Can I Register My Car In Another State – If you are considering buying a car in another state, it is important to understand what is involved in the process. In some ways, buying a car out of state is different from buying a car in your home state.
Even though you can save money or find a special vehicle that is not available locally, without proper planning you may face additional costs.
Can I Register My Car In Another State
There are several reasons why you might decide to buy a vehicle in another state. Maybe you found a vintage or rare model across the country, or found a great deal at a nearby state dealership.
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Different states may use different criteria for vehicle pricing, which means cars may be slightly cheaper in a neighboring state.
The cost also varies depending on supply and demand. If a particular make and model is very popular in your area, you may find a better deal by searching for the same car in another market.
Buying a car in another state is perfectly legal, but it’s a slightly different process than buying a car in your home state.
For example, sales tax is due to the state where you registered the vehicle, not the state where the vehicle was purchased. So if you buy a car in a state that doesn’t have sales tax, you still have to pay sales tax if your home state requires it.
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If you wish to bring it back to your home state, you will need to obtain a temporary registration card from the state where you purchased the car. You also need to make sure the car meets the emission standards of your home state, not the state where you purchased the vehicle.
For example, if you live in California, a car purchased in Nevada may fail your home country’s emissions test. Some cars have a label that says they were built to meet 50 state emissions testing standards, so you should ask the seller if your car qualifies.
If you buy a car in a neighboring state, it is much easier to drive home. But if you’re buying a car across the country, shipping the car home negates any potential savings. If you worked at a dealership, they may have contacts who can help you ship the car home at a more reasonable price.
Before buying a car out of state, it is important to understand the process required to register and legally drive the vehicle in your home state.
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If you are considering buying a specific car out of state, get a copy of the vehicle history report before you go to see it. This report contains information about crashes, recalls, repairs, and title issues such as a rebuilt title. This will reveal any red flags that could prevent you from buying the car or affect your negotiations.
For example, if the vehicle history report indicates that there is a lien on the title of the car, these must be satisfied before attempting to drive the vehicle in your home country. Otherwise, you may be legally responsible for these rights.
If the car you want to buy is used, it’s a good idea to have the vehicle properly inspected by a mechanic before agreeing to buy it. Take the car to an independent body shop and have the mechanic perform a used car inspection.
During a used car inspection, the mechanic will check the car’s parts and major systems such as the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, tires, and steering system. If the mechanic finds something wrong, use it as leverage to negotiate a lower price with the seller, or use it as a signal to get out of the deal.
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Contact your state’s DMV or check the DMV’s website to see what inspections are required for your car.
Depending on state laws, this may include odometer, emissions and/or safety inspections. If your car fails the inspection, you will need to make the necessary repairs before completing the registration process for your vehicle.
Once your vehicle has passed inspection, you can drive to the DMV with the inspection certificate, your bill of sale, driver’s license, and proof of address. You may also be required to provide a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verification form. These documents allow you to register the vehicle in your name and at your domicile.
Make sure you know the deadline for registering a car in a new state. In most cases, you must complete this step within 30 days of purchase to avoid penalties. However, if you purchased the vehicle from an out-of-state dealership, they may be able to help you complete the necessary registration paperwork.
Where Can I Find My Vehicle Information?
As part of the registration process, you must pay sales tax on your vehicle. The vehicle sales tax rate is the same sales tax rate your state applies to other property. If you live in a state that does not have sales tax, you will not be charged, even if the state in which you purchased the car has sales tax.
If you bought the car from a dealership, the dealership can collect your sales tax and issue you a receipt. If you purchased your car from a private seller, you will need to pay sales tax to your local DMV when registering the vehicle. When you visit the DMV, bring your dealership receipt or bill of sale from the transaction.
In order to legally drive your new vehicle, you must have auto insurance before you even bring the vehicle home. Some insurers cover new vehicles for a short time before you even add the car to your policy.
If your policy does not include this provision or if you do not already have auto insurance, you should obtain coverage immediately. Also, if you take out an auto loan, the lender may have specific insurance requirements.
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Before buying your new or used car, it’s a good idea to get a car insurance quote from your existing insurance company. You may not realize the cost of auto insurance, which can alter your purchasing decision.
Elizabeth Rivelli is a freelance writer with over three years of personal finance and insurance experience. He has in-depth knowledge of the different branches of insurance, including automobile insurance and property insurance. His byline has appeared in dozens of online financial publications, including The Balance, Investopedia, Reviews.com, Forbes and Bankrate.
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Buying a car without credit and cosigner What is car buyer’s remorse? What is a good interest rate on a car? What is a pre-approved car loan? Buying a car is already a complicated process and buying a vehicle in another state can make it even more complicated. As inventory levels fluctuate in 2023, many car buyers are expanding their search beyond their local area to find the right vehicle at the best price. But navigating the requirements and logistics of buying a car in another state can be daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process.
At, we are committed to making the car buying experience easy, fast and accessible to everyone. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide to buying a vehicle out of state. We’ll walk you through the process, from understanding the steps to understanding tax requirements and shipping logistics. Whether you’re a first-time car buyer or a seasoned pro, we’ve got you covered with expert advice and helpful tips to save you time and money.
Buying a vehicle in another state is similar to buying a car from your local dealership, with a few exceptions. The steps to sell are:
At a high level, it’s like buying a car in another state. Let’s explore each step a bit more.
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As with any automotive transaction, the first step is to negotiate the OTD price with the dealer or sales manager. When you buy a vehicle in another state, you don’t know their taxes and fees. It is extremely important to tell the dealer what your zip code is so they can calculate your rates and fees based on your location. We’ll get to that later, but taxes are paid where you register your vehicle, not where you buy it. If the dealership does not know your zip code, they will not be able to provide you with an accurate quote.
We strongly recommend that you check the OTD Price Calculator to verify that the dealer’s OTD price matches the correct tax, title, and registration rates in your state.
Do you know what can happen if you arrive at the dealership without competitive financing pre-approval? At the dealership, the finance office gets excited because it’s instantaneous
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