Social Question

Blackberry's avatar

How does registration, insurance, and license plates work when it comes to driving in other states?

Asked by Blackberry (29346 points ) June 2nd, 2012

When, if at all, do you need to switch your stuff if you move? What are the rules and reasons for doing (or not doing) this?

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8 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

You are suppose to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles and your insurance vehicle whenever you move. Even if it is across the street. Your address is then updated and the taxing authorities are kept abreast of your address in case you live in an area that imposes a personal property tax on your vehicle.

It varies by state, but you legally become a resident of another state, in most instances 30 days, you are suppose to have insurance on your vehicle with the new address, your driver’s license and your vehicle tagged, titled and registered with your new address.

There are exceptions for active duty military, students and employed outside your home state but maintaining residency at your old address.

Residency for college and divorce is different than a resident registering a vehicle.

zenvelo's avatar

In California you’re supposed to register with the CA DMV within 20 days of renting or buying a residence or accepting employment. A lot of people don’t do it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Most states give you 30 – 60 days to get your driver’s license and to get your car tagged/registered in that state once you move to that location. There are exceptions for military personnel. Most states also have rules about making the switch over based on the percentage of time you will actually reside in that location (such as for people with vacation homes). Each state has different rules though, so you want to check with the state you are moving too.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry I thought you are military? You can maintain all that stuff in one state, the military gets an exception. I don’t remember exactly how it works, but you should be able to find out easily. My parents maintained NY license and tags until my dad retired. They lived in MD for 20 years with the “wrong” driver’s license and plates.

Usually it is 30–60 days as @Seaofclouds, but can be less as @zenvelo pointed. The website for your state should have the info.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

It’s different in each state. Look on your new state’s website. They usually have a link that says something like “So, you’ve moved to Xxxxxx. What now?” I recently moved and had to find out about all of this.

elbanditoroso's avatar

In every state that I have lived in (which is 7), there was a requirement of registering vehicle and getting drivers license within 30 days of arrival, assuming you were in the state with the intention of residency (i.e. not just a short visit)..

Of course, the devil is in the details. And honestly, they don’t know if it is 30 days or 60 days from when you moved to the state, so you can get some leeway.And as others have answered, students and the military have a different set of rules.

But assuming you are a non military adult and you have moved from state A to state B, you have around 30 days to retitle your car in the new state, get auto insurance that is applicable in the new state, and get license plates.

You might get by with not doing it, but the problem is if you are pulled over by a police officer and you have a Florida license plate (for example) and an Illinois drivers license. You’ll get a ticket.

Blackberry's avatar

Thanks for the answers. I am military, but I heard my insurance will be cheaper if I register somewhere other than NJ (because NJ car insurance is more expensive than other states).

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry Makes sense. Probably it is less expensive. Do you have USAA? Call them up and ask.

Does MS require emissions testing? If you are out of state military you are exempted from that. You also won’t have to pay for a new driver’s license, but that usually is inexpensive and good for 10 years. I think my parents got out of jury duty also. I still think you come out ahead in MS, but the military thing just makes for less hassle.

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