Smart Motorist » How to Get a Copy of Your Car Registration Online?

How to Get a Copy of Your Car Registration Online?

A car registration certificate is a document that acknowledges the ownership of a vehicle. However, if your certificate is stolen, or misplaced, you could always get a duplicate online. We’ve prepared this guide to answer the ultimate question on most car owner’s lips – “how can I get a copy of my car Registration Online?

How to Replace Car Registration Online

Since paperwork can easily get stolen or lost, there’s a provision for you to get a replacement at your respective DMV office in person, online or by mail. Even though doing so online is so much easier, not all states allow you to do so. For instance, in California, online registration isn’t available to those with a “no fee” renewal tag on their certificate and all renewals are carried out online via a private service.

This guide outlines the requirement for getting a vehicle renewal registration in California.

If you’ve misplaced your registration certificate, follow these steps to learn how to get a copy of your car registration online.

  • Go to the website equivalent to your state’s DMV, for instance, if you’re in California, visit this website.
  • Select “Vehicle Registration”
  • Go to the session that says “Replace Vehicle Registration.”
  • On the replacement registration page, you will be asked to enter some personal information. This includes the last four digits of your VIN, license plate number, business name and street address for them to find your car registration.
  • Select the checkbox that says “print duplicate registration certificate.”
  • Click Submit to submit Application
  • Next, you will be taken to the transaction page where you have to pay the replacement fee.

Upon completion, you will be sent a temporary registration that’s valid for 10 days after which a permanent replacement will be mailed or sent to your address. Fortunately, getting a replacement isn’t expensive, and you can be charged anything around $20 depending on your location.

What’s a Car Registration Certificate?

What’s A Car Registration Certificate

The Vehicle Registration Certificate is a document that links a car to its owner. It specifies the territorial boundary of the vehicle as well as other personal details. Depending on your location, registration can be valid for a few years, while others have to be renewed annually.

Also, it’s compulsory to carry a copy of the registration with you when you drive. You might be asked to present this document when you’re pulled over by a policeman. Failure to present this and it’s assumed that you’re not the real owner of the car. At this point, the policeman has every right to seize your car or charge a penalty fee.

Why You Should Get Your Car Registered

“Will I get penalized for not driving with my registration?”, “will my car be seized?” or “how can I get a copy of my car Registration Online?” These are series of questions running on the minds of every car owner who has misplaced their car Registration at some point.

After buying a new car, it’s possible to get lost in the whole excitement that you neglect some things. However, one of the most important moves to make is to ensure the vehicle is registered after 7 days of purchase. Car registration is carried out at the DMV office of your state.

Aside from being on the right side of the law, there are several reasons why a car registration is important. For instance, if you’re moving to a new state, you will likely have to re-register your car at the DMV of the state you’re moving to.

Also, car registration isn’t a one-off task in some cities. Depending on the state, you might have to renew your registration annually. States that require frequent renewal usually issue a sticker the first time you register and another when you renew your registration.

In the case of car sales, the Vehicle Registration Certificate is one document that must be presented before a deal falls through. This is the only document that certifies you the legal owner.

How Much Does Vehicle Registration Cost?

Your DMV will likely charge a token amount to get the registration underway. Some states have a flat rate while others charge based on some factors which include age, car value, number of cars registered under your name, as well as vehicle horsepower.

It’s hard to give you the exact amount charged by your state. You will have to confirm this by visiting the website of your state’s DMV.

What Next After Retrieving Car Registration Online

What Next After Retrieving Car Registration Online

Congratulations! You’ve learned how to get a copy of your car registration online, and in a few days you will have a copy of the car your registration in your hands, but it doesn’t end there. You need to determine when the registration expires as well, as it will have to be renewed annually or after a few years. We can’t confirm this because each state has its own law.

We advise you to stay updated with the procedures. Failure to do so might land you in trouble, and you might be going around with an expired registration only to get pulled over unexpectedly. Also, your state’s transportation agency will charge you for failing to renew, which generates more problems than you can handle. Finally, after registration, we recommend you get your vehicle insured to cover up future risk.

Read this guide to discover the consequences of driving without vehicle registration.

How Can I Get a Copy of My Car Registration Online If Stolen?

Also, you should know that there are states that make it impossible to get a replacement online if your existing car registration is still valid for more than 9 days. So, before proceeding to get a replacement, in case your car registration got stolen, you will want to report to the police to get the old one destroyed.

Documents Needed For Renewal

At some point, your registration is bound to expire, making a case for renewal. It’s important to get this done as soon as possible, at least after 7 days. Like every registration process renewal will require some paperwork and all documents listed must be provided for the process to be completed. Most times, you will be asked to provide the following documents during renewal.

  • Car Renewal Notice
  • Car Title Certificate
  • license plate number
  • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
  • Proof of financial responsibility
  • Personal details of the owner

Watch this video to get more information on how to renew your registration.


It is funny when you see drivers line up at the DMV office in numbers to get car registration, especially when you can do so from the comfort of your home. Considering how effortless it has become, you don’t have any excuse for not having it with you when you drive. Did you ever get a ticket for failing to renew your registration? Share your experience in the comment session.