OLR Research Report

June 25, 2004




By: James J. Fazzalaro, Principal Analyst

You asked what documents, including personal identification, must be submitted when registering a motor vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You also asked if there are any laws that require someone to have a Connecticut driver's license in order to insure a Connecticut-registered motor vehicle. You were interested in knowing whether this is a matter of insurance company policies or state requirements.

Although the document requirements for registering a motor vehicle in Connecticut differ slightly depending on whether the vehicle being registered in Connecticut is new or used and previously registered in another state, the personal identification requirements are essentially the same. The law does not appear to contain any explicit provision requiring a registration applicant to provide personal identification, but it generally requires a vehicle owner to make a signed registration application “containing such information and proof of ownership as the commissioner may require.” (CGS Sec. 14-12(b)) As a matter of policy, DMV requires the vehicle's owner to provide proof of identity. The acceptable forms of identification when registering a motor vehicle are: (1) a valid Connecticut or out-of-state driver's license, (2) a foreign country driver's license accompanied by a valid International Driver's Permit, (3) a passport, or (4) a resident alien card.

A registration applicant's name and date of birth on the registration application form must be the same as is on the identification document he presents. A photocopy of the identification document is acceptable if the registrant does not appear in person to register the vehicle.

The documents required to register a new motor vehicle include: (1) the manufacturer's certificate of origin, assigned by the dealer to the new owner, and listing any lienholders; (2) the federal odometer statement; (3) the bill of sale; (4) a DMV application for registration and certificate of title (form H-13) that includes completed sales tax information; (4) a current Connecticut Insurance Identification Card that is in the name of the registered owner (if leased, the card may be in the name of the lessee); and (5) one of the forms of personal identification noted above.

If a vehicle is used and was previously registered in another state, it first must be presented at a DMV office for verification of its vehicle identification number. The documents that must be submitted at time of registration include: (1) the vehicle's out-of-state certification of title, (2) the vehicle identification number verification report, (2) the completed registration and title application form, (4) the insurance identification card, and (5) one of the forms of personal identification noted above. If the vehicle is used and was previously registered in Connecticut the required documentation includes the (1) Connecticut Certificate of Title showing assignment of ownership and indicating release of any liens, (2) bill of sale, (3) insurance identification card, the completed registration and title application, and (4) personal identification document.

According to Kate Kiernan-Pagani, legislative liaison for the Connecticut Insurance Department, Connecticut has no laws that either require insurance companies to require a Connecticut driver's license from someone whose vehicle they are insuring or prohibit them from requiring a Connecticut license instead of a license issued by another jurisdiction. Likewise there are no laws that would require a person who uses an out-of-state license when insuring a Connecticut-registered vehicle to be dropped by their insurer. However, she indicated that some insurance companies require a Connecticut license as an underwriting standard and state law does not prohibit them from having such a standard.