How to pay my car taxes online

All states assess a charge for the privilege of registering a car, and registration renewals are required periodically, either annually or biannually, depending on the state. Some states refer to the assessment as a registration fee rather than as vehicle taxes, but fees assessed based on the value of property, even for the exercise of a privilege, are deemed property taxes. States do make available the option of paying the fees or car taxes online as a convenience to residents. Some however do impose an additional fee for this convenience.

Gather the items needed to complete the required online forms and to effect payment of car taxes online. You'll likely need an auto registration renewal notice or current registration containing vehicle information, a current proof of insurance form and a credit or debit card.

Type into your browser URL This site helps locate the site of your state taxing authority responsible for collecting cars taxes and fees, known as the "Unofficial DMV Guide." Arriving at the website, click your state on the U.S. map on the upper-right-hand side of the page.

Check that you have selected the proper state, then place your cursor on the "License & Registration" button on the upper-left-hand side of the page and a drop-down menu will appear. Move your cursor down the menu to "renewals" and click. Click on "Registration Renewals" when you arrive at the "Renewals" page.

Locate a grey box offering several renewal options. Find "Renew Online, In person, or By Mail" and click the link provided. Read the qualification for online renewals, and if you meet the criteria and are eligible to renew online, locate the "Visit the state site" link and click it. This will open your state's site in a new window.

Locate the "Renew Your Registration" icon once your state's site has loaded and click on it. Next, you will see a page requiring you to select your particular county (parish or borough). Locate yours and click "Next" (or "Go"). Read about the eligibility requirements for online renewals, additional fees that will be charged for the convenience and then click on the "I Agree" button if you wish to continue.

Follow on-screen instructions and enter requested information such as verification of number plate number and vehicle identification number, mailing address and phone number, insurance verification information and credit or debit card information. Once all required information has been entered on the last screen, click on "Submit."

Print the on-screen receipt and note any special instructions or information provided. For example, there may be instructions to contact the taxing authority after a specific amount of time has elapsed if you have not received a confirmation e-mail from the taxing authority, etc.


Exact instructions and procedures may vary depending on state.


Government taxing authorities consider providing access to online payments a convenience and all charge a "nominal" fee for allowing residents to pay car taxes or fees online. Texas, for example, charges a £1.90 fee for online payments. Some states were found that charged much higher fees, as much as 25% of the tax assessed, so understand the meaning of "nominal" fee for your state. The receipt you print out for online payments is considered an "unofficial receipt" and generally will not serve as legal proof of payment. Official receipts are received by mail from the taxing authority after your payment is processed.

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Things Needed

  • Internet access
  • Registration renewal notice or most recent registration form
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Credit or debit card

About the Author

Based in Arlington, Texas, Larry Darter has been writing articles on a broad range of topics including building and construction, outdoor recreation and personal finance since 2009. His articles have appeared on Suite101 and Associated Content. In addition, Darter writes content regularly on assignment for private clients. He holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma.

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