NJ Vehicle Registration Process

Registering a car in New Jersey is a simple process, whether it is a new car from a dealership or a used car from a private seller. Buyers of used cars are responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is properly registered. It is also important for owners to keep track of their vehicle’s license expiration date and renew it on time to avoid any legal issues.

The state of New Jersey has clear rules and regulations regarding vehicle licenses, including procedures for registration, renewal, and replacing lost or missing license plates. While navigating these rules may seem daunting, it can be made simple by following the correct steps for each process. By doing so, drivers can ensure that they are legally permitted to operate their vehicles on the roadways of New Jersey.

How to Register a Pre-Owned Vehicle in New Jersey

When purchasing a pre-owned vehicle in New Jersey, it is important to register it with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ MVC) to avoid any legal issues. The process of registering a pre-owned vehicle is straightforward and requires specific documents and fees.


To register a pre-owned vehicle in New Jersey, the following documents are necessary:

  • Vehicle Title: The vehicle title must be properly assigned to include the seller and buyer’s names and addresses, signatures, date of sale, purchase price, and buyer’s driver’s license number.
  • Registration Application: Use Form BA-49, available at NJ MVC offices, to apply for vehicle registration.
  • Insurance Information: Present proof of New Jersey insurance with the carrier name, policy number, and company name.
  • Dealership Documentation: If the car is purchased from a dealership, provide the dealer reassignment document.
  • Authorization Representation: Include Power of Attorney documentation if required.
  • Financial Details: For financed or leased cars, lien holder information along with a financing statement is needed.
  • Business Identification: If registering as a business, an MVC Entity Identification Number (EIN) is mandatory.
  • Auction Purchases: If the car is from a state that does not issue a title, present a notarized bill of sale, VIN plate image or tracing, and the latest registration.
  • State Transfer: If the vehicle lacks a current tax stamp but the title exists, a purchase order is needed.

It is important to bring the correct fees for registration services, which vary based on the type of car and the number of liens. The fees usually include a standard fee, any extra lien fees, and sales tax. For help with sales tax estimates, contact the New Jersey Taxation Division.

After gathering all necessary documents and fees, submit them at the NJ MVC’s Registration/Title office. Vehicles transferred from out-of-state require an Application for a Certificate of Ownership.

New Jersey law requires that used cars must be inspected either before they are registered or within 14 days of registration. Personal harm protection and a legal insurance policy are also required to protect the car.

The first registration is valid for four years after it is made. Drivers are notified three months before their license expires that they need to renew it within one month of the end date to stay legal on New Jersey roads.

By following these steps, drivers can register new vehicles with ease and avoid any legal issues.

How to Renew Vehicle Registration in NJ?

Renewing your vehicle registration in New Jersey is a straightforward process that can be done from the comfort of your home. To get started, you will need your Social Security Number, an Insurance Identification Card, a legal letter or form for renewing your registration that includes a PIN, and a credit card that works to pay.

Here are the steps to renew your registration:

  1. Go to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s website.
  2. Select the “Online Services” option.
  3. Click on “Renew Vehicle Registration” to proceed.
  4. Enter the provided PIN from your renewal form or notice on the login page.
  5. Verify your eligibility by confirming your registration is not suspended in another state.
  6. After your PIN is verified, your registration fee will be displayed, along with an online renewal service fee of $1.50.
  7. Proceed with the payment and complete the renewal process.

If you misplaced your PIN or never received one, you can retrieve it by navigating to the “Registration Renewal PIN Lookup” page and providing your license plate number, VIN, Driver’s License, ID number, or Corporation Code.

It’s important to renew your registration before the end date to avoid any extra late fees. As part of the registration process, your vehicle may also need to have its pollution checked.

The NJMVC’s online services can also help you if your registration has ended or if you need to replace a lost registration. This can save you a trip to the office. With this quick and easy online update service, drivers in New Jersey can keep their car registration up to date, so they can keep driving properly without any problems.

Also Check – Pay Your NJ Traffic Ticket – Guide for Online Payment

Procedures for Obtaining a Replacement Vehicle Registration in New Jersey

Losing or damaging a car registration in New Jersey can be a frustrating experience, but the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) has a set method that you can follow to obtain a replacement. It is important to follow the MVC’s instructions if you want to get a backup car registration.

To begin the process of obtaining a replacement vehicle registration, the owner or co-owner of the vehicle must visit an MVC location in person. They must present their legal New Jersey driver’s license to prove their identity.

Essential Documents and Steps

The following documents and steps are essential to obtain a replacement vehicle registration:

  • An owner must present their New Jersey insurance ID card, verifying current coverage.
  • Form BA-49, a vehicle registration application, needs to be obtained and accurately filled out. All co-owners, if applicable, are also required to sign the form.


There is a nominal fee of $5 for the issue of a duplicate registration. However, the fee may increase to $11 if the loss occurs within the first three years of the four-year initial registration period.

Special Circumstances

For leased vehicles, prior authorization from the leasing company is mandatory. This includes obtaining a Power of Attorney and a statement permitting the lessee to undertake such actions. Following authorization, the lessee should proceed to the MVC with a valid driver’s license and the aforementioned insurance documentation, alongside a completed Form BA-49.

Replacing a Lost Car Tag

If you have lost your car tag, you must undergo a similar procedure. Payment of any associated fees online via NJ EZ Pass or Njmcdirect.com might be necessary.

It is imperative to maintain current liability insurance throughout this process. Proof of insurance, showing the policy number, should be at hand. In case of any changes, such as a change of address, this information must be updated before requesting a duplicate.

Please note, that if you have personalized plates, ensure that the MVC is notified during your replacement process, as this could affect the type of registration and associated fees.

Being informed and prepared with the right documents will facilitate a smooth and hassle-free replacement of your New Jersey vehicle registration.

Replacing a Missing Vehicle Plate in NJ

If a license plate is lost, stolen, or damaged, it is the owner’s responsibility to obtain a new one. The following steps need to be taken to obtain a new license plate.

Steps to Obtain a Replacement Tag:

  • Report Loss or Theft: The first step is to file a police report for the stolen or lost plate. The owner needs to keep a copy of this record.
  • MVC Visit: The next step is to visit a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) agency in person.
  • Complete Required Documentation: The owner needs to fill out a vehicle registration or the Plate Status form (BA-1) to obtain a replacement license plate.
  • Identification: The owner must provide a valid form of identification along with the Plate Status form.
  • Submit Damaged Plate: In cases where the plate is damaged, the owner must turn it into the MVC.
  • Optional New Plate Number: To obtain a new number, there is no need to fill out the SPU-89 form for existing plates.

Fees and Other Considerations:

  • Standard Replacement Fee: The fee for a standard plate replacement is $6.
  • Unique or Dedicated Plates: Special plates may incur an $11 fee.
  • Processing Time: Expect the new plate to arrive within ten to twelve weeks.
  • Temporary Proof: The owner must carry appropriate documents to prove the replacement is in process, helping to avoid potential fines while on the road.

It is also important for owners to send back any broken plates to the MVC. For these things to not get traffic tickets, they need to be done right away.

It is important to note that the fee for changing the title is different from the fee for replacing the license plate. The owner does not need to pay the fee for changing the title if they are only replacing a lost or broken plate. Having uninsured motorist coverage can give uninsured drivers extra safety while they wait for a new tag.

Special Cases

Registering a Leased Vehicle

If registering a leased vehicle, you will need:

  • A power of attorney from the leasing company.
  • The leasing company’s New Jersey Corporation Code.
  • Lease agreement documents.

Registering an Out-of-State Vehicle

For vehicles previously registered in another state, you will need:

  • Out-of-state title and registration.
  • Proof of New Jersey insurance.
  • VIN verification.

Transferring Registration

To transfer an existing New Jersey registration to a new vehicle, bring the current registration certificate and the title of the new vehicle. Fill out the application for registration transfer and pay the transfer fee.