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Registration question

my son is off to college. we live in ny and he goes to school in colorado. does he have to register his car? Two points: 1) the car will return home every summer and 2) it is titled in our (the parents’) names.

These questions should be posed to the DMV in both states.

Well-meaning people on this board may provide answers that are actually incorrect, and you and your family are the ones who will suffer legal consequences if the law is not followed.

Consult the experts, and in this case, the experts are the folks at the DMV.

Ditto to what VDC said. See your DMV.

I moved here to Colorado 33 years ago for grad school at CU Boulder. Back then, out of state students who continued to maintain there home state residence were not required to register their vehicles in Colorado. As others mentioned, check with the DMVs to see if the situation has changed. You should also contact your insurance company and tell them where the vehicle will be used and parked.


PS: Thanks for supporting Colorado by paying out-of-state tuition!

What VDC said, but…

I’m 99.99% sure that as long as its still in your name, he doesn’t need to register it in Colorado. In fact, if it were to remain in your name it probably isn’t possible for him to register it there and there’s no rule against loaning your car to someone on the other side of the country.

If it were in his name it would be more of a gray area. The state probably has some sort of calculation that takes into account the number of credit hours versus income (if he’s working) to determine if he’s there for “educational purposes” or not.

“there’s no rule against loaning your car to someone on the other side of the country”

That may well be true, but the insurance company has to be notified about where the vehicle is “garaged or parked at night”. If the state/municipality where this takes place is different from the state/municipality upon which insurance rates are based, the insurance company will not be happy about failure to disclose this information. Also, since the college-age driver is now the only driver of the vehicle, that will likely affect the rates. Insurance companies require that you inform them of a change in the location of the vehicle and who is driving it, as that impacts on rates.

No harm, no foul if no incidents take place. However, once you file a claim (and claims are MUCH more frequent when a vehicle is in the care of a young driver), the insurance company will figure things out, and may deny coverage for failure to inform them of changes in the use of the vehicle.

This issue came up when I was in college in Pennsylvania. My apartment-mate had a NJ plate on his motorcycle. He was a student. But the township put a note on his bike saying that he had to register it in PA. He went to the station to explain, but they said he had to change registration anyway. He called the state police. They laughed and asked if he lived in our township. Apparently the townie police were well known for stretching the law. The Statie said not to worry and if they came around again, to have them call the state police barracks for instructions.

Check with Colorado, but expect that there is no need to change. And even if CO says you have to change registration, I wouldn’t believe them. I’d make them cite the specific law that forces you to change registrations.

Right, good point. But there shouldn’t be any registration issues as far as either state is concerned.

Half the cars in Boulder and Ft. Collins have out of state plates. It’s not an issue. As long as they are not expired, the cops ignore them. They don’t know when you arrived…Can you renew the NY plates without getting a safety and emissions test?? That may force the issue.

Insurance is not the issue. The insurance company has been notified and the car is now on a Colorado policy and he is listed as the main driver. They also had no problem with this even though it is registered to us in NY. I guess they deal with this a lot.

Thanks everyone. We will contact the local DMV. We have called the Colorado DMV. The issue seems to be the title being held by different people in NY, and the car being driven by our son in Colorado. You would think this is common but I guess most people do just ignore. They like title and registration to be in the same state. He does not own the car and we are not there to sign paperwork. They thought there might be some paperwork we could do to transfer the registration which we don’t want to do. The DMV seemed to say yes, and then maybe no. I am supposed to call back and talk to someone else. The two people there at the time could not agree.