If you've decided to move to a new state, one of the things that you may have to do, in addition to finding a new place and moving your belongings, is to register your vehicle.
Unfortunately, each state in the United States has its own unique set of laws concerning vehicle registration Since moving can be an extremely stressful situation, you want to make sure that you're well aware of the vehicle registration laws of the new state that you're settling in. Otherwise, you could end up in serious violation of state laws, which will significantly add to your stress. The following guide should get you on the right track:
Visit or Call the State's DMV
Even before you move to the new state, you should get in contact with its DMV. Just do a simple Google search online to locate its website, which should have all of the information that you need readily available.
Another good site to visit is DMV.org. At their link, you'll be able to find contact information and some of the rules and regulations concerning your vehicle registration for each particular state. Do your research ahead of time to avoid any surprises.
Be Aware of How Soon You Will Need to Register Your Vehicle
Each state has different requirements as to when you need to register your vehicle when moving. In some states, such as New Jersey, you will have to register your vehicle within 60 days, while in some other states, such as California, you will only have 20 days. In Michigan, it's expected to be immediate, meaning that you'll basically have to do it within 24 to 48 hours after you arrive.
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See If You Need a New Driver's License
In some states, before you're even allowed to register your vehicle, you will also need to get a driver's license issued from that state, while in other states, you don't have to, provided that you have a valid driver's license. You can often do both at the same time at the DMV, which will help you save some time.
Update Your Car Insurance
You will also need to update your car insurance. The vast majority of states have certain minimums that you will have to meet in terms of liability requirements, in addition to various regulations that have to be followed. In order to register your vehicle, you will need to show the DMV your proof of insurance, regardless of the state that you're in.
Take Care of Your License Plates
Make sure to return your old license plates to the state in which they were originally issued. Not every state makes this a requirement, but some do, as they will charge you a penalty fee otherwise. In some cases, you will be given a refund for any of the fees associated with returning your old license plates. You will also need to receive new license plates in your new state.
Once again, it's important to note that every state has different rules and regulations as it pertains to car registrations. As long as you do your research and get in contact with the state's DMV, you should be fine!
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.