If you just lost your car registration documents, do not worry. In New York, there are three ways to replace car registration: by mail, going online, or to your nearest DMV office. However, while you are waiting for your duplicate car registration, you will probably need to get temporary registration.
Before you go online, you will need four things:
- Your license plate number;
- Class code, which indicates the type of vehicle you own (e.g., passenger or commercial). Typically, if you are using your car for strictly personal reasons like picking up the kids for school, then your class code will be PAS. However, if you have personalized license plates, use your car for commercial purposes, are a veteran, or have a special profession like acupuncturist or senator, then you may have a different class code. If you lost both your registration documents and window sticker, you may need to contact the DMV at 1-518-486-9786 to find out your class code;
- ZIP code (the one you wrote down on your original/prior registration paperwork);
- Credit or debit card. The fee is $3. However, this does not apply to license plates or stolen registration documents. Online registration is only for window stickers or car registration you accidentally lost or damaged.
Once you have all this info, you are ready to go online. The easiest way is to search Google. Type “nys dmv” into the search box (without the quotes, of course). The first result should read, “DMV – New York State.” Click on that. Under the website logo, there is a row of menu options, including “Vehicles,” “Licenses, Permits, & IDs,” “Records,” etc. Click on “Vehicles,” and go down to “Registrations.” In the second bullet list, click on the “Replace registration (and print a temporary document)” option. Scroll down the page until you find the heading, “Temporary registration,” and click the dark blue button which reads, “Replace a registration online.”
Your temporary copy will expire after 10 days, so you will need to get your permanent car registration replacement quickly. Here are the three ways to get it:
This process is the same for applying for temporary registration. Follow the same instructions for accessing the website, and click the dark blue button which reads, “Replace a registration online.”
However, you cannot register online if (a) your car is older than 44 years; (b) your prior registration was legally voided, temporarily surrendered to authorities, or exceeded its expiration date; (c) the registration is for a trailer or transporter vehicle; (d) it was registered through DMV’s International Registration Bureau.
If you do not have access to the internet or need your new car registration copy right away, then your best option is to mail your application. Just keep in mind that it may take more than 10 days for the DMV to receive your application materials and send your new registration documents to you.
With that in mind, please write down this address for future reference:
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
Utica Processing Center
P.O. Box 359
Utica, NY 13503
Keep it in a safe place, and gather the necessary materials you will need for your mail-in application. Here are the three things you will need:
- A completed MV-82D form. If you do not have personal internet access, you will need to go to your local library and access the form from there. Follow the same directions above for temporary registration, except scroll down until you find the heading, “By mail.” Click the highlighted link, “Application for Duplicate / Renewal Registration (pdf),” print the form out, and complete it;
- A photocopy of any government-issued ID, including: a driver’s license (not expired for more than two years), learner’s permit (not expired for more than two years), non-driver ID (not expired for more than two years), a combination of a current U.S. passport/passport card and signed Social Security card, or a permanent resident card and reentry permit;
- A bank check or money order written out for $3, payable to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.
Slip all three things into a large brown envelope. Take out the address (same as above) you wrote down before, and copy it down where the sender’s address should go.
Visit the DMV Office
You will need the same three items you need to mail your application: a completed MV-82D form, a photocopy of any government-issued ID, and a $3 bank check (or cash). Please look at the bullet list in the previous section, “By Mail,” for more details.
Depending on where you live in New York, your nearest DMV office may have different hours. So, you will need to follow the same directions for temporary registration. Just scroll past the heading for “Temporary registration” until you see the heading, “At a DMV office.” Click the blue, highlighted link for “DMV office.” Enter your ZIP code into the search box. Scroll down the page until you see a chart detailing “Office name,” “County,” “Distance,” and “Address,” and click on the link for the closest location. There will be a timeline showing daily office hours.
One Last Reminder
Now you are all set for your application. There is just one more thing to remember. In order to receive your duplicate New York car registration, you need to update any recent name or address changes before you send in the application.
If you wish to put a new name on your new car registration or have recently moved, you will need to update that info online. Simply (a) follow the same directions for temporary registration; (b) scroll down the page until you see the headings for “If your address changed” and “If your name changed”; (c) follow the instructions. Good luck with your application!