It took quite a while to finally come up with the topic of vehicle registration process in Nigeria. As much as it seems easy to do, it actually is not, and has many shortcomings. In Nigeria, a vehicle could take minimum of one day or as long as three months to register. Three months? Why that long? It depends on many different issues such as; non-availability of preferred registration number plates, inappropriate vehicle papers and many more. Okay, let’s assume there were no lapses in the vehicle registration process in Nigeria, and a young graduate or professional just bought his first car. He bought himself a pre – owned tokunbo Toyota Corolla with a considerable mileage and in an amazing condition from one of the accredited car dealers he found on carmudi.com.ng. Now that he has his car, he needs to register it. In the ideal situation, how does he go about it?

What Documents Do You Need to Register A Car?


Many Nigerians don’t really understand what vehicle registration entails because many of them think registering your car means going to the relevant authorities, paying a fee and getting your vehicle registered. That’s a wrong thought because there are a series of documents needed to register pre – owned vehicles as well as brand new vehicles. However, before taking your new vehicle to the registration authorities, you need to have the following documents; A valid Driver’s License, an insurance Policy Number, a valid Identification card such as International passport, national identity card etc and a Proof of Address (e.g. Utility Bill).  If you have these documents, you can proceed to the State Board of Internal Revenue/Motor Licensing Authority (SBIR/MLA) with your personal documents you have and other documents which are categorized below according to type of vehicle (tokunbo or brand new) for registration.

The Registration Procedure

At the State Board of Internal Revenue/Motor Licensing Authority (SBIR/MLA), the first step to make is picking up an “allocation of plate number” form which needs to be completely filled out with all required details  and submit with all the documents in your possession.


Documents needed to register a Tokunbo Car
  1. Motor Vehicle Duty Certificate
  2. Payment Schedule
  3. Certificate of Entry
  4. Bill of Lading containing the Chassis Number
  5. Engine Number
  6. Receipt of Purchase
  7. Terminal Delivery Order
  8. Vehicle Releasing Invoice
  9. Passport photograph of the vehicle owner.
Documents needed to register a Brand New Car
  1. Attestation letter from the company of purchase;
  2. Receipt of Purchase/Invoice;
  3. Delivery note from the company of purchase
  4. Passport photograph of the vehicle owner;
  5. Motor Vehicle Duty Certificate

Once the authorities are satisfied with all the documents submitted, you can proceed to the next stage by completing additional forms and submitting again. Find below a list of additional forms required;

  1. Allocation of Registration Number of New Vehicle Form
  2. Auto vehicle License Form
  3. Form B
  4. Federal Road Safety Form, FRSC Form
  5. Tax Form

Upon completion of the forms, the registration officer would forward all your documents to the police officer assigned to the licensing office to append signature and stamp, approving that all your documents are accurate and satisfies all the existing laws. After the police signs the documents, the client is directed to a bank to make payments for the license plate. It is always advised for clients to have about N50,000 to register his/her vehicle, because there is a possibility of incurring extra chargers when making payment.

Once payment is made, and the receipt of payment is presented, the client would be asked what number they desire for their registration plate, and based on availability, the plates would be issued to them, along with a Proof of Ownership Certificate Number, Proof of ownership Certificate and a Vehicle Identification Tag (VIT). All original documents submitted would also be returned to the client, but always cross check to confirm that all original documents are returned accordingly, and with that, your new vehicle is registered. As lengthy as the process seems, it can be done in just a day.

credit:Adeniyi Akinjogbin/carmudi.com.ng