How to Redo a Car Title When You Move to Another State

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How to Redo a Car Title When You Move to Another State (Photo: @kelsen28 via Twenty20)
When you move from one state to another, one of the first things you need to do once settled is register any vehicles you may own. While most states give you 30 days to make the transition and register your vehicle at your new location, some also require you re-title it as well. This may sound daunting, but if you are prepared before you head to the DMV, the visit should go more smoothly.
Here are tips to help you along the way: get your paperwork organized, have your money ready, be prepared for an inspection, and check the local DMV online before you go.

Gather and organize your paperwork

Whether registering or re-titling your vehicle, you will need to bring paperwork with you to the DMV. You will need to gather your proof of ownership such as existing registration or title, your driver’s license showing the new address, a proof of address such as a utility bill, lease or mortgage document and your proof of insurance.
If you are leasing your vehicle, you will have to show proof of the lease.

Have your money ready

When you register a vehicle in another state, you will have to pay a registration fee. The fee varies from state to state, and sometimes even from city to city. If the state requires you to re title your vehicle, you will have to pay a title fee, too.
Sometimes there is a set fee for all types of vehicles, no matter what kind you are registering. However, sometimes the fee is calculated based on the value of the vehicle. It is a good idea to find out what it’s going to cost you before you head to the DMV.

Prepare for an inspection

Some states require you pass an emission inspection before you can register or re-title your vehicle. Sometimes, it is only certain cities or counties within the state.
For example, Bernalillo County in New Mexico requires an inspection, but other cities in the state do not. You are responsible for the cost of the inspection and any repairs that may be necessary for you to pass.

Check before you go

Since states differ in their registration and re-titling requirements, you should go online to the DMV website or call your local office before heading out. When you move to another state, your new state may require you to surrender your old title and get a new certificate of title. This is another expense you should be prepared for.
You may want to re title even if it is not required, as many states require it done anyway if you sell your vehicle in their district. Since there is a wait time between surrendering your old title and getting your new one, you want to be ready if you think it will be necessary.
If you plan on moving to another state, knowing how to re title a vehicle to another state will go a long way towards making the transition smoother. The key is preparation - like having the right paperwork with you, checking in advance what you need to bring, preparing for possible inspections, and knowing what it is going to cost you. Your time is money. Don’t waste it running back and forth when you can get it done the first time around.