How Much Does It Cost to Register a Car?

Last Updated on November 18, 2021

Each state charges a fee to register a vehicle.

Depending on your state and type of vehicle, you could pay anywhere from $20 to $100 to register a vehicle.

Cost to Register a CarHow much does it cost to register a vehicle in your state? How much should you expect to pay? Keep reading to discover exactly how much it costs to register a car in your state.

Table of Contents:

State-by-State Registration Fees

If registering a passenger vehicle in your state, then you’ll pay a registration fee. Some states also charge an additional annual fee.

You could also pay license plate fees, title transfer fees, lien recording fees, documentation fees, emissions test fees, inspection fees, and hybrid or electric vehicle fees, among other costs, depending on whether you’re buying a new or used vehicle.

Some states charge personal property tax fees or vehicle license fees. You pay these fees with your vehicle registration. Although they’re technically different from a registration fee, we’ve added them to the table below because you pay them at the same time as your vehicle registration, and they’re required every year.

Here’s how much you can expect to pay to register a standard passenger vehicle in your state, according to research by Compare.com:

Alabama: $15 to $23 + $50 annual registration fee.

Alaska: $100.

Arizona: $8 + $32 public safety fee + personal property tax fee ($2.80 for new vehicles or $2.89 for used vehicles for each $100 of assessed value)

Arkansas: $17 to $30 + personal property tax fee that varies by county.

California: $64 + CHP and transportation improvement fees (which change year to year) + 0.65% personal property tax fee (which decreases over time).

Colorado: Registration fees vary based on weight + personal property tax fee of 3% to 2.1% of vehicle value (based on the age of vehicle).

Connecticut: $120 to register a new vehicle, $80 to renew a vehicle for 2 years, + 70% personal property tax/vehicle license fee based on the retail value of the vehicle.

Delaware: $40.

Florida: $225 when registering a new vehicle, or $14.50 to $32.50 to renew vehicle registration.

Georgia: $20 + annual ad valorem tax for vehicles bought before March 12, 2013.

Hawaii: $12 minimum registration fee + additional costs based on vehicle weight + additional personal property tax/vehicle license fee based on weight.

Idaho: $45 to $69 depending on the age of the vehicle.

Illinois: $151.

Indiana: $21.35.

Iowa: A maximum registration fee of 1% of the list price, depending on the age of the vehicle, along with an additional fee of $0.40 per 100lbs of vehicle weight.

Kansas: $39 to $49, depending on the county + personal property tax/vehicle license fee (varies by county).

Kentucky: $21 + personal property tax / vehicle license fee of $0.45 per $100 of vehicle value.

Louisiana: $20 to $82, depending on the value of your vehicle.

Maine: $35 + annual excise tax (varies based on the age of vehicle).

Maryland: $135 to $187, depending on the weight of the vehicle, to register your vehicle for 2 years.

Massachusetts: $60 to register your vehicle for 2 years + $25 personal property tax/vehicle license fee per $1,000 of excise value of the vehicle.

Michigan: Registration fee varies based on the weight, age, and value of the vehicle.

Minnesota: A minimum fee of $35, plus more based on the value of your vehicle.

Mississippi: $12.75 to renew vehicle registration, $14 to renew a new vehicle for the first time + ad valorem taxes based on vehicle value and county.

Missouri: $18.75 and more (according to the taxable horsepower of the vehicle), along with a registration processing fee of $6 to $12.

Montana: $30.57 to $225.24 based on the age of your vehicle, plus a 3% fee.

Nebraska: $15 + $5.50 in additional fees + motor vehicle tax based on vehicle value.

Nevada: $33 + Governmental Services Tax (based on the value of the vehicle).

New Hampshire: A minimum registration fee of $31.20 plus additional charges based on the type and weight of your vehicle + $10 transfer fee + local fees.

New Jersey: $35.50 to $84 based on the weight and age of your vehicle.

New Mexico: $27 to $62 based on the weight and age of your vehicle.

New York: $26 to $140 based on the weight of your vehicle to register your vehicle for 2 years.

North Carolina: $38.75 + Vehicle Property Tax (varies based on the value of the vehicle and location).

North Dakota: $29 to $274 based on the age and weight of your vehicle.

Ohio: $31.

Oklahoma: $96 to register a new vehicle, with lower registration costs to renew the vehicle’s registration each year.

Oregon: $122 to $152 per year, based on the model year and mileage (MPG) of the vehicle.

Pennsylvania: $39.

Rhode Island: $30 for vehicles up to 4,000lbs, + $15 surcharge based on weight + excise tax (based on value of the vehicle).

South Carolina: $40 + annual personal property tax based on vehicle value.

South Dakota: $36 to $144, based on the weight of your vehicle.

Tennessee: $26.50.

Texas: $51.75 + local fees.

Utah: $44 to register vehicles up to 12,000lbs, $69.50 to register vehicles over 12,000lbs, + $19 for every 2,000lbs over 14,000lbs + additional annual fee based on vehicle age.

Vermont: $76 for 1 year, $140 for 2 years.

Virginia: $30.75 for vehicles lighter than 4,000lbs, $35.75 for vehicles over 4,000lbs + personal property tax (varies based on location and municipality).

Washington: $68.25 to $115.25, based on vehicle weight.

Washington, D.C.: $72 to $155, based on vehicle weight.

West Virginia: $51.50 + personal property tax fee (varies based on location and municipality).

Wisconsin: $85.

Wyoming: Approximately $30, although specific registration costs vary by county.

Factors that Impact Vehicle Registration Costs

Vehicle registration costs vary based on several factors. Most states charge different registration fees for private and commercial vehicles, for example. Many states also separate registration fees based on weight and vehicle type.

If registering a motorcycle, trailer, or semi-trailer, meanwhile, you’ll pay different registration fees than when registering an ordinary vehicle.

Your cost also varies based on whether you’re registering a new vehicle or re-registering a vehicle. Renewing a vehicle registration costs less than registering a new vehicle.

The full list of factors that impact registration costs include:

  • Size and weight of the vehicle (some states charge higher fees for vehicles over 4,000lbs, for example)
  • Type of vehicle (motorcycles, mopeds, buses, trucks, and cars may pay different registration fees)
  • Use of vehicle (commercial and private vehicles pay different fees)
  • Other fees you may need to pay (like late fees, duplicate certificate of title fees, highway use taxes, and other costs)
  • Value of the vehicle (which affects the cost of “ad valorem” taxes and other value-based fees and surcharges)

Based on all of these factors, you could pay anywhere from $20 to $200 to register a vehicle in your state. In most states, however, the fee falls between $50 and $100 for all ordinary passenger vehicles.

Other Fees Involved with Vehicle Registration

We’ve listed vehicle registration costs above. However, there may be other costs involved with buying a new vehicle, re-registering a vehicle, or transferring a vehicle to a new owner.

Some of the costs you may pay when registering a vehicle include:

Registration Fee: You always pay a registration fee when registering a new vehicle under your name. Registration fees range from $20 to $200. Some states have a flat rate vehicle registration fee. Others use a scaling system based on the weight, age, or value of your vehicle.

License Plate Fees: Some states include the cost of a license plate in your registration. Others bill this fee separately. Some states require two license plates (with an added fee). Others require just one license plate.

Title Transfer Fee: The title is a document showing the legal owner of the vehicle. When buying a vehicle, you’ll need to pay a title transfer fee to transfer the title from the previous owner to you. You’ll need to pay this fee for a private vehicle sale, for example.

Lien Recording Fee: If you are leasing or financing a vehicle, then you may need to pay a lien recording fee. This fee covers the cost of recording the lien (i.e. the loan) on the title of the vehicle.

Documentation Fee: If buying a new car from a dealership, then the dealership may bundle all of these fees under a documentation fee. This fee covers the cost of the dealership completing all of the paperwork. If buying from a private seller, you will be responsible for handling all the documents.

Sales Tax: If buying a new vehicle from a dealership, then you may need to pay a sales tax. Additionally, many states require you to pay an annual tax on the value of your vehicle.

Emissions and Inspection Fees: Many states require smog testing or emissions testing. Other states require vehicle inspections every year or every two years. Expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $50 for an emissions test or vehicle inspection, depending on your location.

Hybrid or Electric Vehicle Fees: If you drive a hybrid or electric vehicle, then you do not pay fuel taxes. To compensate for this lost revenue, many states charge hybrid or electric vehicle fees.

Final Word on State-by-State Registration Fees

Depending on your state, your type of vehicle, and other factors, it could cost anywhere from $20 to $100 to register your vehicle.

Many states also charge additional fees based on the weight or value of your vehicle. In some states, you pay extra fees per year based on the value of your vehicle, for example.

Check the list above to determine how much it costs to register a car in your state.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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