When you buy a new car or truck, there are many things that are going to happen and the dealer that you get the car through will most likely take care of a lot of the work for you. They deal with the financing, the temporary registration, and can even help you get the insurance requirements met. But when it comes time to register the vehicle the first time, you need to handle the requirements on your own:
Before you head off to the Department of Motor Vehicles to register that new car or truck, gather all the items you need so that you are prepared when you get there. Because every state has their own rules, you should give the DMV a call and inquire as to what paperwork they require. If the dealer already submitted the title application, you will likely need to take that with you. The purchase agreement is always important and proof of insurance in most states. You will also most likely need proof or residency for your state. If you have a driver's license in the state, that is most likely enough but check to be sure. Some states require utility bills proving you own or rent in the state.
Preparing For Fees and Taxes
One thing to consider is the fees that may be required at the first registration. In some cases, the dealer may have dealt with the sales tax when the temporary DMV registration was issued but most of the time that is paid by the buyer when they get their permanent plates. If you live in a state that has no sales tax, you might not have this concern but for buyers in states with high taxes, this can equate to hundreds of dollars. If you are not prepared for the expense, it can make the entire process harder so think about it early in the process. Call the DMV and get an estimate on the cost if you are not sure what the tax rate is in your area.
Custom or Vanity Plates
When you go to the DMV, you may want to consider getting a custom or vanity plate for your car or truck. There is typically an additional cost for these vanity plates but in some states they offer many choices that support charities and other organizations that might be worth spending a little extra for. Most states screen the plates and the letter or number choices for inappropriate words or phrases but allow just about anything that is not offensive if you can make it work in the number of characters available. Often names, hobbies, or business names are put on these vanity plates but you could put just about anything if you spend some time working out how to make it work in six or seven characters.