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How to Renew a Car Registration in Pennsylvania

You can complete vehicle registration renewal in Pennsylvania in several different ways. The DMV vehicle registration renewal method that is right for you depends on your access to the internet, time constraints and the timing in which you choose to renew car registration documents. For best results, renew your car registration before it expires and avoid costly penalties from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). You have the option of renewing car registration credentials for one or two years, depending on your preference. Learn more about the process by reviewing the sections below.

Requirements for Car Registration Renewal in Pennsylvania

You can renew car registration documents in Pennsylvania if you are a current PA resident with less than six months left on your current registration. You must have valid liability insurance to renew registration documentation. Pennsylvania auto registration renewal requires yearly vehicle inspection for safety. Additionally, to complete your vehicle registration renewal, your address must match the address in the PennDOT system.

How to Renew Your Car Registration Online in Pennsylvania

Typically, renewing car registrations online is the most convenient way to quickly bring your documentation up to date. As of 2016, DMV auto registration renewal can be completed without waiting for permanent documents through the mail. Furthermore, when you renew car registration online, you can complete all paperwork and print your renewed Pennsylvania auto registration immediately. Simply remember to sign the registration card and keep it in your vehicle at all times.

Renewing vehicle registration online requires you to have a printer and an internet connection to access the online services. To renew auto registration documentation from the comfort of home, you will need several documents and pieces of information on hand as well, such as an accurate odometer reading, your car’s license plate number, title number, insurance information and a debit or credit card to pay for the associated fees.

How to Renew Your Car Registration in Person in Pennsylvania

Car registration renewal can be completed in person at your local PennDOT location. Renewing auto registration paperwork in person is suitable for residents who do not have access to a home computer, printer and internet connection.

Additionally, if you are renewing vehicle registration on the following vehicles, you are required to complete the process in person:

  • Large trucks
  • Fleet vehicles
  • Taxis
  • Limos
  • Buses
  • Vehicles with a Disabled Veteran designation

If you wish to renew car registration documents in Pennsylvania and you have a seasonal registration, you must also renew in person. Additionally, PA vehicle registration renewal must be completed in person if your registration is suspended for any reason.

You can process a PA DMV vehicle registration renewal in person at several locations. The most common and affordable location for renewing car registrations is the Driver and Vehicle Service Center. However, auto registration renewal can also be processed at a messenger service office. Keep in mind that these offices may charge an additional fee for your documents.

To process auto registration renewal in person, your plate number, title number, insurance confirmation, odometer reading and a valid driver’s license are required. You can expect to receive your renewal documents by mail within 10 days.

How to Renew a Car Registration by Mail in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania DMV vehicle registration renewal can also be processed by mail. To complete the car registration renewal process by mail, you will need to complete the Request for Registration form and include your vehicle’s identification information, an insurance card copy and verification of your identity. Additionally, you will need to include a money order to process all applicable fees.

Penalties for Having an Expired Car Registration in Pennsylvania

Renewing auto registration credentials after your registration date has passed will result in an expired registration. It is not permitted to drive a vehicle with an expired auto registration. If you do not renew the registration on your vehicle, you could be subject to a fee or suspension.

If your PennDOT auto registration renewal is denied and your registration is suspended because you do not have valid insurance, it is possible to avoid the fee. You can submit vehicle registration renewal paperwork after the insurance lapse if you did not drive your vehicle during this time span. However, you must obtain insurance within the 30 days to avoid a three-month suspension of your registration.

If you do not obtain insurance and are issued a suspension, you can avoid this consequence by paying a designated fee instead. In any case, you will not be able to perform car registration renewal for three months as a penalty if you are cited for lack of insurance in a traffic incident and cannot provide proof of insurance.

To complete the auto registration renewal procedure after serving a registration suspension, you must obtain insurance and provide proof of this coverage in the form of a signed insurance card. Additionally, you will be assessed a fee for renewing car registration documentation through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

How to Renew a Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration as a Military Member

When renewing car registration paperwork as an active member of the military, you have several options for renewal, depending on your length of service. You can complete PA vehicle registration renewal online to maintain valid registration, for maximum convenience. However, when you return from service, you must undergo a vehicle inspection within 10 days after your return from active duty, and you must maintain valid insurance to complete the yearly registration inspection. If you have an insurance policy that will expire while out of state, you can mail your license plate to PennDOT before the expiration date of your policy.

Additionally, you can register your vehicle in the location of your military duty. Auto registration renewal can then be completed in PA when you return to the state. To do so, you must provide confirmation of the registered vehicle in the form of a valid title, proof of local insurance, proof of identity and a VIN check.

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