How to Pay Your Car Taxes

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How to Pay Your Car Taxes

Ensuring that you are legal when driving is essential for avoiding large fines and problems with the police. Paying your taxes is a simple process to follow, but is less simple for those who try to avoid it. Follow our guide below to find out how to pay your car taxes in the US.

Register your vehicle

A red vintage car in a rural setting on an overcast day

Every car that is in the US requires registration including details of the owner’s name and address, registration plate number and a few other details. Registration is completed at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) or sometimes it can be done by a local country clerk or treasurer. 

When you go to register your vehicle, ensure you have the following documentation with you;

  • proof of identity
  • proof of vehicle ownership
  • proof of insurance
  • sales tax clearance or enough funds to pay for this as you register your vehicle
  • completed vehicle registration form
  • any other documents required by your specific state

There is a registration fee which will vary, depending upon which state you are in.

Pay your taxes

Some scattered change and bank notes

This again varies drastically depending upon which state you are registered and live in, and you should always ensure that you are familiar with the local laws. Fees are usually paid on an annual basis on a fixed date, and you should ensure to pay these in a timely fashion as any delays can result in additional fees that can become very expensive and can end up in getting you arrested. When you register your vehicle, be sure to ask exactly what fees are required, how often you have to pay, and the exact procedure for paying them. Some states allow you to pay your car taxes online, by phone or by post, but a visit to the DMV will ensure that you can accomplish this task.

Road tax

The front of a turquoise vintage car

As each state has their own laws and regulations, there is no federal road tax in the USA, however most states will require an annual registration fee which will be detailed to you when you register your vehicle. 

Additional taxes

A calculator and a pen on top of some calculations written on white paper

Some states also require a safety inspection of your vehicle on an annual basis and sometimes upon selling or transferring ownership in addition to the annual tests. Other states, in trying to reduce pollution, will require a smog test or an emission test to check your vehicle is aligned to local regulations. 

A great source of information when trying to determine exactly what is required of you by your state is http://www.factorywarrantylist.com/car-tax-by-state.html which breaks down the driving tax regulations of every state in the US, or you can consult your local DMV office. If you have any problems or queries, ensure you visit your local DMV office who should be able to clarify any ambiguous information and to help you out.

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