Vehicle registration

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Vehicle registration is the (usually) compulsory registration of a vehicle with a government authority. Vehicle registration's purpose is to establish clear ownership and to tax motorists or vehicle owners.

While almost all vehicles are uniquely identified by a vehicle identification number only registered vehicles display a vehicle registration plate and carry a vehicle registration certificate.


Registration of vehicles in India is done by the local RTO of that state. Commercial vehicles registered in one state cannot enter another state without a permit, which usually incurs a significant cost. Passenger vehicles registered in one state, are allowed to pass through other state, but are not allowed to stay in another state for longer than 30 days.

United States[edit]

Vehicle registration in the United States is managed by each state's department of motor vehicles (DMV) or another agency if one does not exist (e.g., Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, Michigan Secretary of State).

Passenger and commercial vehicles must be registered as a condition of use on a public road. Vehicles not used on public roads, such as tractors or vehicles whose use is limited to private property, are not always required to be registered.

Vehicle registration laws vary from state-to-state.

There are different types of vehicle registration including: Antique, Combo, Apportioned, Commercial, and SUB.

In most U.S. states, a liability insurance policy that meets the state's auto insurance requirements must be purchased before a vehicle may be registered through the department of motor vehicles.

The average cost of license/registration in the United States was $220 in 1997 ($323 in 2014 dollars).[1]


Registration is handled by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It is the responsibility of the automobile dealerships to register new and used vehicles sold by their dealership. Dealerships employ registration specialists to accumulate and complete the paperwork necessary to title and register the vehicle. Although many dealerships are run, technologically, by large Dealership Management System's (DMS), the vast majority of work performed at the registration desk is manual. Registration clerks, up until 2006, had to track each deal using paper calendars and logbooks, a relatively inefficient process that resulted in millions of dollars in DMV fines and penalties incurred by dealerships. Technology was introduced with the introduction of the Business Partner Automation program (BPA), which allowed participating dealerships to file registrations electronically.

The vast majority of vehicles registered in California are via third party transactions, where the vehicle is sold from one entity to another, without the use of a dealership. The registration of vehicles sold in this manner is done through local DMV branches or through the use of independent "Registration Service Providers". Anyone who has applied for or received a vehicle registration must notify DMV of a new residence within 10 days or face a typical fine of $178.[2][3]

European Union[edit]

Generally, privately built cars registered in any the European Union country must demonstrate compliance with a range of National regulations and EC directives, including, for example, that they have adequate seat-belt arrangement and a calculation of frontal/side impact resistance likely to protect passengers and pedestrians in certain types of accidents. For Kit Cars where the bodywork is not supplied, the naked chassis with unguarded wheels could not meet EC safety criteria for registration.

United Kingdom[edit]

The United Kingdom operates a four-track type approval system which can lead to a Certificate of Conformity (CoC). The first two are regular schemes are for production vehicles that can be registered anywhere in the EC, the other schemes known as National Small Series Type Approval (which consists of the SVA/ESVA) and the Individual Vehicle Approval IVA which are intended for vehicles which are to be registered in the UK.

  • European Community Whole Vehicle Approval (ECWVA) is a single, EC wide Certificate of Conformity for volume manufactures producing any number of similar vehicle types or products each year who can then sell their wares via authorized agents in any EC country without further testing. The ECWVTA is integrated with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe agreement of 1998[4] concerning the establishing of global technical regulations for wheeled vehicles, equipment and parts which can be fitted and/or be used on wheeled vehicles in diverse non-EC countries including for instance, Russia and South Africa.
  • European Union Small Series Type Approval (ECSSTA) is for manufacturers selling up to 1,000 passenger cars each year of any one type. Although ECSSTA allows sales anywhere in the EU, there may be some technical and administrative requirements in some countries to ensure to ongoing adherence to the certificate of compliance, notably where small and medium enterprises act as sales agents or may offer customization services without the clear and verifiable imposition of international training and quality control standards [5]
  • Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) is for small vehicles such as ambulances and hearses which are often highly customized production automobiles and for vehicles manufactured to unrecognized standards which are imported to Britain from outside the EC.
  • Enhanced Single Vehicle Approval (ESVA) is for small batches of special vehicles and
  • Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) is for kit cars and home-built vehicles

Of necessity—since EC registered vehicles may circulate freely in any of the EC countries—there are broadly similar to registration requirements and procedures in other EC countries, although some authorities may be reluctant to admit prototypes or low volume vehicles without very stringent testing.[6]

Non-regulatory registration[edit]

Vehicles may also be registered with property owners or managers to gain benefits. For example, it is customary for universities to require registration of a vehicle with the university in exchange for parking privileges.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ California Vehicle Code § 4159
  3. ^ Sacramento County Grand Jury 2009-2010 Final Report, pg. 173
  4. ^ "Text of the 1998 Agreement". First published 2000-2008. Retrieved 2011-09-22.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ "Type approval and homogulation". First published 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-22.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ vosa/ repository/ SVA%20Information%20Guide%20V1.0%20Oct%2009.pdf "The Single Vehicle Approval Scheme - A guide to the approval of light and special purpose passenger vehicles". First published 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-22.  Check date values in: |date= (help)