Skip to Content

Registration and Inspection

Once you purchase your car and buy insurance, you will go to a state office, usually the same place where you got your driver’s license, and register the car. If you bought the car from a private person you will have to pay sales tax before you can register the car. You will fill out forms, pay a registration fee, and be given license plates for the car. Many states have “vanity” plates, which cost extra, that allow you to choose a special word or name on the plate. In addition to the plate, you’ll probably have to place a special registration sticker in the front window of the car.

Most states require that a car be inspected by a licensed inspection station before it can be registered, or before the registration can be renewed. Some states have sophisticated computers that analyze a car’s exhaust to see if it meets “emission standards.” The inspection station will check certain other basic safety items before they will approve the car. You might receive an inspection sticker which will go next to the registration sticker on the front window of the car.

Next Section:Renting a Car

Transportation: Chapter Home

Life in the USA Home Page.