Missouri Vehicle Registration (A Complete Guide)

Missouri Vehicle Registration (A Complete Guide)

Need to title and register your vehicle in Missouri but don’t know how?

Maybe it’s time to renew your registration.

Or maybe you want to make sure you follow the vehicle laws in the state. 

Whatever the case, we have the answers for you here. 

We’re going to give you a complete guide to Missouri vehicle registration — from titling, registering, and renewing, to understanding the laws. 

So let’s dive right in!

How to Title Your Vehicle in Missouri

Missouri Vehicle Registration

Just because you’re driving a vehicle doesn’t mean it’s yours. So how do you prove ownership? 

The answer lies in your car’s title.

Whether you purchased your vehicle in-state or outside of it, you must undergo the process of getting a title. However, it’s essential to know that the steps vary between these.

Let’s break it down.

Vehicles Bought in Missouri 

Getting the title for a vehicle purchased in Missouri is straightforward. All it takes is a visit to a Department of Revenue office. 

However, the documents you present will depend on where you purchased your vehicle — whether from a dealer or a previous owner. 

To avoid confusion, let’s look at both scenarios and the steps involved.

If Your Car is Brand New:

  1. Gather the following documents:
    1. A filled-out and signed Application for Missouri Title and License (Form 108).
    2. The Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO) from the dealer

NOTE: You and your dealer must complete the section on odometer disclosure. You will find this at the back of your MSO

  1. Go to a Missouri Department of Revenue office and submit these.
  1. Pay the necessary fees:
  • Title Fee: $8.50
  • Processing Fee: $6
  1. Pay the appropriate tax.
  • Sales Tax: 4.225%
  • Local Sales Tax

NOTE: You can use Missouri’s online tax calculator to determine how much you’ll spend.

If Your Car was Previously Owned:

Titling a previously owned car purchased in Missouri follows similar steps. However, there are more documents to prepare:

NOTE: It’s a requirement for all vehicles manufactured in 2011 and onwards that have not reached 20 years old, except the following:

  • The vehicle has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of more than 16,000 pounds;
  • Vehicles manufactured before 2011 and at least 10 years old during the ownership transfer.

Now, here are the steps:

  1. Bring these documents to a Department of Revenue office in your area. Remember that they might ask you to provide additional documents.
  1. Pay the $8.50 titling and $6 processing fee.
  1. Pay for the 4.224% sales tax and local sales tax.

NOTE: Click here to see how much your local sales tax is.

Vehicles Bought Out-of-State

If you purchased your vehicle outside of Missouri, you must submit the following documents at a Department of Revenue office.

If it’s a brand-new vehicle:

  • An invoice or bill of sale from the dealer 
  • An assigned Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin

NOTE: You must ensure to fill out the section at the back regarding odometer disclosure

If it’s a used vehicle:

  • A properly assigned title from the seller.

NOTE: If you purchased it from a dealer, you must have a reassigned title

  • A completed identification number and odometer (ID/OD) inspection form

NOTE: This only applies if the dealer gives you an out-of-state title. A licensed Missouri inspection station can complete this. Remember that the inspections must be within the last 60 days.

  • The Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form 3019) if the vehicle’s model year is 2011 or newer and has not reached 20 years. The only exceptions are vehicles that meet these criteria:
    • The vehicle has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of more than 16,000 pounds
    • Vehicles manufactured before 2011 and at least 10 years old during the ownership transfer.

The required fees and tax are the same as vehicles bought in-state:

  • Titling Fee: $8.50
  • Processing Fee: $6
  • Sales Tax: 4.225%
  • Local Sales Tax

How to Register Your Vehicle in Missouri

Missouri residents, new or old, need to register their vehicles 30 days from purchase/transfer. 

Usually, you can have your car titled and registered in Missouri simultaneously. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to a Department of Revenue office and present the following documents:
    1. Proof of ownership. These could be:
      1. Certificate of Title or MSO (if brand new)
      2. Out-of-state title (for new residents)
      3. Previous out-of-state registration (for new residents)

NOTE: If the vehicle has a lien, you can get a copy of the title from the lienholder. If you can’t get a hold of it, call (573) 526-3669.

If the lienholder cannot release the out-of-state title to you, you must secure a statement from them indicating this and one of the following — A copy of the out-of-state title showing your name as the owner and the financial institution as the lienholder, a copy of the out-of-state title receipt showing the financial institution as the lienholder and yours as the owner if it’s from an electronic-titling state, or a formal document on the lienholder’s letterhead confirming an electronic-titling state holds the out-of-state title.

  1. A statement of non-assessment from the county collector’s office or St. Louis. 
  1. A filled-out and signed Application for Missouri Title and License (Form 108)
  1. Proof of auto insurance
  1. Your Missouri vehicle inspection documents
  1. Your VIN and odometer reading
  1. Choose between a 1-year or 2-year registration, if available.

NOTE: Missouri only offers a 2-year registration option if your vehicle’s model year is an even number and it’s an even-number year. Similarly, it’s also available if it’s an odd number year and your vehicle’s model year is also an odd number.

  1. Pay the necessary registration fee:
    1. For passenger vehicles – taxable horsepower
    2. Commercial vehicles – gross weight plus its load
    3. Motorcycles – number of wheels

NOTE: Click here to see how much your registration fee is.

  1. Pay the $6 processing fee.
  1. Receive your Missouri license plates.

How to Renew A Vehicle Registration in Missouri

You will be sent a renewal notice about two months before your vehicle’s registration expires. However, whether you get one or not, it’s your responsibility to keep track of this timeline.

The notice typically contains the instructions and requirements for the renewal. However, here’s a short guide if you didn’t receive one.

  1. Gather the following:
    1. Proof that you’re up for renewal. Any of the following are acceptable:
      1. The renewal notice
      2. A copy of your title
      3. Registration receipt from the previous period
    2. Proof of paid personal property tax OR a statement of non-assessment from your county of residence

NOTE: Ensure you bring everything that covers your previous registration period. For example, if you have a 2-year registration, you must present documents for two years.

  1. Proof of auto insurance
  2. Certificate of safety and/or proof of emissions inspection (these must have been within the last 60 days)
  1. Bring everything to a Department of Revenue office and submit it.
  1. Pay the required fees. Remember, the amount varies between vehicles. 

NOTE: Click here to see how much you should prepare.


An online registration renewal might be possible for you. You’ll know you’re eligible if your renewal notice contains a Personal Identification Number (PIN).

If you don’t receive a renewal notice, the DOR might not have updated its details. To ensure your information is up-to-date and you receive a renewal notice, email the following to 

  • Full name
  • Old and new address (if you moved)
  • Driver license number OR last four digits of your social security number
  • Your vehicle’s license plate number(s) 

Penalties for Unregistered Vehicles in Missouri 

When a law enforcement officer pulls you over and discovers you’re driving an unregistered vehicle, you’ll face several consequences.

Since this is a Class B misdemeanor, you may have to spend up to 6 months in jail. There’s also a penalty that may go as high as $1,000.

Vehicle Laws in Missouri 

To ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, here are some vehicle laws in Missouri you must know. 

We’ll cover the 4 most essential ones — registration, insurance, window tint certificate, and required equipment.


Missouri gives you 30 days from the date of purchase or when you moved to the state to register your car. The same goes for the required sales tax for newly bought vehicles.

The DOR applies a $25 penalty on the 31st day. The penalty increases by another $25 once another 30 days have passed.

This process continues until you’ve completed registration. The highest possible penalty fine is $200.

Auto Insurance

Like most states, you must have car insurance to drive legally in Missouri. At the very least, your policy must have the following coverages:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $25,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident UM coverage

Sure, a minimum liability car insurance policy is your most affordable option, but it does not protect your vehicle. If you get into an accident and your vehicle sustains damage, you’ll have to pay for repairs out of your pocket. 

You might consider purchasing full-coverage car insurance to avoid this scenario.

Window Tint Certificate 

Some drivers prefer to put tint on their vehicles. It’s allowed in Missouri, but you must adhere to the state limits for darkness and reflection.

The table below details these.

Part of VehicleTint DarknessTint Reflection
Windshield Non-reflective tint is allowed, but only above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line
Front Side WindowMust allow more than 35% of light in the vehicleMaximum of 35% reflective
Backside WindowAny level of darknessMaximum of 35% reflective
Rear WindowAny level of darkness 

Required Equipment

Vehicles in Missouri are required to have the following equipment:

  • Signaling devices
  • Muffler cutouts
  • Brakes
  • Mirrors
  • Projections on vehicles
  • Towlines

The Wrap Up

And we’re done! Yes, it’s a lot of information, but everything we’ve covered is essential.

This way, you can ensure your vehicle meets Missouri’s titling and registration requirements, as well as the vehicle laws in the state. 

So if you are not yet titled or registered, what are you waiting for?

You now know what you need to bring. 

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