

Residents of New York who are requesting only the title need to apply by mail with the proper documents to:

NYS Department of Motor Vehicles
Title Bureau
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228

New York Boat Title and Registration Fees

Boat registration in New York is valid for three years. Initial and renewal boat registration fees are based on the length of the vessel.

  • 15 feet or less: $26.25
  • 16 feet to 26 feet: $57.50
  • 26 feet or longer: $93.75
  • Boat title: $50
  • Lien fee: $5 per lien

Documentation Replacement Fees

New York drivers who need to replace their documentation can do so for an additional fee.

  • Replacement registration (sticker or card): $2
  • Replacement boat title: $20

Accepted forms of Payment

  • American Express® Card
  • Discover Card®/Novus®
  • MasterCard®
  • MasterCard® Debit card without personal identification number (PIN)
  • VISA® Card
  • Visa Debit Card without personal identification number (PIN)

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