How to Register a Business Vehicle

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Registering a vehicle in your business's name is usually not complicated. Check with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles for exact procedures, as some rules may vary by state.

Register your vehicle to your business

Vehicle registration requirements vary from state to state, but the general requirements are the same. The first step to register a vehicle in your company’s name is to purchase the vehicle in that name. For a cash transaction, have the bill of sale and title made out to your business. If you’re financing the vehicle, make certain the note is taken out under the corporate name or doing-business-as (DBA) name.

Have the dealer complete the application for registration, also known as an RMV-1 and make it out to your business. Double check that the vehicle identification number (VIN) is accurate; you don't want to hit a needless roadblock. If you’re buying it from an individual, make sure the bill of sale and the title are made out to your company, not you personally, and that it’s properly filled out with accurate mileage and related information. You will then be the one filling out the registration form and signing it.

Take the registration form to your insurance agent and get the needed stamp to verify proof of coverage. Some states, such as New Hampshire, don’t require insurance for registration but most have some minimum requirement in case of accident. This may involve a phone call or checking your state’s regulations online.

Go to the Department of Motor Vehicles, also known as the DMV. Check to see if your state's DMV allows for scheduling of appointments in advance, which can help reduce waiting.

Pay the required sales tax. If your state does not have a sales tax, you may still be required to pay a local registration tax.

Pay the registration fee.

Take your license plate, attach the registration expiration sticker to the plate, then mount the license plate on your vehicle.

Some states require that your vehicle (even if it’s new) be inspected before you’re technically okay to drive it. Usually, you have seven days to do so. The dealership should be able to inspect it, usually at no charge.

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Linda Emma is a long-standing writer and editor. She is also a digital marketing professional and published author with more than 20 years experience in media and business. She works as a content manager and professional writing tutor at a private New England college. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.

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