Buying a Car In Louisiana From Out Of State

Whether you’re a Louisiana resident registering an out-of-state car, or you’re from out of state and buying in Louisiana, you’ll need to register your vehicle.
Written by Jessica Gibson
Reviewed by Amy Bobinger
background
Prepare to pay sales tax and fill out some paperwork if you purchased a car out of state and want to register it in
Louisiana
.

How to buy a car out of state as a Louisiana resident

You’ll have to jump through a few hoops if you live in Louisiana but purchased your car in another state. Plan on
registering your new vehicle in Louisiana
—and be ready to pay
Louisiana's car sales tax
. There are some forms to fill out, too.
First, fill out the Vehicle Application Form, or DPSMV 1799. Have your vehicle identification number (VIN),
Louisiana driver’s license
, and personal information ready, so it’s easier to fill out the form. Then, you can either print out a completed copy to take to the Office of Motor Vehicles, or you can mail it to them. You’ve got 30 days from buying the vehicle to registering it with the state.
Even though you bought the car out-of-state, you still need to pay sales tax to Louisiana. The amount varies from parish to parish, so check your local rates. If you paid sales tax on the vehicle in the state where you bought it, you’ll get a credit against the 4.45% Louisiana sales tax.
If you bought a used car out of state, get a notary to witness the signing of the bill of sale, invoice, or title. Don’t worry if the state you bought the car in doesn’t require notarization—a carbon copy of a bill of sale is acceptable. If you’re financing the used car, fill out a UCC-1 form, which is a financing statement. You can find this on the
Office of Motor Vehicle’s website
.
Did you spring for a new car? Bring the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin from the dealership. While you’re at it, get the original itemized invoice from the seller with a description of the vehicle. Include a copy of the UCC-1 form (financing statement) if you’re financing your new car.
When you visit the OMV, bring all of the preceding paperwork, along with:
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement if the vehicle is less than ten years old
  • Car title (hard copy only)
  • Completed bill of sale signed by all the owners with the purchase price listed
  • Proof of Louisiana residency 
  • Check or money order for a $68.50 title transfer fee
  • Check or money order for $10-$15 to record a lien
  • Check or money order for $14 handling and local fees
If you’re mailing your application, send it to: 
Office of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 64886
Baton Rouge, LA 70896
Or:
Office of Motor Vehicles
7979 Independence Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
You’ll be mailed a Louisiana title and
Louisiana license plate
after you’ve successfully submitted all the paperwork and paid the fees.
MORE: Louisiana car inspection
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How to buy a car in Louisiana if you live out of state

The process is just a little different if you live out of state but bought a car in Louisiana. Typically, you’ll have to:
  • Get a valid bill of sale for buying the car 
  • Take the bill of sale to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Don’t forget to bring your photo ID, proof of insurance, proof of residency, odometer reading, and required fees so you can register the car with your state.
You’ll also have to pay local sales tax where you live. If you purchased your vehicle at a dealership, they’ll usually collect the sales tax and pass it on to the correct government agency in your state, but it always pays to check! If you bought the vehicle from a private seller, it’s on you to pay the state and local sales tax where you live.

What if I don’t have a physical title?

Louisiana requires a title to prove that you are the owner of the vehicle. The good news is that if you can’t find yours, you can get a replacement title from the Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) when you fill out the Vehicle Application Form
On the form, check whether the original title was lost, mutilated, or you never received it. Sign the box, and the OMV will mail you the title. Once you get the form in the mail, continue with registering your car.
If you bought your car from a dealership, there’s a possibility that the OMV and dealership exchanged the title electronically, and they can look it up in their system.
MORE: Title transfer in Louisiana

Tips for buying a vehicle out of state

People might wonder why you’d want to buy a vehicle out of state, but sometimes it makes sense! You’ll have a wider range of cars to choose from, and you might be able to get a great deal on a car that’s not available in your state. If you’re considering buying a vehicle out of state, here’s some advice:
  • Ask for the vehicle history report. A vehicle history report offers you peace of mind, especially if you’re buying a used car from an individual. You can get a vehicle history report from
    CARFAX
  • Get a vehicle inspection at home. You don’t want to get the vehicle home only to find that it doesn’t meet your state’s requirements. Check up on Louisiana’s car inspection requirements before you buy.
  • Schedule an emissions test. Louisiana requires
    emissions testing
    in order to buy a car. 
  • Find out how much sales tax you owe on the car in your home state. You don’t have to pay taxes to the state where you purchased the car. Instead, you’ll pay taxes based on your home state.
  • Check or buy car insurance before you head to the dealership. To drive your new car, you need insurance that meets
    Louisiana state minimum requirements
    . Contact your current insurance company to see if you’re covered to drive your new car home.
  • Have a plan for getting the car home. You might have temporary plates, or your vehicle will come with a trip permit that allows you to drive the vehicle home so that you can register it.
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