Do You Need Insurance To Register A Car In PA? #1

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First of all, I need you to understand that all motor vehicles, including cars, vans, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, trucks, and buses, must be registered and have liability insurance coverage. Having insurance coverage not only helps you comply with state regulations but also protects you from accidents caused by third parties or unforeseen natural disasters.

However, if you do not have insurance coverage, you will be solely responsible for any damages to your car, another party, or yourself, which can be devastating. To be on the safe side, you might be wondering whether insurance coverage is necessary to register your car in Pennsylvania.

The answer is yes, car insurance is mandatory for vehicle registration in Pennsylvania, and failing to comply can result in fines, penalties, and registration delays.

There’s so much for you to learn in this article.

Let’s get started already!

Do You Need Insurance To Register A Car In PA?

Absolutely! Yes, it would help if you had insurance to register a car in Pennsylvania. The state authorized that all vehicles to be registered must have a proof of liability insurance which serves as a medium to ensure that all drivers are financially responsible in case of any accidents.

What Are The Documents Required For Car Registration In Pennsylvania?

For you to be able to register your car in PA, these documents must be readily available during the entire registration process to ensure that you are legally ready to drive a car.

Here are the documents you will need to register your car in Pennsylvania:

  • Pennsylvania Certificate of Title
  • Pennsylvania driver’s license or Pennsylvania photo identification, and
  • Proof of Insurance.

1. Pennsylvania Certificate of Title:

This document must be in your name as it proves that you are the rightful owner of the vehicle.

2. Pennsylvania Driver’s License or Pennsylvania Photo Identification:

This serves as a facial proof of your identity.

3. Proof of Insurance:

This can be a copy of your current insurance identification card, a declaration page of an insurance policy, a copy of a valid binder, or a copy of an application for insurance to the Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan. However, ensure it displays your coverage’s effectiveness and expiration dates.

Are you unsure if you need proof of insurance to register a car? See this guide.

Additional documents you may need depending on your situation:

Situations differ during car transfer of ownership. It is necessary still that you go ahead to have these documents to successfully register your car.

  • Form MV-4ST “Vehicle Sales and Use Tax Return/Application for Registration”:

This is required if you are registering a newly acquired vehicle in Pennsylvania.

  • Form MV-13ST “Affidavit of Gift”:

This is needed if the vehicle was received as a gift and you are claiming a gift exemption for sales and use tax.

  • VIN verification:

This is required for vehicles registered in another state before being brought to Pennsylvania.

  • Acceptable proof of address:

This must be a registered Pennsylvania numbered street address and it must match the address on your identification document.

For any other vehicle owner peculiarities, you can visit the Pennsylvania Department Of Transportation (PennDOT) for more information regarding the list of required documents for registration based on your specific circumstances.

Do You Need Insurance To Register A Car In PA?
You really need insurance to register your care in PA!

What is The Cost of Car Registration In Pennsylvania?

The total cost of regular passenger vehicle registration in PA is $39, title fee = $53, sales tax = 6%, and BMV transaction fee. This varies significantly depending on various factors including out-of-state registration.

7 Steps On How To Register Your Car In Pennsylvania

Following these steps to register your car in PA:

  • Gather Required Documents
  • Complete the Application for Registration (form MV – 1)
  • Get a VIN verification
  • Visit a Penndot center
  • Submit everything
  • Receive registration and license plate
  • Affix license plate and keep documentation

#1. Gather Required Documents:

Some of the required documents include:

  • Proof of ownership: This is normally the Pennsylvania Certificate of Title.
  • Proof of insurance: You can use a valid insurance card or policy.
  • Proof of identity: A Pennsylvania driver’s license or ID card.
  • Forms for MV-1 or MV-4ST: Forms for new and used vehicles can be found on the PennDOT website.

#2. Complete the Application for Registration (Form MV-1):

Fill out this form carefully and accurately. It’s available on the PennDOT website or at a PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services Center.

#3. Get a VIN Verification (If Applicable):  

If you’re registering a vehicle from another state, you’ll need a verification of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Some police departments or PennDOT-authorized stations can perform this.

#4. Visit a PennDOT Center:

Go to a PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services Center or an authorized third-party agent with your documents, completed forms, and payment for any fees.

#5. Submit Everything:

Give the agent your completed paperwork along with the necessary fees.

#6. Receive Registration and License Plate:

If everything is in order, you’ll receive your Pennsylvania registration card and your new license plate (or instructions for getting it via mail).

#7. Affix License Plate and Keep Documentation:  

Attach the new license plate to your vehicle and store the registration documents safely in your car.

Would you love to know if you need insurance to register a car in California? Check it out.

Insurance Requirements for Car Registration In Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, you are required to have minimum liability insurance coverage to register your car. This means you must have insurance that will cover the costs of injuries or property damage caused by you to others in an accident.

  • Bodily injury liability coverage:

This offers $15,000 coverage for injury or death of one person and $30,000 for injury or death of more than one person per accident.

  • Property damage liability coverage:

A $5,000 coverage cost is granted to the affected for their property that was damaged during the accident.

10 Additional Coverage Requirements:

While it is not mandatory by law, you may also want to consider purchasing additional coverage to ensure that you are fully secured while driving, such as:

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • Medical payments coverage
  • Rental car reimbursement coverage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Gap coverage
  • Mechanical breakdown insurance
  • Classic car insurance
  • Modified car insurance

How Long Does It Take To Get Your Car Registered In Pennsylvania?

The processing time for registering your car in Pennsylvania depends on the chosen method:

  • Instant registration
  • Mail-in registration

1. Instant registration:

If your vehicle is already titled in Pennsylvania, you can get a new or duplicate registration plate immediately at any authorized PennDOT Tag Agent or Dealer.

2. Mail-in registration:

Submitting complete registration forms (MV140 or MV44) directly to PennDOT takes longer, which is estimated to be about 4-6 weeks. 

How Long Does It Take For A PA Car Registration Renewal?

The timeframe for receiving your Pennsylvania car registration renewal depends on any of the renewal methods you choose:

  1. Online renewal: If you renew your registration online and choose to print your registration credential, you’ll receive it immediately. PennDOT no longer mails a registration card for online renewals.
  2. Mail-in renewal: Sending the completed renewal form (MV-44) by mail to PennDOT typically takes 10 business days to receive your permanent registration card.

Frequently Asked Questions

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h3″ question-0=”Do You Need Insurance to Register a Car in Pennsylvania?” answer-0=”Definitely! Yes. In Pennsylvania, you must have minimum liability insurance coverage for your car to be registered. This means you must have insurance that will cover the costs of injuries or property damage caused by you to others in an accident.” image-0=”” headline-1=”h3″ question-1=”What are the minimum insurance requirements for car registration in Pennsylvania?” answer-1=”Pennsylvania law requires the following minimum liability insurance coverage which includes; Bodily injury liability coverage of $15000 for the death of one person and $30000 for the death of more than one person and property damage liability coverage which is $5000 for the damages on the third party property.” image-1=”” headline-2=”h3″ question-2=”Where can I get a quote for car insurance in Pennsylvania?” answer-2=”You can get your insurance quote online, by contacting insurance companies directly and by having a close walk with an insurance agent which helps you receive guidance on choosing the most suitable coverage for your situation.” image-2=”” headline-3=”h3″ question-3=”How long does it take to get car insurance in Pennsylvania?” answer-3=”If you purchase a policy online, you can receive coverage immediately. However, submitting your documents physically may take up to 10 working days to get your car insured.” image-3=”” headline-4=”h3″ question-4=”What documents do I need to provide to register my car in Pennsylvania?” answer-4=”You will need a completed registration application (MV-140 or MV-44) and a Proof of ownership (title or vehicle identification number). However, because of the peculiarities of car owners’ transference, ensure you are fully armed with all the necessary documents.” image-4=”” count=”5″ html=”true” css_class=””]

Important Recommendation


It is not a tough process. For you to register your car in Pennsylvania, it is mandatory to have insurance. Discuss your requirements with an insurance agent to understand what coverage options are available to you. They can assist you in determining the appropriate amount of coverage to protect yourself financially in the event of an accident.

We really hope this article has provided you with the necessary information you need to understand all that concerns car registration insurance in Pennsylvania.

Let us know if you still need further clarifications, we’d be glad to help.

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