How to Register a Car in Louisiana (Quick and Easy)

A vehicle’s registration is overseen by the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV).

You will have 40 days to register a vehicle from the day of its purchase or leasing.

Your car registration options include:

  • In-person
  • By mail

This registration process isn’t difficult but can prove frustrating if it’s your first time.

We’ve outlined the process, keeping it as simple as possible so you can get in, file, and be on your way.

Registering Your Car in Louisiana: Step-by-Step

There are three main requirements when registering your vehicle:

  1. You must have auto insurance
  2. Some vehicles and counties require a safety and/or smog inspection
  3. You’ll follow a specific process if the vehicle is new or used

Auto insurance is a given as it’s required to protect you and other drivers on the road. You only need minimum coverage when registering the vehicle. Failing to have insurance can result in major fines and license penalties – so don’t chance being caught without it!

  • Safety Inspections are done when registering and every other year afterward. The inspection costs $18 and requires your license, current registration, and proof of insurance.
  • Emissions tests are done alongside the safety inspection. Yet, this is reserved for some parishes including Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, and West Baton Rouge.

Finally, differences between new and used result in your submission of ownership documents like:

  • Statement of Origin
  • Signed vehicle title

Got these covered? Let’s get you on the road!

Car or Truck Registration (New or Used)

Here is what you’ll do:

  1. Go to an LA DMV
  2. Fill out the Vehicle Application (DPSMV 1799)
  3. Provide your information:
    1. Driver’s license or ID
    2. Proof of insurance
  4. Provide vehicle information:
    1. Proof of purchase
    2. Ownership documents
    3. Odometer disclosure (applicable to vehicles newer than 10 years)
    4. Loan documents or lien records
  5. Pay the registration fees and taxes
    1. Title: $68.50
    2. Handling: Varies
    3. Plate: $20 – $82
    4. License transfer: $3
    5. Lien recording fee: $10 – $15
    6. Taxes: 4 – 9.5%+ unless exempt
    7. Local taxes: Varies

All forms of payments are accepted on-location.

You will receive your tags once you’ve completed these steps.

Congratulations! You’re done!

Mail-in Registration

Take the documents detailed from the ‘In-person’ renewal section, write a check or get a money order, and send them along with the renewal application. This completes the mail-in process.

Dealerships and Registration

Authorized Louisiana car dealers will typically handle the registration process on your behalf. Though, you may receive your documents during closing to which you’ll bring them and complete the registration in-person as noted above.

For Out-of-State Drivers

Out-of-state drivers will register their vehicle within 30 days of residency.

OOS drivers will get their safety inspection and applicable emissions test. Then, file a Vehicle Application (DPSMV 1799), current tile, auto insurance, and payment for registration fees.

Set a Reminder for Registration Renewal

Louisiana’s registration renewal process can vary especially if you’re doing it well-before or way after the expiration date. Your safety and emissions tests may cause confusion, too.

Take note of your registration date and set a reminder – every 4 years – and you’ll have no problem with the renewal.