One thing to keep in mind while moving to another state is that you might be required to re-title your vehicle in your new state of residence.
A vehicle title is a legal document issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) declaring the owner or owners of a vehicle. It can also be called a car title, or pink slip.
Most states require that you show proof of ownership before you register your car and purchase new license plates. Many states allow you up to 30 days before you register your vehicle at your new address, and a lot of states allow you to register using the title that was issued in your previous state.
It is best to go to your new state’s DMV website to check the legalities of registering your car, and determine whether you are legally required to purchase a new title.
Even if your state doesn’t require you to purchase a new title, you might want to do so anyway. For instance, if you eventually want to sell your vehicle, it might be easier to do so with an in-state title. Some states, like New York, require you to re-issue a title after you paid off your financial obligations on a vehicle with a lien.
Whether you’re legally obligated to re-issue a vehicle title or you prefer to do it anyway, here are some easy steps to get it done.
Part 1 of 1: Get your vehicle’s title reissued in another state
Step 1: Gather all paperwork. Get all your legal documents together to bring to the DMV or the Department of Transportation (DOT) in your new state of residence, including your car title. Keep all your paperwork in a folder so that nothing gets lost.
If you don’t have a title (maybe you have an older vehicle and your previous state did not require you to have a title), bring your registration information. If you lived in a state that allows lien holders to keep vehicle titles until the lien is paid off, like New York, bring your loan paperwork.
Note: You will have to prove that you are a resident of the new state so bring your apartment lease or your home mortgage paperwork as well. Also, bring a valid photo ID card, driver’s license (even from your old state), or military ID as proof of your identity.
Tip: Make sure you have original documents, not copies, so there are no discrepancies at the DMV or DOT. Otherwise you may have to leave and come back again with the correct paperwork.
Step 2: Get vehicle inspections and emissions tests done. Some states require vehicle inspections and emissions tests in order to issue a new car title.
If your state requires these, make sure you have proof that all required inspections and tests were done, and that your vehicle passed the tests.
- Tip: You might also have to prove that the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the car matches the one on the title, so it doesn’t hurt to double check. The VIN number is usually printed on a metal plate on the threshold of the driver’s side door.
Step 3: Fix an appointment at the DMV. Make an appointment at the DMV by calling in or visiting your state’s DMV website.
- Tip: While you’re on the phone, ask the DMV worker what documents you need to bring with you so you don’t miss anything important. Alternatively, you could also check the list of required documents online.
Step 4: Pay the re-titling fee. Assuming everything goes smoothly at your DMV appointment, you will be required to pay a re-titling fee.
Since the re-titling fees vary by state, it is recommended that you check the fees for your state on the DMV website.
Step 5: Receive your new vehicle title. Give your old title to the DMV and wait to receive your new title.
Note: If you are the owner, you will receive your new title in the mail as new fraud laws prevent the DMV or DOT from printing and issuing titles directly.
Note: If your vehicle is on a lien, the title will be sent to the lien-holder instead.
If you’re relocating to a new state, you may have to get your car re-titled in your new state. Many states allow at least 30 days for you to register your vehicle at your new address. It is always best to follow the recommended registration or re-titling process as given on your new state’s DMV website in order to meet all legal requirements for your new state.