Can I register a car in a different state than I live in? This may be a question you’re asking yourself if you’re planning on moving to another state or perhaps if you own a vacation property in a state other than the one in which you usually reside. The very simple answer to that question is yes, your car can be registered in a different state, BUT the rules and regulations regarding this process vary from state to state, which means that you will need to check out what is required by your individual state.
Below, we have created a state by state guide to help you answer the question: “Can I register my car in another state and live in another?” Keep on reading to find out what you need to do in order to ensure that your car is registered legally.
Common Car Registration Requirements
Before we get into state-specific requirements, it’s worth taking a look at the commonalities between car registrations across the USA. For example, in all states except New Hampshire, if you must tale out a car insurance policy before you can register your vehicle.
Once you have taken out a car insurance policy — this usually needs to be purchased in the location where you primarily reside — you will be required to show proof of your vehicle insurance, as well as a driver’s license that is valid in that state and the title’s to your vehicle. This will generally need to be presented to the DMV in the state that you want to register.
In some states, you may also be asked for proof of state residency, and if you do not have this, you will not be able to register your car in that location.
It is worth noting that, in the majority of cases, individuals who register their vehicle in another state solely so they can save money on any associated fees and taxes, when they do not spend much time at all there, are committing fraud, which is why, if you’re asking yourself: “Can a car be registered in two states?” you should think twice before you go ahead and ensure that you’re on the right side of the law.
State by State Requirements
Below, you will find the exact requirements regarding car registration for every single state in the USA. Be sure to check the relevant state(s) to you before you go ahead and file paperwork/ apply for car insurance.
When registering a vehicle in Alabama as a non-resident, you must do so within 30 days of first entering the state. You are also required to give proof of a previous car registration and your vehicle’s title before you can buy a new vehicle registration. You must also submit to an inspection of your car UNLESS you are a college student or serving in the military at the time of your application.
Can you register a car in one state and live in another? If you wish to do so in Alaska, you’ll need to apply for a new car registration within ten days of moving to the state, and you will need to present proof of your car’s title before you can do so.
If you are simply visiting the state, you can drive your car with a registration from another state for as long as 60 days.
Anyone who lives primarily in Arizona for seven months or longer is considered to be a resident of that state and will need to apply for a new vehicle registration within 15 days or first arriving in the state. If this is something you plan to do, you will need to ensure that you have proof of car insurance, car titles, and at least one acceptable form of identification.
If you spend more than six months living in Arkansas, the state will consider you to be a resident and you will need to apply for a car registration in that state after this time. However, if you hold a temporary worker’s permit in this state, you’ll have to register your car a maximum of 10 days after entering the area. You will need to provide a form of I.D. as well as your vehicle’s documents in order to make a successful application.
If your vehicle has already been registered in another state, you will not need to additionally register it in the state of California unless you establish residency, in which case you must so within 20 days of said residency being established if you want to stay on the right side of the law.
The state of Colorado requires individuals to register their vehicles within 3 months (90 days) of becoming a resident of the state. If you fail to do so, you will be subject to a $25 unregistered surcharge every 30 days until you pay up.
Colorado is pretty strict when it comes vehicles that are registered out-of-state, and if you keep such a car there, you could have your license suspended.
Can you register a car in one state and live in another? In Connecticut, you must register your car there within 60 days of entering the state. In order to do so, you will need to show proof of ownership, insurance, vehicle inspection, and even payment of fees.
The state of Delaware allows you to drive a vehicle that has been registered out-of-state providing it is registered in at least one state where you typically reside, so there is no need to apply for a new registration there.
If you move to Florida, you can drive your vehicle there for 10 days without registering, but you must then complete an application. You will be considered a resident of Florida if you have an established address there, children enrolled in a public school in the state, or you are employed in Florida.
If you become a resident of Georgia, you must register your car with the state within a 30-day timeframe. If you are a non-resident, but you’re planning to stay in the state for more than 30 days, you must also register your vehicle. In order to do so, you will need to show a valid license, proof of insurance, and proof of vehicle ownership to the staff at the DMV.
If you’re heading to Hawaii on a temporary basis, you will need to obtain a temporary registration for your out-of-state car, and this will cost you $5. If you are moving to Hawaii, you will need to register your car within 30 days of arriving in the state.
If you’re going to be in Idaho for more than 90 days, you must register your car there. Depending on which county you are in, you might have to submit to a car inspection before you can register. If you are a member of the military or a college student living in Idaho, you will typically be able to continue driving with an out-of-state registration, but it is always worth checking your status and requirements with the DMV just to be on the safe side.
If you are a non-resident and your car is correctly registered to another state, you do not have to apply for a new registration in Illinois. However, if you are planning to move to the state permanently, you will need to register your vehicle within 30 days of establishing your residency.
If you become a resident of Indiana, you’ll need to ensure that your vehicle is registered to that state within 60 days of moving UNLESS your car is already registered in another state where you are also resident, in which case you can continue to drive your car on that registration.
In the state of Iowa, you will have to register your car to that state if you establish residency there. You will need to do this within a 30-day timeframe, and you will need to bring the car’s title with you to the DMV in order to do so.
In Kansas, it is possible for military personnel who are currently on active duty to use their out-of-state registration. Everyone else will need to register their vehicle to the state within 90 days of establishing residency.
If you’re only planning to live in Kentucky on a temporary basis, you won’t need to register your car in the state, providing it is already registered in another part of the USA. If you do plan to become a resident of the state, you will need to register your car within 15 days of entry.
You will have 10 days to register your car in Louisiana if you have just moved to the area, but if you’re a college student or member of the military, you will usually be exempt, providing that you’re registered in another state.
Non-residents don't need to register their vehicles in the state of Main so long as the vehicle I.S. registered in the state they do reside. If you establish residency in Maine, however, you will need to register in the state within a 30-day time period.
In Maryland, you’ll have 60 days to register your vehicle if you’re a new resident. If you aren’t planning to be a resident, you’ll still need a non-resident permit, which you can obtain from the MVA.
Any cars that are not owned by a resident in Massachusetts does not need to be registered in the state if it is appropriately registered in another. However, if you are planning to become a resident there, you must register your vehicle there too. There is no specific grace period for registering your car as a new resident, but the sooner you are able to do so, the better.
Non-residents are permitted to drive a vehicle in the state for up to 90 days without registering — if you plan to stay in the area longer than that, you will need to register. Unlike many other states, Michigan does not exempt military personnel on active duty from this requirement, so even if you’re in the military, you will need to register your car after 90 days in the state.
If you’re moving to Michigan as a resident, you’ll need to title and register your car right away.
In the state of Minnesota, if you are a non-resident car buyer, you can get a 31-day temporary permit, which will allow you to bring your car to the state when you need to register it. Non-residents are also able to register their cars by sending their registration from their previous state in. Cars must be registered within 60 days from the day you establish residency if you plan to do so.
Mississippi allows you 30 days in which to apply for a car registration. Although most states require you to show proof of car insurance before registration, Mississippi does not.
Non-residents of this state may drive on a temporary permit for a maximum of 30 days. Anyone who is becoming a resident of Missouri has 30 days in which to register their car in the state.
New residents of Montana are required to apply for a Montana vehicle title within 60 days of establishing their residency. They must also register their vehicles within this time-frame. If you are a non-resident who works in the state, you will need to show a current out-of-state car registration at the county’s office upon arrival.
In Nebraska, non-residents are permitted to drive for 30 days without registering their cars. The only exceptions to this are for people whose vehicles are registered in Wyoming or North Carolina or anyone who is a full-time student — these individuals can drive on a current out-of-state license instead.
New residents to Nevada are required to have their cars inspected and registered within 30 days of entering the state. If you’re a college student or an individual who has a vacation home in the state (and will only live their seasonally) you will only need to register your car if you plan to stay in the state for 30 days or more consecutively.
New residents to the state of Hampshire must register their vehicles within 60 days of establishing residency. If you’re a non-resident, you can register your car once you have proved that you have a permanent property where the car will be kept in a garage in New Hampshire.
If you’re going to live in New Jersey, you will need to get a new driver’s license and state car registration within 60 days of entering the state. If you own a vacation home in the state and you plan to reside there only for part of the year, you should be able to file a temporary non-resident vehicle registration instead.
Non-residents can drive on an out-of-state registration for as long as 180 days before they are required to register. If you are moving to New Mexico, however, you must register within 60 days, and your car will need to be inspected by state officials before you are permitted to do so.
New York non-residents are not required to register their vehicles in the state, providing it is registered in another state. If you’re moving to the state, you will need to register your vehicle within 30 days of arrival.
New residents to the state of North Carolina are required to have tier vehicles titled in the state before they can register. Once you have established residency, you must register your car within 60 days. If you’re a non-resident, you do not have to register in the state at all.
If you are not planning to reside in North Dakota, you will not have to re-register in the state, providing your car is validly registered in another state. If you work but do not live in the state, you will need to obtain a temporary car registration.
New residents to Ohio must apply for a new license and car registration with 30 days of moving to the state. Members of the military who are on active duty are exempt providing they have an out-of-state registration.
Oklahoma allows a period of 30 days in which new residents can register their vehicles. If you are a non-resident, you have 60 days to register.
In the state of Oregon, non-residents do not need to obtain a new vehicle registration. If you do establish residency, you will need to register your vehicle with the state within six months.
Non-residents don’t have to re-register as long as they are registered in another state. New residents to Pennsylvania, however, must apply for a state title and vehicle registration within a maximum of 20 days after moving to the state.
Rhode Island allows 30 days in which to register for people who are moving to the state, and you must also obtain a new title within this timescale too. The only exception to this rule is for out-of-state students who are exempt.
You have 45 days to register your car as a non-resident of South Carolina. If you are moving to the state, you must be paying property taxes before you can register your car with the state.
As a non-resident, you can drive for 30 days without registering your vehicles with the state. If you move to Tennessee, you will need to file for a new license and registration right away.
Texas non-residents are not required to register their cars if they do not plan to make more than five sporadic trips for any longer than five days per trip. If you’re moving to Texas, however, you must register your car with the state within 30 days.
New residents need to register their vehicles within 60 days of moving to the state and establishing residency. Non-residents don’t need to register in Utah providing they are registered in another state.
Vermont vehicle registrations must be obtained within 60 days of becoming resident. Non-residents must have a temporary registration which is valid for just 60 days.
In Virginia, non-residents can drive for six months without having to register their providing it is registered in another state. Anyone who is moving to the state must have their car inspected and registered within 30 days.
New Washington residents must register their cars within 30 days of arrival. Non-residents do not have to register their cards at all as long as they are registered elsewhere.
Non-residents may drive their cars for 30 days max without registering, but it is possible to extend this to 180 days by paying a fee. Non-residents are limited to buying an extra 180 days to one time period per year. If you’re moving to the state, you’ll need to register your car there within 30 days.
West Virginia asks that non-residents re-register with the state only if they will be staying for more than 30 days. New residents should apply for a new registration within 30 days of establishing residency.
Wisconsin does not ask you to register your vehicle if you are a non-resident with registration in another state. If you become a resident, you will need to obtain a new registration for the state immediately.
Cars owners by non-residents in Wyoming fo do not need to be registered in the state if they are registered elsewhere and vacationers can drive for a maximum of 120 days without registering. New residents must register within 30 days.
Get Car Insurance
Despite the fact that registering your car in a different state than you live in differs slightly from state to state, it is fair to say that insuring your car is vital, not only for your protection and the protection of others but because most states do ask for proof of valid car insurance before they allow you to register.
If you want to ensure that you get the best deal on your car insurance, and have no problems registering your vehicle in another state, get in touch with Insure Mojo today.