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  • Nicholas Hinrichsen

Missouri Car Registration: Everything You Need to Know

Updated: Aug 13

The state of Missouri requires all vehicle owners to register their car with the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR). As a vehicle owner, you are responsible for knowing how to renew a registration, keep your vehicle up-to-date on inspections, and pay all associated registration fees.


We will address the following questions:

  • How do I complete renewal registration online in Missouri?

  • How do I re-register a car in Missouri offline?

  • How do I register my out-of-state vehicle in Missouri?

  • How do I register a vehicle for the first time in Missouri?

  • What fees might be involved in car registration?

  • What sort of inspection is needed?

  • Are there any special rules or cases for registration?

This article will serve as your complete guide on how to successfully register your vehicle according to MO State Laws.


How to Renew your Registration Online


Renewing online with Missouri DOR’s online platform, Plates.mo.gov, is fast, simple, and convenient. The Missouri DMV mandates that registration must be renewed by the expiration date posted on your renewal notice and original registration or else you will be charged a $5 late fee. You have the option to choose between one year or two year renewal periods.

You are eligible to skip the DMV lines and renew online if the following requirements are met:

  • You have a personal identification number or PIN

  • This can be found on your renewal notice

  • You have paid property taxes (If you need help getting your personal property tax receipt, contact your collector).

  • Your registration is not expired, or it is within 30 days of its expiration

  • You have passed any required vehicle inspections (check your renewal notice for statement “Emissions Inspection Required” to indicate if your vehicle is due for a check).

  • You must live in a participating county

  • You have received your renewal notice

  • If you did not receive your renewal notice in the mail, you will need to renew your registration in person or by mail.

If you are unsure if you meet the requirements to renew your Missouri license plates online, check the DMV’s Retrieve Renewal Requirements Page.


If you are eligible to renew online, make sure to have a couple of documents on hand:

  • Proof of auto insurance

  • Renewal notice

  • If applicable, An Emissions and/or Safety Inspections Certificate (This signifies a passed inspection. See the “Smog and Inspection Requirements” heading below.)

  • Driver license

  • Credit card, debit card or E-Check to pay fees

  • Only $0.50 cents for E-Check transactions and $1.25 for credit/debit card transactions that are $50.00 and under

When renewing online, follow these 4 simple steps:

  1. Visit the Department of Revenue

  2. Input your PIN found on your renewal notice and your license plate number

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts and enter in all necessary information

  4. Pay your renewal fees (See heading “Fees and Taxes” below for specific fee information)

Once your registration is completed, you will receive your plates and stickers in the mail within the next couple of days. Due to COVID-19, there may be a delay in shipping.

How to Renew your Registration Offline


In-person

In order to make your in-person DMV visit as easy and smooth as possible, you should renew at the beginning of the expiration month. With Coronavirus and customer safety in mind, the Missouri DOR is encouraging vehicle owners to complete transactions using the online platform and utilize virtual services. However, if you are not eligible for this service, you are able to renew your registration by mail or in-person at a Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles office or your local Missouri Licensing Office.


To renew in-person:

  1. Submit your Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice

  2. If you do not have a Renewal notice, you will need to complete an Application for Motor Vehicle License (Form 184)

  3. If applicable, show certification for emissions/safety test

  4. Provide proof of insurance

  5. Bring your driver's license

  6. Pay necessary registration fees

  7. Passenger Vehicles (1-Year): $18.25 – $51.25

  8. Passenger Vehicles (2-Year): $36.50 – $102.50

  9. Processing fee: $3.50 (1-Year), $7 (2-Year)

After you finish your transaction, you should receive your stickers and registration card the same day.


By mail

You can also complete your registration renewal by mail by following the instructions listed on your renewal notice.

When renewing by mail, you must gather the following documents:

  • Form 148 Application for Motor Vehicle License

  • If applicable, Emissions/safety documents

  • A personal property tax receipt

  • Proof of Missouri auto insurance

  • Payment of fees

  • The payment method accepted will be listed on the renewal notice

Send all necessary documentation to:


Motor Vehicle Bureau

301 West High Street Room 370

Jefferson City, MO 65101

New Resident Registration


How to Register your Out-of-State Vehicle in MO


If you have just moved to Missouri, you cannot register your vehicle with the Missouri DMV if you have not established residence within Missouri.


To be considered a Missouri resident, you must provide one of the following documents:

  • Copy of Missouri driver's license

  • Apply for a MO drivers license here.

  • Missouri voter registration

  • Copy of Missouri income tax

  • Copy of Missouri property tax receipt.

New Missouri residents have 30 days from establishing residency to register and title their vehicle with the Missouri DMV. If you register outside of this 30-day window, there is a $25 titling late fee. For every additional 30 days that you are late, another $25 is added with the max penalty amount being $200.


Before your in-person appointment with the DMV, you will need to be prepared to do the following:

  • Prove ownership of the vehicle

  • Vehicle’s title from your previous state

  • Registration certificate from your previous state

  • If there is a lien on the vehicle, get a copy of the title from the lienholder (If you cannot get ahold of the lienholder call the MO DMV (573) 526-3669)

  • Print and complete Form 108 Application for Missouri Title and License

  • Have a current or copy of insurance identification card

  • Have a signed Statement of Non-Assessment to prove that you do not owe the state of Missouri property taxes within the last 1-2 years.

  • This document will be signed at the DMV.

  • Missouri safety inspection completed no more than 60 days before registering.

  • For more information and to see if you are exempt from this requirement, please see “Smog and Inspection Requirements” below.

  • A completed Identification number and odometer inspection (ID/OD). You can have your ID/OD inspected at the same inspection station that clears for safety inspections.

  • Emissions inspection 60 days prior to registration if you reside in St. Louis City or the following counties

  • Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, or St. Louis

  • Find your nearest station here

  • Pay $8.50 titling fee and $6.00 processing fee

  • Pay registration and licensing fees

  • If applicable, pay sales tax and local taxes

If you need to drive your unregistered vehicle in order to get your vehicle inspected, you can apply for a temporary 30-day permit at a Missouri License Office.


When registering, bring a credit card to pay for all necessary registration fees. For more information on associated registration fees and state and local taxes, please see the “Fees and Taxes” heading below. You should receive your plates, decals, and registration certificate at the DMV after registering.

New Registration for a Purchased Vehicle


Unlike some other states, MO dealerships do not register your vehicle for you. According to MO state laws, you have 30 days from the purchase of your new car to register and title it with the Missouri DMV.


To complete this process, you must submit the following paperwork in person at your local licensing office:

  • Documents proving vehicle ownership

  • For used cars from a dealership or private party: Certificate of Title

  • For new cars from a dealership or private party: Manufacturer's Statement of Origin

  • Form 108 Application for Missouri Title and License

  • Form 3019 Odometer Disclosure Statement (applies to vehicles less than 10 years old and vehicles that weigh less than 16,000 lbs)

  • Vehicle safety and emissions inspection (see heading “Smog/Inspections”)

  • Pay all fees and taxes (see heading “Fees and Taxes”)

You should receive your plates, decals, and registration certificate at the DMV after registering.


Temporary Operating Plates

After you purchase your new car, you are able to buy a Temporary Operating Permit (TOP) at a licensing office if you need to drive your unregistered vehicle. Only one TOP is issued per vehicle and this permit is valid for 30 days, but within this 30-day window, you must have your vehicle fully registered with the state of Missouri.


Bring the following documents to your closest Missouri Licensing Office to obtain a TOP:

TOP fees:

  • A $5.00 permit fee

  • A $6.00 processing fee if processed at a license office.

Place your temporary permit on the rear of your vehicle in a clearly visible manner.


Fees and Taxes


Missouri registration fees are based on your vehicle’s taxable horsepower. The chart below shows the fees of passenger vehicles for one year and two-year renewal along with both option’s processing fees.


Passenger Vehicle Registration Fees

Additional processing fees

  • $2 transfer fee (if you are transferring the title)

  • $6 registration process fee for a one-year renewal

  • $12 registration processing fee for a two-year renewal

Sales Tax and Local Tax for New Residents

When titling an out-of-state vehicle in Missouri you are required to pay a 4.225 percent state tax on the purchase price of the vehicle.

  • For vehicles owned for more than 90 days, no sales tax is due.

  • If the vehicle was purchased less than 90 days ago and the sales tax was paid on the vehicle, you will be required to show proof that the sales tax was paid. If the amount you paid was less than the MO state sales tax, you will need to pay the difference during the titling transaction.

You will also be required to pay a local sales tax based on the purchase price of your vehicle which varies by county.


Input your vehicle’s information to the DMV Tax Calculator to find out your car’s exact tax calculations.


Smog and Inspection Requirements

The Missouri DMV requires vehicles to pass certain inspections before registering. Tests that your vehicle may be subject to are: Identification number/Odometer reading inspections, safety inspections, and Emissions tests.


Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Reading Inspection (ID/OD)

  • You must have an ID/OD inspection if you are transferring a title from a previous owner to a new buyer.

  • This does not include transfers completed on a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin.

  • This inspection is used to make sure the VIN matches up with the DMV’s registration in order to identify stolen vehicles.

When getting an ID/OD inspection, bring any ONE of the following documents to an authorized Missouri inspection station:

  • Motor Vehicle Inspection Station Application

  • If the applicant and vehicle are out of state at the time of titling, the applicant may submit the following:

  • A notarized affidavit along with a vehicle inspection performed by an authorized inspection station or law enforcement officer in their state.

Safety Inspections

Missouri requires that vehicles 10 model years or older get regularly scheduled safety inspections before drivers can renew the registration or register for the first time. These safety inspections will ensure that the vehicles are performing and operating to MO vehicle safety standards. Vehicles that are less than 10 years from their manufactured date and have fewer than 150,000 are exempt from safety inspections. For example, if your car was made in 2015 and only has 77,000 miles, you are exempt from having to complete a safety inspection.


If a safety test is required, you can have your vehicle inspected at any authorized Missouri inspection station. If your vehicle passes inspection, you will receive a Certificate of Inspection Approval; if not, you will have to retest until you pass. This certificate is only valid 60 days prior to registration but for newly purchased vehicles from MO dealers, it is valid for 90 days.


Safety inspections follow an every-other-year schedule, as even number model year cars are required to get a safety inspection every even-numbered calendar year. Odd number model cars are required to get this inspection every odd-numbered calendar year. If you are registering a vehicle for the first time or if you are transferring ownership of the vehicle, you will have to get a safety inspection regardless of the year.


Emissions Inspection

Emissions inspections are required if your vehicle is garaged by any of the following localities:

  • St. Louis County

  • St. Charles County

  • Franklin County

  • Jefferson County

  • St. Louis City

You do not have to bring anything to get your emissions tested. You can go to the Vehicle Inspection Program Website to find a location near you. When you pass, you will be given a Vehicle Inspection Certificate which can be submitted with your registration. You will not be able to complete registration until you pass your emissions test. If your registration is 30 days expired, you are only allowed to drive your vehicle to an inspection station to get your vehicle tested.


Special Circumstances


Due to safety hazards created from the coronavirus, vehicle registrations that expire in the months of March or April have been given a two-month extension. For example, if your registration expires in March 2020, you do not have to renew your registration until May 31.

Also, any emissions testing expiration dates have been pushed back an additional 60 days.

Since many licensing offices may be closed, you can book a walk-in appointment with the Department of Revenue during the hours of 8:00 AM- 4:00 PM on the weekdays.


Have you thought about Refinancing?


Now that you have purchased and registered your new vehicle, you should look to refinancing your car loan. WithClutch.com is a fully digital platform that lets car owners like you refinance their vehicle loan from the comfort of their own home and 100% online. You can lower your rate or get cash in as little as 20 seconds. Save yourself time and money by using the refinance calculator.


Follow these simple steps to refinance your auto loan, get approved in seconds, and save thousands in minutes.

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