Vehicle Registration Process In Nigeria


Once you purchase your favorite automobile, you don’t just plunge into the major roads in Nigeria and start to cruise the way you like.

You have to have that vehicle registered as instituted by Nigerian law. Failure to do that, leaves you at the mercy of Government officials who manage and regulate traffic and once  they notice your car has no covering papers, you’re in big trouble or let’s just say you’ve blessed them with a nice feast.

Whether your car is imported or not, all cars that ply Nigerian roads must be registered in Nigeria, and note that it costs some money to register vehicles in Nigeria and this can take quite some time, due to the process required.

Also see: VIN Check: Look Up that Vehicle’s History

Why Must I Register My Vehicle Before Driving?

The Nigerian law makes it compulsory for all vehicles (trucks, cars, tricycle, and motorcycle) using Nigerian roads to get registered to enable easy tracking of vehicles and their various owners.

The following are the steps achieving this:

Step 1: Get A Driver’s License

If you don’t already have a driver’s license, visit the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) office nearest to you and apply for a driver’s license. You can get a driver’s license even if you don’t own a car.

They will do a biometric data capturing and you will be required to pay the sum of N10,000 to process a new one. After the process is completed, you will be given a temporary driver’s license which will last for 60 days. After the 60 days is over, your new driver’s license will be ready for pick up.

Step 2: Registration Process At SBIR/MLA

At SBIR/MLA office, you will be given an allocation of plate number form. You will have to fill out all the required details on the form and submit this form with original copies of all the necessary documents.

You’ll be required to pay for your vehicle plate number.

Your car might be required for inspection by a VIO (Vehicle Inspection Officer). When certified okay, you will be issued a Road Worthiness Certificate.

Required Documents for vehicle registration in Nigeria:

Before you nurture the plans to proceed to vehicle registration in Nigeria, make sure that you have all the needed documents intact. Most requested of all the documents are:

  • A valid Driver’s License.
  • Insurance Policy Number
  • Means of Identification e.g. International passport, national identity card etc.
  • Proof of Address (e.g. Utility Bill)

Other documents also required are;

  • Custom papers:
  • Attestation letter from the company of purchase;
  • Receipt of Purchase/Invoice;
  • Delivery note from the company of purchase
  • Proof of Ownership of the car
  • Engine number written out (not compulsory but necessary)
  • Proof of Ownership
  • Insurance papers
  • Tax Identification Number (recently added but not compulsory yet)
  • Passport photograph.

Others are custom papers (imported car), chassis number, and engine number, and proceed to State Board of Internal Revenue/Motor Licensing Authority (SBIR/MLA).

Vehicle Registration in Nigeria Continues…


Step 3:

Do you have the above listed documents ready? If yes, let’s proceed.

  1. Visit the Federal Road Safety Corp National Vehicle Identification System website at and completes online registration (MVA01) form.
  2. Prints the completed form and attach all relevant vehicle documents
  3. Proceeds to SBIR/MLA (State Board of Internal Revenue/Motor Licensing Authority) office and collect the allocation of plate number form, Plate number Tag, CMR and information required issued by the police
    Pay for vehicle number plate at SBIR/MLA and collect your vehicle number plate.
  4. After that, take your vehicle to Vehicle inspection Office (VIO) for physical inspection and collect a Road worthiness certificate, if VIO is satisfied with the condition of the vehicle.
  5. Now go back to Road safety for the verification of documents provided. Here, the verified documents are Driver’s License: Insurance Policy Number, Means of Identification, and Proof of Address (e.g. Utility Bill)

Go back to SBIR/MLA, where you collect the following registered vehicle documents:

  • Proof of Ownership Certificate (POC) number
  • Proof of Ownership Certificate,
  • Vehicle Number Plate
  • Vehicle Identification Tag (VIT)

see: Motor Insurance Policy Terms You should Know

Step 4: Verification process

The verified documents for my brand new car are:

  • driver’s license,
  • auto insurance policy,
  • attestation letter from my car dealer,
  • car invoice,
  • delivery note from my car dealer,
  • passport photograph,
  • Motor Vehicle Duty Certificate, and
  • means of proof of address (address on utility bill).

Also, the verified documents for a fairly used (imported or Tokunbo) are:

  • Certificate of Entry,
  • Payment Schedule,
  • Engine Number,
  • Receipt of Purchase,
  • Terminal Delivery Order,
  • Vehicle Releasing Invoice, and
  • passport photograph.

After due verification, the official will forward all documents to a policeman attached to the unit to sign and stamp.

You will be asked to pay the sum of N50,000 (depending on the state) for my number plate at the bank. This process is important to register a car in Nigeria.

After the payment at the bank and go back at SBIR/MLA, and collect yourProof of Ownership Certificate (POC), Vehicle Identification Tag (VIT) and Vehicle Number Plate.

All original documents you submitted will be returned to you.

Remember that car insurance is important to register a car in Nigeria and they come in 2 forms – Third Party Auto Insurance Cover and Comprehensive Auto Cover.

Third Party Auto Insurance Policy is usually done by an insurance company to protect car owners from losses caused by their cars on other people in the course of driving.


For new imported cars the following additional documents are required:

  • Tax Identification Number.
  • Custom papers (showing that the vehicle has been cleared by customs)
  • Motor Vehicle Duty Certificate


With these you got a smooth ride to get your vehicle registered. Enjoy!


  1. What type of papers do I need for my trucks to ply Nigeria road without embarrassment from law enforcement agencies,like Dangote and the rest company.

Leave a Reply