How to Register a Car in Ohio: BMV Registration Guide

Ohio Vehicle Registration Guide
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Getting your driver’s license is a big feat granting lots of freedom to roam the roads. Your next likely activity is getting a vehicle registered. You must do this at one of the county OH BMV offices.  Registering your vehicle requires having a valid Ohio driver’s license and proof of insurance. You can find information about the documents you need for registering your vehicle at the county BMV office website. Once there, visit their registration page to determine the documents required for vehicle registration.

The Vehicle Registration Process Includes Following:

  • Lease agreement
  • E-Check (where applicable)
  • Proof of weight

Want a helpful, step-by-step guide detailing exactly what you’ll do? Keep reading.

Ohio Car Registration: Step-by-Step

You will have about 30 days to register your vehicle after its lease, purchase, inheritance, or gift. The registration process shouldn’t take long if you call ahead or book an appointment online.

What you’ll need to collect/bring:

  • Proof of vehicle ownership
    • Certificate of Title
    • Memorandum Certificate of Title
    • Power of Attorney for Ohio Vehicle Registration (BMV 5736) if leased
  • Identification (any of these):
  • Payment method

You may need to provide a VIN and emission inspection if registering a vehicle from out-of-state. Or, depending on your county.

You don’t need insurance when registering, but it’s recommended as OH can and will randomly check vehicles – it’s better safe than sorry.

Registering a New Vehicle

Dealerships submit documentation to the OH BMV office for you, though you may choose to take this information in, too.

What’s next?

  1. Go to the DMV office
  2. Provide your proof of ownership
  3. Provide your proof of identification
  4. Provide applicable items:
    1. VIN/Emission
    2. Insurance
    3. BMV 5736
  5. Pay the taxes and fees

It’s important to get your bill of sale from the dealer as you’ll pay state taxes during registration. You will also want to note the mileage while filing your car’s title & registration. You’ll receive your new title and tag when you’re at the office else, have a temporary one mailed if getting a vanity plate.

Registering a Used Vehicle

Registering a used car has a similar process.

You will:

  1. Have the seller sign the title in your name
  2. Bring ID, vehicle title, applicable proof of insurance, VIN/emission docs
  3. Submit your documents
  4. Pay the tax, registration, and plate fees

You will receive the following:

  • A copy of the transaction
  • A temporary license plate before receiving yours in the mail

Congratulations! Your vehicle is registered for the road!

Registration Fees and Taxes

The registration fees vary, but most cars include:

  • Registration: $34.50 and up
  • Plate/Registration transfer: $4.50

…and local taxes depending on your county and jurisdiction.

Need a Registration Renewal?

The registration renewal process is very similar to what you’ve just learned. But has a few different forms and fees. Use our OH Vehicle Registration Renewal Guide to learn what’s needed.


We hope this guide has helped you understand the process of registering a vehicle in Ohio. Remember, if you’re ever unsure about any part of the process, reach out to your local DMV office for more information. Good luck with your registration and safe driving!