Motor Vehicle Information for New Residents
How To Title and Register Your Out-of-State Vehicle in Pennsylvania
All new residents are required to make application for Pennsylvania
title and registration of their vehicle(s) within 20 days of
establishing residency in Pennsylvania.
As indicated below, individuals are required to have a valid form of
Pennsylvania identification in order to make application to title and
register a vehicle in Pennsylvania. Although new residents have 60 days
to obtain a Pennsylvania driver's license, there is nothing to prevent
them from obtaining their Pennsylvania driver's license sooner.
Pennsylvania title procedures require that the out-of-state title be
surrendered to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles when applying for a
Pennsylvania title. The current lienholder of an out-of-state title may
require that the vehicle owner refinance the balance of the outstanding
lien through another lending institution and pay the out-of-state
lienholder in full. A Pennsylvania certificate of title will only be
issued when the out-of-state title is submitted with the completed Form
MV-1, “Application for Certificate of Title.” Likewise, a temporary
Pennsylvania registration plate may only be issued when the out-of-state
title is submitted with the application for Pennsylvania certificate of
Form MV-1 is not available online. This form must be completed by an
authorized agent of the department. Most notaries, dealers, and
messenger services are authorized agents and will be able to complete an
application for title and issue you a temporary registration. Some
authorized agents are online with the department and are able to process
your title and/or registration request on the spot. To locate an
On-Line Messenger in your area that processes new resident title and
transfers online, visit the
Locations Information Center.
In order to title and register your vehicle(s), you will need to bring the following items with you to the authorized agent:
- A valid title for all of the vehicles you want to register in Pennsylvania, issued in your name, from your previous state; and
- Proof of Pennsylvania insurance,
such as a valid insurance identification card, declaration page of an
insurance policy, a copy of a valid binder or a copy of an application
for insurance to the Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan for all of the
vehicles you will be registering. These documents must indicate both
effective and expiration dates.
- A tracing of the vehicle identification number (VIN) or the
verification of the VIN by an inspection mechanic or notary public at a
dealership or issuing agent.
- Appropriate title, lien, registration fees and sales tax (if
applicable). Make checks or money orders payable to the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania. Please do not send cash.
- If you are titling and registering a leased vehicle, the leasing company will also be required to complete Form MV-1L (PDF).
A Power of Attorney may be required from the leasing company.
The Department will only allow agents to issue title and registration
documents to customers who provide one of the following credentials for
- A valid Pennsylvania Photo Driver's License
- A valid Pennsylvania Photo Identification Card
- A valid Pennsylvania Photo Exempt Driver's License
- A valid Pennsylvania Photo Exempt Identification Card
- A valid U.S. Armed Forces Common Access Card
valid U.S. Armed Forces Common Access Card
- Dependents of Armed Forces Personnel must provide a valid
United States Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card (DD
Note: The requirements for Pennsylvania ID do not apply to the seller
or sellers of a vehicle. However, this does not exempt the seller or
sellers from providing valid government-issued photo identification for
identification purposes when completing motor vehicle documents as the
seller of a vehicle.
Standards For Titling Model Year 2008 and Newer Vehicles
If you are titling and registering a 2008 or newer vehicle with a
gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 pounds or less, and it has
less than 7,500 miles on the odometer, your vehicle must be certified by
the California Air Resources Board (CARB). For more information about
this program, visit the
Pennsylvania Clean Vehicles Program page.
When completing Section A of Form MV-1, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) must be verified to ensure that the number listed
on the out-of-state title matches the number on the vehicle's VIN
plate. A VIN plate tracing must be attached to the reverse
side of the white copy of all MV-1 applications for PA certificates of
title for the following vehicles:
- All trucks or truck tractors - VIN plate tracings of trucks should contain the:
- Complete Vehicle Identification Number
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
- Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)
- All motor homes
- All vehicles previously titled in another state
A tracing is obtained by placing tracing paper against the VIN plate
and applying pressure with a lead pencil, stroking left to right across
the entire surface of the VIN plate to produce on the paper an image of
all information which has been embossed on the plate. If you are unable
to locate your vehicle's VIN plate or you are unable to secure a legible
tracing of the plate, contact a certified inspection mechanic or notary
public at a motor vehicle dealership. These individuals are authorized
to inspect and verify the VIN when a tracing of the plate is not
possible. The certified inspection mechanic or notary public must list their name, dealer identification number (DIN) or mechanic
number and signature in Section A. (NOTE: A photograph of a vehicle's
VIN plate is acceptable if the photo is signed and dated by a certified
inspection mechanic or a notary public at a dealership.) The certified
inspection mechanic or notary public's signature indicates that he/she
visually inspected the VIN on the vehicle and it matches the VIN on the
out-of-state title. If the vehicle is located outside of Pennsylvania,
the VIN must be verified by a police officer, a mechanic employed by a
motor vehicle dealership or an armed forces installation provost marshal
or motor officer.
For a complete listing of fees related to Driver and Vehicle Services, please visit our
In addition, your county of residence may impose a fee of $5 for each vehicle registered to an address in that county. The $5 is collected by PennDOT at the time a vehicle is initially registered at the time the registration is renewed and at the time the registration plate is transferred. The funds will be used by the county for transportation purposes or be allocated by the county in accordance with Section 9010(c) of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code. For a listing of counties that participate in the local use fee, refer to the “Fee for Local Use – Participating Counties” (PDF) Fact Sheet.
If you hold a valid title issued in another state and have owned the
vehicle 6 months or more before moving to Pennsylvania, you will not be
required to pay any sales tax when you register your vehicle in
Pennsylvania. Applicants exempt from Pennsylvania sales tax will list
the appropriate Sales Tax Exemption reason code in Section I, block 1A
and/or 1B on Form MV-1.
If you hold a valid title issued in another state and, have owned the
vehicle less than 6 months before moving to Pennsylvania, you will need
to provide proof of sales tax paid to the previous titling
jurisdiction, or remit PA sales tax. Applicants entitled to a tax credit
will list the appropriate tax credit amount in "Less Tax Credit" block
on Form MV-1.
Vehicle Safety Inspection
A vehicle newly registered in Pennsylvania must be safety inspected
within ten (10) days of the registration date. Inspections are performed
at official inspection stations (usually a repair garage or a service
station with a repair shop). Equipment checks include: lights, brakes,
horn, tires, safety belts, exhaust system, mirrors, tag mounting,
suspension, turn signals, steering, glazing, wipers, and other major
parts of your vehicle.
Inspection fees are posted at official inspection stations. These fees do not include repairs to correct vehicle defects.
Regulations regarding window tinting in vehicles vary from state to
state. If you have altered the tinting from the original manufacturer’s
specifications on any of your vehicle’s windows for any reason, please
refer to PennDOT’s Vehicle Window Tint Fact Sheet (PDF) for the level of window tint acceptable under current regulations.
Emission Inspection Maintenance
Pennsylvania is one of many states required by the Federal
Environmental Protection Agency to have a vehicle emissions inspection
& maintenance (I/M) program. The I/M program is a key part of the commonwealth's strategy to improve its air quality.
Drive Clean PA website
or call the customer hotline at 1-800-265-0921 to find out if the
county your vehicle is registered in is required to participate in the
emissions inspection program.
PennDOT does not
register boats, snowmobiles or ATVs.
Driver's License Information