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How Do I Register a Car in Pennsylvania Without a Title?


A title is a document that provides proof of ownership of a vehicle. When you buy a car, whether from a private party or a dealer, the seller should provide you with a title. If he doesn't, or if you've lost your title, you can request a duplicate. Ideally, you will get your title before you must register your car, but if not, you can pay the registration fee and then wait for your duplicate title to complete your registration.


To apply for a duplicate title, complete form MV-38 O, Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title by Owner. You must have the form notarized. The fee to apply, as of September, 2010, is $22.50. Mail your completed application to PA Department of Transportation using the address on the form.

Time Frame

Allow four to six weeks to receive your duplicate title. Once you receive it, take it and all other required paperwork to a Department of Transportation Driver and Vehicle Service Center. You'll pay $36 (as of 2010) to register your vehicle.
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