Moving to another State

That has nothing to do with the current policies . Did they even have paved roads back then ?

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I’m not familiar with ND and CA DMV requirements and you need to review their specific requirements but using Maryland as an example Titling – Out-of-State Vehicle Moved to MD by Owner - Pages

For example

  1. As a new resident of Maryland, you must title your vehicle within 60 days of moving to Maryland. If you delay beyond 60 days, you will not be eligible for a tax credit for any titling tax paid in another state, and you may be subject to a citation for an out of state registration.

  2. Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate – This Maryland State Police form certifies that your vehicle meets Maryland safety standards.

Additionally there’s the State Sales Tax - Out of State Purchases.

Maryland grants a credit for sales tax paid to another state up to the amount of Maryland’s six (6%) percent sales and use tax liability.
For example, if you paid a four (4%) percent sales tax to another state, you would be liable only for the difference, or two (2%) percent Maryland sales and use tax when you brought the property into Maryland. In addition, you may claim a ten (10%) percent depreciation allowance for each full year you used the property before you brought it to Maryland. Only the depreciated value is subject to tax.

Bottom Line - To avoid any costly surprises, contact a CA Title Service and/or the CA DMV with the specifics before making any decisions

That’s the way it is in every state that I know of. I’ve bought several cars over the years in MA while a resident in NH. The vehicle is registered in NH. NEVER in MA. Sales/usage tax is paid to the state where the vehicle is registered.

Nope, just twenty mule teams.


It’s far from being clear and unambiguous to me. Hopefully OP understands all the details. For example, what happens if OP buys a car in current state, registers it in current state, then 60 days later moves to Calif?

60 days? That’s an obvious ruse. No registration IMO.

It’s my impression that car makers have changed policies so all the cars they make for the US market are the same and meet California standards. It would be surprising that they would spend the money to make 2 kinds of cars, and that they would make cars that couldn’t be sold in 12 or 13 States. I’ve been wrong before. Could be again. Check my work.

You can’t give one answer to fit everything situation.

Each state has their own laws. In MA you must have owned and registered the vehicle in another state for 6 months. If not, then you have to pay sales tax in MA. I think it’s prorated. If I bought the vehicle in NY and then move to MA, there shouldn’t be a sales tax since NY and MA have a reciprocal tax agreement.

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Pretty sure you’re right. 18 states now use the CA standards, including many with large populations-CA, NY, PA, and MA.

That link states that a new resident can bring a non-CA emission vehicle into California if there is proof the vehicle was registered in their previous state of residency.

IMO the “may” in the first sentence is ambiguous. “May” can mean “perhaps”, or it could mean “permissible”.

Def’ns of verb-form of “may”

  1. expressing possibility.
  2. expressing permission.

Also “if it was first registered by you in your home state” is also ambiguous. It could mean what it seems to imply, but it could also mean if the car was ever registered by someone else in a state not your home state before you owned it, the provision doesn’t apply. It also doesn’t say for how long the car had to be registered in the home state. 1 day? 30 days? or what?

I’ve lived in Calif for many years, so plenty of Calif DMV experience. I don’t think the DMV purposely tries to obfuscate, but there are so many different situations they have to deal with, that my advice, the car owner shouldn’t make presumptions when reading DMV regulations about what exactly they mean or how they apply to the car owner’s particular situation. .

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Bottom line: check the rules in both states before proceeding.

Some years ago we relocated to CA from NY State with a car we’d recently purchased in NY. Had we owned it sufficiently long, perhaps 90 days, they CA wouldn’t have blinked, but as we were three days short of that they were about to charge us state tax until we pointed out that we’d paid a higher tax in NY, so they didn’t charge us. I cheekily suggested they rebate the difference but they replied we’d need to get that from NY, there was a form for it, but the difference was too small to bother with. While living in CA I once looked into purchasing a new car in another state and driving it back, but at the time it met “49 state emissions” and CA wouldn’t have registered it, though they would have accepted such a car from a resident of that state who’d owned it sufficiently long.

5 yrs ago my folks in IL stopped driving and gave us their old Subaru. IL law required pulling the registration and removing the plates and CA wouldn’t issue plates for a car that hadn’t been physically inspected (for emissions) in CA. It took a bit of searching for it but CA issued a temporary transport permit that allowed us to drive the car back, which we did returning via the east and gulf coasts, with the form taped in the rear window and no plates. We drove about 9000mi. and were stopped by a curious officer just once, he hadn’t heard of CA’s system but after looking over the permit and making a call to headquarters he cheerfully wished us a safe trip.

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