Who Is Responsible for the Registration and Renewal of a Leased Automobile?


For many motorists, leasing a vehicle makes good financial sense – especially if you are the type who wants the latest technology and style with their automobile.  Leasing involves less of a financial commitment than buying an automobile, and you can typically negotiate a lower down payment and monthly payments. In addition to that, the warranty on a leased automobile usually covers most repairs that go beyond maintenance visits. However, one question lessees might have is who is responsible for yearly registration fees?


In most states, the individual who is the registered car owner must pay the registration renewal fees. This may or may not be the person listed as the owner on the title. In a lease situation, the title owner is the dealership or financer to the dealership but the registered owner or operator is the lessee. In most cases, the state will mail the renewal form to the lessee although this varies from state to state and even county to county. If the renewal notice is sent to the lessor, the lessor will typically then forward that form to the lessee. It is the responsibility of the lessee to renew the vehicle’s registration at or before the expiration of the current tags. This can be done by going to the DMV or using an expedient courier service like eTags.com.


At the end of the lease, if the lessee chooses not to purchase the vehicle, he or she is no longer responsible for any registration fees related to that vehicle.

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