How to register a vehicle in

Pennsylvania

as a non-US resident

Pennsylvania

at a glance

Major cities
Philadelphia
Major ports of arrival
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Registration challenges
In-state address required
In-state driver's license required
Average sales tax rate
6.34%

State Overview and Advice

In order to  register a vehicle in Pennsylvania, you need a Pennsylvania driver's license and a Pennsylvania address.

Getting a Pennsylvania driver's license is not an easy process. We recommend starting your visit in another state, or using visitor.us' services to register a vehicle that you buy in Pennsylvania.

The Registration Process

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) manages vehicle registrations in Pennsylvania.

If you buy your vehicle from a dealer, it will issue you a 90-day temporary tag. If you plan to register your vehicle in Pennsylvania, the dealer will apply for title and registration on your behalf.

If you buy your vehicle from a private party and plan to register it in Pennsylvania, bring the required items (below) to an authorized PennDOT agent to register your vehicle. Temporary registration plates, valid for 90 days, are available from authorized PennDOT agents for private party purchases.

For vehicles being registered in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania sales taxes are payable to the dealer upon sale, or the MVC upon registration (if purchased from a private party).

Taxes and Fees

Sales Tax

State sales tax

6.00%

Average local sales tax

0.34%

Average combined sales tax

6.34%

Registration fees

Light Vehicle

Fees: $91

RV

Trailer Fees: $66 - $143

RV Fees: $123 - $178

Motorcycle

Fees: $73

$15,000 car

$1,042

$50,000 RV

$3,320

$5,000 motorcycle

$390

Total taxes and fees

Registration Requirements

Prior owner's title

The vehicle's title must be signed by the owner(s) printed on the title, its odometer reading recorded (if less than 10 years in age), and be free of all liens in order for the prior owner's interest to be released. Pennsylvania titles must also be notarized to release the owner's interest in the vehicle.

Identification

A Pennsylvania driver's license is required to register a vehicle in Pennsylvania.

Bill of sale

A bill of sale is not required to register a vehicle in Pennsylvania, although signing one with the vehicle's seller is recommended.

Application

MV-1 - Application for Certificate of Title (Can only be obtained at a PennDOT office)

Inspection

Emissions (smog)

An annual emissions inspection is required prior to registration for 25 of 67 counties in Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas.

Safety

An annual safety inspection is required in Pennsylvania, which must be completed within 10 days of registration date.

VIN

VIN checks are part of Pennsylvania's annual safety inspections.

Insurance

Pennsylvania's minimum liability insurance limits are 15/30/5.

Residency

Pennsylvania does not require proof of residency to register a vehicle.

Local Address

Vehicles registered in Pennsylvania must be registered to a Pennsylvania address.

The Alternative

When you sign up with visitor.us, this is what you get:

Company Formation

visitor.us forms a Limited Liability Company for you in Montana, the best state for international visitors to register vehicles.

Vehicle Purchase

Complete paperwork and funds transfer with the seller.
The seller will list your LLC and its address as the buyer on the vehicle's title, and visitor.us will arrange for it to be couriered to us for processing.

Insurance

Insurance from a top-rated insurance company that covers you, your vehicle, and your LLC.

Vehicle Registration

You buy a vehicle, we register it in MT. Why?
- MT sales tax: 0%
- Inspections not required in MT

Annual Actions

visitor.us will keep your registration current, and courier your annual decal and registration document to you ('hold at courier location for pick-up' available, if you're on the move).
Ready to get started?
Take the visitor.us quiz and learn how to buy, register, and insure a vehicle in the States relevant to your visit.

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