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Passenger Vehicles


Sedan driving on a mountain road in winterThis page provides information about passenger vehicles. 
Use the links below to go directly to any section:
Passenger vehicle registration is generally issued for a motor vehicle when:
  • Its design and main use is to transport persons;
  • Its registration* weight is 10,000 pounds or less;
  • It is not required by Oregon law to be registered as another type of vehicle, or prohibited from being registered; and
  • It meets federal standards for highway use.
Heavier passenger vehicles:
  • Pickups or SUVs that are 10,000 pounds or less registration* weight usually also qualify for passenger registration, however, those that are over 10,000 pounds must register as a heavy motor vehicle (T plates), and if a passenger-plated vehicle's registration* weight temporarily exceeds 10,000 pounds, it may qualify for operation with a Registration Weight Trip Permit.
  • It is illegal for a passenger-plated vehicle to pull a heavy trailer, or to operate at a registration* weight over 10,000 pounds, unless it is operating under the appropriate trip permit.
* DMV registration weight is the total empty weight of all vehicles in a combination, plus the total weight of the load carried on that combination of vehicles, not including the weight of these trailing vehicles:
  • Campers
  • Fixed Loads
  • Light Trailers (loaded weight of 8,000 pounds or less)
  • Manufactured Structures
  • Special Use Trailers
  • Towed Motor Vehicles
  • Travel Trailers
Examples of vehicles that cannot have a passenger vehicle registration include:
  • Low-Speed Vehicles, as they are not manufactured to meet passenger vehicle standards so there is a separate registration category for low-speed vehicles.
  • Medium-Speed Electric Vehicles, as they are not currently manufactured to meet passenger vehicle standards. There is a separate registration category for medium-speed electric vehicles.
  • Trucks that are pulling Heavy Trailers, unless the truck is operating under the appropriate permit.
  • All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).
  • Motorcycles, even if they have three wheels and an enclosed cab that looks like a "car."
Title & Registration
To Apply
  • Fill out the Application for Title and Registration (Form 735-226);
  • If you are applying for registration for a 2009 model year or newer low-speed vehicle with 7,500 or less mileage, you must prove compliance with or exemption from the Low Emissions Vehicle requirement (the LEV requirement does not apply to electric, hybrid, or government-owned passenger vehicles);
  • Ensure that all applicable title and registration requirements have been met;
  • Submit the completed application to DMV; and
  • Pay all applicable fees.
  • $77 title fee if submitting an application for title (changing ownership information).
  • $86 for a two-year registration period. 
  • If the vehicle is new, it is required to register the first time for a four-year period.
  • $24 plate fee required if the vehicle does not already have plates (also see registration fee page for plate fees).
  • $5 fee if you are replacing or changing plates at the time of registration renewal.
  • $10 fee if you are replacing or changing plates between registration renewal periods.
Note: Passenger vehicles registered in Multnomah County are subject to an additional $19 annual county registration fee. Multnomah County registration fees are due at initial vehicle registration and renewal for registrations expiring on or after September 1, 2010. Visit Multnomah County's Web site for more information. 
If you have any questions regarding what fees are applicable to your transaction, you may wish to contact DMV.

License Plates
The standard issue license plates for a passenger vehicle are the Tree plates.  However, passenger vehicles may also be issued Custom (Personalized) plates, Higher Education plates, Non-Profit plates, Special Registration plates or Veteran & Military Service-Related plates.  Regardless of the plate type, two plates are issued and are required to be displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle. 

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