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How To Register A Car In Pennsylvania

August 12, 2022

There are plenty of ways to register your car in the state of Pennsylvania. You can register your vehicle online, in the mail, over the phone, or in person and there are great resources available to get you through the whole process. Here is what a car registration looks like. Here is what you will need when registering your car in the state of Pennsylvania.

1. Provide Proof Of Ownership With A Title

You'll have to prove that you are the owner of the vehicle before you register the car in the state of Pennsylvania. Make sure the title is in your name or transferred to your name on the title. Hold onto the bill of sale if you are transferring ownership, this is helpful to the DMV when registering your car.

Here is some more information on the transfer of ownership on Pennsylvania titles.

2. Insure Your Vehicle

If you are not insured make sure you complete this step. Here are a few insurance providers that offer car insurance:

Most car insurance plans are very customizable. Plans can start as low as $40 if you only choose liability coverage.

3. Make Sure You Are In Good Standing At The DMV

Your vehicles registration may be delayed if you have any tickets or open vehicle citations. In the state of Pennsylvania your registration may be withheld if you have these things:

  • Parking tickets
  • Toll violations
  • Unpaid vehicle taxes

4. Provide These Documents When Registering Your Car In Pennsylvania

In Pennslvania, you can register your car online, over the phone, through the mail, and in person. Here are the documents that you'll need:

For First Time Registration, You Will Typically Need These Items:

  1. Your state’s identification card or driver’s license
  2. Your insurance information for the state the vehicle will be driven
  3. A sales tax payment
  4. Your vehicle’s title
  5. Documents stating that your vehicle has passes emissions regulations and a safety inspection
  6. The car’s registration application

Private Sale Or Transfer Of Ownership: 

  1. Title in your name
  2. When transferring a vehicle to a new owner make sure all of the owners are listed on the title in the "transferred to" line. The sellers must sign the 'assignment of ownership section on the back of the title.
  3. Odometer Disclosure Statement & Bill of Sale
  4. Visit this page to find out more about private vehicle sales in Pennsylvania.

Renewing Your Car’s Registration? Make Sure You Have These:

  1. Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  2. Driver’s license number
  3. Proof of insurance
  4. License plate number
  5. Proof that your vehicle was registered previously (registration card)

Out-Of-State Dealer? Bring These As Well:

  1. Bring the Title of the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin
  2. Odometer Disclosure Statement & Bill of Sale

5. Safety Checks

Does your vehicle need a smog check in Pennsylvania?
Each county of Pennsylvania has there own emissions quotas. Some areas require annual emissions and safety checks but others do not.

Visit the Pennsylvania emissions calculator here to see what your vehicle needs to be registered.

6. Fill Out The Pennsylvania Car Registration Form

The last step is filling out the registration form. You will need your VIN, your license plate number, and your driver’s license number.

You will have to provide the accident history of the vehicle or any custom tune-ups the vehicle has had that effect the driving of the car.

Check out this Pennsylvania page to find out what fees you will need to pay for your specific vehicle.

You can register your car in Pennsylvania online here.

You'll need to register your car annually in the state of Pennsylvania.

Donating A Car In Pennsylvania?

If you are looking to donate a car in Pennsylvania, look no further than Wheels For Wishes car donation program!

Benefit the kids of Make-A-Wish Pennsylvania with the click of a button from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Allentown!

  1. Just call 1-855-278-9474 or fill out our easy online donation form.
  2. Next, we’ll arrange your tow within 24 hours of the next business day.
  3. When all is said and done, we’ll mail you a receipt that you can attach for your taxes next year!

Whether your car runs or not, Wheels For Wishes takes almost all vehicle donations and we’ll pick them up from anywhere in the Pennsylvania area! Your car donation to Wheels For Wishes also gives you the best possible tax deduction. Help a Make-A-Wish child with your car donation today!

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CDF also runs the following programs:
Wheels for Wishes benefiting Make-A-Wish®, Wheels for Wishes & Wellness benefiting local children's hospitals and charities, Vehicles for Veterans benefiting disabled veterans, and Animal Car Donation benefiting animal rescue organizations.

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CDF's mission is to help these benefitting charities fulfill their missions with proceeds from CDF's car donation programs. CDF and all benefitting charities are separate and unaffiliated 501c organizations.
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