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

Depending on your state, you may need to transfer a vehicle title when you move. Check with the DMV to prepare the right paperwork and necessary fees.
Written by Jessica Barrett
Edited by Pat Roache
background
If you need to redo your car title for an out-of-state move, you’ll need to gather your state’s required documents, pass any state-required inspections or testing, and pay the appropriate fees to purchase a new certificate of title.
  • Most states offer you a 30-day window to register your car after your move. Some states require you to purchase a new vehicle title as well.
  • Some states require you to update your driver’s license and pass safety inspections and/or emissions testing before you can apply for your new title
  • The fees for car inspections, vehicle registration fee, and re-titling fee vary from state-to-state. Check your new state’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) website for accurate pricing.

Step 1: Check your new state’s requirements

Check your new state’s DMV requirements to determine whether a new vehicle title is required to
register your vehicle
:
  • Some states, like Florida, require an updated title for registration.
  • Other states allow you to register the car using the original out-of-state title.
  • Most states provide a 30-day grace period for you to register your vehicle with your new address.
Expert tip: Getting a new title for your new state might be a good idea if you’re planning to
sell your vehicle
down the road. Having an in-state title makes the vehicle sale process much easier.
About car insurance: You’ll also need to make sure you take out an auto insurance policy that meets the
minimum car insurance requirements of your state
. You may be able to stay with your same insurance company if they operate in your new state.

Step 2: Get your paperwork together

You’ll generally need to bring the following required documents to your new state’s DMV office to complete the
title transfer process
:
  • Proof of ownership from an existing registration or car title
  • Your updated driver’s license
  • Proof of your address, such as a utility bill, lease, or mortgage document
  • Proof of lease, if your vehicle is leased
  • Letter from your
    car lienholder
    or a
    lien release
    if applicable

Step 3: Get an inspection done, if required

Some states require a car inspection and/or emissions testing prior to getting a new vehicle title. 
What to do: 
  • Check your state’s DMV website to find out whether you require an inspection or emissions test. 
  • If your new state requires inspections, you’ll need to find an inspection site—either at your local DMV or an approved third-party site (depending on your state).
  • Bring the DMV proof that you had the inspection or tests done and that your vehicle passed.
Car inspection fees vary from state to state. Check your DMV’s website for the most accurate pricing information.

Step 4: Submit a title application and pay the re-titling fee

You’ll need to pay a re-titling fee to complete the title transferring process at your new state DMV.
How much it costs: The cost to get a new title depends on where you live—different states charge different fees. Check with your state DMV for a breakdown of the title cost and any other associated fees that you may be responsible for.
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FAQs

Transferring a car title to someone in another state is pretty much the same as transferring a car title anywhere else.
Sign the necessary information on the back of the title, including your name as the seller. Depending on your state, you may have to sign additional information, such as the buyer's name, the odometer reading, and the sale price.
Make a bill of sale
for both the buyer and yourself. After that, the buyer is responsible for registering and titling the vehicle in their own state.
A vehicle title is a legal document issued by the DMV that declares the legal owner (or owners) of a vehicle. Sometimes you may hear it referred to as a ‘
pink slip
.’ 
You use the vehicle title to show proof of ownership when you register your car and
get license plates
in your new state.
Check with the DMV in your new state to find out if you have to purchase a new vehicle title after your move. That said, all states typically offer a grace period after moving to take care of it—so you don’t need to worry about having everything in place on the day you arrive.
Having your documents together can make registering your vehicle a smooth process. Here’s what you’ll need when you go to the DMV:
  • Proof of ownership from an existing registration or title
  • Your driver’s license
  • Proof of your address, such as a utility bill, lease, or mortgage document
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of lease, if your vehicle is leased
Moving to a new state almost always means that you’ll need to purchase a new insurance policy. The laws and minimum insurance requirements are different in each state, so it’s important to revisit your policy to make sure you’re covered.
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