New Jersey License Plate Lookup

New Jersey License Plate Lookup

In New Jersey, the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) issues license plates for all kinds of motor vehicles. First, you must schedule an appointment at the MVC to register your vehicle.

Registering your vehicle in New Jersey

Right after buying a vehicle, you should register it at a New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). Registration should be done within 10 days after buying a vehicle. You will need to submit:

  • Proof of car insurance
  • Odometer Reading
  • Your Social Security Number
  • The vehicle title

You should as well pay the registration fee and sales tax. Additionally, fees differ according to the weight and age of the car. Brand new vehicles require extended car registration. That means you must pay 4 years of registration fees during the first registration. There are no refunds in case you damage, sell or lose your vehicle.

New residents of New Jersey will need to transfer their title, register their vehicle, and get a New Jersey driver’s license. After establishing residency, new residents have 60 days to register their vehicle in New Jersey. But before registration, you must possess liability insurance issued in New Jersey. There are some other documents that you should provide. They include:

  • Insurance Identification Card (issued in New Jersey)
  • Driver’s license number (in case you do not have it, you can submit 6 points of identification)
  • A completed version of the application for titling
  • A completed version of the application for car registration, etc.

Make sure you pay all the relevant fees. The registration process differs based on whether you buy the car from a dealership or an individual.

New Jersey License Plate Lookup

Before buying a used car, you have the opportunity to make a license plate lookup. That means you can get complete and real information about the vehicle even sitting at home. You can perform an online license plate check by searching.

It will give you full information about the vehicle’s previous owners, type of engine, manufacturer recall, safety rating, damage or accident records, etc.

Types of License Plates in New Jersey

New Jersey requires two car registration tags. One is for the front of the vehicle, and the other is for the rear. In addition, motorcycles, trailers, and autocycles can obtain only one license plate. New Jersey has a wide range of specialty plates.

  • Personalized Plates
    As in other states, in New Jersey too, you can personalize standard license plates. Except for the registration fee, you must pay an extra $50 fee, and it is applicable to reissue to the person (not the registered owner of the vehicle). You should submit the personalized license plate application form. Personalized plates must contain a minimum of three letters and a maximum of seven characters.
  • Organizational License Plates
    The members of qualified organizations (service, community, alumni) can apply for organizational license plates. The fees may differ depending on the plate type. By the way, you cannot obtain an organizational plate online or at a motor vehicle agency. You can contact the organization for a license plate request.
  • Dedicated Plates
    These are special interest plates and have many versions. You can choose one of them and support, for instance, your favorite occasion. The primary fee is $50. You will also need to pay an $11 annual renewal fee for dedicated plates. In addition, you can personalize these types of plates.
  • Special Vehicle Plates
    These plates are the same historic and street rod plates. Historic vehicle must be at least 25 years old that have an educational purpose or is used for exhibition. Historic plates cost $44. As for Street Rod plates, they are antique automobiles mainly manufactured before 1949 and registered in New Jersey. They cost $15.

Other types of plates

  • Disability Plates
    People with disabilities can apply for these kinds of plates. They should complete the application form and submit it at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. These plates are free.
  • Sports Plates
    For sports fans, New Jersey has different types of plates (NBA, MLB, NHL, etc.). They are available for purchase, and you can easily personalize sports plates. The fees differ according to the sporting team.
  • Military Plates
    For veterans and military workers, New Jersey issues military plates. In particular, you can apply for a military plate if you have proof of your eligibility as a military worker. That includes the military ID, discharge papers, and an official letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The state may refuse your vanity plate application for several reasons, check out our banned NJ license plates page for more details.

License Plate Fees in NJ

Fees for standard plates vary due to the weight and age of the vehicle. So, if you want to know the exact fee, you can use NJ MVC online registration fee calculator. There you should submit the vehicle’s model year, registration term, and vehicle type.

For standard titling, you should pay a $60 fee. For a financed vehicle that has a lien, you should pay $85. Additionally, the same financed cars with two liens cost $110.

Payments can be done by cash, money order, or credit card. Check is also payable to the NJ MVC.

NJ License Plate Renewal

Like many states, you will get a registration renewal notice before the expiration of your license plate registration. Generally, the renewal notice includes the amount of renewal fee, registration renewal deadline, and personal identification number (PIN).

Overall, renewal can be done in person, online, or by mail. If you renew the registration in person, you should present proof of car insurance, appropriate identification, and the renewal notice (you can bring your current registration certificate or license plate number instead).

Note that online renewal is much easier. You need to provide your PIN, Social Security number, and verification of car insurance. You can cover the costs with your credit card. And if renewing by mail, you will only provide the proof of car insurance and the payment check, as well.

License plate renewal fees vary in New Jersey as they depend on the vehicle’s type, age, and weight. The exact amount of renewal is available on the registration renewal notice. You will have a $7 discount if you are disabled or 65 years old (or older).

How to replace a license plate?

In case you have lost or damaged your license plates or they are stolen, you can easily replace them. The replacement may be done in two ways:

  1. Replacement of plates with a brand new number
  2. Duplicate plates with the old number

After a replacement request, you should fill out the police report, visit any motor vehicle office and present your current vehicle registration, any proof of identification, and any license plates (if you still have them). The replacement fee in New Jersey is $6.

If you want duplicate plates with the same number, you should submit the application form for remaking an existing license plate. You should also provide a few documents, including a photo of the damaged plate, a copy of the registration, and a check or money order for an $11 appropriate fee.

Car Inspection

In New Jersey, the Motor Vehicle Commission demands that many cars go through an emissions inspection during vehicle registration and after registration every two years. Certain kinds of vehicles MUST undergo an emissions inspection in New Jersey before the car registration and thence again every two years in a row. So, the following vehicles need an inspection if they are:

  • Gasoline-powered or bi-fueled
  • Plated as a not-for-profit, governmental, passenger, etc.
  • Diesel-powered (the model year of 1996 or newer/weigh 8,500 lbs. or fewer)

Vehicles like buses or taxis require safety and emissions inspections every year. These kinds of vehicles should undergo safety and emissions inspections.

The Motor Vehicle Commission exempts many vehicles from emissions inspections. These include vehicles powered by electricity, motorcycles and motorized bicycles, historic and collector cars, etc.

Additional Information

For getting a car inspection in New Jersey, you should take your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of car insurance to an inspection station in New Jersey. As for tags, you can even transfer them from your old car to the new one. You can do it while registering your vehicle. The transfer fee is $4.50. But you cannot transfer all types of license plates.

Note that titles can be transferred, too. If you have no lien on your vehicle, you should apply to NJ MVC in person with your current title and the accomplished version of the application for a certificate of ownership. The title transfer fee is $60. But if your vehicle has a lien and the lienholder now holds the title, you should first check if there is an NJ corporation code. Then, complete the title release application form and send it to your lienholder. Finally, you can manage the auto title transfer and car registration.

It is a must to surrender your license plate in case you move to another state, sell your car or cancel the vehicle’s registration. To surrender license plates, you should take the plates to the NJ MVC or simply mail them.

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Mari A

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