How to I puchase a car in Ohio and drive it back to NY legally?

I’m considering the purchase of a private party Honda Element located in Ohio which I would bring back to NY and wish to do it completely above board. I’m having trouble finding the appropriate process described using my usual Google methods and decided to ask here.

Thanks for any informed replies.


First, you insure it.
Second, you employ a transportation company to transport the car in an enclosed trailer.
Third, you enjoy a vodka martini on the flight back.

1 Like

Obviously I failed to mention I’d like to do this inexpensively as possible.

Thanks for the chuckle though.


Tom and Ray have said more than once, “It’s the stingy person who spends the most.”

The Ohio BMV can issue a temporary movement permit to allow you to drive the vehicle to your destination.

You can contact the Ohio BMV though this link, there is a live chat feature;

Ohio BMV


Also, go to the NY Dmv website and see what paperwork is required to register and title it in NY. Call your insurance company to get insurance company with the Vin to insure it before you drive it,

You go to the local Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles with the signed and dated title and a signed and dated bill of sale.

Purchase a 3 day trip permit, may require proof of insurance.

Drive to New York

Go to your local DMV in New York with the Title, Bill of Sale and Proof that the car meets “California emissions standards.” and get it titled and registered in your name.

Then the car will have to pass " NY State safety and emissions inspection requirements."

The way I read the NY DMV website the car will not have to meet California emissions standards if it has over 7500 miles on it.


Correct, New York does not restrict the “import” of used vehicles;

What vehicles are subject to the “California” emissions standards?

Unless it is exempt, your vehicle must comply with the California emissions standard if it has less than 7,500 miles on the odometer and is

  • a model year of 1996 or newer passenger vehicle or light-duty truck that has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 6,000 lbs. or less
1 Like

Must have read it to fast, didn’t catch the “Less Than”

Let me emphasize the Proof of Insurance because in my state, if you have an accident or you’re ticketed w/o it, your car will be promptly impounded.

Thank you all who have posted a wealth of excellent advice. Now I have to decide if the car looks promising enough to drive 6 and a half hours to one way to purchase.


OK now I’m eyeing a car in Illinois where they have a Non-Resident drive away permit good for 10 days. By chance my partner will be out in Illinois over the next few days and could look at and perhaps purchase the car. Since I’d be the one purchasing the car but not there, I’m not certain if she can obtain the drive away permit without me being there and am searching for a way to make this work.

Any thoughts for those of you familiar with Illinois rules?



I don’t think we have a regular member from Illinois here. And unless they work for the DMV how would you know if they gave correct info ?

What is this type vehicle that you can’t find in New York ?


Age of the internet. You look, you find. Local? Or not. Some folks just do it that way. My kid lives in Colo and has bought 2 cars from cali. Colo folks like cali cars. Sold his 95 4 runner for $8k.

1 Like

Did you ask the Illinois DMV? I bet they know, although the first person you contact might not know. I suspect that your partner might need power of attorney to act on your behalf in this, and the DMV would know that.


OK , I looked at this persons first post. They said the vehicle in Ohio was an Honda Element . Just for fun a simple web search showed a lot of Honda Elements for sale in New York state . Surely they could find one that would meet their price .


Must be after a particular color or lower mileage, or possibly the manual transmission.


My thioughts on buying any car is the need for a mechanic’s prepurchase inspection before you buy. Sorry but too many times trying to buy an “immcaulate car” out of state, only to find the screw driver went straight through, to trust any listing.

But if you find something whorthwhile, the easiest solution is to have it shipped to a nearby location and then dirve it on temporary tags to your home home.

1 Like

Yes there are several for sale in NY for sale at the moment. The youngest of which are 10 years old since they haven’t been made since 2011. The frames on many of the NY Elements in are cringe worthy due the states extraordinarily high use of road salt. I do understand the the midwest states use salt as well but not as much in the rusty north east.

Thanks to those who provided useful advice. I’ll contact Illinois DMV to see if someone there can offer more advice.