How to Register a Right Hand Drive Car in the U.S.

by Joshua Duvauchelle

Right-hand drive vehicles are common in Europe. Individuals that wish to drive an imported car with a right-hand steering column must register the vehicle for operation within the United States. The process is relatively short, and entitles you to legally drive the car just like any typical American automobile.

Locate the nearest office for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV is in charge of all car registrations within your state. Call your local county office to find the closest DMV location, or consult your local telephone book. Typically, there is a DMV office in every major city or location.

Go to the DMV office and obtain Form MV-82 from a DMV agent. This form is required to register all vehicles within your state. Fill out the form to completion, printing in capital letters using a black or blue ballpoint pen.

Submit the form, along with a copy of your signed title showing that you are the owner or the car. You will also need to show proof of sale from the private seller or corporate dealer, and the results of an emissions test documenting that the imported car meets all U.S. regulations.

Provide proof that you are eligible to register the car in your respective state. You must show your original Social Security card and state-issued driver's license, as well as proof of residency. Residency may be established with two separate utility or rent bills showing a residential address within the state.

Pay the registration fee. Every state varies in the amount that it charges. Most charge a simple registration fee that is calculated accordance to your vehicle's weight and class, as well as a sales tax, a subagent fee and any regional taxes. For example, the state of Washington charges a Regional Transit Authority tax to residents within specific counties. Your registration will be processed after you have submitted all documents and paid the applicable fees.

Warning

  • close While registering a right-hand car is just like registering any traditional car, many imported cars do not meet the emissions limits set by the U.S. federal government and may require modification in a car shop.

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About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Rodrigo Mattoso