What are the car registration fees by state?

Individual states have their own way of working out car registration fees. This can be done using either a flat rate or by using other criteria such as your home address and the vehicle you drive.

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UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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Written By: Chris TepedinoReviewed By: Laura WalkerUPDATED: Jun 1, 2022Fact Checked

The Rundown

  • You need to register your car in your state of residency
  • The rates will vary from one state to the next
  • Check whether your registration address needs to match that on your insurance policy

When it comes to a vehicle’s registration, there can be plenty of questions. Do your car insurance and registration have to be under the same name? Do you have to update your registration information if you’re moving out of state? Just how much will it cost to register your vehicle? If you are a first-time vehicle owner, helping someone to purchase a vehicle, or you’re moving to another state, you may wonder how much it costs to register a car.

There is no standard rate, and the fees will vary widely by individual state. As it can be difficult to come up with the answer, we’ve researched on your behalf and have the answers and a table beneath.

What are the auto registration fees by state?

Your vehicle registration fees will depend on your home address. They may also depend on your vehicle’s size, horsepower, or even its weight. It may also surprise you to learn that these fees can vary considerably, from as little as $15 per year on the low end to several hundred dollars at the other end of the spectrum. Read on to find out the costs in your state.

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What does my state require to register a car?

In all states, a motor vehicle must be registered and titled with either the DMV or state transportation agency. The title is basically proof of ownership and is a legal document that identifies you as the registered owner. Registration includes a license plate that must be attached to the vehicle for identification purposes. You will get a new sticker each time you renew, and it must be attached to the license plate so that law enforcement officers can immediately see whether you are up to date.

How do they calculate state auto registration fees?

Each state has a different way of calculating its fees. The title fee is usually assessed just once when you initially acquire the vehicle, but you’ll typically pay the registration fees once or twice per year. Some states find it easier to have a flat fee, while others make it very difficult to calculate. They may charge more if the vehicle is heavier or a gas-guzzler, and some use a sliding scale to come up with a calculation.

What about fees for electric vehicles?

If you own an electric vehicle (EV), you may be interested in the state fees to register a car like this. Again, there is no uniform rule, but some states will charge you less for an EV while others will charge more. Some seem to think that they should encourage you to buy a more sustainable vehicle, while others may want to gather extra money to deal with electric vehicle infrastructure. If you have an EV, check to see if you can get a green vehicle car insurance discount.

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Does the address used on your car registration matter to insurance companies?

You should check with your own company, but your policy details may need to match those of your vehicle registration. Underwriters might take your regular address into account when setting rates and base them on accumulated data from that area. For example, if there are more than the average number of accidents and claims, your rates may be higher.

What are the car registration fees in my state?

Below you find a table with the registration fees by state. If you would like to see another example, The National Conference of State Legislatures breaks down each state based on its main criteria in a color-coded map.

StateRegistration Fee
Alabama$15-$23 = $50 Annually
Alaska$100
Arizona$8 = $1.50 air quality fee = tax assessed at 60% of the MSRV
Arkansas$17 for cars weighing 3,000 lbs or less, $30 for cars up to 4,500 lbs
California$46 plus transportation improvement fee based on vehicle value (between $25 and $175)
ColoradoCharged by counties, plus ownership tax to the state between 2.1% and 0.45% of the vehicle's taxable value
Connecticut$80
Delaware$40
Florida$225 plus between $14.50 for vehicles under 2,500 lbs to $32.50 for vehicles over 3,500 lbs
Georgia$20
Hawaii$45 state fee plus tax starting at 1.75 cents per pound for vehicles up to 4,000 lbs
Idaho$69 for vehicles one or two years old, $57 for vehicles 3 to 6 years old, $45 for vehicles older than seven years
Illinois$151
Indiana$21.35 plus $15 infrastructure fee
IowaPercentage of the value of the vehicle plus $.40 for each 100 lbs of weight
Kansas$39 for vehicles less than 4,500 lbs or $49 for others
Kentucky$21
LouisianaBased on the selling price of the vehicle – 0.1% with a minimum base of $10,000
Maine$35
Maryland$135 for cars up to 3,700 lbs or $187 otherwise
Massachusetts$60 for two years
MichiganFor cars registered since 1984, fees are based on MSRV
Minnesota$35 plus an additional 1.25% of the base value
Mississippi$14
MissouriBased on horsepower (HP), starting at $18 for less than 12 HP up to $51 for more than 72 HP
Montana$217 for vehicles up to 4 years old, $87 for 5 to 10 years old, $28 for older
Nebraska$15
Nevada$33
New Hampshire$31.20 for vehicles up to 3,000 lbs and a sliding scale thereafter
New JerseyBased on the vehicle's age and weight, with a range from $33.50 to $84
New MexicoBased on weight and model year, ranging between $27 and $124
New YorkStarting at $26 for a vehicle under 1,650 lbs and increasing by $1.50 for every 100 lbs thereafter
North Carolina$36
North DakotaBased on the weight and age of the vehicle, between $49 and $274
Ohio$34.50
OklahomaStarting at $85 for the first year of registration and reducing to $15 after 17 years
Oregon$43
Pennsylvania$36
Rhode IslandBased on weight beginning at $30
South Carolina$40
South DakotaBased on weight, beginning at $36 for up to 2,000 lbs and $144 for all others
Tennessee$23.75
Texas$50.75
Utah$43 for vehicles under 12,000 lbs
Vermont$76
Virginia$40.75 for vehicles less than 4,000 lbs or $45.75 otherwise
WashingtonBase rate of $30 but add for other factors such as vehicle type, weight, location, etc.
West Virginia$30
Wisconsin$75
Wyoming$30
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You can confirm that this information is still valid on your state’s DMV website. 

Final Thoughts on Calculating Auto Registration Fees by State

You need to pay a vehicle registration fee before driving your car within your resident state. The fee will vary from state to state, with some offering a flat rate while others base the charge on various criteria, including the car’s weight, horsepower, or value. Some insurance companies may require the details on your policy to match the details on your car registration.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

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