How to Replace Car Registration in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania motorists with lost car registration documents may not continue to operate their vehicles without seeking replacement. Drivers must learn how to apply to replace car registration documents as soon as possible once they realize the cards are lost, illegible or stolen. When in need of a copy of car registration documents, drivers may be able to obtain a DMV copy of registration. Those in need of duplicate car registration have several options at their disposals. Learn more about how to replace car registration documents, including the replace car registration online option, by reviewing the topics below.

Replace Car Registration in Person in Pennsylvania

To obtain a DMV registration copy, Pennsylvania motorists may visit a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) office, if they so choose. In order to get a registration card duplicate to replace your old one, you must complete the DOT's Application for Duplicate Registration Card, Replacement of Registration Plate or Weight Class Sticker. If you have access to a computer with internet, you can download and begin the form prior to visiting PennDOT.

Drivers who request a copy of car registration documents or plates must specify why they need to replace motor vehicle registration plates, cards or stickers. For example, if the need for replacement auto registration papers is due to DMV lost registration, stolen or, or even defaced cards, you must indicate this on your form. In addition, you can also elect to highlight that your vehicle registration card was never received. To get your replacement car registration, once the appropriate sections of the form have been completed, you may submit your request in person at a PennDOT office.

Learn more about vehicle registration replacement in Pennsylvania by downloading our free, informative guide.

Replacing Vehicle Registration by Mail in Pennsylvania

Your request for a copy of car registration documents or plates via regular mail must include the required paperwork outlined above, along with valid payment for your replacement auto registration card or plates. Payment can be sent in the form of either a check or a money order, made out to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. You must submit requests for a duplicate car registration by mail with a copy of your Pennsylvania drivers license.

Note that if when requesting a copy of car registration papers, your current address is different from that of the original registration card, you will need to complete a car registration change of address request on the designated paperwork, so your contact information is current with PennDOT moving forward.

Replace Car Registration Online in Pennsylvania

Drivers who opt to replace auto registration documents online will have to print out their own duplicate car registration cards, as they will not receive new documents in the mail. Therefore, if you are replacing a car registration online, you should have access to a printer when you file the application. Pennsylvania has an online vehicle services portal that allows drivers to apply for a duplicate car registration. To do so, you will need:

  • Your title number and plate number.
  • Your auto insurance policy information.
  • Your vehicle's accurate odometer reading.
  • The number on your driver's license.
  • A debit or credit card for making a payment.

If you are applying for a duplicate car registration because you never received your original within 90 days of the date issued, the replacement fee will be waived for you.

Learn more about replacing car registration cards online by downloading our complimentary guide.

Avoiding Pennsylvania Car Registration Penalties

If you have applied for a copy of car registration documents and are driving without a current registration, you may be subject to a citation by a police officer if you are pulled over. If, before you receive your duplicate car registration card, a law enforcement officer pulls you over, you can avoid any penalty for driving without current registration by providing an affidavit that states that your registration was stolen within the last 20 days, and that you applied for duplicate car registration documents within two days of learning you needed to replace a lost car registration. Another way to avoid a penalty is to present a valid copy of car registration documents to the officer who issued you a citation - or to the issuing agency - within five days of the date of the citation.

Download our comprehensive guide to read more about car registration requirements and procedures in Pennsylvania.