Car Registration 101: Do Dealerships Register Cars for You?

Buying a car, no matter if it’s new or used, is a time-consuming and tedious process. Unfortunately, most of us are prone to making emotion-driven decisions when it comes to our cars. However, keeping your cool and thinking before buying can save you from a world of trouble later on.

If you’re unable to register the car after buying it, you should be aware of that beforehand. Additionally, make sure you always check the insurance rate on the car before you decide to go through with the purchase, especially if you’re buying a used car. Any previous accidents can seriously increase your insurance costs. So, even if you think you’re getting a good deal on the car itself, it might turn out more expensive to own it than to buy it.

However, if you’re buying a new car, you should be fine, provided that you buy it from a reputable dealership. The dealer should help you out with everything before you drive off the lot in your new car. Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your homework before you pay them a visit.

Can car dealership register cars for you.

Things You’ll Need After You Buy a Car


Your car needs to be registered with the state you’re in so that you can legally drive it on the road. In some cases, registering a car means you will have to endure a long and gruesome trip to the DMV. However, most dealerships should be able to register the car for you, saving you a lot of time and effort. Both new and used car dealerships typically have this option.

So, yes, dealerships can register cars for you. Still, you’ll have to pay a fee for all the paperwork, no matter where you do it. In addition, you’ll get your plates after two or three weeks.


In order to register your car in the first place, you must have some proof of insurance for the car in question. If you’re buying a new car from a dealership, they’ll surely offer you some form of insurance to go with it. Most likely, they’ll try to sweeten the deal, offering you a lower rate on the car if you go with their insurance.

However, you should prepare in advance for such an offer and get quotes from other insurance companies. In some cases, car dealerships will try to persuade you to go for an overpriced insurance plan, which you should definitely avoid.

When you find the car you want to buy, ask the dealer for the car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). It’s like a Social Security number for cars you can use to get an exact quote from automotive insurance companies.

On the other hand, the dealership might offer you an actually good deal on the insurance. Whatever the case may be, if you do your homework, you’ll know for sure whether you should go with the dealership’s offer or pursue your own.

Registration Plate

Nothing will attract the attention of traffic police like a car with no registration plates. If they see a car without any plates, they’ll treat it like a stolen vehicle.

Best-case scenario, you’ll pay a hefty fine and have to tow the car off to your home. Worst-case scenario, you’ll have no proof that the car is yours, and you’ll risk waiting for hours at the police station before they figure things out. The moral of the story is — don’t drive a car without registration plates.

Fortunately, most dealerships can provide you with temporary plates that will buy you some time before the real ones arrive. In most states, you can use temporary tags for up to 30 days.

See also: What Forms of Payment Do Car Dealerships Accept?

Private Seller vs. Dealership

Honestly, if you don’t know your way around cars, you should stay away from private sellers when buying a car. Either bring somebody who knows how the whole process works (not just a mechanic), or stick with a dealership.

In addition, buying from a private seller always entails a trip to the DMV. You’ll need all sorts of paperwork — a bill of sale, proof of insurance, and a clean title for your car. I suggest that you get a title inspection, as well as an insurance check.

On the other hand, it’s illegal for dealerships to sell cars without a clean title. It’s also illegal to sell cars with high insurance rates without notifying the seller. In other words — you’d be better off buying from a dealer.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, most dealers will be more than willing to register your new car. Of course, be prepared to pay a hefty price for it, as well as a fee for the temporary plates. And if you still haven’t actually bought the car, here’s a piece of advice — always check the insurance rates beforehand.




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