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Buying a Car in New Jersey from Out of State

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If you live in
New Jersey
and
buy a car
from out of state, you’ll still need to pay New Jersey sales tax and get the vehicle properly titled.
Sometimes, you have to shop around for the best deal, and when it comes to buying a car, that might even mean looking out of state. There’s a lot of red tape that goes into getting a new car, and it can be further complicated if you buy from another state. But it’s not impossible! 
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How to buy a car out of state as a New Jersey resident

If you live in New Jersey but found the car of your dreams in another state, you can go ahead and make the purchase. Just know it might involve a few more steps than buying locally. 
You’ll need to go to the
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Services
(MVC) office in person for titling, and you’ll need to ensure sales taxes were either paid by the seller or by yourself. With New Jersey’s proximity to so many neighboring states and cities, this isn’t an uncommon process. Unfortunately, it can not be completed electronically. 
Once you’ve made your purchase,
schedule an appointment
at the MVC ahead of time. Here’s what you need to bring:
  • The Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin with a tax-satisfied stamp. If your out-of-state seller did not collect sales tax, you can pay that as well at the MVC office. 
  • The address and Entity Identification Number of your lender, if your vehicle is financed.
  • Valid proof of a vehicle emissions inspection for cars model year 2009 or newer.
  • Title fees
The fee you pay for your title depends on the type of vehicle and sale you’ve completed. Here’s a rundown of New Jersey vehicle title fees:
  • Standard vehicle fee: $60
  • Vehicle financed with a lien: $85
  • Vehicle financed with two liens: $110
Once you’ve received your title, you can complete the vehicle registration process by setting an appointment with the MVC for registration. Then, make sure to bring the following to your scheduled appointment:
You should be aware that New Jersey has a different procedure to follow if you’re temporarily residing out of state. That means, if you go out of state to buy a car and then bring it right back to New Jersey, you follow the steps outlined above. But if you’re staying in another state, buy a vehicle, and intend to return to New Jersey, you’ll have to complete a special application process by mail.

How to register a vehicle if you temporarily reside out of state

If you’re staying out of state, but you live in New Jersey and need a New Jersey vehicle registration for your purchase, you’ll need to submit the following to the MVC by mail:
  • Proof of ownership: If you’re buying a new vehicle, send the original Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin. If it’s used, send the prior title from the state in which you bought it, with the transfer of ownership properly indicated.
  • Mileage statement: The seller of the vehicle needs to provide an odometer reading for the time of the sale for you to mail to the MVC.
  • Application for Certificate of Ownership: Also called
    Form OS/SS-7
    , this application must be completed and submitted.
  • Application for Vehicle Registration: This is sometimes called
    Form BA-49,
    and it must include your driver’s license number
  • New Vehicle Title Application:
    Form OS/SS-14
    is required only if your vehicle is new. Used vehicles don’t require this application form. 
  • A check or money order: This must be in the amount to cover appropriate fees, sales tax, and surcharges if applicable. To determine your fees, visit the
    New Jersey MVC website
    or call 1-609-292-6500.
You’ll need to mail these documents to:
State of New Jersey
Out of State/Government Unit
PO Box 016
Trenton, NJ 08666-0016
Remember, if you’re not staying out of state and you’ve bought an out-of-state car, you do not need to complete the mail application process. Instead, the New Jersey MVC requires you to make an appointment and visit the MVC office in person.
MORE: Title transfer in New Jersey

How to buy a car in New Jersey if you live out of state

If you live somewhere outside of New Jersey but want to buy a car from the Garden State, the registration and titling process will depend on the state where you’ll register it. However, most states share a few similar requirements in titling. These include:
  • Presenting a bill of sale as proof of ownership for the car to your motor vehicles department or revenue office
  • Bringing your identification, proof of residency, insurance card, vehicle odometer reading, and payment for fees to the registration office
  • Completing any necessary paperwork or application forms to register your car in your state

Tips for buying a vehicle out of state

While expanding your search beyond your home state might open up more options at better prices, it also can make the process a little hairier. To simplify your purchase, keep these tips in mind: 
  • Look over the vehicle report. If you’re buying a used car, you should look at the report from a service like
    CARFAX
    to be informed of any prior accidents or problems. 
  • Get your inspection done in New Jersey. If you’re going to live, drive, and register your vehicle in New Jersey, your car needs to meet
    New Jersey’s vehicle inspection requirements
  • Prepare to pay sales taxes. You’ll be taxed at the New Jersey sales tax rate rather than the state where you bought the car.
  • Get car insurance ASAP. You’ll need car insurance before you start driving. Make sure the policy you buy satisfies
    New Jersey’s car insurance requirements
    .
MORE: New Jersey electric vehicle incentives

How to save on car insurance in New Jersey

To drive legally in New Jersey, you need to drive with
car insurance
. It’s just another item on the long to-do list that goes with getting a new car. Luckily for you, though, you can have
Jerry
in your corner to make the process smooth and simple. 
Just download the Jerry app, answer a few questions about yourself and your car, and look over the competitive car insurance quotes that Jerry provides. They’ll come from a network of 55+ top-rated national providers, and you can access them right from your phone! 
You won’t get any unwanted phone calls, and you don’t have to deal with any salespeople. You can do everything in the app, from shopping to switching over. Jerry can even help you cancel your old insurance! 
Best of all, the average Jerry user saves $800+ a year!
“After
Jerry
found me car rental insurance, I’ve recommended them to all my colleagues, friends, and family. The service got me just what I needed.” —Luis C.
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