Can I register a car in a different state than I live in?

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Do you plan on moving to a different state than where you currently reside or own a car at a vacation home out of state? You may be wondering if you can register a car in a different state than you currently live in. The short answer is yes, but regulations vary from state to state. Read more to find out your specific state’s car registration requirements.

Common State Requirements for Car Registrations

In every state - except New Hampshire — you’re required to obtain a car insurance policy before you can register a car in that state. Usually, after you purchase a car insurance policy in the state that you want to register it in, you have to provide proof of your car insurance, a valid license and your vehicle's title to one of the state’s DMV. Some states may require proof of state residency to register your car. You're typically required to register and insure your vehicle in the state you primarily live in.

Important note: People who intentionally keep their vehicle registered in another state to save money on taxes and other fees are committing fraud.

Specific State Requirements for Car Registration

Specific requirements may differ depending on the state in which you’re planning to register your vehicle. Read below for more details about your state's laws for car insurance.

Alabama Car Registration Requirements

Non-residents of Alabama must register their vehicles within 30 days of entering Alabama. You must have the car’s title and proof of previous vehicle registration to purchase a new vehicle registration. Unless you are in college or the military, your vehicle must be inspected.

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Alaska Car Registration Requirements

In Alaska, a non-resident is allowed to operate a vehicle with another state's registration for up to 60 days. If you're moving to Alaska, you must apply for registration within 10 days of moving there. You are required to show proof of the vehicle’s title.

Arizona Car Registration Requirements

In Arizona, a resident is considered a person who resides in the state for a period of seven months or more. You will need to register your vehicle within 15 days of moving into the state. You will need to provide your titles, proof of insurance and a form of identity.

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Arkansas Car Registration Requirements

After you have lived in Arkansas for more than six months you will be considered a resident within the state. If you have a temporary worker’s permit, you must register your vehicle car within 10 days after entering Arkansas.

California Car Registration Requirements

In California, if your vehicle is already registered in another state, you do not have to register it in California too. If you establish residency, you have up to 20 days to register the vehicle.

To learn more about registering a car in California, read our blog post: How to register a car in California.

Colorado Car Registration Requirements

Colorado requires you to register your car within 90 days of becoming a resident of Colorado. There is a $25 unregistered surcharge each month if you do not pay within the 90-day time frame. If you keep your out-of-state registered vehicle in Colorado, your license may be suspended.

To learn more about registering a car in Colorado, read our blog post: How to register a car in Colorado

Connecticut Car Registration Requirements

In Connecticut, you have up to 60 days after entering the state to register your vehicle. You will need to provide proof of your insurance, vehicle inspection, payment fees and proof of ownership.

Delaware Car Registration Requirements

In Delaware, you are allowed to have an out-of-state vehicle registration as long as it is registered in another state in which you reside.

Florida Car Registration Requirements

In Florida, you have 10 days to register your out-of-state car after you’ve moved there. To be considered a resident of Florida, you must be employed in the state, have your child enrolled in public schools or have established a living address.

To learn more about registering a car in Florida, read our blog post: How to register a car in Florida.

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Georgia Car Registration Requirements

In Georgia, you must register your vehicle in the state within 30 days of becoming a resident. A non-resident must register his/her vehicle if he/she is temporarily residing in Georgia for longer than 30 days. One must provide a valid license, proof of ownership and proof of insurance to the DMV.

To learn more about registering a car in Georgia, read our blog post: How to register a car in Georgia.

Hawaii Car Registration Requirements

If you plan to move to Hawaii, you have 30 days after your arrival to register your vehicle. If you don’t fully reside in Hawaii, you must obtain a temporary registration for your out-of-state vehicle. There is a $5 permit fee for an out-of-state permit.

Idaho Car Registration Requirements

If you plan to live in Idaho for longer than 90 days, you need to register your vehicle in the state. Depending on the county in which you reside, you may need to have your vehicle inspected before you register it. College students and members of the military living in Idaho may maintain out-of-state registration.

Illinois Car Registration Requirements

Any vehicle owned by a non-resident that is properly registered in another state other than Illinois does not have to be registered in the state. If you plan to move to Illinois, you have up to 30 days after you have established residency to register your vehicle in the state.

To learn more about registering a car in Illinois, read our blog post: How to register a car in Illinois.

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Indiana Car Registration Requirements

In Indiana, you must register your vehicle within 60 days of becoming a resident. The only exception is if your vehicle is registered in another state in which you are also a resident.

Iowa Car Registration Requirements

In Iowa, if you have established residency, you have up to 30 days to register your vehicle within the state. You are required to bring the vehicle's title.

Kansas Car Registration Requirements

After you’ve established residency in Kansas, you have up to 90 days to register your vehicle. Military personnel on active duty can maintain their out-of-state vehicle registration.

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Kentucky Car Registration Requirements

If you do not plan to permanently live in Kentucky, you don’t have to register your vehicle as long as it is registered in another state. If you plan to reside in Kentucky, you have 15 days to register your car.

Louisiana Car Registration Requirements

In Louisiana, you have 10 days to register your vehicle if you recently moved there. College students and military members living in Louisiana may maintain out-of-state registration.

Maine Car Registration Requirements

In Maine, non-residents don’t need to register their vehicles, as long as the vehicle is registered in the other state in which you live. If you become a Maine resident, you have up to 30 days to register your vehicle.

Maryland Car Registration Requirements

In Maryland, new residents must register their cars within 60 days of moving there. Non-residents of Maryland must obtain a non-resident permit from the MVA.

Massachusetts Car Registration Requirements

In Massachusetts, any vehicle owned by a non-resident that is properly registered in another state other than Massachusetts does not have to be registered in Massachusetts. However, you must register your vehicle in Massachusetts as soon as you become a Massachusetts resident. The law does not provide a specified grace period.

To learn more about registering a car in Massachusetts, read our blog post: How to register a car in Massachusetts.

Michigan Car Registration Requirements

A non-resident of Michigan may operate a vehicle for 90 days in the state. At any time beyond 90 days, you will need to register your vehicle. This also applies to military personnel on active duty. New Michigan residents must immediately title and register their vehicles.

To learn more about registering a car in Michigan, read our blog post: How to register a car in Michigan

Minnesota Car Registration Requirements

In Minnesota, a non-resident vehicle buyer has a 31-day temporary permit to bring the vehicle to the state where they’ll be registering it. Non-residents can register their vehicles by sending in their previous state's registration. You have 60 days to register your car in Minnesota once you establish residency.

Mississippi Car Registration Requirements

In Mississippi, you have 30 days to apply for vehicle registration. Unlike most states, proof of car insurance is not required when applying for vehicle registration.

Missouri Car Registration Requirements

For non-residents of Missouri, you may receive a temporary permit for no more than 30 days of purchase. You have 30 days from the date of becoming a Missouri resident to register your vehicle.

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Montana Car Registration Requirements

New residents must apply for a Montana vehicle title and register their vehicles within 60 days of establishing residency. Non-residents who are employed in Montana must present their current out-of-state vehicle registration to the county’s office.

Nebraska Car Registration Requirements

For non-residents of Nebraska, you are allowed a maximum of 30 days driving without registering your vehicle. The exceptions to this are vehicles from North Carolina and Wyoming, as well as full-time students.

Nevada Car Registration Requirements

New residents must have their vehicle inspected and registered within 30 days of moving to Nevada. College students and seasonal residents must register their vehicles if they plan to drive for more than 30 consecutive days in Nevada.

New Hampshire Car Registration Requirements

Once residency has been established, you are required to register your vehicle in New Hampshire within 60 days. Non-residents may register vehicles once they have proved that they have a permanent residence where the vehicle will be garaged in New Hampshire.

New Jersey Car Registration Requirements

If you are moving to New Jersey, you must obtain a new license and New Jersey car registration within 60 days of living in the state. If you have a vacation home in New Jersey, you can file for temporary non-resident vehicle registration.

To learn more about registering a car in New Jersey, read our blog post: How to register a car in New Jersey.

New Mexico Car Registration Requirements

In New Mexico, you can operate a non-resident vehicle for up to 180 days without having to register your vehicle. If you plan to move to New Mexico, you have 60 days to register your vehicle and before you do so it needs to be inspected by the state.

New York Car Registration Requirements

If you’re a non-resident in New York, you don’t need to register it in New York as long as it’s registered in another state. If you’re moving to New York, you must register your cars within 30 days of moving to the state.

To learn more about registering a car in New York, read our blog post: How to register a car in New York.

North Carolina Car Registration Requirements

Once residency has been established, you are required to register your vehicle in North Carolina within 60 days. New residents to North Carolina must get the vehicle titled in North Carolina before registering it. Non-residents are exempted from North Carolina registration requirements.

North Dakota Car Registration Requirements

If you don’t plan to reside in North Dakota and your car is registered in another state, you don’t have to re-register your vehicle in North Dakota. If you work in North Dakota, you are required to obtain temporary vehicle registration.

Ohio Car Registration Requirements

In Ohio, new residents have up to 30 days to apply for a new license and vehicle registration. Military members on active duty can maintain their out-of-state vehicle registration.

To learn more about registering a car in Ohio, read our blog post: How to register a car in Ohio

Oklahoma Car Registration Requirements

In Oklahoma, you have 30 days to register your vehicle if you are a new resident. If you are a non-resident of Oklahoma, you have up to 60 days to obtain a new vehicle registration.

Oregon Car Registration Requirements

In Oregon, non-residents are not required to obtain a new registration. If you become a resident, you have up to six months to obtain a new registration in Oregon.

Pennsylvania Car Registration Requirements

If you are a non-resident in Pennsylvania and your vehicle is registered in another state, you don’t have to register it again. All new residents are required to apply for a Pennsylvania title and vehicle registration within 20 days of residing there.

To learn more about registering a car in Pennsylvania, read our blog post: How to register a car in Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island Car Registration Requirements

You have up to 30 days of moving to Rhode Island to obtain a new title and registration for your vehicle. If you're an out-of-state student in Rhode Island, you do not have to obtain a registration.

South Carolina Car Registration Requirements

If you are a non-resident in South Carolina, you have up to 45 days to register your car with the state. If you move to South Carolina, you must pay property taxes before you can register your vehicle.

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Tennessee Car Registration Requirements

Non-residents of Tennessee may operate a vehicle for up to 30 days without having to register your vehicle in Tennessee. If you moved to Tennessee, you must file for a new license and vehicle registration immediately.

Texas Car Registration Requirements

In Texas, a non-resident doesn’t need to register their vehicle if they plan not to make more than five occasional trips longer than five days each. If you plan to move to Texas, you have up to 30 days to register your vehicle with the state.

To learn more about registering a car in Texas, read our blog post: How to register a car in Texas.

Utah Car Registration Requirements

You have 60 days after you have established residency in Utah to obtain a vehicle registration., For non-residents, as long as your vehicle is registered in another state, you don’t have to register it in Utah.

Vermont Car Registration Requirements

You must obtain a Vermont vehicle registration within 60 days of establishing residency. For non-residents of Vermont, you must purchase a temporary registration that is valid only for 60 days.

Virginia Car Registration Requirements

In Virginia, non-residents are allowed to drive up to six months without obtaining a vehicle registration, as long as it’s registered in another state. If you plan to move to Virginia, your vehicle must first be inspected by the state and you must register your vehicle within 30 days of moving.

Washington Car Registration Requirements

If you are a new resident to Washington you have a maximum of 30 days to register your vehicle. If you are a non-resident of Washington and currently have your vehicle registered in another state, you don’t need to register it in Washington.

Washington, D.C. Car Registration Requirements

In Washington, D.C. non-residents are allowed to drive their vehicle up to 30 days maximum. For an additional fee, you can extend the deadline up to 180 additional days. A non-resident can only purchase the extra 180 days once a year. If you’re moving to Washington, D.C., you have 30 days to register your vehicle.

West Virginia Car Registration Requirements

A non-resident in West Virginia may operate a vehicle without registering it for a period of 30 days. New residents in West Virginia must register the vehicle within 30 days after establishing residency in the state.

Wisconsin Car Registration Requirements

If you are a non-resident of Wisconsin and currently have your vehicle registered in another state, you don’t need to register it in Wisconsin. When you become a Wisconsin resident, you must obtain Wisconsin registration for your vehicle immediately.

Wyoming Car Registration Requirements

Any vehicle owned by a non-resident that is properly registered in another state is not required to be registered in Wyoming. Non-residents vacationing in Wyoming may drive with their out-of-state plates for a maximum of 120 days. If you have moved to Wyoming, you have up to 30 days after your arrival to register your vehicle.

Although registering a car in a different state than you currently live in varies from state to state, regardless of what state you live in, registering your vehicle is a must.

In most states, you’re required to have proof of a valid car insurance coverage in your state in order to register your car. Car insurance rates vary by state and by many factors specific to you and your car. They can also vary based on the company you choose.

Visit Clearsurance’s car insurance rankings page to see the top-rated car insurance companies in your zip code as rated by consumers. Consider shopping around by getting quotes from multiple companies so you can compare them and find the best and cheapest car insurance.

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