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Need Financial Help with Car Registration? It Could Be FREE!

Need Financial Help with Car Registration? It Could Be FREE!

If you need financial help with car registration, then you already know that vehicle registration is expensive. The costs of vehicle registration make it hard for low income households to safely and legally drive. This can make it difficult to go to work, go to school, buy groceries or really do anything at all.

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Fortunately, there is help. Our team of researchers have spent a lot of time looking into this and we’ve found a few ways that you can get help with the high costs of vehicle registration.

Disabled veterans don’t need financial help with car registration – they get it free!

It’s true! When my husband was finally awarded a 100% rating through Individual Unemployability in October 2017, this was one of my very favorite perks. We never have to pay to register our car ever again!

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In Washington State, certain disabled veterans are eligible for a special Disabled American Veteran license plate. This plate can only be ordered through the mail from the Special Plate Unit in Olympia, WA. You have to submit a completed application and proof of your disability.

In order to be eligible for this, the veteran must meet ONE of the following criteria:

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  • Be compensated at the 100% rate for a condition that is expected to exist for more than one year OR
  • Be blind in both eyes due to military service OR
  • Have lost the use of both hands or one foot

Washington State is not the only state that offers free vehicle registration to certain disabled veterans, either! I found this program in other states, too.

If you need financial help with car registration and you’re a veteran, pay special attention to this section. I’ve done a lot of research but sometimes the laws are confusing. Sometimes, they except the plate issuance fee, the registration and the taxes… but sometimes, it only waives one or two of those things. You will need to talk to your local county and state government for more information about the specific laws in your state.

Veterans rated 100% disabled are exempt from vehicle registration fees in the following states:

Veterans rated at least 60% disabled can receive free vehicle registration in these states:

Veterans rated at least 50% disabled are eligible for free vehicle registration in these states:

These states simply request a letter stating that you have a service-connected disability. It appears that there is no minimum disability rating requirement although other criteria may apply.

In some states, only veterans who have suffered from loss (or loss of use) of at least one hand, foot or eye can receive an exception. These state adhere to this strict standard:

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Finally, these states are even more restrictive. In these areas, you must have received an adaptive vehicle or vehicle modification grant from the VA to qualify.

Iowa and Vermont will waive the license plate issuance fee but it does not appear that they waive registration costs.

Check for other exemptions and waivers.

Some states offer exemptions for other groups, also! Because these are so varied and time-consuming to research, you’ll need to look into your own state laws or call your vehicle registration office for this information.

Alabama provides free vehicle registration to active duty members of the United States Armed Forces, Alabama National Guard and Alabama State Guard. Members of the Alabama National Guard who served for 20 or more years can also get free registration.

In addition, Alabama also provides free vehicle registration to disabled veterans who resided in Alabama at the time they joined the military and are still Alabama residents when claiming the exemption.

The exemption also applies to:

  • Gold Star families who receive the “Alabama Gold Star Family” plate will also be exempt from registration fees.
  • Members of a volunteer rescue squad
  • Members of the Civil Air Patrol
  • Volunteer firefighters.

Challenge your vehicle’s value to negotiate a lower registration.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are several ways that states calculate the registration fees:

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  • Flat rate
  • Age-based
  • Weight-based
  • Value-based
  • Other

There’s not much you can do to negotiate the flat-rate, age-based or weight-based calculations… but you may be able to negotiate a lower registration fee if you dispute the value of your vehicle.

According to NCSL, the following states have value-based registration systems:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota

In these states, you may be able to argue the stated value of your vehicle to negotiate lower fees. Here’s a great example of this.

Still need financial help with car registration? Read this!

There are agencies nationwide that can assist if you need financial help with car registration. These agencies are usually small local charities.

The easiest way to find them is to contact your local United Way Resource Directory. You can find yours at 211.org. 

Does your state offer FREE low income auto insurance? Find out now!

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Have too much month at the end of your money? Me too - and that's how Low Income Relief got started. I have over 20 years of professional research and writing experience. Over the years, I've worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. My work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, eHow.com, Livestrong.com, Legal Beagle, The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah), The Chronicle (Centralia, WA) and others. At Low Income Relief, I use my professional research and reporting experience to help low income families save money and make ends meet. It's been my full-time job since 2016, and it's truly an honor to serve you.

Steven qualley

Saturday 25th of December 2021

I need help to register my car I don't have any money for registration or insurance could anyone send me in the right direction?

Reuben Rivera

Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

How can i start this application for low income program

Nicole Thelin

Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

Hey Reuben! All the information should be in the article. :) -Nicole

Holly

Thursday 18th of November 2021

Hello. Not sure but I'm trying to find out some info. I'm currently in a homeless shelter. I bought a car when I did the pandamic hit and everything closed. Now I'm homeless and no job no funds need to find someone that may know where I can turn to do I can get on my feet and not lose my vehicle trying to find a job. If you know anyone that will help please please please please let me know. Thanks you. Have a blessed day.

Isaac

Thursday 18th of November 2021

Low Income Relief is an information service and does not provide cash or items directly. You will need to search our website for information about organizations that can help you meet those needs. Sorry!

tonyaanderson

Sunday 7th of March 2021

My daughter is struggling to make ends meet she is working but doesn't make enough money to pay all her bills. She on the verge of losing her car she can't afford to renew. Is there any programs in my salt lake city utah that she might turn to for help. She is a 3 years clean addict I'm so afraid of her relapsing which she told me she's about ready to do.plrase let me know asap .

Hannah Benge

Tuesday 9th of March 2021

This is what we have for cars. She can call 211 for help in her area. I also recommend you check out this https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cUrOLqYqc7A&feature=youtu.be if she needs other assistance. -Hannah

Patricia Manansala

Monday 21st of December 2020

My name is Patricia Manansala, and I am disabled, minority, and a woman who is in need of getting a free registration for a Audi, 2006, that I purchased on 10/8/2020 and was unable to check how much the registration would be for an unregistered Audi of 2006 station wagon that was last registered in 2018 due to the DMV being closed for the Covid-19 Pandemic. After I have purchased the car, I tried to register at Triple AAA and told that it needed to be registered at DMV and should make a payment of $2000 because it has not been registered for 3 years. I don't have $2000 to register the car, therefore, I cannot drive the car without current registration. I need financial assistance to register my car as I definitely need to have a car to go to the doctors, grocery, and to get around for necessities. Please direct me to the proper contact number or personnel for this kind of issue or matter. Thanks so kindly, Truly, Patricia Manansala

Hannah Benge

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

We are so sorry this has been such a hassle. Here is a resource for you https://lowincomerelief.com/need-financial-help-car-registration/. I hope this helps! -Hannah