4 steps to register your car after a move

When moving to a new state, if you own and drive a car you will need to register it in that state. Each state has its own specific rules and regulations when it comes to how soon a car has to be registered and what documentation you will need to complete the process. There are also going to be fees to pay. Register your vehicle after moving by getting a new driver's license and assembling all of the paperwork and insurance information required to get new license plates for your car. Make sure that you do everything legally.
4 steps to register your car after a move

1) Get all the information you need

Contact your new state's Department of Motor Vehicles. Some states may call the regulating agency the Department of Motor Vehicles the Registry of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Transportation, the Motor Vehicle Bureau, or another similar name. Find out how much time you have to register your vehicle. When you move to a new state, you have to register your car within a specified time frame. This might be as short as 30 days or less.
For example, the Washington State Department of Licensing states that you must register your car in the state within 30 days of moving there. In many states, you have to get a new driver's license in your new state either as part of registering your car or before you can register your car.
Get all the information and documents that you will need to register your vehicle. Each state will have different requirements for registering your car. When you go to the website for your new DMV, you should be able to find a list of all the requirements that you need for the registration. Some of the most common requirements include your identification, proof of ownership, odometer disclosure statement, emissions disclosure statement, bill of sale, etc. Get proof that your vehicle is insured. Contact either the DMV or your own insurance company to find out what you will need to verify that your car is insured. Your insurance company might have a certificate or simple form that they can send to you. You might need to have a particular DMV form stamped by your insurance company. Plan ahead, because taking care of this paperwork might take a few days.
Get your vehicle inspected as in some states, you might need a cursory safety inspection, while other states will require a more thorough inspection that will include both vehicle operation and emissions or smog certification. Find out what the requirements are in the state you are moving to and set aside enough time to get it done. You should get some confirmation or a certificate when your car passes each stage of the inspection. Make sure that you have this certificate for the registration.

2) Filling in the registration form

If you can access the form online, then download and print it at home. If you can't access it this way, then you have to visit the DMV office to get the necessary registration application form. In both cases, make sure that you get the right form. The form that you need to register a car that is coming in from another state may be different than the required form for registering a newly purchased car. If you have questions, call your DMV to ask.
Read over the form carefully before you start filling it out, to make sure that you complete the parts that pertain to you. In some states, the same form will be used for more than one purpose so be sure that you mark the correct boxes. If you are filling out the form online, you might be able to transcribe your information immediately onto the form and then print the completed form. Otherwise, you should print the form and then fill it out in ink. If you omit any information, or if your writing is unreadable, your application may be denied, incorrect or delayed.
You are going to need to provide the year, make and model of your car. You are also required to provide the vehicle's complete Vehicle Identification Number. Be sure to provide accurate information. If you make errors on the application form, your final registration may include errors which can be difficult to correct later.
You can usually locate the VIN on a small plate just under the windshield on the driver's side of the dashboard. Make sure that you carefully copy all numbers and letters of the VIN.

3) Submitting your registration application

In many states, you might be able to apply for registration through your local DMV website. This can save you a long and dull visit to the DMV. In other states, you might be able to start the process online, but then take care of the rest with a brief DMV visit. Find out where the nearest DMV office to your home is located. Most states have a website that provides a list of locations. You will want to find the one that is most convenient for you. Some states also allow you to schedule your appointments online. This will save you a lot of time when you go to register your car. Take all of your completed forms and payment for all the required fees to the DMV.
In many states, the registration fee is based on the worth of the vehicle that you are registering. You might not be able to estimate the exact registration fee. Call the office to find out what your options are when it comes to payment. Most DMV offices will accept cash, checks, or credit cards. You should look into which forms are accepted in the state and try to determine how much you will need to pay.

4) The final steps

Each state sets its limits for vehicle registration. After a few years, you are going to need to reapply or renew your registration. The renewal process is usually easier and quicker than the original registration. Most states will let you renew your registration online every year or every two years.
There are states will give you a temporary registration and mail your plates some time within the month. And there are those will have them ready for you right away. Make sure that you do not leave the DMV office without understanding how their process works.
In some states, you will be charged a fee if you don't return your license plates. For example, New York requires that you return your old plates when you register the car in a new state. You will need to print and complete the Plate Surrender Application, and then return that completed form with your old plates. Call the DMV in your old state and find out where to send them. Your former state's agency might also have this information on their website.
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