How to Register a Leased Car in Another State – 7 Steps You Shouldn’t Forget

You got a nice car, you’re moving cross country, everything seems to be going the way you want it, but there’s just one thing bothering you: how to register a leased car in another state? If you have never done this, we understand why this might concern you. However, it is totally doable, and there are no reasons to stress about it. Our guide will show you all the steps you should take to complete this process.

No matter how well-planned it is, every relocation is a bit stressful. There are so many things to do around your old and future home, shifting jobs, and if you’re also shipping your car cross country, you got one more thing to manage. A reliable car shipping company will do most of the hard work, but in case your vehicle is leased, we have some useful car shipping advice you’d want to hear.

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Things You Should Know About Leased Vehicles

You don’t want to drive some of the popular import cars. You don’t want to buy a car from a dealer who bought it from an auction. Buying a used car is just not your thing. You don’t have classic cars vs. modern cars type of dilemma. But on the other hand, new cars are so pricey, even if you’re not looking at some of the most expensive cars in the world. If it is not a few years old, it comes with a significant price tag.

However, there is a solution. If you don’t have that large sum, you can still cruise along some of the most famous routes in the United States in a brand new car featured in some of the best TV shows about cars, or get some of the best cars for city driving that are cost-effective. The solution you’ve been looking for is a car lease. All you have to do to lease a car is to put down a small payment, usually around 20% of the total car value, and then continue paying it off monthly according to your contract terms. So basically, you are renting it.

When It’s Better to Lease Than to Buy a New Car?

Leasing a car is not the greatest solution for everyone. Some people prefer to pay and drive their own car, others don’t like long-term contracts, and the idea of having to pay a sum every month gives them driving stress. However, in some situations, leasing can be more beneficial than buying. Let’s take a look at some situations when this should be a valid option to consider:

  • When you don’t have enough cash
  • When you want to drive a car that’s out of your price range
  • When you’re sure you won’t be able to exceed the yearly mileage limit because it will cost you additionally for every extra mile
  • When you know, you’ll take good care of its interior and exterior
  • When you plan to “rent” another car once this contract expires
Car sales are not your thing? You want to drive home safely in some of the latest car models? Then contact your local car dealer and seal the deal.
You're not into sales or used cars, you want to drive the latest models but at a price that suits your budget? Then this is the right solution for you.

Who Holds the Title for a Leased Car?

When you’re buying a car, whether used or fresh out of the salon, the car title goes on the owner’s name to prove that the person who bought it is the legal owner. But when leasing a car, things don’t go that way. Leased vehicles are titled in the name of the leasor, not the person who signs the contract and drives it because the leasor is the legal owner. License plates can be issued to both lessor or lessee, depending on who is in charge of liability insurance.

Can You Lease a Vehicle in Another State?

Surprisingly, a lot of people are interested in this option, whether because they live close to the state border or because they think that they can pay lower tax rates this way. However, this is not always doable and depends on state policy. So in case you found a better deal out of state, carefully research all the regulations and prepare for car shipping costs or long drive home.

Before signing the contract, ask about the terms, return policy, and everything else you might be interested in.
Before you sign anything, ensure you understand how this works.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Register a Leased Car in Another State

The majority of leasing companies allow registration in another state, but not outside of the country, so keep that in mind. It can happen that some lessors who operate regionally prohibit the option of permanently moving a leased vehicle to another state, so you should ask about that before signing the contract. Prepare for a lot of phone calls to your car company and DMV.

All that information and data should be written in the contract, so there’s no need to worry about being scammed by a car dealership. Most states require the car to be re-titled, and all require re-registration. When it comes to country limitations, Canada is usually excluded from that rule if you plan vacations and short visits. Now let’s take a look at how you can perform registration after relocating interstate.

Step 1. Inform the Leaser You’ll be Moving to Another State

Once you decide to do interstate relocation, before you call a car shipping company to book your auto transport date, you should first contact your car dealer or leaser. And there are several reasons for that. First, to ensure that you can actually relocate with your car to another state because some companies don’t allow that. Besides, the leasing company holds the title, they are the owners of your car, so they have to be informed that you’re leaving. And then some taxes might differ, which can lead to a difference in prices. As title-holder, the car dealer company needs to submit the original title or a certified copy to secure a new Certificate of Title. They should also provide you with limited power of attorney for registering the car in another state.

Step 2. Inform on Time How Can You Return the Car Once the Lease Expires

If your lease is expiring soon after your relocation, check if your company has a licensed dealership in your future state and if there’s a possibility to leave the car there. Otherwise, you might have to drive it back or rely on an auto transport company once again to return the car to the leasing company. You might be relocating permanently, but your leased car has to go back.

Step 3. Gather All the Right Documents Needed to Register a Car in Another State and Don’t Forget Insurance

When it comes to paperwork, you’ll need a few things, and the best would be to check with the local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) office in your future hometown what exactly their requirements are. Give them a call before relocating to ensure you’ll have everything prepared. You don’t know who’s responsible for registration on a leased vehicle in California? Call your DMV to get all the information. Here is what you can expect you’ll need to register a car after a move:

  • Certified copy of the title certificate
  • Insurance ID card
  • Current registration
  • Drivers license
  • Car dealership’s permit for registering a car in another state
  • Proof of paid tax

Step 4. Update Your Driver’s Licence

When making a permanent move, you have to get a new driver’s license. Usually, you have around 30 days after your move to do it, but make sure to check that with your local DMV. Keep in mind that, depending on the location, you might have to take a vision test or pass a written exam.

Step 5. Check If You Have to Return Your Old License Plates

Many states require drivers to return their license plates when relocating to another state, so check if yours is one of them. If it is not, you can turn it into a nice souvenir to hang in your garage.

Step 6. Inform the Insurance Company You’re Relocating

This is another essential thing to do on time because it could happen that your insurance company doesn’t operate in your new state. If that’s the case, you should find another insurer. However, even if it does exist and you can stay within the same insurance company, expect that the rates will probably be different.

Step 7. Gather All the Information About the Tax System

As you know, the way tax is gathered varies from one state to another. Some states gather them at the beginning of the lease, while in some other states, taxes are gathered during the entire duration of the contract. This could have an impact on the overall amount you’ll have to pay for taxes, so inform yourself on time to avoid any surprises.

Off-road vehicle going uphill
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Requirements for Registration of Any Car Type Include Environment Regulations

Your car will have to pass a state emissions inspection at the authorized station before you get plates. This test serves to determine the level of air pollution from the exhaust pipe. If a car fails this test, it has to go through certain repairs. However, not all states require this inspection, currently only around 30 of them, and the terms are not always the same. So you might need it for driving in New York City, but not in Alaska, Minnesota, or any of the states that don’t do these inspections.

Why Cars Fails Emissions Test

Although there are multiple reasons why your car could fail this test, here are some of the most common ones, which you can detect and fix before going to the inspection.

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How Do You Transfer a Leased Car to Another State? With the Help of a Reputable Auto Transport Company, Of Course

There are many ways to transfer your car cross country, but if you’re a beginner in driving, or you’re moving long-distance and just don’t want to drive for hours, car shipping is by far the most convenient solution. Since you’re relocating, you can get an auto transport service from your chosen moving company or a reputable auto transport company. Whether you have one or several vehicles, you can choose to ship them on an open trailer and save some bucks or spend more on full protection and enclosed trailer transport.

You shouldn’t think about the cheapest way to ship a car, but which one is safer, open, or enclosed trailer. We recommend you to take a closer look at their pros and cons. If you’re an experienced driver who doesn’t experience driving anxiety or road rage, you might be tempted to drive it and try to save some money that way. However, there are so many advantages and reasons why people ship cars with car shipping companies that there’s no reason to worry about letting someone else take care of this task.

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