Car title and Car registration are different things and both are equally important.
Car title and Car registration are different things and both are equally important.

You may think that you have got your work done after buying a car. However, there is a lot to do before you ride your car. One of the most important tasks to tackle is to get a car title and register your car. 

As vehicle owners, it is important for to understand the requirements you need to adhere  to. We have to comply with Department of Motor Vehicles related duties and there are many car owners who do not know the difference between car registration and car title. If that is the case, you are in the right place. 

Car title shows the ownership of the car and registration shows that you have paid all fees and taxes.
Car title shows the ownership of the car and registration shows that you have paid all fees and taxes.

Car title

A car title is a document that shows proof of ownership of the car. It is a legal document that will be useful for several duties including the transfer of title or another procedure where you need to prove that you are the owner of the car. It is a very important document which carries detailed information about you and the car. You should never lose this document. It contains details that are accurate and will be useful for the future. 

The car title has information as below:

  • Vehicle identification number,
  • Vehicle weight class,
  • Odometer reading at the day of the car purchase,
  • Name and address of the owner,
  • Name and address of the lender if applicable. 

Further, the car title is divided into the ‘Title assignment’ section which has a buyers section and a sellers section. As the name suggests, the buyer section should be completed by the buyer and the seller section should be filled by the seller. 

The process is easy and simple. If you buy a car from the dealership, they will take care of the process. If you buy it from a seller, you will have to fill the relevant sections on your own. You need to be very careful when filling out the details because you cannot erase, scratch, or use a white-off to rectify mistakes. Hence, in case of a mistake, you will have to order a duplicate title. 

Majority insurance companies will not ask for a title to be shown at the time of purchase of a car insurance policy. However, you will have to get the title to ensure that your car is properly licensed and registered. Having a car title can speed up the process and will get you a quick quote. 

Car registration

Car registration is the document you need to provide to the local state in order to prove that you have registered your car with them and have paid any fees or taxes applicable. In a few states, the DMW provides car owners with a registration certificate and a license plate or a sticker to be placed on the windshield. The registration will connect you to the car. If you do not register the car or allow the registration to lapse, it can lead to vehicle impoundment and penalty fees. 

The document is proof that the car is registered with the state and is safe to drive. Different states treat registration in a different manner. In Florida, registration is treated as proof of having paid the tax and fees on the vehicle.

You can register the car online, via mail or in person. Contact the state’s transportation agency or DMW to know more about the process. For many first time buyers, the State requires you to handle the process in person. 

You need to provide the below-mentioned documents for car registration:

  • Driver’s license or your non-driver identification card,
  • Proof of payment of sales tax,
  • Insurance proof, for those who live in a state where insurance is legally required, 
  • Title of the car if you are financing the purchase. In case of a lease, you need to have a copy of the lease agreement,
  • Proof that your car has passed a smog test, based on the age of the vehicle.
  • Proof that the car has passed a vehicle safety inspection, if applicable. 
  • Car registration application form. 

Importance of car title and car registration

Both the documents are equally important and you need to have them both. Having a title and no registration can put you in trouble and applying for a registration without car title will not work. Therefore, after the purchase of your car, these are the first documents you need to have with you.

In conclusion, it is important to keep all the documents in a secure place. Both the title, and registration documents are of crucial importance and it will help avoid future complications. Whether you want to sell the car or there is an accident and you need to file a claim, you will have to provide these documents. They are proof that the car is legally yours and you have the right to use it or sell it. 

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