You have probably heard of the DMV or Department of Motor Vehicles but have you heard of the MVD, HSMV, DDS, BMV, or DSD? These acronyms all refer to state-run car licensing bureaus, which means they have many of the same functions as the DMV. If you need to register your car, you can go to any of these.
In some states, however, there are private companies known as a tag agency. A tag agency is a private company that offers many of the same services as the government-run DMVs, or other state run offices. At a tag agency, you can get the car tags and license plates. A car tag is the yearly registration sticker that you place on your license plate every time you renew your vehicle’s registration.
Going to an auto tag agency instead of the DMV or another state-run office to complete your registration, obtain a license plate, or get your new car tag is oftentimes more expensive but is also oftentimes more convenient and faster than going to your local DMV.
In the United States, driving licenses and registration are taken care of on the state level, not by the federal government.
This is why the DMV may be known by another name and why registration requirements, driving tests, and other car-related matters will vary from state to state.
When you need to register a new car, renew your registration, or change your registration to a new address, make sure that you look up the website of your state’s DMV to find the right information and download the appropriate forms.
You can save yourself a lot of time by filling out registration forms before you go to the DMV and in some cases you may be able to complete the whole registration process online.
If you do need to go to the DMV make sure you call or check online to see if you must have an appointment beforehand. Even if an appointment is not required it is a good idea to sign up for one to save the time that you would have spent waiting in a long line at the DMV.