Indiana

Bureau of Motor Vehicles (Bureau)
Indiana Government Center North
100 North Senate Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 233-6000 | www.in.gov/bmv

Indiana State Police
Indiana Government Center North
100 North Senate Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 232-8200 | www.in.gov/isp

Indiana Department of Transportation
100 North Senate Avenue, Room IGCN 755
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 232-5533 | www.in.gov/dot

Title Application

The Bureau may issue a certificate of title when a vehicle is registered.

A person applying for a certificate of title must submit an application provided by the Bureau and provide to the Bureau a full description of the vehicle, including make, model, and year or manufacture; a statement of the existence of any liens or encumbrances on the vehicle; the vehicle identification number or special identification number of the vehicle; any former title number; the purchase or acquisition date; the name, residence address and/or mailing address and social security number or federal ID number of the person; and any other information that the Bureau might require.

If you buy a vehicle with an Indiana title, or receive as a gift a vehicle with an Indiana title, you must title it in your own name within 31 days.

If you have recently purchased a vehicle with an out-of-state title, or received as a gift a vehicle with an out-of-state title, you must title it in Indiana within 31 days. If you are a new Indiana resident, you must title your vehicles in Indiana within 60 days of becoming an Indiana resident.

If a certificate of title was previously issued for the vehicle in Indiana, then the application for certificate of title must be accompanied by the previously issued certificate of title. If that certificate of title does not exist, then the application must be accompanied by the manufacturer’s certificate of origin.

If a certificate of title was not previously issued for the vehicle in Indiana, the application for the certificate must be accompanied by the certificate of title issued for the vehicle from another state. If that state does not have a certificate of title law, a sworn bill of sale or dealer’s invoice fully describing the vehicle and the most recent registration receipt issued for the vehicle must accompany the application.

The Bureau will deliver a certificate of title to the person who owns the vehicle if no lien or encumbrances appear on the certificate of title.

In Indiana, a certificate of title is required for all motor vehicles, mobile homes, trailers and recreational vehicles.


Title Transfer of Ownership

An effective transfer of title requires filling out, endorsing, and delivering the certificate of title by the transferor to the transferee and delivering the certificate to the Bureau, with proper transfer and application fees.

Generally, the certificate of title must be given to the transferee at the time of sale. If not, the title can be given to the transferee within 21 days of the sale if the transferor meets all of the following conditions: (1) the seller or transferor is a vehicle dealer licensed by the state; (2) the vehicle dealer is unable to deliver title; (3) the dealer believes he or she will be able to deliver the title without a lien within 21 days; (4) the vehicle dealer provides the transferee with an affidavit; and, (5) the transferee has made all initial agreed-upon vehicle payments.


Titles for Mobile Homes

A manufactured home that is personal property not held for resale or not attached to real estate by a permanent foundation must have a certificate of title.

When a manufactured home is attached to real estate by a permanent foundation the owner may apply for an affidavit of transfer to real estate with the Bureau.

Registration Application

Application for registration should be made at the Bureau in the county where the resident lives. The application will request the following: (1) name, residence, and mailing address of the person who owns the vehicle; and (2) a description of the vehicle including the vehicle manufacturer, the vehicle identification number, the type of body of the vehicle, the model year of the vehicle, the color of the vehicle, and anything else the Bureau determines is necessary.

A person must show proof of title and proof of insurance.

An Indiana resident that is an active member of the armed forces assigned outside of Indiana is not required to register, pay excise tax, or pay property tax on his or her vehicles while he or she is absent from the state if that person has registered the vehicle in Indiana in any previous calendar year.

There is no period of grace for late registration.


Registration for Non-Residents

Non-residents must register their vehicles within 60 days of becoming residents of Indiana. Non-residents must show proof of the date on which they became residents.

The only exception to this rule is if the vehicle is properly registered in another jurisdiction in which the non-resident is a resident. This exception only applies if Indiana residents are also granted registration exemptions in the non-resident’s home jurisdiction.

Military personnel on active duty in Indiana may maintain vehicle registration from another state. Indiana military personnel on duty out of state may receive Indiana vehicle registration upon request.


Registration Type

Passenger car registration expires on a staggered basis each month from January through October according to the last name of the person who registered the car.

If a vehicle that is required to be registered is operated on the highways and not registered in a timely manner, the Bureau will collect any and all registration fees that would have been collected if the vehicle had been properly registered.

A semitrailer used on the highway must be registered with the Bureau. It can be registered either annually, every 5 years, or permanently.

A trailer or pop-up camper pulled on the highway must be registered with the Bureau on an annual basis. Upon registration, a license plate and registration card will be issued.


Emissions Inspection

Requirements vary from county to county. Visit Clean Air Car Check for more information.


Safety Inspection

There is no periodic statewide safety inspection requirement.

The police have the authority to check a vehicle to determine whether it is safe.  The police can check the following: the vehicle’s brakes; headlights; taillights; brake lights; clearance lights; turn signals; the vehicle’s steering and suspension; the vehicle’s exhaust systems; the vehicle’s body in general; and the vehicle’s tires.

If the inspection reveals that a vehicle meets the previously mentioned safety requirements, the inspecting officer shall issue to the owner of the vehicle a certificate stating that the vehicle was inspected and that it met the safety requirements.


Title and Registration Fees

AUTOMOBILE

Title Fee: $15.00

Registration Fee: $21.35

MOTORCYCLE

Title Fee: $15.00

Registration Fee: $26.35

DUPLICATES

Plate Fee: $10.25

Registration Fee: $6.25

Driver’s License Fee: $10.50

Title Fee: $15.50

Special Plates: Varies

Plate Disbursement

When registration is completed, the Bureau will provide the registrant with one license plate or renewal tag that is sent through the mail, or other indication of registration.

License plates are validated by stickers.

The color schemes for standard license plates are 1) blue with white lettering and the Indiana logo, or 2) red, white, and blue American flag design with ‘In God We Trust’ in white lettering.

Special plates for disabled drivers are available upon application, with affidavit of disability, to Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Transfer of Plates

Unexpired license plates can be transferred when a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, recreational vehicle, or motor home that is currently registered in Indiana is transferred to another person as long as the vehicle from which the license plate is transferred is the same type of vehicle, and the vehicle has not been operated in Indiana for more than 31 days after the date of acquisition of the vehicle. The person that is registering the new vehicle must prove ownership by having either the manufacturer’s certificate of origin, the assigned certificate of title, or a notarized bill of sale.

Driver's License Examination

All initial examinations will include an eyesight test, a testing of the ability of the applicant to read and understand highway signs, a knowledge of Indiana traffic laws, a testing of the ability of the applicant to exercise reasonable control in the vehicle, and any physical or mental examination the Bureau sees fit, if necessary.

The Bureau will waive the demonstration portion of the exam for any person who has passed a driver education class and road test given by an approved commercial driver training school or a high school driver education program.

The state requires that both eyes have 20/40 visual acuity or better for an unrestricted license.


Graduated Driver’s Licensing

Indiana has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.

At age 15, a learner’s permit may be issued if the applicant is enrolled in an approved driver education course, or age 16 without driver education.

  • This permit allows a holder to operate a motor vehicle while the holder is participating in an approved driver education course, with a certified driving instructor in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with dual brake controls, or when a licensed driver at least 25 years old and related by blood, marriage or legal status, or a spouse over age 21 with valid driving privileges is seated in the vehicle’s front passenger seat. If the permit holder is at least 18 years or older, they may also drive with any non-relative who is at least age 25 with valid driving privileges.
  • If the learner’s permit applicant is school age, and either habitually misses class, is under suspension for a second time during the same school year, is under expulsion from school, or withdrawn from school for reasons other than proven financial hardship, then the applicant is not eligible to receive his or her learner’s permit until age 18.
  • Regardless of age, the permit holder must hold the permit for 180 days and complete 50 hours of certified driving practice (10 hours at night) before receiving an intermediate license.

Drivers are eligible for an intermediate license at age 16 years and 90 days upon successful completion of an approved driver education program or 16 years and 270 days without driver education.

  • During the first 180 days of the intermediate stage, unless accompanied by a licensed adult over the age of 25, or a spouse over the age of 21, or for lawful employment, school sanctioned activities, or a religious event, individuals under age 21 may not drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Thereafter, until age 18, individuals may not drive between the hours of 1 a.m and 5 a.m. Saturday and Sunday (“late night” Friday and Saturday) or between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday through Friday.
  • Also, intermediate license holders under age 21 may not have any passengers other than a sibling, step-sibling, their child or step-child, or spouse of the driver for the first 180 days, unless supervised by a licensed instructor, licensed driver with valid driving privileges at least 25 years old or if the licensed driver is the holder’s spouse, age 21.

At age 21, drivers are eligible for an unrestricted driver’s license. Intermediate licenses automatically expire 30 days after a driver’s 21st birthday.


Driver's License Issuance/Application

The application of an individual younger than 18 years must be signed and affirmed by a parent having custody of the minor applicant, or by a guardian having custody of the minor applicant. If neither parent lives in Indiana and there is no guardian, then any adult willing to assume this responsibility can do so.

A chauffeur’s license may be issued to an individual who is 18 years of age, if that individual has operated a motor vehicle for more than 1 year, makes proper application on the Bureau’s form, passes the examination and tests required for issuance of a chauffeur’s license, and pays the fees prescribed by the Bureau.

A commercial driver’s license for transportation of individuals may be issued if an individual is at least 21 years of age and has at least 1 year of driving experience as a licensed driver.

A public passenger chauffeur’s license can be issued at 21 years of age. A taxicab license can be issued for driving a taxicab. Additionally, the applicant must have at least 1 year of driving experience as a licensed driver.

License includes a color photograph, a signature, and a state assigned number. Social security number may be added upon request.


Driver’s License Renewal

The application for renewal may be filed up to 1 year prior to the license’s expiration date.

All individuals must provide verification of social security number and 2 proof of residency documents upon application for renewal.

An individual who applies for a license renewal must pass an eye exam.

If an applicant is under 21 years of age and has 6 active points on his or her license, he or she must also pass a written examination.

License expires after 4, 5, or 6 years on date of birth for people 18-74; 3 years on date of birth for people 75-84; 2 years on date of birth for people 85 and older.

Drivers under age 75 may renew licenses by mail or over the internet. Mail and electronic option available only every other renewal and only if the name and address have remained the same and the license holder does not require testing.

If an active military person or military family member has an Indiana driver’s license, it does not expire until 90 days after his/her discharge from the military. As far as their family is concerned, their licenses do expire. They can renew by mail with a “photo exempt” license. Military families are the only Indiana motorists who have the privilege of renewing by mail


Types of Driver's Licenses

Driver’s license classes include: (1) operator’s license; (2) chauffeur’s license; (3) public passenger chauffeur’s license; (4) motorcycle endorsement on a license; (5) learner’s permit; and (6) commercial license.

Distracted Driving

Texting while driving is banned for all drivers.  Probationary license holders under 21 are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle while using a telecommunications device for any purpose other than making an emergency 911 call.


Emergency Radio/Cellular

Emergency phone number is 911.

Citizen band radio channel 9 is randomly monitored for emergency calls.


Headsets

No prohibition on wearing of headsets while driving.


Impaired Driving

All 50 states and the District of Columbia prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, with the illegal per se limit set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC). All 50 states and the District of Columbia set the legal drinking age at 21.

Every state’s chemical test law has ‘‘an implied consent’’ provision providing that any person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, who is suspected of driving while intoxicated, consents to a chemical test to determine if he or she is inebriated. Failure to submit or pass such a test may cause the driver’s license to be suspended or revoked regardless of any court action finding the person innocent of the charge.

The most comprehensive resource on U.S. impaired driving laws is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws.  NHTSA’s Digest is updated annually.

Indiana requires the use of ignition interlocks for impaired driving repeat offenders, though they may be required for first time offenders at judicial discretion.


Move Over Law

State law requires drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights, including towing and recovery vehicles, traveling in the same direction, to vacate the lane closest if safe and possible to do so, or reduce speed at least 10mph below the speed limit. Also included in the law are municipal vehicles, utility vehicles, and road maintenance vehicles.


Seat Belts

Seat belts are required for the driver and all passengers age 16 and older.

Violation of the seat belt law is a standard offense.

Riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck is not permitted; some exceptions apply.


Child Passenger Safety

Children ages 8 until 16 are required to be in either a seat belt or a child restraint.

Children under age 8 must be properly restrained in a child restraint system according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Children over 40 lbs. may be transported in the back seat of a vehicle with only a lap belt if the back seat is not equipped with a lap and shoulder belt.

Violations of the child restraint laws are standard offenses.

Vehicles participating in a funeral procession are exempt from complying with child restraint laws.


Railroad Crossing

Passenger vehicles, buses carrying passengers, motortrucks carrying employees, school buses, and vehicles carrying flammable material must stop between 15 and 50 feet from the nearest railroad tracks before proceeding, unless directed to do otherwise by a traffic signal or traffic officer.


School Buses

Vehicles must stop upon meeting, from either direction, a school bus (beginning July 1, 2014, school buses are exempt) that is stopped for loading or unloading children and displays or has recently displayed a stop signal arm. This rule does not apply if the bus is on the opposite roadway of a divided highway.

Bumper Height

A passenger vehicle that was originally equipped with a standard bumper must have a bumper when operated on a highway. The height of the bumper cannot vary more than 3 inches from the original manufactured bumper height.


Headlight Use

Headlights are required to be on from sunset to sunrise and when visibility is less than 500 feet.


Hazard Light Use

Hazard light use is not permitted while driving except in emergency situations.


Tire Chains

Tire chain usage is permitted for hazardous weather or other related incidents only, but may not damage the highway surface.


Studded Tires

Studded tires are permitted October 1 to May 1, and if retracted, May 2 to September 30.


Glass/Window Tinting

A person may not drive a motor vehicle with any tinted windows that obstruct the driver’s clear view of the highway or intersecting highway or that prevent the ability of people outside the vehicle to recognize the people inside the vehicle. Windows may not be tinted with a material that has a total solar reflectance of visible light of more than 25 percent as measured on the non-film side and light transmittance of less than 30 percent in the visible light range. The exceptions to this rule are tinted windows installed by the manufacturer that are in compliance with federal law, and windows that are tinted for medical reasons, which require a physician’s or optometrist’s certification that must be carried in the car at all times. This certification must be updated annually.


Telematics

A person may not own or operate a motor vehicle that has a television set installed in a manner that allows the person driving the vehicle to see the television set.


Radar Detectors

Radar detectors are permitted for passenger vehicles but prohibited for use by commercial vehicles.


Windshield Stickers

Stickers can be placed on the windshield if the stickers are 4 square inches or less and placed on the bottom of the passenger’s side of the windshield.


Other Equipment Rules

N/A.

Motorcycle Equipment

Helmets and eye protection are required for all riders and passengers under the age of 18.

A motorcycle operated on the roads of Indiana must be equipped with handlebars that are not higher than the shoulders of the driver when seated in the saddle.

Additionally, the motorcycle must have good working front and rear brakes, and be equipped with lights and reflectors meeting the standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Motorcycles that were manufactured before January 1, 1956, are not required to be equipped with headlights and other light devices if they are not operated when these lights are necessary for safety.


Motorcycle Licenses

The operator of a motorcycle may have either a motorcycle learner’s permit or a commercial or a regular driver’s license, chauffeur’s license, or public passenger chauffeur’s license with a motorcycle endorsement.

A temporary motorcycle learner’s permit can be issued to a person who holds a valid operator, chauffer or public passenger chauffer base license and passes a vision screening and motorcycle knowledge test. A learner’s permit allows the driver to drive on the highway for a period of 1 year as long as the driver wears a helmet, does not carry passengers, and only operates the motorcycle during daylight hours.

A motorcycle license endorsement may be issued if the operator passes a motorcycle skills test or provides proof of completing the Motorcycle Operator’s Safety Education Training course as well as a vision screening or has a current motorcycle operator endorsement or license from any other jurisdiction and successfully completes the written test.

A motorcycle learner’s permit cannot be issued to a person younger than 16 and 180 days of age.


Motorcycle Noise Limits

Any motorcycle must either be equipped with a muffler or any other device that prevents noise pollution. This device must be in good working condition.


Mopeds & Other

Owners of mopeds or scooters with engines smaller than 50 cubic centimeters must apply for a registration.  Such mopeds or scooters will receive license plates.

Operators of owners of mopeds or scooters must apply for a one of three license endorsements.  For mopeds with engines smaller than 50 cubic centimeters, a driver must be 15 years old or older and apply for an MDC – Class B endorsement.  For other mopeds, a driver must have an MDC – Class A license.  A driver with a motorcycle endorsement on their license may operate any moped.

Persons under 18 must wear protective headgear and goggles.

Trailer Dimensions

Total length: 60 feet (excluding boat transporters); trailer length: 28 feet 6 inches; motor home length: 45 feet; width: 8 feet 6 inches (for motor homes, excluding appurtenances up to the width of rear view mirrors); height: 13 feet 6 inches.


Trailer Brakes

A trailer or semitrailer that weighs at least 3,000 lbs. must be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold the towing vehicle and trailer or semitrailer.

These brakes must be designed so that the driver of the towing vehicle can apply the brakes from the towing vehicle itself and adequately stop both the towing vehicle and the trailer or semitrailer.


Trailer Hitch/Signals

Double safety chain required for all trailers; type of hitch not specified.


Trailer Lighting

A motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or any other vehicle that is pulled at the end of another vehicle must be equipped with at least 1 rear-mounted red taillight. This taillight must be plainly visible from a distance of 500 feet away. This vehicle must also be equipped with 2 or more rear-mounted white taillights. These taillights must be mounted between 20 inches and 72 inches from the ground. A separate white light must be placed on the vehicle so that it illuminates the rear plate and makes it clearly visible from a distance of 50 feet. All of these taillights must be properly wired so that when the headlights are illuminated, these lights are also illuminated.


Trailer Mirrors

A motor vehicle that is constructed or loaded in a manner that obstructs the Driver’s rear view must be equipped with a mirror located in place where it is able to reflect the Driver’s view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet.


Trailer Speed Limits

As posted.


Trailer Towing

The maximum length of 2 or more vehicles together, including any cargo is 60 feet. The maximum length for 3 or more vehicles together, including a load, is 65 feet. The maximum load size in length is 3 feet beyond the front and 4 feet beyond the rear.


Trailer Other Provisions

Riding in towed trailers is permitted.

Accident Reporting

Crashes are required to be immediately reported if they result in death, injury, or property damage exceeding $750.00.


Bail Bonds

Mandatory recognition of AAA and other accepted motor club arrest bond certificates up to $500, with specified exceptions.


Liability Laws

Every driver and every owner of a motor vehicle must have evidence of continuous financial responsibility. Failure to comply can result in the suspension of the person’s current driver’s license or vehicle registration or both.

The required minimum amounts of financial responsibility are $25,000 for bodily injury to or the death of 1 individual, $50,000 for bodily injury to or the death of 2 or more individuals in any 1 accident, and $10,000 for damage to property in 1 accident.

State has non-resident service of process law.


Weigh Stations

All trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,000 lbs. or more must stop.


Bicycles

Bicycle helmets are not required.

There is no law for the safe passage of bicycles by motor vehicles.


Other

Indiana is party to the Non-Resident Violator Compact.

It is unlawful to park or stop on a highway when it is feasible to stop or park off of the highway, unless a vehicle is disabled to such a degree that it is impossible to avoid stopping and temporarily leaving the vehicle on the roadway.

A driver may not stop or park a vehicle on a sidewalk; in front of a public or private driveway; within an intersection; within 15 feet of a fire hydrant; on a crosswalk; within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection; between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the end of a safety zone, unless the traffic authority indicates a different length by signs or markings; within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing; within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to a fire station and on the side of a street opposite the entrance to a fire station, in a fire lane, within 75 feet of the entrance; along side or opposite a street excavation or obstruction if stopping or parking would obstruct traffic; upon a bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway; within a tunnel; or any place where official signs prohibit stopping.

Except where angle parking is allowed, a person must parallel park within 12 inches of the right-hand curb.