Whether you’ve just moved to Pennsylvania or you currently live in Pennsylvania and are simply adding a vehicle to your fleet, you’re going to have to register it with the state. In this short guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to register a vehicle in Pennsylvania.
What is the Process of Registering a Vehicle in Pennsylvania?
Just like in most states, if you get pulled over in Pennsylvania you’ll need to show your driver’s license, insurance, and registration. Why? Because these are the documents that prove you can:
- Legally drive in the US
- You’re insured (as required) if anything happens
- That you’re the legal owner of the vehicle
Of course, Pennsylvania has its own set of rules surrounding vehicle registration. For example, you have up to 60 days to obtain a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license and up to 20 days after establishing your residency to obtain the vehicle registration.
What Documentation Will I Need?
The vehicle registration process in Pennsylvania is pretty straightforward. You’ll need to make sure to have the proper documentation on hand, which will differ based on the scenario.
If you’re registering a new vehicle in PA, you’ll need:
If you’re buying a used car, you’ll need:
- Pennsylvania Certificate of Title and bill of sale
- The Vehicle Sales and Use Tax Return/Application for Registration (Form MV-4ST)
- A valid PA driver’s license
- Proof of insurance
If you are registering a vehicle that you already own, but was previously registered in another state, you’ll need:
- Your current state vehicle title and the Application for Certificate of Title for Pennsylvania
- Proof of Pennsylvania auto insurance
- Your Pennsylvania driver’s license with new address
- A tracing of your vehicle’s VIN or another form of verification
- Permission from auto loan holder/Power of Attorney if the vehicle is leased
What Fees Are Associated with Registering a Vehicle in PA?
Aside from the state sales tax fee (if you’re buying a new or used car in the state), there are also certain title registration fees you’ll have to pay in Pennsylvania.
Also referred to as DMV fees, what you’ll be expected to pay to register your vehicle depends on what type of vehicle it is:
- Passenger vehicles: $39
- Motorcycles: $21
- Trucks: Fees are based on weight
- Annual county fees
As a Pennsylvania resident, you’ll also be expected to pay the following title fees:
- Standard vehicle title: $58
- Vehicle title with a lien attached: $86
If you buy a vehicle from a dealer, the sales tax is usually added into your total costs. However, if you’re buying a used car from a private seller, the sales tax must be paid directly to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at the time of title transfer and registration.
The car sales tax fees are as follows:
- 8% for residents living in the City of Philadelphia
- 7% for residents living in Allegheny County
- 6% for residents living elsewhere in the state
It should also be noted that PennDOT agents will charge a transaction fee and some counties charge an annual $5 fee per vehicle registered for one address.
Vehicle Registration in PA FAQs
Can I register my vehicle online in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania residents must register their vehicles in person at a PennDOT office or registered Tag Agent. However, registration renewals may be completed online.
Can I register my vehicle without a title in Pennsylvania?
In the state of Pennsylvania, you are required to have a vehicle title for registration. If you cannot locate your vehicle title, you must apply for a duplicate as proof of ownership.
Do I have to get my car inspected before registering it in Pennsylvania?
All newly registered vehicles in Pennsylvania are required to have a safety inspection within 10 days of the registration date.
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