All Star Driver Education wants to prepare teens for the purchase of their first car. That seems like the next step after passing the driving test and obtaining a shiny new state license. Most first cars a teen can afford will be used and maybe even passed down from another family member. Before they get on the road, the car will need to be registered at the SOS in Michigan. Teens registering for the first time in Michigan are likely unaware of the states vehicle registration and plate fees.
Michigan Vehicle Registration Fee
The Michigan registration fee depends on a variety of factors, including the vehicle’s type, model, year, and title history (whether the vehicle was previously owned). The biggest factor of all is the vehicle’s MSRP, or Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. If this information isn’t provided as a base price on the title paperwork for the car, it can be found online from a list of dealership prices or through Michigan’s Secretary of State office.
There are ways to get an estimate on what the final fee might look like. One state website that uses the information listed above (along with additional factors outside of MSRP) to calculate the amount you will need, can be found here. This registration fee will need to be paid each year, usually on your birthday.
This calculation is very different from other states, such as Ohio, where a vehicle, excluding personalization and initial reserve, is $34.50. That's it! The same cost of filling up your gas tank. Most states have this flat fee.
My Own Example
To provide an example, I bought a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country (MRSP: $36,000+) for $2,000. That was all I could afford. I was just looking for cost-effective mobility. I had just moved from Ohio and had brought $80 thinking this would cover all my fees. After showing them my title, they gave me a total of $354 for my registration and plates. Not having that amount, I walked out scratching my head and trying to figure out where I was going to get the money. Better start smashing some piggy banks!
For those that are use to a fixed price of that range, the knowledge of Michigan’s vehicle registration fee calculation is crucial. No one wants to come unprepared to the DMV. Multiple trips may have already been made to get your driver license.
Now that your car is registered, there are endless places you can go. Safe travels!
Nathan Johnson, Intern