Delaware Vehicle Registration (Everything You Should Know)

Delaware Vehicle Registration featured image

Got a new car and need to register it in Delaware?

Or maybe it’s that time of the year when you need to renew your vehicle registration.

Whatever the case, we’ve got you. 

Here, we’re going to tell you everything you should know about Delaware vehicle registration. 

We’ll talk about:

  • How to register your vehicle in Delaware
  • How to renew a vehicle registration
  • The penalties for late registration
  • And more

So let’s get started right away!

How to Register Your Car in Delaware

Here are the steps to registering your car in Delaware:

  • Obtain an insurance policy
  • Schedule a vehicle inspection
  • Complete the vehicle registration application

Let’s look at these steps in detail. 

Step 1: Obtain an Insurance Policy

First up, you need an auto insurance policy. Aside from the fact that this serves as financial protection for you, it’s also proof that you can take full financial responsibility for the car. 

The minimum requirements allowed by the Delaware DMV are the following: 

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) minimum coverage of $15,000 for one person and a minimum of $30,000 for the persons who might be injured in the accident
  • Bodily injury or death coverage of $25,000 for one person and $50,000 for two or more persons. This only covers one crash
  • Damage or destruction to property coverage of at least $10,000

After getting your insurance, it’s important to get your Insurance Identification Card. This has to be in your car at all times. 

Now, once you get your insurance, submit the following documents to the DMV:

  • Original copy of the Insurance Identification Card
  • Insurance policy with your name
  • Written binder with your insurance agency’s letterhead issued within 30 days from getting your insurance 

Step 2: Schedule a Vehicle Inspection

All vehicles are required to undergo an inspection in any of the DMV offices in the state. 

To schedule your vehicle inspection, contact any DMV office and make an appointment. 

If you want your vehicle to pass the inspection, make sure that there are no damages to any part of the car including locks, brakes, windshields, and lights. You should also make sure that your car is not tinted and does not have any cracks or stains on the windows. 

If there are any damages or parts that aren’t in optimal conditions, the inspector will possibly reject your car. They will issue a report so that you can fix them in time for a second inspection. 

Step 3: Complete the Vehicle Registration Application

If you pass the inspection, you must submit the following documents to the DMV:

  • Your auto insurance policy documents (as stated above)
  • A valid Delaware driver’s license
  • The vehicle’s title
  • A payment fee (this will depend on your vehicle). You can check here for a fee chart.

If you are registering an out-of-state vehicle, here’s what you need to bring:

  • Completed Certificate of Title Application (Form MV-12
  • Auto insurance policy documents
  • Proof of valid driver’s license
  • The vehicles out of the state title
  • Payment.

After submission and payment, you will receive your license plate and registration card from the DMV office. 

How to Renew Car Registration in Delaware

To renew your car registration in Delaware, the steps are similar to when you register a vehicle.  

Here are the steps:

  1. Have a valid insurance policy that follows the minimum coverage required by law
  2. Pass a vehicle inspection
  3. Submit the necessary documents to the DMV
    1. Proof of Delaware car insurance
    2. Proof of passing a vehicle inspection
    3. Valid Delaware driver’s license
    4. Current vehicle registration card
  4. Pay the renewal fee of $40 or $80

Is there a more convenient way to renew your vehicle registration in Delaware?

Yes! You can now do it online!

Click here to renew your car registration in Delaware online. 

Now, the expiry date of your vehicle’s registration is found on your registration card. 

You may renew your vehicle registration 90 days before the expiration date. It’s best to renew early so you don’t incur late fees.

Vehicle Registration Penalties in Delaware

In Delaware, operating an unregistered vehicle will incur a penalty of at least $1,500, but not more than $2,000. You will also have your driver’s license suspended for 6 months.

The good news is that you are given 30 days to register your vehicle from the date of purchase. As for out-of-state vehicles, you have to make sure it is registered within 60 days of moving. 

What about those who renew their registration beyond the expiry date? They have to pay a penalty fee of $20. 

So to avoid these penalties, it’s best to register and renew your vehicle as soon as possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Delaware Vehicle Registration

You might still have some questions about Delaware vehicle registration. If so, then you might find the answer here. 

How do I transfer my car registration to Delaware?

What if you already have your car registered but it isn’t to the state of Delaware?

Well, you need to submit the original copy of your car registration from a different state to the Delaware DMV. You also need to get an insurance policy according to the requirements of the DE DMV. And yes, you need to make it go through another car inspection.

How much does car registration cost in Delaware?

It costs $40 for a 1-year registration and $80 for a 2-year registration. 

Do I have to register my car in Delaware?

Yes, you need to register your car in Delaware. Otherwise, operating an unregistered vehicle will get you a fine of at least $1,500 and a driver’s license suspension of 6 months. 

What do I need to register my vehicle in Delaware?

For the insurance requirements, you need to show an insurance policy, your Insurance Identification Card, and a binder issued within 30 days from getting the policy. 

You also need to pass a vehicle inspection. And for out-of-state vehicles, you will get the Certificate of Title Application form from the inspector. 

Submit all these requirements, and pay the registration fee.


So that was everything you need to know about Delaware vehicle registration. 

If you just bought a vehicle, or are bringing your vehicle in from another state, you should make sure to register it beforehand. 

I mean, you don’t want to undergo the penalties. 

The great news is that registering and renewing your vehicle is very easy. Especially since you can now renew it online. 

So what are you waiting for?

Go and register your vehicle today!

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