Updated on August 17, 2021
Did you know there’s no minimum age for registering a vehicle in Pennsylvania? Yup, that’s right, a minor can tags for their car! Though the state doesn’t restrict registration by age, your insurance company might. Since car insurance is a requirement in the Keystone state, check with your insurance provider before registering to a minor.
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In addition to the required auto liability coverage, Pennsylvania is 1 of 18 states to offer Personal Injury Protection for drivers. Before registering with Pennsylvania, make sure you have a current insurance policy. If you’re caught driving without coverage in the Keystone State, you can face fines of $300 and have your driver license, and registration suspended. To reinstate your registration and license, you’ll need to pay an additional $176. Avoid the fines, don’t drive without insurance! Keep reading for more information on registrations in Pennsylvania.
PA Registration Renewal Guide
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will mail out a renewal notice to you before your registration expires. Residents can renew their registration either in person, by mail, or online. Once you have completed your registration you will receive a registration card that can be used permanently within 10 days.
Each year you will need to have a safety inspection and emissions test completed on your vehicle before you renew your registration.
PA Emissions Testing and Vehicle Registration Renewal
You will need to have an emissions test on your vehicle if it is powered by gas and weighs less than 9000 pounds and was manufactured after the year 1975. This is a requirement in the following counties:
PA Online Vehicle Registration Renewal
In order to renew your registration online you will need to provide the following:
- Car Insurance Information.
- 8 digits of the title number.
- License plate number.
- Odometer reading.
Renewing Your PA Registration In Person
To renew your vehicle registration in person you will need to visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles office and bring the following:
- Renewal application or notice or request for registration application.
- Payment for PA registration renewal fees.
There may be an extra fee required if you are paying for your registration renewal online.
PA Replacement Car Registration
You need a valid vehicle registration to legally drive in Pennsylvania, so losing yours can cause a bit of a panic. Luckily, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has a simple process in place for how to replace your vehicle registration.
To replace your car registration in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself and your vehicle and pay a very small fee.
Replacement Registration vs. Vehicle Registration Renewal
Renewing your registration isn’t the same as replacing it. Renewal is required if your registration is going to expire soon, Renewing with PennDOT is easy and can be done online. The process takes just a few minutes and you’ll be given a temporary replacement vehicle registration card.
You have to replace your registration when it’s lost, damaged or stolen. If this is the case, you’ll need to complete Form MV-44, Application for Duplicate Registration Card, Replacement of Registration Plate or Weight Class Sticker. You will also have to pay a $6 fee.
Replacing Lost or Stolen Pennsylvania License Plates
Although license plates are a bit harder to misplace than a registration card, they are often stolen or damaged.
If your license plates have been stolen, the first thing you should do is file a report with the local police department. You can then take this report to the local PennDOT office where you can fill out an application and pay a fee for replacement plates.
How to Replace a Lost License Plate Sticker in PA
Pennsylvania is one of the only states which doesn’t require you to affix a year and month license plate sticker to your license plate. Because of this, there is no way to get a replacement car tag in Pennsylvania.
When you get pulled over, the police can use an electronic system to verify that your vehicle registration is valid.
If you still have a sticker on your Pennsylvania license plates, you can cover it up with a piece of tape or remove it. However, there is no penalty for failing to cover or remove your license plate sticker.
PA DMV Locations Near Me
Where can I go to replace my vehicle registration in person in PA?
You can get a replacement vehicle registration in Pennsylvania by visiting the PennDOT website and signing in using your vehicle information, or by mailing an application to PennDOT.
This makes it easy to replace your registration or license plates, and allows drivers who don’t currently have access to transportation to gain access to it.
What To Do With Old PA License Plates
Where do I discard my old or damaged Pennsylvania license plates?
After you’ve replaced your license plates with new ones, you may have a set of old plates lying around.
Disposing of your old license plates is easy. You can get rid of them by sending them to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles with a completed Surrender of a Registration Plate form. Alternatively, you can simply bend the license plates and recycle them at an aluminum recycling center to ensure they aren’t used in the future.
Replacing Your Old PA License Plates With Custom Specialty Plates
Pennsylvania offers a range of specialty plates designed to honor the state, as well as vanity plates with personalized letters and numbers.
The process for replacing your old license plates with specialty plates is mostly standard, although you will need to complete Form MV-904, the Application for Special Registration Plate.
Specialty plates cost between $36 and $55 in addition to regular registration fees, and all of them can be customized except for the Preserve Our Heritage plate.
Vanity plates cost $79 in addition the the regular fee. You can customize them any way you want as long as they don’t have profanity or special characters. To check if the Pennsylvania license plate you want is available, use the PennDOT online license plate search.