Owning a car for the first time is an exciting experience for any new driver, but it's also one that comes with a lot of responsibilities. When you first purchased your car, you were required to register it at the DMV and were given registration tags to add to your license plate. These must be renewed each year, or else you risk getting a ticket for driving with expired tags. Luckily, renewing your registration is usually a very simple and straightforward process. Here are a few tips to keep you on top of things for your vehicle registration:
Start with Your State DMV Website
The specific process and rules for renewing your vehicle's registration vary by state. For this reason, it's smart to begin by checking out your state's DMV website and locating the section for renewing your registration. There will be a list of steps and possibly a link to renew your registration online. The website will also state whether or not there is a grace period that allows you to renew your registration a month or so after the tags expire. Whatever the process for your state, be sure to follow it to the letter.
Budget for Your Renewal
Looking into your state's registration renewal process early will allow you to budget for the cost of renewal. The cost also varies by state and tends to be more expensive for newer or more expensive cars. In some states, you can enter your driver's license number into their system and it will tell you exactly how much you will need to pay for your renewal. In other states, you may have to call or visit the DMV to get this information ahead of time. Around a month before your renewal is due, your DMV will mail you a bill with payment options.
You May Need an Emissions Test
In some states, you are required to take your car to an emissions testing center before renewing your registration. This may be required every year, or only at random, depending on your state laws and the vehicle you drive. If you do need an emissions test, you will be notified when you receive your bill in the mail from the DMV. The emissions test is usually done for a nominal fee, and once you pass, you will be given a confirmation number which you include when paying for your renewal.
As you can see, there are steps to follow your vehicle registration renewal, but the process tends to be pretty simple and straightforward.