Every car in America has to be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Policies vary by state, but all states and the District of Columbia require vehicle registration. These are the serious of numbers or letters than appear on your car's license plates and are necessary for identification purposes. The federal government issues its own license plates for its vehicles and for those of foreign dignitaries. In some states, license plates really are made by prison inmates; it's not just another urban legend. The cost of auto registration also varies from state to state in addition to other factors. The make and model of your car affects the cost of registration. Larger vehicles such as trucks, vans, and SUV come at a higher price than smaller cars. A car's age is another aspect that alters the price of registration. In general, older cars cost than newer ones. You will also have to renew your registration periodically. If you buy a used car from someone else, you will also have to re-register the car so that it is in your name.