Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you need insurance to register a car in PA?

Yes -Pennsylvania law requires all Pennsylvania motor vehicle owners to maintain vehicle liability insurance (financial responsibility) on a currently registered vehicle. Vehicle liability insurance covers the property damage or injuries you may cause others in a crash. (PA DMV Insurance Overview)

Can you register a car in PA with an out of state license?

No – You need to be a resident in order to register your car in PA. All new residents with out-of-state non-commercial driver’s licenses must obtain a PA Driver’s License within 60 days of establishing a Pennsylvania residency. (Register out of State Vehicle in Pa)

How to sign a title in a company name?

In order to title a vehicle in the name of a Corporate entity requires a signature of Officer or authorized employee. In addition, the Corporate signer must present a document of authorization from said Company or copy of Corporate bylaws identifying the signer. The signer must also show current PA photo ID and their signature must be executed in the presence of a Notary.

What is required to add an additional person on to a car title?

Adding a name requires reissue of a title similar to a title transfer. All individuals to be present with the existing title so that signatures of current and new owners can be notarized. The title will then be reissued and mailed from PennDOT in joint names.

How long does it take to get license plates?

Plates are part of a stock inventory of any Authorized Title & Tag agencies to issue immediately however if you choose to complete and mail in an application (MV140) you will get your new Tag directly from PennDOT (allow 4-6 weeks).

Can you get your car registration online?

Yes– PennDOT makes available free online vehicle registration and driver’s license services. You cannot complete the initial registration online however you can renew or get copies of your registration (PADMV Online Services)

What happens if you register your car late?

It is a violation of PA State Title 75 to operate a vehicle without a valid registration. Per Chapter 13, Subchapter A (d) Penalty, if late less than 60 days $25 fine. If greater than 60 days $75 fine or double the registration fee, whichever is greater. In the case of a motor carrier (truck) $50 fine, if greater than 60 days the fine will be double the registration fee for the maximum weight at which the vehicle could have been registered in PA. (Title 75)

Can a notary transfer a car title in PA?

PA vehicle titles transfers can only be processed by a PennDOT authorized agent, tag service, or motor vehicle dealer. All such authorized agents are Notaries but not every Notary is authorized by PennDOT to process title transfers. (Buying or Selling your Vehicle in PA)

Does the seller of a car have to be present at title transfer?

In the case of a PA title, the seller’s signature must be notarized in the presence of a Notary. If the seller signs with proper Notary witness in advance of the actual transfer, the buyer can complete the rest of the transfer in the presence of an authorized agent, tag service, or motor vehicle dealer without the seller present.

How do I get a replacement or duplicate registration card in PA?

Replacement registrations can be done instantly online (PA DMV online service), at any authorized PennDOT authorized Tag agency (service fees apply), or can be done via regular mail with completed (MV44) (allow 4- 6 weeks)

How much is vehicle registration renewal in PA?

Registration fees vary according to the type of vehicle be it a car, truck, trailer, motorcycle, motorhome, etc. A complete schedule of all PA vehicle fees are available in PennDOT form MV70S

What is an apportioned registration?

Apportioned registration applies to commercial use heavy load trucks/vehicles that travel across state borders into other jurisdictions. The annual registration fees for such vehicles are charged by each jurisdiction traveled. The International Registration Plan (IRP) is a cooperative registration agreement among all of the states in the continental United States, the District of Columbia, and Canadian Provinces providing for payment of apportionable registration fees on the basis of total distance operated in all jurisdictions. (Apportioned FAQ)

What’s the difference between commercial and apportioned plates?

Business use vehicles that operate within PA are classified as “Intrastate use commercial vehicles”. Those commercial use vehicles are issued plates labeled as “Truck”, “Bus”, “Limousine” or “Taxi” at the bottom. Business use vehicles that are registered in PA but operate across different state jurisdictions with GVW over 26,000lbs or have 3 or more axles are classified as “Interstate use commercial vehicles”. Those commercial use vehicles are issued plates labeled as “Apportioned”. (Commercial Vehicle Registration FAQ)

Who needs apportioned plates?

Companies that operate vehicles “Interstate“ Interstate operations occur when commercial vehicles transport goods or passengers from one point to another point in multiple jurisdictions. Commercial vehicles that operate in two or more jurisdictions and meet the following requirements are considered apportioned vehicles: i. Have two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross weight in excess of 26,000 pounds (11,793.401 kilograms); ii. Have three or more axles, regardless of weight; or, iii. Are used in combination, when the gross vehicle weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds (11,793.401 kilograms) These vehicles are issued a registration plate labeled “Apportioned” at the bottom of the registration plate.

Are IRP plates transferable?

Yes. If an Apportioned Vehicle is withdrawn from a Fleet during a registration year, the amount of the Apportionable Fee for the vehicle for the remainder of the Registration Year shall be available for transfer to the registration of a replacement vehicle in the fleet or subject to the low of each Member Jurisdiction, may be credited or refunded to the Registrant. Additional Apportionable Fees resulting from an increase in gross weight or other factors, if any, shall be calculated as determined in accordance with the law of the Member Jurisdiction.

Can I order a new license plate online?

It depends on if the car is currently titled inside or outside PA. Vehicles that are currently titled in PA can be registered and issued a new or duplicate plate instantly at any PennDOT authorized Tag Agent or Dealer. If instant registration not necessary, another option is to complete the form (MV140) or (MV44) and sending directly to PennDOT (allow 4-6 weeks). If new to PA or is a new car purchase and involves obtaining a new PA title being issued in connection with registration and plate then it must be done by visiting any PennDOT authorized agent or dealer or at the PennDOT main Riverfront Office Center. Other vehicle registration and drivers license services are available online.

Can I drive my car if my license plate was stolen?

You cannot operate a vehicle in PA without displaying a valid plate. If a plate is stolen you need to report the theft to local police and can obtain a duplicate plate at any PennDOT Agent or Dealer to have another plate issued instantly or by completing the form (MV44) and sending directly to PennDOT (allow 4-6 weeks).

Do Pennsylvania license plates have stickers?

Effective 12/31/2016 PennDOT no longer issues or require Vehicle Registration stickers. Act 89, which became law November 2013, provided for the elimination of vehicle registration stickers. The elimination of the registration sticker was evaluated as part of a Penn State research study, which concluded that eliminating the registration sticker has no impact on vehicle registration compliance.

How do I get a PA Turnpike EZ Pass?

E-ZPass Go Paks are available from the Penna Turnpike Commission and authorized participating retailers like 309 Auto Tags. If purchased though a retailer there is an additional $7 one-time administrative fee. Once purchased you must register your E-ZPass within 72 hours.

How does Turnpike EZ Pass work?

Once you purchase your E-ZPass and complete the account setup you will enjoy the freedom to travel and use any number of Eastern state toll roads without stopping and waiting to pay tolls or waiting for toll invoices in the mail that you need to manually pay.

Does PA Turnpike accept EZ Pass?

E-ZPass can be used on all Pennsylvania Turnpike Roadways.E-ZPass is also accepted and operates in most East coast toll roads from Maine to North Carolina as well as Indiana, Illinois, and Chicago Skyway Bridge. Participating roadways change from time to time and can be viewed on the PTC E-ZPass website –

How much is an EZ Pass PA?

E-ZPass costs $35 plus a $3 annual fee. The $35 is loaded into your transponder to use to cover cost of tolls when you travel. You need to link your EZPass to a credit card or checking account for auto recharge of account when your balance goes to $10. There is an option to recharge by sending in checks or cash that requires additional $10 deposit payment for your transponder.

What happens if you go through EZ Pass without an EZ Pass?

Going through a toll without a working E-ZPass transponder will result in you being charged the maximum toll rate for that roadway. Other common violations include an E-ZPass account with out sufficient funds to cover a toll, a License plate not registered to an E-ZPass account, or a transponder that is not properly mounted to your windshield as required. Unpaid E-ZPass violations may result in suspension of your vehicle registration. To inquire, dispute or clarify a violation call PTC Customer Service at 800-331-3414.

Are all vehicles required to be titled?

All passenger cars, motorcycles and trucks are required to have a title or MSO (Manufactures Certificate of Origin) in every State. Other types of vehicles and boat titles are required depending on the State of registration. In PA all otorized Watercraft (after 1997), Trailers, Snowmobiles, ATV, Off Road Vehicles and Scooters require titling prior to registration.

Can I buy a vehicle, trailer, boat, wave runner, ATV, ORV or scooter without a title?

All passenger vehicles, motorcycles and trucks require previous owners title or MSO (Manufactures Certificate of Origin). If purchasing an out of state boat, trailer, snowmobile, ATV, ORV, or scooter that does not have a title it is very important that the seller present an original registration in their name or an ownership verification affidavit available from their State jurisdiction that proves ownership in their name. Even If the out of state seller offers the original bill of sale, properly notarized and dated showing their purchase of the vehicle, trailer or boat it alone is not enough to transfer & register in PA. The bill or sale must be accompanied by an original registration card (no copies) in their name or an ownership verification affidavit issued by their State Motor Vehicle or Boating DMV.

My vehicle Registration was suspended what do I do?

There are several reasons why a vehicle registration may be suspended, and restoration of the registration depends on the suspension reason.

1- Lapse of Insurance suspension requires acceptable proof of insurance be presented within 30 days of insurance company cancellation date. If you had a lapse of less than 30 days you must also provide “statement of Non operation of vehicle” form MV-221 . If unable to provide evidence of insurance or the MV221 you must return your registration plate and registration card to begin to serve a 3 month suspension. In lieu of serving the 3 month suspension you have the option to pay a $500 civil penalty in addition to the $94 restoration fee.

2- Suspension due to citation or accident requires submission of letter from your insurance carrier home office signed by an underwriting manager or supervisor. The letter (also referred to as letter of experience) must indicate you as the policyholder, name of insurance company, policy number , effective and expiration dates along with a statement that your insurance was in effect at the time of the accident or violation. If unable to provide you must return your registration plate and registration card to begin to serve a three month suspension.

3- Suspension due to unpaid Pa Turnpike Commission (PTC) Tolls if you have had six or more unpaid toll violations or invoices, or have accumulated $500 or more in unpaid tolls and fees, or defaulted in a prearranged payment plan for tolls and fees with the PTC . The suspension remains in effect until compliance is confirmed by PTC and all restoration requirements are satisfied. All payment and tolls must be made to the PTC at 300 East Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17111. All questions related to your issue must be directed to the PTC by calling (877) 736-6727, option 5. PTC customers can learn more about toll registration enforcement by accessing online PA Turnpike website (

4- Registration due to unpaid Philadelphia parking authority (PPA) parking tickets. If issued six or more tickets from the PPA and have failed to pay or have defaulted in payment you vehicle registration will be suspended indefinitely upon notification from the PPA. The suspension remains in effect until compliance is confirmed by PPA and all restoration requirements are satisfied. All payments must be made to the PPA directly. Customers can visit the PPA website ( or call (888) 591-3636 for more information.

5- You received a letter regarding insurance on a a vehicle you have traded in or no longer own. You need to provide a copy of the front and back of the title or bill of sale identifying the vehicle and the new owner.

6- You received a letter regarding insurance on a vehicle that has been junked. You need to provide a copy of the salvage certificate or letter of salvage from the insurance company indicating the new owner.

7- You received a letter regarding insurance on a vehicle that has been repossessed. You need to provide a copy of the letter of repossession from the dealer or financial institution.

My Drivers License was suspended what do I do?

There are several reasons why a vehicle registration may be suspended, and restoration of the Drivers license depends on the suspension reason.

1- Suspension of Drivers License due to accumulation of points in driving record. Pa begins to take corrective action on any driver who accumulates 6 or more points. Points age off and are removed from your record for each 12 month period of violation and suspension free driving. Restoration requirements may involve a suspension time period, completion of DMV sanctions and related safety issue exams and /or completion of Special On Road drivers examination. See PA Point System Fact Sheet

2- Immediate suspension of Drivers License due to conviction of an elevated traffic violation. Examples include DUI, homicide or felony involving a vehicle, reckless driving, racing, fleeing from Police, driving while under suspension, driving without lights to avoid identification, failing to stop when involved in a crash , second offense or more of driving without a valid drivers license within a 5 year period, failure to stop for a school bus with red lights flashing and stop arm extended, failure to comply with railroad crossing gate (these are only a partial list). Additional information , fines and restoration details are outlined in Chapter 4 of Pa Drivers Manual