New Jersey Vehicle Registration & Renewal Guide

First Time Vehicle Registration

If you buy a car from a dealership located in the state, the paperwork for the title and registration is typically completed for you and submitted to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ MVC).

If you relocate to New Jersey, you have up to 60 days to submit the documents and establish residency when transferring your title and registering your vehicle.

You also have 60 days to register your car or truck if you buy your car from an auction, private seller, or a dealer located in another state.

When it’s time to register your car and transfer the title, schedule an appointment or visit a NJ MVC office near you. You’ll may be require to required to provide some or all of the below:

  • Proof of identification or your valid driver’s license
  • Vehicle Registration Application
  • Proof of New Jersey auto insurance policy
  • Vehicle purchase order
  • MVC Entity Identification Number
  • EIN of the lienholder
  • Certificate of title

You’ll be required to pay the NJ MVC for the titling fee, registration fee, and additional sales tax. For a standard title, the cost is $60. If your car is financed and has a lien, the title fee is $85. Financed vehicles with up to two liens have a fee of $110.

If you fail to register the car within 60 days of moving to New Jersey, you’ll also have to pay an additional late fee of $25.

The registration fees are also influenced by additional factors like the age, function, and weight of the vehicle. The forms of payment you can use include cash, money orders, checks, and credit cards.

Vehicle Registration Renewal

If your vehicle has already been registered in New Jersey and you want to renew it, you have the option of renewing the registration online with the New Jersey Vehicle Commission. You also have the option of renewing it in person, on the phone, or by mail.

The items you need to have on hand to renew your vehicle include your completed registration renewal form, social security number, car insurance company and policy number, and a credit card for the payment.

Once you complete this process, the documents will be mailed directly to the address that is on file. You’ll need to review the address that is currently on file to ensure it’s correct. You can also change your address with NJ MVC if you have moved or the current address on file is incorrect.

If you change your address, you’ll need to provide your driver’s license number, social security number, and email address.

If you choose to renew your registration in person, you can visit the New Jersey MVC office during their operating hours and also save time by scheduling an appointment. You’ll need to bring:

  • Registration renewal notice or VIN number
  • Insurance card or policy information
  • License plate number
  • Driver’s license or proof of identification
  • Form of payment

Renewing your car registration through the mail is an additional option available once you have received a renewal notice. Use the provided return envelope to mail the completed registration renewal notice. You’ll also need to include a check, which needs to be payable to NJ MVC. Double-check the window on the envelope to ensure the address is easy to see to avoid mailing issues.

Buying & Selling: Transfer of Vehicle Ownership

If you need to transfer the registration of a vehicle that you’re buying or selling in New Jersey, the car must be titled in the new buyer’s name within 10 working days of the purchase date. Failing to transfer the title properly can result in tickets and toll violations.

The seller must remove both license plates on the vehicle and surrender them to the NJ MVC. The license plates can also be placed onto another car, but the vehicle must be owned by the seller and not another owner.

The reverse side of the title needs to be signed and handed over to the buyer, including the bill of sale. The bill of sale should include the name and address of the buyer, the date of the sale, the mileage odometer, and the sale price of the car.

The buyer must also fill out some of the details by signing the section designated for the buyer on the reverse side of the title. Schedule an appointment or visit a NJ MVC and submit a Vehicle Registration Application. Late fees of $25 must be paid in addition to the standard fees if the registration is not completed within the allocated 10 days.

If a car is transferred after the owner’s death, the car can be operated for up to 30 days after the date of the death. The transaction can only be completed presenting the required documents to a NJ MVC office. All titles that contain both spouses’ names require submitting the old title, an affidavit that has been notarized, and a valid copy of the death certificate.

If the owner of the car happens to die without creating a will, the title can be transferred to the spouse by submitting the Affidavit of Surviving Spouse/Domestic Partner/Civil Union Partner. This document must include the raised seal of the County Surrogate. The original death certificate and a NJ MVC Affidavit must also be provided.

Lost Vehicle Registration

If you need to replace a lost vehicle registration, the Vehicle Application Registration needs to be submitted. If the car is shared by two people, both individuals will need to submit a BA-49 form. A duplication fee of $5 also needs to be paid.

You can obtain a new registration online if you qualify for it. You also have the option of visiting the NJ MVC by bringing a valid form of identification. You also have to bring a consent form that is notarized from the owner of the vehicle.

If the vehicle is leased, the driver must contact the leasing company to obtain permission to submit a request for a duplicate registration. This will require submitting the name of the driver leasing the car and a statement that authorizes the lessee to sign the application to request a duplicate registration. The make, model, and VIN of the car must also be included in the application.

NJ MVC does not require car registration documents to be reported to the police.

Replace Your Vehicle Registration

If you need to replace your vehicle registration in New Jersey because it becomes damaged or stolen, you will need to complete the necessary registration form and submit it to the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission. This must be done in person. If the document is stolen, the driver must request a duplicate registration credential.

Obtaining a replacement requires visiting the local NJ MVC office and presenting proof of identification. The proper application form can then be completed and submitted with the required fee.

If you also need to replace the car registration stickers, you also need to apply for new decals in person at the NJ MVC office. You must provide proof of your auto insurance policy or provide a copy of a receipt of the former registration-related transaction.

If the car registration is stolen, it needs to be reported to law enforcement.

Boat Registration

Registering your boat requires having an active motorboat or jet ski license for those who are at least 16 years old. You must register the boat within 10 days of purchasing it to avoid a penalty of $25. The NJ MVC requires submitting the Universal Title Application, Boat Registration Application Form, certificate of documentation, and the Official Coast Guard Bill of Sale.

The name and address of the lien holder must also be provided if the boat is currently leased. The boat must be registered in person at a NJ MVC and requires bringing your identification with you. There’s a minimum weight requirement of vessels of five net tons. The title fee for boats is $60

Motorcycle Registration

If you need to register a motorcycle in New Jersey, you’ll be required to visit a DMV in person and bring the proof of insurance, title, six points of ID, a vehicle registration application, and the name and address of the lien holder if the motorcycle is leased. The registration fee must also be paid, which varies depending on the weight and age of the motorcycle.

Dirt bikes must also be registered in New Jersey and cannot exceed 600cc. Similar to registering traditional motorcycles, the owner must bring the title, driver’s license, insurance card or policy number, and the lien holder information if it’s a leased vehicle.

A power of attorney must also be present if another individual other than the purchaser. If a company or business is registering the dirt bike, they’ll also need to provide the Motor Vehicle Commission EIN.