Select state link to view registration instructions, then use the tools to calculate fees and download forms to apply for vehicle registration.
How is it calculated?
DMV fees are not simple percentages, rather compounded amounts are added for titling, lien filing, tire disposal, license plates, and road maintenance.
United States vehicle registration cost differs by state and often by vehicle type, value, age, usage, weight, and fuel type.
Do I have to go to the DMV?
If you buy a vehicle from a licensed automotive dealer, then you can complete the process at the dealership and skip the trip to the DMV.
What is lien filing?
It's the addition of a bank to the registration card when there's a loan.
Can I register online?
Arkansas and Nevada are the only two states that allow first-time vehicle registration to be completed online.
Application forms for most other states can be pre-filled online, but signatures are required in pen with processing finalized in person.
Several states only accept original paper documents obtained from the DMV: California, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania.
What is vehicle ad valorem?
It's an additional registration fee charged by 27 states, technically a value-based property tax, but often disclosed as a plate fee, license fee, or mill rate.
What is an MSO versus an MCO?
MSO - Manufacturer Statement of Origin
MCO - Manufacturer Certificate of Origin
Both are used for the same purpose as the preliminary document provided by the manufacturer of a new vehicle prior to the official title document issued by the state.
Many states require an MSO for first-time vehicle registration.
This document is obtained by the car dealership who orders it from the manufacturer.
Does every state have DMV fees?
However, the term DMV is not universal. Some states call their vehicle division by another acronym.
What are motor vehicle (MV) departments called in other states?
MVD - Motor Vehicle Division:
Arizona, Alabama, Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota
BMV - Bureau of Motor Vehicles:
Indiana, Maine, Ohio
OMV - Office of Motor Vehicles:
MVA - Motor Vehicle Administration:
RMV - Registry of Motor Vehicles:
SOS - Secretary of State:
DVS - Driver and Vehicle Services:
MVC - Motor Vehicle Commission:
DOL - Department of Licensing:
DOT - Department of Transportation:
DMV - Department of Motor Vehicles:
All other states
F&I Tools strives to provide accurate information. If you find errors or omissions, please contact us at our Keep F&I Tools Current page.
We welcome user contributions and work together to verify all information submitted.
Reg - Vehicle registration standard fee.
Lien - Lienholder filing fee. Omit if not financing.
Weight - Fee calculated by vehicle weight.
VIN - Fee charged to verify VIN number.
Roads / Hwy - Street beautification.
Cert - Title certificate creation.
Transfer - Ownership change fee.
Temp - Temporary tags.
Tire - Future recycling or disposal of current tires.
Wheel - Fee for privilege of driving within jurisdiction.
Ad Valorem - Value based fee levied as cents per $100, reducing yearly with depreciation of value over time.
Usage - Intended use. Private versus commercial.