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Guide to the Louisiana DMV

louisiana dmv guide

If you’re planning to move to Louisiana or purchase a vehicle in the state, you will need some basic information on registering and licensing for your car.

New Vehicle Registration in Louisiana

When bringing a car into Louisiana from another state, you have thirty days to transfer your previous registration at the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV). When you buy a vehicle in state, you have forty days to register. You are required to pay use tax for a registered vehicle, but if you paid sales tax previously, you may be able to receive a credit. Also note that registration requirements are slightly different for new and used vehicles, so it’s important to check with the OMV.

To register, either send the following by mail or visit your county OMV with the following documents:

  • A complete Vehicle Application (Form DPSMV 1799).
  • A driver’s license or current photo ID
  • Proof of car insurance if you didn’t buy your vehicle at a dealership
  • Valid inspection certificates
  • Proof of purchase (a bill of sale or invoice, for example)
  • Odometer discosure for vehicles under ten years old
  • A loan document if you financed the vehicle
  • Applicable fees and taxes, payable by mail or in-person
  • Ownership documents

Registration fees are based on your car’s value and your location. You will pay:

  • Handling fee ($8 maximum, varies by county)
  • Title fee ($68.50)
  • License plate fee (between $20 and $82)
  • Lien recording fee ($10 to $15)
  • Sales and use tax of 4% of your vehicle’s value
  • Local municipal taxes if applicable (see Louisiana OMV website)

Louisiana Vehicle Inspections

Passenger vehicles must undergo annual inspections at authorized Vehicle Inspection stations. In addition, five parishes (Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, West Baton Rouge) of Baton Rouge must submit to a special emissions test, due to environmental concerns in those areas. The test includes On Board Diagnostics, gas cap integrity, and a visual check for non-tampering.

Louisiana Vehicle Registration Renewal

The Louisiana OMV will send you a notice to renew your registration before your current registration expires, once every two years. You can renew online.  Or, you can go to the OMV in person with your proof of insurance, a driver’s license, a valid inspection sticker, and your renewal fee.

Vehicle Titling in Louisiana

When you buy a new vehicle in Louisiana, expect the dealer to handle the majority of the titling and registration paperwork. By mail or in person, you can title your vehicle in Louisiana with:

  • A Vehicle Application (Form DPSMV 1799)
  • The title of certificate from your previous state, if applicable
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Payment for the title transfer fee

Louisiana Driver’s Licenses

You may obtain a Louisiana driver’s license in person at the local OMV office. If you have an out-of-state license, you will need to register for a Louisiana license within thirty days of establishing residency. YOu will also have to surrender your out-of-state license, unless you present a clearance letter.

There you will:

  • Complete an Application for License or Identification Card (Form DPSMV 2003)
  • Provide proof of identity (birth certificate, passport, or employment ID card, for example)
  • Provide proof of Social Security Number (Social Security Card)
  • Pass the DMV tests (vision, driving, written)
  • Get your photo taken
  • Pay the $21.50 license fee ($11,50 if you’re 70 years old or older) and the local fee (approx. $4)

Louisiana Auto Insurance Requirements

Louisiana requires liability insurance for your vehicle. You must meet the following minimum coverage limits:

  • $15,000 per person per accident bodily injury
  • $30,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $25,000 in property damage liability coverage
  • $1,000 for medical payments
  • $15,000 per person /$30,000 per accident for uninsured motorist coverage