When using the Vermont registration process to obtain a title for an older vehicle, one of the top questions is how long does it take to get the title from the Vermont DMV?
What is the Vermont registration process?
For vehicles that are 15 years old or older, a non-resident of Vermont can use their bill of sale to apply for a registration, then use that registration as proof of ownership to transfer to a title certificate in their home state. In Vermont, this registration document is the equivalent of a title certificate for vehicles that are 15 years old or older.
This process only requires a valid bill of sale, you don’t need the prior title certificate or the prior owner. The bill of sale may be typed or handwritten.
How long does the Vermont registration process take?
Once the paperwork has been submitted properly and the taxes and fees have been paid, the average turnaround time for the Vermont DMV is 7-10 business days. Once you receive the registration document in the mail, that’s not the end of it, you’ll need to bring it directly to your state DMV to apply for a title certificate.
At your local DMV, you’ll complete a vehicle title application. You’ll likely also need proof of auto insurance at the time of application. In many states, titles can be issued on the same day at the DMV. Although, if your state DMV has major and minor branches, some minor branches can’t issue titles on the spot because they don’t keep the title certificates in stock. In this case, they’ll likely mail you the title certificate once it’s been printed.
Depending on your state, you may have to make an appointment or you may opt to mail in your application. It may take an additional 5-10 business days to receive your final title certificate from your home state.
Tips for the Vermont registration process
Submitting a typed title application vs a handwritten title application
It’s advised that if you’re using this process, you type your Vermont title application rather than handwriting it. The reason being is that the Vermont DMV uses an automated system to automatically scan documents as they come in, and handwritten documents may put a wrench in that automation. If a handwritten document is messy, or something is slightly off, the system will kick out the application and send it over for manual review. Even if the application is filled out correctly, the manual review can take 3-4 weeks, rather than 7-10 business days. They may end up rejecting your application, resulting in your having to start over, where an automated system could’ve alerted you of the rejection weeks in advance.
Don’t use the online registration process
If you’re obtaining a Vermont registration to convert it to a title certificate in your state, don’t use the online registration process. This feature is provided by the Vermont DMV for residents of Vermont and it doesn’t issue a full registration, only a provisional registration. If you’re a non-resident of Vermont, submit your application via postal mail.
Bring the VT bulletin to your state DMV
Many states are familiar with the Vermont registration process, but it’s important to be prepared in the event that your particular DMV is not. The Title Informational Bulletin provided by the Vermont DMV describes how the process works and explains that the registration document you have is the equivalent of a title certificate.
In summary, typically it should take about 7-10 business days to receive your Vermont registration document, as long as all of the information is correct and typed. Depending on your state’s DMV procedures, it may take an additional 5-10 business days or more to receive your final title certificate. Remember, this process only works for vehicles that are eligible for a title. If your vehicle is not assembled, salvage, parts-only, non-repairable, or newer than 15 years old, this process will not work. Depending on your vehicle, there may be other circumstances where this process will not work. However, if done correctly, the Vermont registration process is a valuable way to get a title for a vehicle that you own, but are simply missing the proper documentation.