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New To PA

Welcome to Pennsylvania! All new residents are required to make application for Pennsylvania title and registration of their vehicle(s) within twenty (20) days of establishing residency in Pennsylvania.

To make your transition seamless, please allow us to assist you. We’ll coordinate your title and registration applications and all necessary vehicle inspections including: Enhanced Safety Inspections, Annual Safety Inspections, and Emissions Inspections. Cox Automotive is your “one-stop” shop!

Motor Vehicle Information for New Residents:

Temporary Plate & Registration
  • Upon completion of a properly executed application for title and/or registration a temporary registration card and plate will be provided to the customer. A “pink” copy of the MV-1 will serve as the temp. registration and a metal plate and widow decal will serve as the temporary plate.
  • Upon completed PennDOT processing, a permanent registration card and plate expiration sticker will be mailed to applicants address.
  • Out of state titles are NOT eligible for online processing. Therefore, the total processing time can take up to 30 days or more. The temporary materials are valid for 90 days and can be used for PA Safety and Emissions Inspections.
  • Prior to the completion of any motor vehicle application you will be required to provide an acceptable Proof of I.D. Options Include:
    • A valid Pennsylvania Photo Driver’s License
      * Although new residents have sixty (60) days to apply for a PA Driver’s license, a valid PA ID is actually required prior to processing Motor Vehicle Applications. Click here for information on obtaining a PA Driver’s License.
    • A valid Pennsylvania Photo I.D. Card
    • A valid Pennsylvania Photo Exempt Driver’s License
    • A valid Pennsylvania Photo Exempt I.D. Card
    • A valid U.S. Armed Forces Common Access Card
VIN Verification
  • When completing an application for a PA title and registration, the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is required to be verified to ensure that the number listed on the out-of-state title matches the number on the vehicle’s VIN plate. To do this, the state mandates that a VIN plate tracing is required to be attached to the application or a certified inspection mechanic or notary public at a motor vehicle dealership can verify the VIN and confirm its integrity on the application.
Proof of Insurance
  • Suitable Proof of Insurance is required for registration applicants and must be supplied to the agent at the time of application. The applicant is responsible for securing and maintaining automotive insurance on the vehicle(s) being registered in PA.
  • For Suitable Proof of Insurance information please click here.
Required Fees
  • Both PennDOT and document processing fees will apply. Most common calculations include a title fee, registration fee, sales tax (if applicable – see below), lien fee (if applicable), license plate fee, and agent documentation fee.
Sales Tax
  • If you hold a valid title issued in another state and have owned the vehicle at least six (6) months before moving to Pennsylvania, you will not be required to pay any sales tax when you register your vehicle in Pennsylvania.
  • If you have owned the vehicle less than six months, you will need to provide your sales tax receipt otherwise you will be required to remit PA sales tax. PA Sales Tax is 6%. Sales tax due will be calculated based on the purchase price of the vehicle, proof of the amount of sales tax already paid, and the balance of the 6% due (balance of 7% for Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties).
Enhanced Inspection
  • All vehicles with titles previously branded (Reconstructed, Flood, Street Rod, etc…) in another state must undergo an Enhanced Vehicle Safety Inspection prior to PA title and registration application. Click here for Enhanced Vehicle Safety Inspection Information.
  • The Enhanced Safety Inspection does not replace the annual safety inspection which is still required.
Safety Inspection
Emissions Inspection
  • Pennsylvania is one of the many states required by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency to have a vehicle emissions inspection & maintenance (I/M) program. The I/M program is a key part of the Commonwealth’s strategy to improve its air quality.
  • Mercer County is one of Pennsylvania’s participating counties. For additional County Participant Listings call 800-265-0921.

Still more questions? We’ll be happy to assist you. Call 724-253-4973