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Guide to the New York DMV

New York DMV Guide

If you’re new to New York, or have recently purchased a car, you may need to understand the vehicle registration process.

New Registration

If you’ve just moved to New York, you are required to register your car with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles within 30 days of establishing residency.

In order to complete a new registration, you will need the following documents:

Vehicle Inspections

If you bought your car from a dealer, the dealer will get your car inspected within 30 days of the purchase. Vehicles purchased from a private individual will be given an extension, so you can complete yoyr inspection up to ten days after registration.

Registration Renewal

You will need to renew your registration with the New York DMV before it expires. You will usually be notified that your term is coming to an end by mail or email, with a renewal notice. Before you renew your registration, you will have to get a safety inspection and emissions test. These inspections are required once a year.


When you purchase a car, you will receive a title, signed by the seller. To transfer your car title with the New York DMV, you’ll have to provide that title, along with proof of insurance and identification. You’ll have to complete the application for title and pay the requisite application fees, as well as supply the statement of transaction when required.

If your car does not yet have a title, you will be able to apply for a notification, so that the DMV can get your vehicle registered.

Driver’s License

When you move to New York, you will need to surrender your out-of-state license and obtain a New York State license. New residents are allowed to transfer their out-of-state licenses, if they are American or Canadian and meet the requirements of New York licensing. Before you receive your license, you will have to submit an application for a permit or license. You will also need to pass a vision test, or provide proof of a vision test report. You will also need to pay a fee, based on your age and location.

Auto Insurance Requirements

Insurance in New York is required for every vehicle registered in the state. The New York State Insurance Identification Card will serve as proof of insurance. If you buy your car from a New York dealership, they will probably submit all of the required insurance paperwork for you to the DMV (but they may charge you a fee for doing so).