Replacing Lost Vehicle Registration

Replacing Lost Vehicle Registration

A lost vehicle registration can bring a wealth of complications to your door. Not only have you lost the critical ability to prove that your car actually belongs to you, you’ll no longer be eligible for auto-related benefits like auto title loans. So how do you replace a lost registration?

It’s not lost forever. Replacing your lost registration just takes some communication with your local DMV.

Replacement Options

First, decide how you want to do that. You have three options available to you:

  1. You can just physically go into the DMV.
  2. You can mail, fax, or email in your application to the DMV.
  3. You can complete the DMV’s required application online through their website.

It’s up to personal preference, really. But physically going into the DMV is often the most direct and fastest way to get this chore done. Other methods like mailing in your application may take additional processing time.


Next, you’ll need to figure out what is required in order to replace a lost registration in your state. The process for application as well as the documentation required can vary based on location. So to find out what you’ll need to do and how you’ll need to do it, simply check the DMV’s website or give your local DMV a call and ask.

The landing page at will take you right to where you select your state of residence. You’ll find addresses for the nearest DMV office, contact information, and other helpful information on your state DMV page.

The basic application information that you’ll need to know include…

  • Your contact information (address, phone number, legal name, social security number, etc.)
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Your vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The make, model, year, color, title holder information, and lienholder information (if applicable)

You might also need to know the number of miles currently on your car, or your car’s estimated worth. That’ll require a quick check of your odometer, and maybe a bit of pricing research. You can usually check that out with the Kelley Blue Book.

Some states will require you to sign the registration replacement form in the presence of a public notary or a DMV employee. Another reason why making a physical trip into the DMV might be the easiest option over doing it remotely, if it’s feasible for you.

The Cost of Replacement

Replacing a lost registration will also cost you a small fee, paid to the DMV. The fees can vary widely between states, so be sure to check your state’s DMV page to double-check the cost. In Utah, the car title replacement fee is as small as just $6. But in Oregon, it could cost you as much as $55.

You’ll need the fee payment, whatever documentation is required for you to present, and your completed application in order to proceed with the registration replacement process. Replacing a lost registration is different in every state, but even with the DMV’s infamously long lines, it shouldn’t take you too much time.

Besides, it’s worth it to be able to legally drive, sell, or use your car as only the legal, registration-holding owner can.