car registration
Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

How to Tackle Car Registration Online

The digital age has completely changed the way we communicate. More importantly, digitalization has made bureaucracy much easier to handle. No longer do you need to deal with stacks of forms and papers to get something done. These days, most of that is done online. Speaking of which, car registration is one of the bureaucratic nightmares you can avoid thanks to modern digital technologies. Here’s how you can register your car without spending an entire day at the DMV. 

How to Register a Car Online? 

Registering a newly bought vehicle requires submitting paperwork to your local DMV. What type of paperwork you’ll have to source depends on your state and your local DMV. That being said, most DMV offices allow you to complete the registration process using their online services. 

The other option that is equally convenient is to outsource the entire process to a third party specialized in vehicle registration. 

Using a Middleman 

The internet has opened up so many new options when it comes to dealing with bureaucracy. It has created room for agencies to step in and serve as middlemen to those who don’t want to bother with the paperwork. There are many options out there, click here to find out what’s available for the state of California. Outsourcing vehicle registration or renewal of registration to third parties makes life so much easier. 

This is especially true if your local DMV is notorious for long lines and high traffic at all times. By outsourcing, you’re passing on the misfortune of dealing with long lines to someone else. 

Doing the Registration Yourself

If you decide to proceed with registering your vehicle yourself, you’ll need to do some research first. Find out what your state’s DMV requires in order to approve online car registration, head over to their website, and look for their online services. 

That being said, DMV offices around the country usually offer two types of online services – complete registration and partial paperwork processing. 

Complete Registration

States that allow for complete car registration online allow you to finish the entire process without having to visit the local DMV. To complete online vehicle registration, you’ll need your vehicle’s information including the VIN number, title, and more depending on which state you’re in. 

Payment is usually done using a payment card, which greatly simplifies the entire process. Once you’ve submitted all the forms and paid the necessary fees, you’ll get your plates and registration card in the mail. 

Partial Paperwork Processing 


Some DMV offices allow you to get the car registration process started online. However, completing the registration and getting the tags will require a visit to a local DMV office. In practice, this means that you’ll be able to fill out and format the necessary paperwork at your state’s DMV website, print the paperwork, and bring everything to a physical DMV office. 

The main benefit of this approach is the simplification of bureaucracy. By having all the paperwork filled out and sorted by the time you reach a DMV clerk, you’ll reduce time wasted at the office. 

Benefits of Online Vehicle Registration 

The benefits of online car registration are numerous and go beyond saving you a trip to the DMV. In most states, once you finish online registration, your vehicle will be registered immediately. In other words, most states have set their systems up in a way that removes any processing times. 

This can be extremely convenient when you’ve caught your expiration date at the last possible moment. 

Limitations of Online Vehicle Registration 

As usual, there are some limitations when it comes to registering your vehicle online. These limitations vary from state to state and can be rather extensive. In most cases, you won’t be able to register your vehicle online if you have outstanding tickets or fees. 

Some states prevent online registration of vehicles that weren’t bought from dealerships. In some places, you can’t register a vehicle online if it’s being registered in the name of a trust. There are many more similar limitations, which is why you should check the website of your state’s DMV and carefully read what they have to say. 

Use Digital Technologies to Simplify the Registration Process

Dealing with the DMV is rarely a fun experience. Going through the online car registration process might look complicated, but it’s far less stressful than driving down to the DMV. That being said, sometimes you’ll have to do exactly that. 

In case your state doesn’t allow for completed vehicle registration online, it still helps to get all the papers in order before you head to a physical office. Use online resources to complete or at least speed up the process.