A Guide on How To Register A Car In Nigeria – It is a necessity to register your car in Nigeria and telling you why you should, is a cliché, so I will spare you that detail. Registering a car in Nigeria is not so tedious, it could take up to three days or less but in a worst case scenario it could take months.

There are two types of vehicles that can be registered:

  • Fairly Used Imported Vehicles (Tokunbos)
  • Brand New Vehicles

The process of registering a tokunbo vehicle and a brand new one are the same. The only difference is the required documents for the process. The documents required for both type of vehicles are detailed in the boxes below:

 Tokunbo cars

Brand New Car


Get all the above documents relating to your vehicle type and commence the registration process. Originals of the documents are going to be required, so make photocopies.



By law before you are allowed to drive, you are required to have a driver’s license. If you don’t have a license you might find it difficult registering your vehicle in your name. Please read my post: Guide On How to Get a Driver’s License In Nigeria to find out how.



Proceed to the State Board of Internal Revenue/Motor Licensing Authority (SBIR/MLA) office to start the process. Present all the documents listed in the boxes above to the licensing officer and after confirmation, you will be issued the following forms to complete:


Process of car registration in Nigeria

Complete the forms then submit with the original copies of the all the documents you brought. The forms will require the following documents, Driver’s License, valid ID card (International Passport or National ID card) and utility bill (for proof of address). It is advisable to make photocopy of the completed forms before submission.



After completion and returning of the forms to the licensing officer, the officer will forward them to the Police Officer working with the licensing office. He will verify the documents and sign on the Allocation of registration Number form if satisfied with the documents and vehicle brought for registration. After endorsement of by the police officer, you will be required to make payment at a designated bank for the plate number. Payment is dependent on the state you are in which range from between N35,000  and N50,000 (just check with your local licensing office).



After payment, return to the SBIR/MLA and tender your evidence of payment. Once your payment is confirmed (depending on the number of people in line) you will be given your Proof of Ownership Certificate (POC), Vehicle Identification Tag (VIT) and Vehicle Number Plate. Also, all original documents submitted at the first stage of the process will be returned to you.


Now that your vehicle is registered, you might want to get a Road Worthiness Permit (if it is not part of the document issued during the registration process). It is essential to prevent embarrassment from law enforcement officials while driving. So take your vehicle to Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) to do a physical inspection on the car for road worthiness and once the car is certified okay, you will be issued with a Road Worthiness Certificate.


In addition to that, Motor Insurance is also essential by law for you to have on your vehicle. It could either be Comprehensive or Third Party Motor Insurance (minimum insurance requirement). So, before you start driving your can you might want to take insurance.

FURTHER READING: How To Detect a Fake Third Party Insurance Certificate In Nigeria


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A Guide on How To Register A Car In Nigeria
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