Once you purchase a vehicle, it's important to make sure its registration, title, and tags are all up to date.

Our team at St. Charles Nissan knows exactly how to register a car in Missouri, and we're here to share our knowledge with all the drivers of St. Charles, St. Louis, O'Fallon, and Saint Peters!

Missouri Motor Vehicle Registration FAQs

Can You Drive a Car Without a License Plate If You Just Bought it in Missouri? +

Under Missouri law, most motor vehicles must have two license plates displayed, one in the front and one in the rear.

If you just bought your car, you must display a temporary license plate. This will expire in 30 days, which will give you time to secure the permanent plates you need to drive your car in-state.

How Do You get a Temporary License Plate in MO? +

In Missouri, most reputable car dealers can help you secure a temporary license plate on the spot. All you'll need to do is:              
  • Pay $5 permit fee.
  • Pay $6 processing fee.
It may also be possible to transfer the plates from your previous vehicle and skip the temporary plate altogether. You'll need some documentation to do this. Luckily, a dealership can help you with a Certificate of Title, a signed Application for Missouri Title and License, and a completed safety inspection. You'll just need to provide proof of insurance.

How Long Do I Have to Register my Car in Missouri? +

Once you purchase a car, you'll have 30 days to pay the sales tax and purchase a title. When specific conditions are met, 60- and 90-day temporary tags could be available. This would extend the time you have to register the vehicle.

If you're unable to register the motor vehicle within 30 days, there will be a penalty of up to $25, which could increase every additional 30 days that pass without registering the vehicle.

How Much Will It Cost to Register My Car in Missouri? +

The cost of motor vehicle registration in Missouri depends on your vehicle's taxable horsepower. That number is recorded on your title or the Application for Missouri Title and Registration. The most common passenger vehicles fall between 15 and 48 taxable horsepower.                                                                                                                                                                                

Taxable Horsepower


1-Year Fee


2-Year Fee


12 to 23 HP






24 to 35 HP






36 to 47 HP






48 to 59 HP






In addition to the horsepower fee, there will also be a processing fee, which is $6 for a 1-year registration or $12 for a 2-year.

How Often Do I Have to Renew My Tags in Missouri? +

This will depend on the length of the registration you originally purchased. If you only had a 1-year registration, you'll need to renew it every year. If you prefer to renew it every other year, however, simply purchase the 2-year registration.

If you renew your tags and title after the expiration date, a $5 penalty may be assessed.

How Much Insurance Do I Need to Register my Car in Missouri? +

Under Missouri state law, all drivers and owners must maintain some type of motor vehicle insurance to protect themselves and others in the event of a collision. The minimum level of coverage required by all motorists is:              
  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $25,000 per accident for property
You will be required to show proof of insurance every time you renew your vehicle registration.

Do I Need a Safety Inspection to Get My Tags in Missouri? +

When there is a change in vehicle ownership, a safety inspection must be performed before transferring ownership. The inspection is then good for 60 days starting with the date of inspection.

If there is no change in ownership, an inspection is required once every two years to renew your motor vehicle registration.

Know How to Register Your Vehicle in Missouri

Now that you know the ins and outs of securing a motor vehicle registration in the state of Missouri, you'll be more confident that you're following the law of the land the next time you hit the roads around St. Charles, St. Louis, O'Fallon, and Saint Peters.

Contact our team at St. Charles Nissan when you're ready to learn more!

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St. Charles Nissan

5625 Veterans Memorial Pkwy
Directions Saint Peters, MO 63376

  • Sales: (636) 441-4481
  • Service: (636) 441-4481
  • Parts: (636) 441-4481


  • Monday 9:00AM - 9:00PM
  • Tuesday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Wednesday 9:00AM - 9:00PM
  • Thursday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Friday 9:00AM - 9:00PM
  • Saturday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Sunday Closed