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How to Replace a Lost Car Registration in Michigan

Understanding how to go about replacing lost car registration in Michigan can be crucial for motorists as valid proof of car registration is required in order to legally operate motor vehicles. Knowing how to obtain a copy of car registration from the SOS in the event of decals and registration cards being damaged or stolen is just as vital. Residents must also obtain registration copies after changing names or addresses. For more on how to replace car registration as well as when to request a duplicate car registration and the additional steps you must take if your tags are stolen — review the sections provided below.

Instances When You Should Request a Michigan DMV Copy of Registration

There are many instances when you may need to replace a lost car registration, including if your registration has been lost, stolen, or damaged. It is easier than you might think to replace car registration in MI, as the SOS provides drivers with a simple and straightforward process. There are two different methods of replacing car registration, including online or by visiting a local Secretary of State Office in person. Each of these options have their own benefits and draw backs, so it is important that you consider each and choose the one that will work best for you.

While replacing a car registration is typically done in the event of stolen, damaged or lost car registration in Michigan, there are still a few more instances in which you will want to request a replacement. Remember, you are legally required to show proof of your motor vehicle’s registration, so these registration replacements should be requested promptly in order to avoid any additional penalties should you be stopped by a law enforcement officer.

On occasion, the Secretary of State may make an error on your registration. In this case, you will need to request a corrected MI copy of car registration at your local Secretary of State Office. It is important to know that, should this be the case, you can actually turn in the defective car registration for a free registration replacement as opposed to paying the standard fee. Additionally, you may need to replace a car registration should you have any sort of life change, such as a change of address or name. While you may not be legally required to replace car registration, you will still want to notify the SOS so that these changes can be applied to your next registration renewal, and to ensure that you receive future renewal notices.

How to Replace Car Registration Online in Michigan

A lost car registration can be replaced online through the ExpressSOS online portal. Requesting a duplicate car registration online is often considered the more convenient method of the two available, as you can complete your request from the comfort of your own home. Not only can you replace car registration online in the event of a lost registration, but also for a stolen or damaged one as well. A Michigan DMV registration copy can be provided for a nominal fee so long as you can provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number, your date of birth, your eye color and either your drivers license or state identification card number. When replacing car registration online, you will be provided with a receipt that you can use as proof of registration while you wait for your duplicate car registration to arrive by mail within 15 days. You should keep this receipt on your person or in your motor vehicle until you have received the new registration so that you may provide it to law enforcement officers should they stop you.

Unfortunately, if you are replacing car registration in MI due to a change, such as a change of address or a legal name change, these types of registration replacements must be done in person at your local Secretary of State Office.

How to Replace Michigan Car Registration in Person

Alternatively, you can report a damaged, stolen or lost car registration at any Secretary of State Office in order to obtain a replacement. When seeking an MI copy of car registration at your local Secretary of State Office, be sure to bring the following:

  • Duplicate car registration fees
  • Vehicle registration (if available) or your license plate number
  • Either your Michigan drivers license or state identification card

You can also update your registration with a legal name change or a change of address at the Secretary of State Office. Keep in mind that you may be required to provide additional documentation, such as proof of your name or address change. Additionally, you may want to consider performing a registration renewal instead of requesting a duplicate car registration, if you are already nearing your renewal due date.

Unlike when you replace car registration online, the Secretary of State Office will provide you with your duplicate car registration at the end of your visit, eliminating the need to hold onto any receipts while waiting for your vehicle’s registration to arrive in the mail.

When You Should Report a Michigan DMV Lost Registration to Law Enforcement

If you are reporting a lost car registration in order to obtain a duplicate copy, then it is recommended that you file a police report with your local law enforcement agency as well if your licenses plates have gone missing. By reporting stolen tags in addition to requesting a duplicate car registration in MI, you can ultimately save yourself from a lot of potential hassle. When you report a stolen registration or license plate to your local police station or sheriff’s office, a message will be entered into the Law Enforcement Information Network, which will alert law enforcement agencies that your registration was stolen. This will ensure that you are not connected to any sort of traffic violations, parking violations or other crimes that are committed using your plates.

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