How to Register Your Car or Truck in Connecticut

Getting your car or truck registered in Connecticut requires a few different forms and fees. The whole passenger car, SUV, or van registration process shouldn’t take longer than a few hours. The registration is a requirement whether you’ve purchased a vehicle new or used, private or dealer.

Your main tasks include satisfying:

  • Vehicle compliance
  • Proof of identification
  • Application for Registration and Title
  • Proof of ownership
  • Proof of insurance
  • Bill of Sale (if applicable)

You will register your vehicle at a local Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. The renewal varies like if the vehicle was purchased through a private party or dealership.

We’ve outlined the process, keeping it as easy-as-possible.

Registering Your Car in Connecticut: Step-by-Step

Before registering your vehicle, you must:

  • Get auto insurance
  • Satisfy property taxes
  • Satisfy parking taxes
  • Pass an emissions test
  • Have a valid license

An emissions test must take place before the registration at an emissions testing facility. Else, get your VIN verified to see if you’re exempt. Passing these requirements make you eligible for registration.

Registration for Private Vehicles

Private sales may or may not include the vehicle’s title. Sales involving the seller owning the title will follow the normal procedure. Owners without plates require you to transfer the title and registration.

You may also need a temporary registration to get the vehicle tested before it’s registered (see below in the emissions section) if it’s been sitting a long while.

Now, what do you do?

  1. Go to your nearest CT DMV office
  2. Present your identification
    1. CT driver’s license
    2. Drive only license
    3. Drive only learner’s permit
    4. Learner’s permit
    5. Non-driver ID card
  3. File a Connecticut Registration and Title Application (H-13B)
  4. Submit your vehicle information:
    1. Most vehicles: CT title
    2. 20-years and older vehicles: No title required but Q-1 and H-31 form
    3. Bill of Sale (H-31 form)
    4. Lienholder information
    5. Leased: Leasing license on file, H-13B, and a Power of Attorney
  5. Show your proof of auto insurance
  6. Pay your registration, taxes, and fees
    1. Typical passenger fee: $80/2yr

You will receive your new plates and registration on-the-spot.

Registration for Dealer Vehicles

Dealers will submit your information and paperwork at the time of the sale. If they don’t provide this service, get your vehicle documents and proceed with the steps listed above.

CT Emissions Testing Information

An emissions test depends on the vehicle’s test cycle, alerted by a notification card (if applicable) within 45 days of the testing date. Your current mailing address must be on file to receive this notice.

  • Authorized dealers must have the vehicle compliant by the sale date
  • You will not receive a notice if bought through private sales, you must get a test within 30 days
  • Out of state vehicles must pass an emissions test before registration, unless exempt

The DMV will not renew your registration if you don’t have the vehicle tested and/or passed within the testing cycle. You can call 1-888-828-8399 and provide your VIN for details.

A temporary registration is available, by request, if your registration expired and you’ve yet to get testing done. You will request the temp document in place of the full renewal during the process.

Set a Reminder for Registration Renewal

Typical registration is for 2 years, afterward, you’ll need to process a registration renewal. You’ll want to mark your calendar else wait to receive a notice when it comes time. See our CT registration renewal guide for more information when you’re ready.

Congratulations! You’ve got your own set of wheels!