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Buying a car out of state


terrawombat
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In a couple of weeks I'm going to be doing a straight trade - '91 YJ for a '92 MJ (member on this forum). He lives in Ohio and I live in NJ. I will be driving the YJ out there and, if everything goes as planned, will be driving the MJ back home. The insurance part of this is easy - I can call up my provider up and have a temporary card faxed to me, but what do I do about ownership, registration and plates? I certainly can't visit my local NJ motor vehicle commission while I'm out in OH...

 

There has to be a legal way to do this, but I haven't been able to get a straight answer from any of the well educated employees at the MVC. They told me to have the seller mail a signed title to me and I could get it registered and plated. Yea, right, the owner is just going to sign away his vehicle and send me the title in the mail...

 

My current plan of action is to have my insurance provider fax me a temporary ID card before I leave, drive out there, take the plates off my YJ, swap them onto the MJ, get a signed title and bill of sale from the PO and drive it back. The plates will be registered to a red '91 YJ and they'll be on a white '92 MJ, but if I have proper proof that the vehicle is MINE, I shouldn't have any problems...right?

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If NJ works the same way as OH, he will have to fill in his part if the title transfer (on the back side of the title) and have it notarized. then mail the title to you. You fill in your part and take it to the title office to be issued a NJ title in your name, and take it to the BMV to get a registration and plates.

 

Take the plates with you, put them on the MJ and drive it home.

 

Since a signed and notarized title is not something you want to lose, I would use certified mail.

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I was told of a transport plate or certificate when I was looking to bring one from NY To PA. The title would be done with his info the transport plate gets you home where you finish the title. Talk to a full service notary in OH and ask them they know way more than the any DMV.

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He says he has a notary available at all times so that won't be a problem. But he's not going to mail me the title of his car until he first looks at my vehicle and determines if he wants it. I could drive out to OH and he could say, 'nah, no thanks.' Won't matter much to me since I have to drive out there anyway for a wedding, but that negates any transferal of ownership via mail. I need to know what I can do on a Saturday when no motor vehicle place is likely open and I'm 500 miles from home.

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Do Not transfer your plates to the new car. If an officer idly runs the plate it will come back to a vehicle very different from the MJ.

 

Here in Louisiana we tell purchasers to keep thier old plates (to show the officer if you get stopped) and have the person who sold you the new vehicle sign the title over to you (as you'll do for him). Get an signed bill of sale (which will basically read "for the value of one 19XX YJ, VIN number xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I (fill in the seller's name) transfer ownership of one 1992 MJ VIn number xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to (purchaser's name)). Be sure you have your current insurance cards with you for the new MJ, and place a 'Plate applied for" sign in the rear window to get you back home.

 

If you get stopped the bill of sale, signed title, and insurance card should carry you over. I f additional questions arise you can show the cop the old license plates as further proof.

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Do Not transfer your plates to the new car. If an officer idly runs the plate it will come back to a vehicle very different from the MJ.

 

Here in Louisiana we tell purchasers to keep thier old plates (to show the officer if you get stopped) and have the person who sold you the new vehicle sign the title over to you (as you'll do for him). Get an signed bill of sale (which will basically read "for the value of one 19XX YJ, VIN number xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I (fill in the seller's name) transfer ownership of one 1992 MJ VIn number xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to (purchaser's name)). Be sure you have your current insurance cards with you for the new MJ, and place a 'Plate applied for" sign in the rear window to get you back home.

 

If you get stopped the bill of sale, signed title, and insurance card should carry you over. I f additional questions arise you can show the cop the old license plates as further proof.

 

Thanks for the info. I've seen the 'Plates Applied For' sign on vehicles before...but ONLY in the south. I don't think I've ever run across that here in the Yankee states so I'll have to double check to make sure that is actually legal. And, technically and legally speaking, I haven't really applied for plates, I just made a sign that says I did :D

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Yeah - the 'plate applied for' is only good when you are transporting a vehicle back to get it titled. The only other option would be to trailer it home...and then a plate is not necessary.

 

Almost forgot - You will need to get his signature notarized on the title and bill of sale - but a notary should be easy to find.

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He said he has a notary on hand so that shouldn't be a problem. I'm just worried about the 'plate applied for' deal. I know it's commonplace in the south to do that as I saw at least a dozen or so vehicles with that when I was in NC for a week and commented on how odd it was, but I have never once seen that in NJ, DE, PA, MD, or NY in my 25 years of existence...

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Do not put your plates on the MJ. Most of the options you mentioned, if caught, will just get a citation. The plates deal will get you a trip to the calaboose. Every state I've been familiar with will issue a temporary tag or a transit tag with the proper paper work. Talk to 10 DMV employees. I've found on average 1 in 10 knows what they're talking about. Also consult a state trooper. They're pretty hip on the laws they're enforcing.

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I know with my insurance plan.. I have "recently acquired" coverage. I don't need an updated insurance card, I just need one of my regular ones. When I get a new vehicle I have 30 days to get the updated info to the insurance co. You may want to check with your company to save the hassle of getting the card faxed to you.

 

But I agree with the others. Every vehicle I have driven back.. I keep the signed title, and bill of sale in the truck with me and I haven't had any problems. And that has been with Wisconsin State Troopers... who seem to hate anyone with an Illinois drivers license.

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I know with my insurance plan.. I have "recently acquired" coverage. I don't need an updated insurance card, I just need one of my regular ones. When I get a new vehicle I have 30 days to get the updated info to the insurance co. You may want to check with your company to save the hassle of getting the card faxed to you.

 

But I agree with the others. Every vehicle I have driven back.. I keep the signed title, and bill of sale in the truck with me and I haven't had any problems. And that has been with Wisconsin State Troopers... who seem to hate anyone with an Illinois drivers license.

 

My insurance is "kind of" the same. Any vehicle purchased to replace an insured vehicle is covered for up to 14 days without needing to so anything.

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What I have done in the past is this:

1. Obtain insurance on new rig.

2. Get title signed (No notary needed in KS)

3. Bill of sale signed

4. Keep the PO's plates/registration on the rig. Also include a promise that you will return the plates/registration to the PO within 1-2 days on the bill of sale.

 

I did sell my Miata to another KS person who did not want the tags left on for road transport. They indicated the signed title would be enough if questioned.

 

Also, here in KS you can get a 1 day temporary registration. It is just a piece of paper. You do need the title to get it though. I did this with the MJ to drive it to town for VIN inspection (purchased out of state).

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Not the same, but related.

 

I got an RV trailer from Canada earlier this year. Had to get it registered in Canada to get plates for it to tow across the border. Then stop at the border to get import papers for it, in Ohio to get an"out of state VIN inspection" done, and turn in all those papers along with a bill of sale and a statement that there are no liens against it to the title office to be issued an Ohio title for it.

 

I went to my local title office beforehand to find out what I needed and they told me to get temporary Canadian plates for it. Turns out Canada doesn't have temporary plates, but I'm thinking Ohio might if the title office assumed every other country/state does.

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Most states have a 5 or 10 day temp tag you can purchase to get you back home legally.

this is what I have seen when a buddy of mine picked a pickup up in Colorado. he went to the local DMV and bought a tempory Colorado license plate for less than 10 bucks and drove the truck back to Minnesota.

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I appreciate the responses, guys. Every state is different on how they handle this, but I did a little bit of legwork and in Ohio you just visit the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) with a notarized title and bill of sale and you apply for temporary tags. Cost is $18.50. Dunno how long they're good for and it doesn't matter as I'll be taking care of the paperwork on Tuesday when I'm back in NJ.

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