Title Application

No certificate of registration of any motor vehicle or trailer will be issued by the DVSB unless the applicant has applied for and been granted a certificate of ownership of such motor vehicle or trailer.

An application shall be made within 30 days after the applicant acquires the motor vehicle or trailer upon a blank form furnished by the DVSB and must contain: the applicant’s identification number; a full description of the motor vehicle or trailer; the vehicle identification number; and the mileage registered on the odometer at the time of transfer of ownership.

A statement of the applicant’s source of title and of any liens or encumbrances on the motor vehicle or trailer shall accompany the application.

Title Transfer of Ownership

When a vehicle is sold or transferred, the owner must endorse the certificate of ownership and sign a warranty of title with a statement of all liens or encumbrances on such motor vehicle or trailer, and deliver the same to the buyer at the time of the delivery to him or her of such motor vehicle or trailer.

The buyer must then present the certificate to the DVSB, at the time of making application for the registration of such motor vehicle or trailer, and a new certificate of ownership shall be issued to the buyer.

If such motor vehicle or trailer is sold to a resident of another state or country, or if such motor vehicle or trailer is destroyed or dismantled, the owner must immediately notify the DVSB. Certificates when so signed and returned to the DVSB must be retained by the DVSB and all certificates must be appropriately indexed so that at all times it will be possible for the DVSB to expeditiously trace the ownership of the motor vehicle or trailer.

Titles for Mobile Homes

The owner of any new or used mobile home must make application to the Department of Revenue to title the mobile home.

Registration Application

Every owner of a motor vehicle or trailer shall annually file an application for registration.

The application shall contain the following information: a brief description of the motor vehicle or trailer to be registered, including the name of the manufacturer, the vehicle identification number, the amount of horsepower of the motor vehicle, and whether the motor vehicle is to be registered primarily for business; the name, the applicant’s identification number and address of the owner of such motor vehicle or trailer; and the gross weight of the vehicle and the desired load in pounds if the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle or trailer.

The DVSB must notify each registered motor vehicle owner by mail, within an appropriate time of the beginning of a new registration period.

There is no period of grace for late registration.

Registration for Non-Residents

The DVSB shall issue a temporary permit authorizing the operation of a motor vehicle or trailer by a non-resident buyer for not more than 30 days from the date of purchase. Proof of ownership must be presented to the DVSB and the application for such permit shall contain a full description of the motor vehicle, including manufacturer’s or other identifying number.

Current insurance is also required.

Military personnel on active duty in Missouri may maintain out-of-state vehicle registration.

Registration Type

Registration for every motor vehicle shall be annual. Or biannual if applicable.

Emissions Inspection

Emissions inspections, in addition to safety inspections, are required biennially in counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson, Franklin, and the City of St. Louis. Visit Missouri’s Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program for more information.

Emissions inspections are not required for 1995 and older gasoline-powered vehicles and 1996 and older diesel-powered vehicles, new motor vehicles not previously titled and registered for the 4-year period following their model year of manufacture with fewer than 40,000 miles at the first required biennial safety inspection, new and unused vehicles with model years within 2 years of the calendar year that have odometer readings of less than 6,000 miles and motor vehicles driven fewer that 12,000 miles.

Other exemptions include motorcycles and motor-tricycles, and vehicles powered by fuels other than gasoline, ethanol or diesel. Vehicles built in even numbered years are subject to emissions test in even numbered years: vehicles built in odd numbered years are subject to emissions test in odd numbered years.

OBD (on-board diagnostics) is utilized as part of the state emissions inspection process.

Safety Inspection

Motor vehicle inspections are required biennially not more than 60 days prior to registration renewal at official inspection stations. Not required for new vehicles not previously titled and registered, or for next four succeeding years. Vehicles built in even numbered years are subject to inspection in even numbered years and vehicles built in odd numbered years are subject to inspection in odd numbered years.

Title and Registration Fees


Title Fee: $8.50

Registration Fee: Registration fee based on horsepower. *


Title Fee: $8.50

Registration Fee: Registration fee based on horsepower. *


Plate Fee: N/A

Registration Fee: $12.00

Driver’s License Fee: Driver’s License: $10.00 for 3 years, $20.00for 6 years; Commercial Driver’s License: $22.50 for 3 years, $45.00 for 6 years

Title Fee:$8.50

Special Plates: $15.00

* Less than 12: $18.25; 12 and less than 24: $21.25; 24 and less than 36: $24.25; 36 and less than 48: $33.25; 48 and less than 60: $39.25; 60 and less than 72: $45.25; 72 and higher: $51.25.

Plate Disbursement

The DVSB distributes license plates to each motor vehicle in the state. Each type of vehicle is considered a separate class.

A set of two reflectorized license plates is issued with the certificate of registration.

Each set of license plates shall bear the name or abbreviated name of this state, the words “BICENTENNIAL,” the month and year in which the registration shall expire, and an arrangement of numbers or letters, or both, as shall be assigned from year to year by the DVSB.

The color scheme for license plates is Red and Blue wavy lines on white.

License plates are validated with stickers

Special plates for qualified disabled veterans will have the “DISABLED VETERAN” wording on the license plates in preference to the words “BICENTENNIAL” and special plates for members of the national guard will have the “NATIONAL GUARD” wording in preference to the words “BICENTENNIAL.”

Transfer of Plates

When the owner of a motor vehicle moves to another state, he or she may return the license plates to the DVSB. Or upon the expiration of the period of reciprocity granted by the new state of residence.

If the owner of a vehicle ceases to operate a vehicle within the state, the plates may be returned to the DVSB within 90 days.

License plates may be transferred from a motor vehicle which will no longer be operated in the state to a newly purchased motor vehicle.

Upon the transfer of ownership of a vehicle, the license plates must be removed and the right to use the plates expires. However, the original owner may register another motor vehicle of the same category under the same number, provided the appropriate fee is paid.

If the transferor of a vehicle cannot register another vehicle under the same number because the vehicle is of a different category, the owner may surrender the plates and receive credit for any unused portion of the original registration fee.

Driver’s License Examination

Any applicant for a license who does not possess a valid license issued pursuant to the laws of the state, another state, or a country which has a reciprocal agreement with the state of Missouri regarding the exchange of licenses must be examined. Any person who has failed to renew his license within 6 months after the expiration date must take the complete examination.

To obtain an Under 21 Full License, an applicant must pass the vision (20/40 visual acuity required) and road sign recognition tests but is not required to take the written and driving tests if the applicant has already passed these tests.

Graduated Driver’s Licensing

Missouri has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.

At age 15, individuals are eligible for a learner’s permit. Permit holders must pass a written, vision and road sign tests and may only drive when accompanied by a parent, guardian, certified driver trainer, or a driver age 25 or older with written permission from a parent.

  • Permit holders must accumulate at least 40 hours (10 at night) of certified driving.

At age 16, after holding the learner’s permit for 6 months, drivers are eligible for an intermediate license. Applicants pass vision, road sign, written, and driving tests, and must not have an alcohol-related offense within the last 12 months and not have a traffic conviction in last 6 months.

  • Intermediate license holders may not drive unsupervised between the hours of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. (except to and from a school activity, job, or an emergency).
  • For the first 6 months after being issued their intermediate permit, intermediate license holders may only have 1 passenger who is under the age of 19 (family member exempt). After the first 6 months, intermediate license holders may have no more than 3 passengers under the age of 19.

Drivers and their passengers are also required to wear seat belts.

At age 18, drivers are eligible for an unrestricted license if they: (1) pass a vision test; (2) have not had the intermediate license suspended, revoked, or denied; and (3) have not any alcohol related offenses or traffic convictions within the last 12 months.

An applicant cannot receive an unrestricted license if the intermediate license is suspended, revoked, or denied when applying for a full driver’s license.

Driver’s License Issuance/Application

A first-time applicant applying for a Missouri driver’s license must bring 1 document for proof of identity. An applicant must also provide proof of a Social Security Number.

Primary documents acceptable as proof of identity are as follows: (1) U.S. or Canadian birth certificate; (2) current approved INS document.

Acceptable documents for proof of Identity:

(1) Certified copy of US Birth Certificate, (2) US Passport (not stamped cancelled) (3) Birth abroad certificate, (4) Certificate of Citizenship, (5) Certificate of Naturalization, (6) copy of US birth certificate with valid Military ID.

Current license holders in MO are required to have a document showing name and date of birth, Name and social security number, or Name and picture to renew or duplicate driver or non driver.

Secondary documents acceptable as proof of identity include the following: (1) court order containing full name, date of birth, and court seal; (2) approved INS documents that are expired 1 year or less; (3) U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs Card/Indian Treaty Card; (4) employer photo identification card; (5) non-English language birth certificate; (6) health insurance card; (7) IRS/state tax form; (8) marriage certificate/license; (9) medical records; (10) military discharge/separation papers; (11) parent/guardian affidavit; (12) gun permit; (13) pilot’s license; (14) certified school record/transcript; (15) social security card; (16) student photo identification; (17) vehicle title; (18) photo public assistance card; or (19) prison release documents.

The following persons are exempt from holding a driver’s license: (1) any person operating any farm tractor or implement of husbandry temporarily operated or moved on a highway; (2) a non-resident who is at least 16 years of age and who has in his immediate possession a valid license issued to him in his home state or country; (3) a non-resident who is at least 18 years of age and who has in his immediate possession a valid license issued to him in his home state or country which allows such person to operate a motor vehicle in the transportation of persons or property; and (4) convicted offenders of the Department of Corrections who have not been convicted of a motor vehicle felony and are operating state-owned vehicles for the benefit of the correctional facilities while accompanied by a correctional officer or other staff person in the vehicle.

License normally includes a color photograph. Contains a non objector number issued by DVSB.

Proof of address is also required.


Driver’s License Renewal

Renewal drivers ages 18-20: 3-year driver license issued that will expire on the applicant’s date of birth in the 3rd year after date of issuance. 21-69: applicants get a 6-year license. 70 and over: driver license will expire on the applicant’s date of birth in the 3rd year after date of issuance.

All persons renewing their license must pass a vision test and a sign recognition test.

Military personnel and their dependents out of state when their licenses expire may renew their driver’s license by mail.

Applicants that are not U.S. citizens may receive an expiration date less than the terms above based on the expiration date of the documents submitted.

Types of Driver’s Licenses

Class A, Class B, and Class C licenses respectively are for large commercial vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) exceeding 26,001 lbs., vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, and vehicles designed to transport hazardous materials. Class E licenses are for drivers whose employment involves transporting property or persons for hire or driving a vehicle owned by another person in the course of their employment.

Class F: Class F licenses are for non-commercial vehicles including recreational vehicles being used solely for personal use. An applicant must be 18 years of age.

Under 21 Driver’s License: A person is eligible for an Under 21 Driver’s License at 18 years of age.

Distracted Driving

Persons under 21 are prohibited from operating a moving motor vehicle while sending, reading, or writing a text message.  In some cities, including Chesterfield, Ellisville, Florissant, Kirkwood, Lake St. Louis, Manchester, O’Fallon, St. Charles, and St. John, texting while driving is banned for all drivers.


No prohibition on wearing of headsets while driving.

Impaired Driving

Forty-nine 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). Utah’s per se limit is 0.05 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.

Missouri requires the use of ignition interlocks for all impaired driving offenders.

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 slow to a speed safe for road conditions.

Seat Belts

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

Violation of the seat belt law is a secondary offense; however, it is a standard offense for children under age 16.

Violation of the seat belt law is a primary offense in the following localities: Ballwin, Bertrand, Bloomfield, Brentwood, Buchanan County, Chesterfield, Calverton Park, Carterville, Charlack, Clarkson Valley, Clever, Cottleville, Creve Coeur, Crocker, Dexter, Doniphan, Edmundson, Essex, Farmington, Florissant, Foristell, Fredericktown, Gideon, Grandview, Harrisonville, Hartville, Hazelwood, Herculaneum, Independence, Kansas City, Kirkwood, Lake St. Louis, Leadington, Manchester, Merriam Woods, Milan, Mountain View, New Melle, Nixa, Olivette, Osage Beach, Pevely, Puxico, Richland, St. John, St. Louis County, Sugar Creek, Webster Groves, Weldon Spring, Weston, Willow Springs, Willard, and Winfield.

Riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck is not permitted for persons under age 18 on interstates or urban areas; some other exceptions apply.

Child Passenger Safety

Children ages 8 until 16 who weigh at least 80 lbs. or are taller than 4 feet 9 inches must use a seat belt or appropriate booster seat.

Children ages 4 until 8 must ride in a booster seat or appropriate child restraint system, unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches or weigh more than 80 lbs.

Children less than age 4 or less than 40 lbs. must be secured in a child passenger restraint system.

Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.

Railroad Crossing

The driver of a vehicle must approach a railroad crossing in a manner so that he will be able to stop if necessary. The driver must stop the vehicle not less than 15 feet and not more than 50 feet from the nearest rail of the railroad track and must not proceed until he can do so safely if: (1) a clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device warns of the approach of a train; (2) a crossing gate is lowered or a human flagman gives or continues to give a signal or warning of the approach or passage of a train; (3) a train is visible and is in hazardous proximity to the crossing; or (4) any other sign, device, or law requires the vehicle to stop.

No person may drive any vehicle through, around, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing when a train is approaching while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.

No person may drive a vehicle through a railroad crossing when there is not sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing.

No person may drive a vehicle through a railroad crossing unless the vehicle has sufficient undercarriage clearance necessary to prevent the undercarriage of the vehicle from contacting the railroad crossing.

School Buses

The driver of a vehicle upon a highway, upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children and whose driver has given the signal to stop, shall stop the vehicle before reaching such school bus and shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by its driver to proceed.  This does not apply to vehicles approaching on a different roadway, or which is proceeding in the opposite direction on a highway containing four or more lanes of traffic, or which is stopped in a loading zone constituting a part of, or adjacent to, a limited or controlled access highway at a point where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

Bumper Height

Bumper are required. The maximum bumper height for passenger vehicles is 22 inches.

Headlight Use

Headlights are required to be on 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise, when visibility is less than 500 feet, or any time the weather conditions require usage of the motor vehicle’s windshield wipers to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner, including in fog.

Hazard Light Use

Hazard light usage is permitted while driving.

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 November 2 to March 31.

Glass/Window Tinting

Any person may operate a motor vehicle with front sidewing vents or windows located immediately to the left and right of the driver that have a sun screening device, in conjunction with safety glazing material, that has a light transmission of 35% or more plus or minus 3% and a luminous reflectance of 35% or less plus or minus 3%.

A permit exempting a driver from these requirements may be issued by the Department of Public Safety to a person having a serious medical condition that requires the use of a sun screening device if the permittee’s physician prescribes its use. The permit shall allow the operation of the vehicle by any titleholder or relative (spouse, each grandparent, parent, brother, sister, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, child, and grandchild).

Does not prohibit labels, stickers, decalcomania, or informational signs on motor vehicles or the application of tinted or solar screening material to recreational vehicles provided that such material does not interfere with the driver’s normal view of the road. Does not prohibit factory installed tinted glass, the equivalent replacement thereof, or tinting material applied to the upper portion of the motor vehicle’s windshield is normally tinted by the manufacturer of motor vehicle safety glass.

Any vehicle licensed with a historical license plate shall be exempt from the window tinting requirements.

Video Screens

No statewide restriction.

Radar Detectors

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

Windshield Stickers

Labels, stickers, decalcomania, or informational signs on motor vehicles are not prohibited as long as they do not interfere with normal vision of the road.

Other Equipment Rules


Motorcycle Equipment

Every person riding on or operating a motorcycle or motor-tricycle shall wear protective headgear.

Every motorcycle shall be equipped with at least 1 and not more than 2 headlamps. Every motorcycle equipped with a sidecar or other attachment shall be equipped with a lamp on the outside limit of such attachment capable of displaying a white light to the front.

Required equipment: 1 rearview mirror, horn, fuel tank cap, license plate, muffler, registration card, tires approved for highway use, and turn signals (if equipped by manufacturer).

Motorcycle Licenses

It is unlawful to operate a motorcycle or motor-tricycle unless the operator has a valid license that shows the operator has successfully passed an examination for the operation of the vehicle.  Active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces may waive the driving skills portion of the examination by submitting a proof of completion card from a military Motorcycle Rider Training Course.

Any person at least 15 1/2 years of age who, except for age or lack of instruction in operating a motor vehicle, would otherwise be qualified to obtain a motorcycle or motor-tricycle license or endorsement, may apply, with the written consent of the parent or guardian of such person, for a temporary motorcycle instruction permit to operate a motorcycle or motor-tricycle.

Motorcycle Noise Limits

No statewide noise limit restriction.

Mopeds & Other

Registration not required. Minimum age for a driver’s license is 16. Valid operator’s license required. The following items are required when used on street or highway 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise: (1) headlamp, (2) rear reflectors, (3) pedal reflectors, (4) side-mounted reflectors on front and rear wheels or retro-reflective sidewalls, and (5) equipment required by moped regulation VESC-17.

Trailer Dimensions

Total length: 65 feet; trailer and motor home length: 45 feet (excluding bumpers for motor homes); width: 8 feet 6 inches (excluding safety equipment and clearance lights and required accessories, and for motor homes, excluding appurtenances up to width of rear view mirrors); height: 13 feet 6 inches (14 feet on designated roads).

Trailer Brakes

Independent braking system not required except on trailers coupled by a 5th-wheel and kingpin, and on trailers hauling hazardous materials with a gross weight exceeding 3,000 pounds.

Trailer Hitch/Signals

Safety chains or an equivalent device are required in addition to the primary coupling device, except for 5th-wheel or gooseneck-type vehicles.

Trailer Lighting

Each trailer must display on the rear 2 red taillights, 2 red reflectors, and a white license plate light. The reflectors may be incorporated in the taillights.

Turn signal lights and brake lights are required if visible signals cannot be given by arm and hand; or when the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the left outside limit of the body, cab, or load exceeds 24 inches; or when the distance from the top of the steering post to the rear limit of the body or load exceeds 14 feet.

Trailer Mirrors

All motor vehicles, which are so constructed or loaded that the operator cannot see the road behind such vehicle by looking back or around the side of such vehicle, shall be equipped with a mirror so adjusted as to reveal the road behind and be visible from the operator’s seat.

Trailer Speed Limits

Same as for passenger cars.

Trailer Towing


Trailer Other Provisions

Riding in towed trailers is permitted.

Accident Reporting

Crashes are required to be reported in cases of death, injury, or when property damage exceeds $500.00.

The deadline to file a report is 5 days.

Liability Laws

No owner of a motor vehicle registered in this state, or required to be registered in this state, may operate, register, or maintain registration of a motor vehicle, or permit another person to operate the vehicle, unless the owner maintains the required liability coverage.

An insurance identification card shall be carried in the insured motor vehicle at all times. A motor vehicle liability insurance policy, a motor vehicle liability insurance binder, or receipt which contains the policy information is satisfactory evidence of insurance in lieu of an insurance identification card.

A motor vehicle liability policy must insure the person named in the policy and any other person using the vehicle or vehicles with the express or implied permission of the named insured against liability for damages arising from the ownership or use of the vehicle in the amount of $25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 1 person in any 1 accident and, subject to the limit for 1 person, $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons in any 1 accident, and $25,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any 1 accident.