Vehicle registration is a simple process for you in the state where you live. However, there are situations when you need to register your car out of state. So, find out about all states that allow non-resident vehicle registration to explore more options for you.
In most cases, you register your car in the state you live in, which means your car registration will match your driver’s license. However, if you have a second home, multiple residences, or own a car solely for use in another state, you may want to register your car in that other state.
Suppose you live in Alabama but own an apartment in Arkansas. And you have a car in Arkansas, even though you don’t live there.
You have a Minnesota driver’s license but are trying to register a car in Hawaii. In this situation, you may want to register your car in a different state than your driver’s license.
So read on for any circumstances where you don’t need to change your residency to register your vehicle and states allow out-of-state vehicle registration.
When To Register My Car In Another State?
When you move to a new state, there are a million things that you need to do. One of the most important tasks that are too often overlooked is registering your vehicle.
You must register your vehicle in the new state to legally drive it. Each state has its law that outlines the period in which you must register your vehicle. Depending on state law, the duration is between 7 days and 6 months.
However, if you are only driving for a short period, such as less than 90 days, you do not need to register your car. You can contact the local DMV in your moving state for more information.
How To Register Your Vehicle In A New State?
If you are just relocating to a new state, you must transfer your auto insurance policy and register your vehicle within the first month or two.
You’ll likely need to go to the DMV to update your license and registration, but you should be able to update your insurance online. To register a vehicle in a new condition, do the following:
A. Prepare Your Documents
With all the work involved in moving, it would be difficult for you to get new auto insurance and registration immediately after a change of status. For this reason, states offer a grace period to obtain a new license, registration, and insurance documentation for your vehicle.
Registering a new vehicle generally requires your previous driver’s license, proof of US citizenship, proof of residency in your new state, and proof of ownership of the new vehicle.
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The number of days you have to receive new driving-related documentation depends on the state you are moving to. Therefore, you should check your new state’s DMV website for this information.
B. Make an Appointment At DMV
Take these documents to the appropriate government office, usually the Road Traffic Department. Since the waiting times in these places can sometimes be quite long, plan enough time during the day.
In addition, you must provide a reasonable amount of money for registration, usually between $25 and $60.
C. Acquire New Driver’s Licence
Drivers moving to a new state must also obtain a new state driver’s license. In most scenarios, this license can be obtained without taking another road test. Most states will require a vision test of some kind.
The registrar’s office will provide you with new state plates or temporary plates while your new plates are processed and mailed to you. Once you have received your new plates, you must send the old plates to the DMV office in the state you moved from.
What States Allow Out-Of-State Vehicle Registration?
In most cases, it is illegal to obtain a car registration in a state other than your non-resident state. However, there are a small number of states where it’s perfectly fine to register your car.
In eight states, the only requirement is proof of insurance for a vehicle owned by the state in which they reside. You do not need to present a local driver’s license.
You don’t have to choose one state over the other, and some of these states even allow you to register a vehicle in two states at the same time.
According to Delaware law, Non-residents are allowed to register their vehicles in Delaware if they fulfill some conditions. You must provide a copy of your driver’s license from the country of residence, a copy of the registration, and proof of insurance for your place of residence.
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You can register your car by presenting proof of Delaware insurance for the vehicle that will be stored in Delaware.
New Kentucky residents must register their vehicle with the County Clerk’s Office within 15 days of moving into residency. Vehicles registered in Kentucky are not required to receive safety or emissions inspections.
A student attending a college in Kentucky can maintain registration and insurance from their home state as long as they hold a current Kentucky University student ID card.
A vehicle must receive a vehicle identification number (VIN) check by a marshal before it can be registered for the first time.
If you plan to make the Hoosier state your new home, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license and vehicle registration to the state of Indiana. You have 60 days to transfer your foreign documents.
In the state of Indiana, vehicle registration services are controlled by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Everyone must provide an in-state address such as an out-of-state vehicle title and a BMV-issued driver’s license or identification card to successfully transfer their vehicle registration out of state.
Nonresidents must register their vehicles with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles for their vehicles to remain compliant.
To register a vehicle in Massachusetts, you must present proof of insurance, vehicle title, odometer disclosure, and payment of registration fees to your local RMV office.
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You must convert your out-of-state vehicle registration to an MA registration with the Massachusetts RMV within 30 days. Massachusetts residents are also required to nominate their vehicle, which may be done at the same time as registering their vehicle.
Under Maine law, it is perfectly legal to register a vehicle in Maine even if you are not a resident of the state. You need the vehicle’s title if it was made in 1995 or later, your foreign registration certificate, and your current, dated insurance card; to register your vehicle in Maine within 30 days.
6. North Dakota
Nonresidents working in North Dakota must carry a temporary ND DOT registration along with current valid registration from their home state.
Temporary vehicle registrations are only issued for 6 months or 12 months. Residents of ND can apply for temporary registration in person or online.
7. New York
If you are not a New York resident, your state of residence registration applies here. However, if you move to New York and become a resident, you must register your vehicle here within 30 days of becoming a resident.
All non-residents of the state of Pennsylvania are required by law to complete an application for a Pennsylvania title and PA vehicle registration for their motor vehicle. There is a timeline of 20 days for registering your vehicle in Pennsylvania.
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Although new residents have 60 days to obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s license, they can obtain one immediately to ease the Pennsylvania vehicle registration process.
Is It Illegal To Have Out-Of-State Plates?- Know About It
Most of the time, yes, but there are very few circumstances where you can own/drive a car with a license plate from a different state than where you live.
In most cases, even if the condition was work-related, as others have pointed out, there is a “limited time” to own or operate another state-registered vehicle.
A. Military Person
If you are a military member and stationed in another state, you should be able to keep your vehicle registration in your home state without obtaining a new driver’s license or registration.
In this case, it is assumed that you are temporarily working in your new federal state while still having your permanent residence in your old federal state.
B. Full-Time Students
College students can register their cars in their home state. Most state laws allow them to keep their home state vehicle registration while living on campus until they graduate.
C. Working in Other State
Some people live near state borders or have unique working and living conditions. If you own a home in one state and work more than 184 days in another state, you are considered a resident of both states. In this case, you can register your vehicle in the federal state of your choice.
Can I Register My Car In a Different State Than My Driver’s License?
Yes, but it depends on the state in which you want to register your vehicle. Few states in the US do not require your license and registration to match.
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Yes, you heard right, there are a total of 8 states that allow you to prove residency in the state where you register your car. The 8 states where license and registration do not have to match include:
- New York
- North Dakota
Rest of the states, it is tough to have different state driving licenses. You are required to have taken new registration for your vehicle as well as a new driving license.
Car Insurance When Moving to Another State?
If you move abroad you will need new car insurance, even if you can stay with the same insurer. Your old policy will be canceled as each state has different coverage requirements and regulations.
Auto Insurance companies fix your insurance premium on several factors. Your fares are influenced by your driving license, the type of insured car, and your location, among other things.
If you’re moving, your old insurance company may no longer be the best option, so shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Also, you shouldn’t cancel your car insurance until you’ve got a new policy.
If you are uninsured for even a short period, your coverage may expire and you may be charged higher premiums in the future if you choose another policy.
FAQs About Non-Resident Vehicle Registration
Can I buy a car in one state and register in another?
Yes, the registration process is different in each state, however, you can purchase a vehicle in one state and register it in your home state.
You need to make sure the vehicle can pass your state’s emissions test and MOT test. You must also certify that the title of the vehicle is clear of liens.
What state has the lowest car registration fee?
Because New Hampshire residents don’t have to pay taxes when they buy a vehicle, it has one of the lowest registration fees in the country. Between tax-free vehicles and low congestion, New Hampshire is one of the best places in the United States to own a vehicle.
Not to mention that New Hampshire residents typically spend an average of $1,606 a year on insurance. That’s more than 67% less than the national average.
Should I get insurance or car registration first?
Most states require you to show proof of insurance to register your vehicle, so you’ll need to get insurance as soon as you get a new title in your hands. Then you can bring both the title and proof of insurance with you when you register your car.
Does my car insurance cover me in another state?
The simple answer is yes, if you have valid car insurance, it will cover you no matter where you drive in the US.
This is true even if you are driving in a state with different insurance rules than your own. Auto insurance requirements vary depending on the state in which you live.
Does insurance and registration have to match?
In general, your vehicle insurance address should match your vehicle registration address. While specific requirements may vary by state, it’s always a good idea to use the same address for your auto insurance, vehicle registration, and driver’s license.
This address must be the home address of the primary driver of your vehicle. It should also match the physical location where the car is parked most of the time.
For whatever reason, if you are considering moving from where you live and registering your car, truck, or RV out of state, you should consider states that allow vehicle registration for non-residents.
If you’re from a state with exorbitant fees, why the hell keep funding those states if you don’t have roots there?