How To Register a Car In Louisiana

To register your vehicle in Louisiana, you’ll need to bring in or mail in all necessary documents and fees to your local OMV and pass a safety inspection.
Written by Abbey Orzech
If you’re a new
resident, you’ll have 30 days to register your existing vehicle with the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. To register a new or used vehicle, you’ll need all proper documentation, fees, and a passed
Louisiana vehicle safety inspection
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How to register a car in Louisiana

For new, used and out-of-state vehicles, the process of registering a car in Louisiana is relatively simple. To begin, you will need to fill out a Vehicle Application form, present a valid ID and
proof of insurance
, pay the necessary fees, and pass a vehicle safety inspection.

If you just moved to Louisiana

If you’re just arriving in the Pelican State and you already have a vehicle, you have 30 days to register your vehicle with the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV). The LA OMV allows you to mail in or deliver in person the necessary paperwork and payments. 
To register your vehicle, you’ll need the following:
  • An approved safety inspection and, in some counties, an approved emissions inspection
  • Completed
    Vehicle Application
    (form DPSMV-1799)
  • The vehicle’s current registration and title
  • Proof of valid Louisiana car insurance 
  • Paid use tax or proof of sales tax payment in your previous state if you wish to claim a tax credit for it in Louisiana
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement unless your vehicle is more than 10 years old
Once you’ve gathered all of these documents, head to your local OMV or start stuffing an envelope and make sure you’re able to pay the $68.50 title fee, $15 or $10 lien recordation fee (if applicable and depending on your financing statement), $8 handling fee, and up to $6 in local fees. 
You’ll also be responsible for a license plate fee, but the exact amount you’ll pay depends on the details of your vehicle. Typically, Louisiana drivers pay between $20 and $82 for the license plate fees. If you’re paying in person, you can use a Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express credit or debit card, a money order, an e-check, or cash. Mail-in applications must be accompanied by a check or money order. 
Once your application and fees have been processed and approved, you’ll get your
Louisiana license plates
and registration! 

If you just bought a car

If you just bought a car as a Louisiana resident, your steps will be much the same as the above registration process, but instead, you’ll have 40 days to register the vehicle and you’ll need a few more documents. 
For new vehicles, you’ll need to include the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO), the bill of sale or original invoice from the dealer that includes the make, model, year, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of your new car, and the dealer’s current permit number, and an original or photocopy of your lien financing statement, if applicable. 
For used vehicles, add on the Certificate of Title that shows the signed vehicle transfer from the seller to the buyer, the bill of sale or invoice with all the vehicle details and dealer permit number included, and your lien financing statement, if applicable. 

How much insurance coverage do you need in Louisiana? 

Louisiana's minimum car insurance laws
require drivers to carry at least 15/30/25 liability coverage: 
As long as you hold the minimum liability coverage, you can hit the Louisiana streets in line with the state’s car insurance laws. However, buying more than the minimum may be worth considering since liability insurance does not cover medical bills or vehicle damage if you are found to be at fault in an accident. 
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How to renew your Louisiana vehicle registration 

Vehicle registration in Louisiana lasts for only one year, and so will need to be renewed annually. 
If you’re not sure when your current registration will expire, you can check your registration papers or the registration tags often placed on your license plate. The tags will usually depict an alphanumeric code that tells you the final month and year your current registration will be valid. It is also likely that you’ll receive a Registration Renewal Notice in the mail before your registration is up. 
The Louisiana OMV makes renewing your vehicle’s registration quite simple through their
online registration portal
. You’ll just need to enter your Renewal Identification Number found on the renewal notice or your current registration certificate and use a valid credit card for the payment. 
Of course, you can still head into your local OMV to take care of the registration renewal in person. Just be sure to bring your current vehicle registration, proof of ID, proof of insurance, and a valid form of payment with you. 

How to replace a lost registration sticker or license plate

We get it, slip-ups happen. Or it could be that you were unlucky enough to become the victim of a registration sticker/license plate theft! Either way, you can request a replacement registration sticker or license plate online, by mail, or in person
If making your request by mail or in person, you’ll need to provide the VIN, make, and model of your vehicle, proof of valid insurance, a $12 replacement fee plus up to $6 in local fees
To request your replacements online, visit the
OMV duplicate registration website
and fill in your current license plate number, vehicle model year, and registration expiration date. There will be a $12 replacement fee assessed, and you may be responsible for online service fees as well. 
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You can register your vehicle in Louisiana when you complete a Vehicle Application form DPSMV-1799, present a valid Louisiana driver’s license and valid Louisiana car insurance, pass a safety inspection and an emissions inspection (depending on your county), and pay the registration and titling fees.
Exactly how much it will take to register your car in Louisiana will depend on your vehicle’s details like the type, weight, and sale price. Generally, you’ll need to pay a $68.50 title fee and an $8 handling fee, but you may also have to pay use tax, lien recordation fees, and local fees. 
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