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Pennsylvania Car Registration: A Complete Guide

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Unlike other states, Pennsylvania has the exclusive PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In addition to maintaining the state roads, the PennDOT is responsible for motor vehicle titles and registration. So, how long does it take for car registration in Pennsylvania? What are the prerequisites for registering your car in the state? Also, read about the process of car registration renewal in PA. 

Car registration is mandatory in PA if you are new to the state or if you have purchased a new car. However, instead of the usual DMV offices in PA, PennDOT operates Driver and Photo License Centers for car registration and renewal.

In Texas, rental car insurance is not required by law. However, it is recommended to protect yourself in case of an accident or theft while renting a car.

What are the documents required for car registration in Pennsylvania?

The documents required for registration are different when you register a new car and if it is a used car. However, if you have recently moved to the state, then the documents required for the out-of-state registration are different.

Firstly, if you are new to Pennsylvania, then you need to establish your residency in the state. Secondly, you need to obtain a driver’s license and register your vehicle. Thirdly, you are also required to undergo a safety examination within ten days of registration in addition to an emission inspection.

In PA, you can renew your vehicle registration online, by mail, at a messenger service office, or at any Driver and Vehicle Service Center location.

Documents required for registering a new car in PA

  • Proof of Ownership: The Manufacturer Certificate of Origin (MCO), Manufacture Statement of Origin (MSO), or Pennsylvania Certificate of Title.
  • Form MV1: It is the application for a certificate of title.
  • Driver’s License
  • Your insurance proof
  • Certification by California Air Resources Board (CARB)

Documents required for registering a used car in PA

  • Proof of insurance
  • Driver’s License
  • Form MV-4ST: This is the application for registration or vehicle sales and uses tax return.
  • Pennsylvania Certificate of Titles
  • Odometer disclosure statement

If driving long distances, you should stop for at least 15 minutes every two hours. Stop often to rest for at least 45 minutes every 4.5 hours of driving to avoid getting tired and stay alert. Plan to stop for a break every 100 miles on your long road trip so that you can relax. Try to only drive for 9 hours a day.

Documents required out-of-state registrations in PA

  • Proof of auto insurance state-mandated auto insurance
  • VIN verification
  • Power of attorney
  • Surrender your out-of-state title and apply for a certificate of title for a Pennsylvania title
  • Payment of all fees and taxes

Steps to register your car in Pennsylvania

  • Visit your nearest PennDOT office.
  • Submit the required documents according to the nature of your car.
  • Make the necessary payment.
  • You will receive the temporary title and registration.
  • Receive the original title and registration.

What is the PA car registration fee?

The fee for regular registration and the out of state registration may vary. However, the yearly registration fee for a passenger vehicle in the state of Pennsylvania is $39. Similarly, for new PA car registration, here is the breakdown of the payment that needs to be made to PennDOT.

  • Registration Fee: $37
  • Title Fee: $53 ($78 with a lien recorded)
  • Sales Tax: 6% (7% in Allegheny County; 8% in Philadelphia)
  • BMV transaction fee

How much does it cost for a PA car registration renewal?

When it comes time for PA car registration renewal, you certainly have the option of doing it either online, at any of the Online Messenger services offered by PennDOT, or through the mail. Meanwhile, if you are to renew online, you must provide certain information. For example, you will have to provide the following:

  • Vehicle title number (first 8 digits)
  • The license plate number of the vehicle
  • Insurance information
  • Odometer disclosure
  • Driver’s license number

In addition, the fee for PA car registration renewal certainly depends on the number of years one registers their car. However, an annual fee of $5 is collected for every year of registration in PA. So, for example, a passenger vehicle will cost $39 for a year and $78 for a two-year registration.

However, it must be noted that cars with a seasonal registration or a circus carnival plate, in addition to those registered under the International Registration Plan, are not eligible for the tw0-year registration.

How long does it take to receive the car registration in PA?

You can print the registration credential in PA if you have renewed it online. However, if it was renewed via mail, you will receive it within ten days.

Do seniors get a discount on car registration in Pennsylvania?

Yes, seniors who qualify for a retired status are eligible for discounts on car registration in the state. However, this will include those individuals whose income doesn’t exceed $19200. Meanwhile, they are certainly eligible for a reduced fee of $10 per year if they meet the retired status qualifications.

Is car insurance necessary to register your car in Pennsylvania?

Proof of insurance is mandatory for car registration in PA. Similarly, state-mandated minimum liability insurance is required to drive in the state.

  • $15000 per individual bodily injury liability insurance.
  • $30000 in bodily injury compensation insurance per accident.
  • $5000 liability in the event of property loss and first care benefits.
  • Underinsured and uninsured motorist benefits of $15000 per person and $30000 per accident.

Also Read: Penalties for Driving in Pennsylvania without Car Insurance

You can get the best insurance rates in Pennsylvania via Way.com. Compare insurance quotes from various insurers and choose the best.


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