Motor vehicle registration

Motor vehicle registration is the registration of a motor vehicle with a government authority, either compulsory or otherwise. The purpose of motor vehicle registration is to establish a link between a vehicle and an owner or user of the vehicle. This link might be used for taxation or crime detection purposes. While almost all motor vehicles are uniquely identified by a vehicle identification number, only registered vehicles display a vehicle registration plate and carry a vehicle registration certificate. Motor vehicle registration is different from motor vehicle licensing and roadworthiness certification.

California new 2022 motor vehicle registration sticker (bottom, foreground) about to be applied to the license plate over the previous 2021 sticker (top, background)

Motor vehicles may also be registered with property owners or managers to gain benefits. For example, organisations with parking facilities may require registration of a vehicle with them to allow authorised users to park there.


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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Motor vehicle registration, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.